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Everything posted by Carborendum

  1. So, apparently I was misinformed on a few details -- I'm getting everything third hand. But progress has been made. Here's the latest. 1. The hospital where he is currently had given up on him because he was basically as good as dead already (as far as they knew). (Strange, when he was still conscious and able to communicate). 2. The nurses rallied around this kid and contacted everyone they knew. One contact was with a doctor in SLC who had formerly been a senior cardiac surgeon in this same hospital in Houston. 3. They said that they had the facilities and the manpower to do a heart transplant. The good part about his having been at this Houston hospital previously is that he's familiar with the equipment they have, so he can specify the rigging that he will be transported with. And the transition to the SLC equipment will be smoother. 4. I'm not certain where they are with the airlift. But I don't think a helicopter can fly from Houston to SLC. And a plane would probably kill him. So, that means several stops along the way. That may kill him. And I haven't heard yet about the ACA payment for the airlift. We'll keep praying.
  2. You're assuming it isn't already a reality.
  3. I'm not sure where this is coming from. FTL travel (per theoretical warp travel) simply means that one can travel in such a manner that two objectives are achieved. From the relative perspective of an observer on each of two distant locations, the travel time between A&B would be less than the travel time of light between those two locations. The traveler will also experience the same passage of time as the observers on either of the two points of observation. Warp travel theoretically would allow such a thing. But good luck getting it to work at all, much less power a vessel the size of an entire planet to generate enough power to accomplish such a thing. An S/T distorter and Heisenberg Compensator have yet to be invented
  4. I got one on Ebay for about $40. But I like my reverse ratcheting router much more.
  5. Well, Mad Max has actually happened in isolated locations on earth already. Star Trek depends on a purely theoretical technology (warp drive) that for all practical means is completely unachievable by any terrestrial energy sources. Soooo...
  6. There are patterns that we see in scriptures, in literature, and in history that lays out an overall pattern of how the apocalypse will play out. An apocalypse will only happen because of tyranny. And tyranny will only come to the Promised Land by way of sin. And sin comes by way of refusing to acknowledge the hand of God in our lives and in the success of this nation. That much may be what we already know. And it certainly seems we're at that stage. But what happens next? Tyranny lasts until deliverance. But deliverance takes on so many forms in history and literature that it is impossible to really predict this with any accuracy. But we will be delivered. Upon deliverance, we are not immediately prosperous. There is "the journey". Consider the journey of Sam and Frodo in the Lord of the Rings. They were delivered from the enemy so many times. But they had to work their own way through trial after trial. This is necessary in individual lives, nations, and a people. This helps purify us. Only then can we become free from the tyranny of the carnal man. At the very end, when we achieve the objective, a "death" occurs. Sometimes it is literal, sometimes metaphorical. But there is a death. Only after that death can there be a re-birth. And we are only allowed to come to the promised land after that rebirth. That is why Gollum was a tag along with Frodo until the end. That is why Gollum had to die with the destruction of the ring. The Promised Land we seek after the apocalypse is the Millennium. The establishment of Zion (i.e. the temple in Missouri -- and all that goes with it) is the Journey, not the Destination. The big question that I haven't seen asked yet is "Are we prepared for the trial of fire that precedes the Millennium so that we can survive the actual fire that initiates the Millennium?"
  7. We need to remember that the Kingmen were using the "distraction" of the war to take over the government. It was a rebellion/revolution. Chief Judge was on the run. And in the end, they CHOSE death. Moroni gave them a chance to swear an oath against rebellion. But they'd rather die. Heavy duty stuff.
  8. I really like this. We can talk about a person all we want. But until we actually meet that person, we never really know them. I sometimes think that the impression we have of Deity is basically what we think we know about celebrities by only watching the silver screen.
  9. It really depends on what kind of individual we're talking about. Think of the parables of the seeds. This can apply to Saints who wax and wane in their testimonies just as much as it will to proselytes. 1. Very often the decision is made before any arguments are made. For such individuals, no amount of evidence will sway them. Just be polite and pray for them. Not much else we can do. 2. Some have doubts because of ignorance. For such, discussions can be had and education given. This will often help. But sometimes not. At this point, it is about humility. Very often, the most ignorant people are the ones who are most resistant to accepting new information. That's part of what makes them ignorant. Until they humble themselves, there is really nothing we can do but love them. Arguing won't change anything. 3. Some have doubts because of incomprehensible reasons. I've heard some questions in my day where people say that they're having a crisis of faith over issues that have nothing to do with faith. Some logic trains about why X would mean that Y is incorrect doctrine are prevalent. I honestly don't know why some people have problems with various facts. But they do. And we need to be somewhat empathetic while understanding that they may not be thinking clearly. Again, we need to love them and pray for them. 4. Others don't have doubts. They just want an excuse to leave. They know what's right. But they want to appear like they're giving it a chance. In the end, they fit in the first category above. They've already made their decision. But they want to justify themselves. 5. OKAY. But what about the ones we can save? That is the $100k question. How do we know? Maybe we don't. But by knowing people before a crisis even comes up, by really being their friends, etc. we can know them well enough to know what's going on. If we were never their friends, I don't know if they would accept a new "friend of crisis" (think of what a "friend of convenience" is) to help them back. This is why ministering is so important. We always want to be friends with all we meet. And we need to know people when things are good, so we can be there for them when things are bad. And the bad includes when they have a crisis of faith. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list. But the most common that come to mind. For all of these, love is the first thing. Then understand that arguing in the traditional sense doesn't work at all with anyone. But can you ask thought provoking questions? Can you bear testimony? Can you share faith-building stories? Can you share when the Spirit spoke to you and gave you knowledge and answers to your prayers?
  10. Along those same lines, there are still limits to both. We aren't baptized in wine, for example. And the sacrament is still overseen by the bishop. When bread is not immediately available, the first option is to try to find bread somehow/somewhere. But bishops have, on occasion allowed for a substitute (like tortillas - in Texas, yes). But even with tortillas readily available, bread is preferred. And it is always considered the first option, even in Japan.
  11. UPDATE: There is a glimmer of hope. The host family says that the prayers are working. But there are major hurdles. 1. He is eligible for a transplant. But the hospital where he is doesn't have the right equipment to do the transplant. 2. As a foreign student, his insurance was via ACA. And it didn't originally allow for him to be treated outside of his designated state (Idaho). 3. They spoke with the ACA office and tried to explain why he can't go to Idaho. They finally agreed to cover the transplant. But they wouldn't cover the cost of transport to the hospital across town which has the right equipment. The big problem is that he can't be taken in an ambulance. He'd have to be air-lifted. And that is simply not covered under ACA. That's where we are. We can keep praying that the officials at the ACA office will change their minds. Here's to hoping... and praying.
  12. I kind of wonder why we pronounce the Russian city as we do. The Russian pronunciation is "Mosk-Vwuh". I'd think a transliteration should be more like Moskway. Whatever. EDIT:
  13. A young man named Marcel is a BYU-I student from Jamaica. During his high school years, he was an exchange student with a family in our area. Due to Visa/immigration stuff, he really couldn't go back to Jamaica for a couple weeks. So, he came here to Texas to spend the time with his host family. He apparently had a heart condition that no one knew about (including himself or his family). He's now in the hospital on life support. His doctors say his heart is at 2% capacity. He is so bad that he cannot be transported without dying in transit. And they can only keep him on life support for so long. His mother is trying to come here to be with him at his last moment. But flight cancellations due to weather have made it difficult for her to arrange a flight from Jamaica. There really is no hope of recovery at this point. But I'd ask for prayers for his family.
  14. I don't know if you're joking, but I agree. I can't get my family to understand that you're SUPPOSED to eat the skins of kumquats. Their logic is that we don't eat citrus skins - period. Then they complained that it was too difficult to peel. Too bad my trees died in the frost.
  15. I thought we were considered the most conservative LDS site on the net. There's one that is even MORE conservative than we are? Go figure.
  16. Yeah. You know I don't really understand this. I've done it a few times myself. And each time, my wife looks like she's going to hurl. And she politely asks if I could put that in a bowl or something. Somehow just seeing someone eat directly from a can does not sit well with her.
  17. I wouldn't have known about it if my son weren't serving in Japan right now. He had to have a license. And he mentioned that he was only eligible because he got a certificate of graduation from seminary and an ordination certificate stating he was ordained as an Elder in the Church.
  18. I think the word "privileged" is overused to the point it has no meaning anymore. Are you privileged to have a job? Are you privileged to have space in your home for a pantry? Are you privileged because you have a car where you can go shopping at a grocery store instead of a convenience store (food desert)? Common sense has never been common. Today it is a rarity. I remember a long time ago when an acquaintance told me that one reason the US military couldn't do well in Vietnam is that the natives were perfectly content eating rice three meals a day. I wondered why Americans could not. But he told me "we just can't. We'd go crazy eating the same food every day." Sure enough, I survived for about a year on just a single 50lb bag of rice (with various seasonings, vitamins, and other supplements) while I was in college. Everyone else wondered how I lived on so little. Well, I didn't gain any weight back then. That's for sure. But I made it.
  19. This is only for certain countries. And it isn't just Japan and Brazil. Many highly religious nations require a certain number of years (usually around the 2y to 4y range) of formal training in theology to qualify for a license to minister. You must also show a "certificate of ordination" or equivalent. In such countries, it is illegal to formally go about as a minister/preacher of religious doctrines without such a license. High school Seminary is just one method by which LDS missionaries can qualify. Since you're a convert, you could take institute classes for four years and also qualify. Or you'd just get called to a nation that doesn't have this requirement.
  20. Absolutely. BTW, I'm not necessarily speaking for anyone else, but that distinction is never the problem. The problem with today's society is that there is this implication "not that there's anything wrong with that." Oh, yes, there is. There is just as much wrong with that as there is with any sin or "sinful tendency." Obviously the act is worse than simply feeling a temptation. But there is definitely something wrong with "having that weakness." The message of the gospel has always been to love the sinner and hate the sin. How do we do that if people "identify" with the sin? If we are asked to separate the sin from the sinner, we can't very well do that when the sinner in question expresses that their sin is part of their identity. There's a big difference between someone "struggling with same sex-attraction" vs "a homosexual." Yes, that means we're getting into the speech police arena. And there is definitely that danger. The point I make is that (terminology or phraseology aside) there is a difference between someone who identifies as something (which is considered permanent) vs something that is just a personality or choice thing that can be changed.
  21. It's too early to determine if it is a permanent recovery. But I sure hope it is. He, himself, didn't know what was the trick. He guessed a few things. But he had no way of knowing exactly what it was. Maybe it was a combination of things. He mentioned that he's been under a dozen or more different treatments. None of them helped. But he allowed that the latest treatment might actually be working. He also supposed that possibly after 25-30 years of trying, his brain finally re-wired. He also had a bunch of personal life issues lifted off his shoulders recently. So, the cause? I don't know. And at this point, I don't care. I'm just glad to have my friend back.
  22. -- This post is not about asking for help. It is a message of hope that helping our loved ones really can help. -- I just had about the most amazing Christmas present ever. I got my friend back. I still keep in regular contact with two friends from College. I just had a long call with one that has been in-and-out of mental institutions and various treatment programs since before we graduated. The past 15 years or so he's been on disability because of this. When I was there to see bits and pieces of him being eaten up by this, it was difficult to witness. I would call from time to time. And it seemed that I was losing my friend. His mind, his, attitudes, his wit, his love... it was all dissolving. I prayed for him quite often -- for many years. Talking with him was an emotional drain on me because he really is that close of a friend to me. Today, we had a long talk. Christmas is a day to re-connect. The thing was that I was always connected to the "shell". Today, however, I got to talk to my old friend. I could tell in the first 10 seconds that something had changed in him. Through the course of the conversation, I gradually became aware that I was no longer talking to "the mental patient." I was talking to my old friend. I was talking to my brother-from-another-mother. We really got to catch up on all these years that he missed... that I missed as well. At the end, I told him that I was really happy to hear my old friend again. He told me that it was good to be that person again.