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  1. Norah, I agree with your premise, but wonder if you've seen the movie The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, with Robin Williams.His character in that film has a unique take on the head/body dichotomy...
  2. Because you've given me no reason to do otherwise.Your entire presence in this thread has consisted of malignant accusations against and condescension towards the Latter-day Saints in support of an avowed apostate. Reviewing your posts, I don't see anything which suggests that you hold the Latter-day Saints in anything other than contempt. You insinuate that we worship Joseph Smith ahead of Jesus Christ. You accuse us of ignoring and even omitting the Savior from our Sunday worship. You imply that we are widely (if not universally) ignorant of the truth of our history. You suggest that- save for your delicate forbearance- you could destroy the testimonies of the Saints almost out of hand. You accuse us of stereotyping apostates and of unrighteous judgment, yet traffic in nothing but stereotypes and unrighteous judgement. When asked for facts, you crab, weasel, and side-step rather than providing any sort of objective evidence of your claim. In other words, you're long on bluster and accusation, and damnably short on facts. You repeat anti-Mormon rumor-mongering and boilerplate hateful rhetoric as if they were self-evident truths and resist any and all efforts to correct your prejudices and presumptions. You apparently also lack the time to provide any evidence for your own ad hominem attacks.You've made three posts since being asked for evidence, and the closest you were able to come was an unproven anecdote from a dubious source. Then you know exactly how I and others feel about your unfounded accusations and malignant slurs against the Saints. That accusation- like all your others- is false. But you knew that. The problem isn't that you're not "100% cookie-cutter Mormons", but that YOU are acting like a 100% cookie-cutter anti-Mormon. You have accused the Latter-day Saints of blasphemy, idolatry, and heresy- but can't seem to muster a single fact to support your scurrilous smears. I also know that your accusations against the Saint are pure unadultered bovine by-product, fresh and steaming from the original source.I even provided a short analysis of the Ensign magazine which so stirred the ire of you and your fellow traveller to demonstrate that your claims were without basis. As to your pretense of being offended- that's YOUR problem. You've shown no hesitation about throwing out hateful and inflammatory accusations against the Saints. But apparently, it's not quite so much fun when it's YOUR ox being gored. If and when you give me a reason to reconsider, I will be more than happy to do so, and to apologize as necessary. But I'm not holding my breath. You've shown little consideration for the Saints, and less regard for facts or evidence. Given that your mind is demonstrably closed, and unless and until you provide me some reason to believe otherwise, I have little choice but to conclude that you are simply one more fellow traveller trying to bolster Palmer's claims by flying under false colors. That being the case, there's very little point in engaging you.
  3. True, but the property insurance deductibles would be insane with three sacrament meetings and at least two brawls in each building each week.On a more serious note, however, the purpose of our Sunday meetings is to teach the truths of the Kingdom of Heaven, not indulge every crackpot with a half-formed opinion and a sense of entitlement. That's what the internet is for!
  4. Gotta love the smug condescension oozing off that statement."As one of the few who have been enlightened with the truth, I must be careful to avoid damaging the testimonies of the great unwashed masses with my special insider knowledge." As a general rule, I would say "no".The problem here, however, is that we have done nothing to unjustly tarnish Palmer's reputation. Sometimes, the truth hurts- but better that we cause him some discomfort than allow him to poison others with his disaffection, half-truths, and biases. Agreed. But pointing out that so-and-so is a partisan hack who uses spurious logic and half-truths to justify his apostacy is simply fair warning to those who may not recognize him for what he is. If that's all you have to go on, then you might wish to avoid blanket stereotypes and offensive idiocy such as you proferred in your last two posts. And again, you are presuming that you are more enlightened than the rest of us- that your previous experience somehow renders you more "cosmopolitan" than us hicks and rubes.Your smug, self-assumed, superiority is both offensive and unwarranted. I, too, am an adult convert- I, too, have worshipped with a variety of other faiths, and your caricature of LDS worship and practice is neither valid, nor acceptable. In other words, despite the fact that you are neither keeping your covenants nor are active in the Church, you are more than happy to pass judgment upon the rest of us and tell us "how things really are" from the height of your gilded rameumptom.Gee thanks, mister! Whatever would we poor, backward, ill-used, and just-don't-know-any-better hicks do if we weren't able to bask in the glow of your masterful illumination? And you believe that you are unique in that regard?That your valiant sacrifice (which you allowed to lapse fairly quickly according to your own unverified narrative) somehow makes you an expert on all things Mormon? Given your inactivity, your condescension, the blatant falsehoods you perpetrated in this thread alone, and your avowed sympathy for an open and militant apostate, I simply can't imagine why that might be. Of course, the common denominator in all those factors is you, but surely YOU couldn't be the problem. That would be unfathomable. And nothing up your sleeve either. Aaannnd we're back to how you're so much more "enlightened" than those poor conditioned rubes who were raised, conditioned, and programmed by the Church.The burden of being so brilliant, so gifted, so much just-plain-better-than your co-religionists must be simply unbearable. How do you cope? Surely God must weep with admiration at your forebearance and fortitude... In other words, his words rang true to your preconceptions and prejudices, and you'll not allow the issue to be clouded by anything so mundane as mere facts.The bottom line is this: you've made several spurious and deeply offensive accusations against the Latter-day Saints (accusations which closely echo standard issue, anti-Mormon boilerplate) and when called upon to do so, failed singularly to substantiate them. Your attempts at self-justification smack of arrogance, pride, and condescension, and you are in open and avowed sympathy with an apostate who has vocally and regularly attacked the Church. Given all of that, we simply have no reason to take you seriously, let alone at face value.
  5. Just for grins and giggles, I downloaded and did a word search of the "offending" issue of the Ensign. I discovered that the Savior was mentioned 56 times by name. The Savior was referenced as "the Lord" 98 times, and as our "Savior" 36 times, for a total of 190 references by those words alone. Joseph Smith- on the two-hundredth anniversary of his birth, merited a mere 108 references, nearly all of which referred to either a factual reference to the events of his life, or to his calling as a servant of Christ. Of the twenty articles in this issue, Christ, his life, mission, sacrifice, and teachings are mentioned in all twenty. Joseph's life and history are mentioned in only four. By way of comparison, I conducted a similar search of the preceding (November) issue, which also happened to be a Conference edition. In that issue, the Savior was mentioned 204 times by name. The Savior was referenced as "the Lord" 338 times, and as our "Savior" 86 times, for a total of 628 references by those words alone. Joseph Smith's name, by contrast was used only 124 times. Again, this simple accounting obscures the fact that in both issues- and indeed, in the every day lives of the faithful Latter-day Saint- Joseph Smith is important only because of his calling as servant to Christ. Anyone who is genuine in his acquaintance with the Latter-day Saints and who is honest in his assessment cannot help but admit that it is Christ- not Joseph Smith- who preoccupies our minds, commands our admiration, adoration, and obedience. To pretend otherwise is to bear false witness against the Saints and to heap up damnation upon his own head and name.
  6. The irony, of course, is that the problem is NOT (and never has been) "putting the facts together in such a way as to keep his faith alive".Millions of Saints do that every day. The real problem is Palmer's inability to reconcile his faith in the Church with his desire for the praise and approbation of Babylon- including the anti-Mormon enablers and self-reverential echo chamber of John Dehlin and his groupies. One simply cannot imagine why Palmer might not have found evidence to reaffirm his faith in a group of self-admitted apostates whose primary goal is to legitimize an exodus from the Church. It simply is unfathomable. Of course, it couldn't possibly be that these stereotypes are invoked because they have currency. The only possible and acceptable conclusion is that Mormons are unreasonably close-minded and judgemental about people who have spent the last two decades engaged in biased and dishonest attacks against the Church.Palmer, the poor innocent lad, is the real victim here. Call For References please, Marshac. You cite this particular tired and trite anti-Mormon canard with all the reverence of a supplicant kneeling before his favored idol- surely you can provide some factual evidence to back it up. Well, there went any pretense of credibility you might have had.All of our talks, all of our ordinances, all of our prayers are done in the name of Jesus Christ. When we open and close our meetings, we address Heavenly Father in Christ's name. To pretend that the Savior, his love, sacrifice, and commandments are not first and foremost in our minds is to display a deceitfulness, dishonesty, and bent for propaganda worthy of a Reifenstahl, an Eisenstein, or a Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (otherwise known to the world as "Baghdad Bob".
  7. You might ask the same question about ANY particular forum where there are differences of opinion a/o belief. I know there are some people stick around just for the fireworks. That having been said, there are good people here, and some good friendships; how does one choose one's friends? For my own part, there are a lot of people I respect more while yelling at them at the top of my lungs than who generally agree with me. In my mind, it boils down to: people are wierd, and entertainment is where you find it.
  8. Given that (in my opinion) the most commonly offered prayer from a faithful LDS priesthood holder is "Please, Lord- don't let me screw this up!", I think it extraordinarily unlikely that a faithful Priesthood holder (let alone a Bishop) would simply "make something up". Not only would they be doing you a disservice, but they would be mocking both the trust and authority inherent in their commission, and thus mocking he who commissioned them. They would literally be taking the Lord's name in vain. I'm not going to suggest that there are not exceptions, nor that some might approach their calling with something less than the solemnity and respect it deserves; but with very few exceptions, most LDS priesthood holders feel the weight of the responsibility which they carry. I can only imagine that awareness would be heightened (not lessened) when dealing with someone who already struggles with faith and trust in the Church.
  9. I have prayed to God the Father that his spirit might enlighten me in my studies, yes.
  10. The list of Biblical scholars in two separate articles I've linked in this thread thus far, for starters.
  11. "Feelings" are purely emotional responses, and are thus both unreliable and easily manipulated (anything written by John Williams being a prime example).Where you are going wrong (at least in your attempt to summarize what we are telling you) is that you are ignoring both the intellectual and spiritual aspects which are equally intrinsic to the event. Revelation is NOT the same as "feelings", and any attempt to reduce it to such is inescapably an effort to denigrate it. No- I am "suggesting" that there are two possibilities: 1) that you are having trouble overcoming your Catholic upbringing (and conditioning) in your attempts to understand us, or 2) are not seeking to understand but to criticize. I hope that it is the former, but I have dealt with the latter quite often, as well.
  12. Yes- and it often is. Because I have the ratification of the Spirit of God affirming that to me.I don't need to take the word of a man for it- I can (and have) ask of God. Same answer as above.I don't need to take my Bishop's (or priest's) word for it- I have the truth straight from the source. It would be more accurate (and more intellectually honest) to say that there are many thousands of fragments, rather than complete manuscripts.According to Wikipedia (a source I do not altogether trust, but which is sufficient for this conversation): Biblical manuscript - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia And (if memory serves) none of those fragments date to much before the fourth century. Thank you for making my point.Very, very few of the fragments date to much before the fourth century, and the vast majority were made after the 10th century. All of them contain contradictions, errors, and revisions. None of them represent the whole (or even majority) of what the Savior and his disciples taught. Sola scriptura is a comforting fantasy, but it remains merely a fantasy. As such, your argument that absent a record of the withdrawal of Priesthood authority, the Catholic Church is true is, at best, an argument from silence. Really? According to whom, exactly?
  13. Yes- and I begin to suspect you are doing so deliberately. Read the very post from me that you just quoted, and show me where I used the word "feel".The actual word I used was "experienced". You are ignoring what I have posted in order to minimize the experience as mere "warm feelings" or "fuzzy-wuzzies". You have deliberately disregarded the intellectual and rationale components in order to denigrate what you perceive to be the weakest aspect of the three. If you are going to dismiss what you are told simply because it does not fit your preconceived world view, then you will never understand us. Are you trying to understand us? Or simply to prove Catholicism (as you perceive it) is superior? If it is the latter, then there's really no point in continuing the discussion- no matter how many truths we tell you, you will simply reject them in favor of that which is comfortable to you. It is EQUALLY independent of your derision, bias, and prejudice.
  14. How would we know if they did?We have only a tiny fraction of the conversations and correspondance that took place in the first few centuries of the Christian Church. Moreover, all of the surviving extant records were maintained (and copied, altered, and redacted) by an organization whose legitimacy is predicated on retaining that authority. The Catholic Church's ONLY claim to authority is that the Pope succeeded the Apostles- but we have only their word that this is the case. The phrase "conflict of interest" doesn't begin to cover the magnitude of the problem. Why would they? How can you miss something you were never given?I don't believe anyone here has suggested that the original Bishop of Rome acted out of power lust, malice, or political will in usurping control of the other churches, but rather out of necessity when the Apostles failed to name a proper successor. The Protestants almost never describe the schism as a "restoration", but as a "Reformation".Like the Catholic Church, they fancy themselves as descended from the Apostles, but were forced to "reform" the Church after the creeping corruption of 1500 years of domination by the political structure in Rome (which was usually one-and-the-same with the ecclesiastical structure). Of course, today even Catholics acknowledge this problem in their demands that Pope Francis reform the Curia.
  15. That is an oversimplification by at least an order of magnitude.Revelation- and confirmation from the Holy Ghost- is not merely emotional, nor is it strictly intellectual; it is enlightenment, pure and unadultered, on a spiritual level. Unless you have experienced it, it is almost impossible to describe, let alone to comprehend. Once you have experienced it, it is equally impossible to deny. Contrary to what you seem to be implying, Mormonism is a reasoned faith. We are counseled and guided to use our intellect, our reason, our emotions, and spiritual discernment in a never-ending search for truth. This is not (despite implications to the contrary) a solitary quest. We accept the Church's teachings as true- but also strive for personal confirmation from the Spirit of God. Not to put too fine a point on this, everything you know, you know because someone told you. It was either passed on to you by word of mouth, or written down in a book. You take these words at face value, and believe them because you trust those sources. You have no independent verification of the truth of what you believe- you simply accept it because it fits your preconceptions. That's not a condemnation- it's simply the state of existence for most rationale human beings. For the faithful Latter-day Saint, it is not enough to be told by those in authority. It is equally important that we know, through the ratification of the Spirit of God.