SeattleTruthSeeker

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Everything posted by SeattleTruthSeeker

  1. I am always reading and looking for new information. A couple of weeks ago, I came across this article. The title definitely drew me in. Maybe out of curiosity. It is at the website (and there is a Facebook page too) called Biblical Gender Roles. Sounds quite interesting doesn't it? I'm reading along and everything appears honkey dorey. I read through and realized I was a bit detached and had to take another read through. After four or five read throughs (just to make sure I was understanding and processing what I was reading), I was dumbfounded. According to the website, the author (or authors as there really are no names attached to the articles) appear to take the position: The Bible apparently makes a distinct difference between the gender roles and that woman was not created after God's image and likeness Women are a weaker vessel because Man is God's image bearer only Women are subjugated to the authority and demands of her husband and has no right of refusal (some articles advocate Biblical right to marital rape Well, I had to provide a response in three separate articles of my own to address the major problems. Oh, what is the article I am referencing? Why God’s Identification as Male Is the Key to Understanding Life’s MeaningMy responses - in three separate essays: An LDS Perspective on Why God's Identification as Male is the Key to Understanding Life's MeaningThe first part of this response focused on the context and foundation of the assertion being made, the question that is being addressed and answered, and whether or not the writer has given due diligence in providing an accurate, scriptural response and answer to the question postulated. Along with this, second part of that article briefly introduced some of the main assertions that are cause for questioning and examination and how they falter in meeting true scriptural teaching on the nature of God, masculinity, femininity, and gender roles. The third part explored a more in-depth analysis of the presenting issues derived from the main points of the article itself and how a more appropriate answer is given to the misinformation of the article under review. Part Two: An LDS Perspective on Why God's Identification as Male Is the Key to Understanding Life's MeaningIn the second part, it was contended that there is a linguistic issue regarding the Hebrew and Greek languages. Namely, that all languages have masculine, feminine, and neutral aspects. From here, the third part of this article focused on understanding the nature of how the Bible has some symbolism toward a divine and sovereign feminine gender role within the Divine Council and provided evidence as it relates to a Divine council of Heavenly Parents - God, the Father, and Goddess the Mother. The response examined the nature of human gender roles in light of Divine gender roles, and the divine institution of marriage and how this is represented in the symbolism of the New Testament of Jesus Christ, his parable of the ten virgins, and the reference to Christ being the Bridegroom and the Church being the Bride of Christ. Part Three: The Work and the Glory of God is to Bring to Pass Man's Eternal Life and ImmortalityIn this third, and final, essay; the concept of human existence and experience involves answering the initial question - Life's meaning and purpose. The writer of the article: Why God's Identification as Male is Key to Understanding Life Meaning becomes a misnomer in answering the question it sets out to answer. After reviewing the initial article (whether from a Christian or Mormon perspective) and then reviewing my responses - what are your thoughts with regard to the nature of creation of man and woman, gender roles, and how do you approach this subject from an apologetic perspective? And, how do you identify life meaning and purpose from an apologetic standpoint?
  2. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Wow - this place has changed alot

    Hey all - It's been quite a long time since I have been here. This place has definitely changed a lot. I am reintroducing myself. I am not sure if I am able to change my moniker lol. However, much has changed and am working and studying.
  3. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Why study the Book of Mormon?

    Here is a wonderful missionary opportunity. Already received one criticism on the article, and a response to that criticism. However, sharing the Gospel online should not be something we fear. This year, the 2012 Sunday School Curriculum is that of the Book of Mormon. Here is my article on that: Why Study the Book of Mormon This sacred literature that has come down to us through divine revelation is very significant, more so today I believe than at any other time in our history since its publication in 1830. We truly live in times where the hearts of men are failing them, the Gospel of Christ is no longer accepted, and men are living according to their own understanding and devices. Participate in the discussion, share your thoughts, and insights in how the study of the Book of Mormon has improved your life and testimony.
  4. SeattleTruthSeeker

    This Book will change your life!

    The New Year is a few days away. Along with this New Year, we will be experiencing a new season of life. Putting the past behind us, regardless of the good or bad, our journey will begin anew. People are most likely looking at what it is that they want to accomplish in the coming year. Some are making resolutions to lose weight and eat healthier. Some are looking to build better relationships with their family. Still, some are seeking employment in a very competitive market and are resolved to take a different approach to find suitable work. However, the Marysville LDS Church examiner would like to challenge everyone to make this the year we slow down, turn our hearts heavenward, and truly seek after the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father. How can we turn our hearts heavenward? As previously written, the current curriculum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is studying through the Book of Mormon. From the youth to adults, we will engage in discussing the Book of Mormon, the passages, and supping from the pages of this sacred text in our personal and family devotions. Yet, the challenge is not merely to read the Book of Mormon and participate in the discussions thereof. The challenge is to turn our hearts toward a Loving Heavenly Father who has given us, through modern day revelation, a sacred book that will change our lives forever – a book that will bring us closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. To read more please visit the Marysville LDS Church Examiner and comment on this article as well as sharing it with your friends and family.
  5. SeattleTruthSeeker

    She moved a guy in but will not file for divorce..

    There are some attorneys that will help you fill out and file the paperwork, but will not represent you. This is typically at a more nominal fee than retaining an attorney. Some attorneys will work with you when you come up with the retainer. I agree, you have to file and get the motion going. Also, copy-print-screen all her Facebook Wall posts, they now allow those in evidence hearings in Family Law. Since you do have a daughter as well, your best way is to sacrifice and get an attorney to go after custody. There are Dad Organizations to help you with the rights of Fathers. Google Father Rights Organization and look for a local one, met up and network with other fathers. There are typically attorney's there as well.
  6. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Hertz facing Religious discrimination Lawsuit

    Which is my sentiments exactly, they are trying to force their employer to allow them special priveleges that are outside of the normal functions of Washington State Law. An employer is only required to provide a worker a ten-minute break for every two hours worked. Anything above that is a concession an employer can make. I personally believe the same as you have stated, they were noticing that people were abusing their breaks and therefore implemented the clocking out and then back in to prevent those from abusing the breaks.
  7. I recently published an Op-Ed at the Seattle Multi-Faith examiner column about the recent news of 25 Samolia Muslims that are now sueing Hertz for violation of their right to religious freedom, and discrimination based on their religion and ethnicity. According to Hertz, those employees who were suspended and then later discharged from employment refused to clock out and then back in from their ten minute breaks, as well as majority of them having taken longer than ten-minutes to pray. With union representation, the lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court under the guise of Equal Employment Opportunity violation. The question is, did Hertz violate their right to religious expression and used that to discharge them? Or, if Hertz is correct, were the employees properly disciplined in an At Will State and violation of company policy, as well as State statutes and laws regarding rest and meal breaks? Join in and share your thoughts on this: Breaking News: Hertz rental Car Company under “religious discrimination lawsuit†- Seattle Multi-Faith | Examiner.com
  8. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Baptism

    Congrats from an inactive LDS.net participant lol.
  9. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Hertz facing Religious discrimination Lawsuit

    This is according to Reuters: It appears, when you read Reuters, the employees were allowed to take their necessary breaks without having to clock out and then back in from their ten-minute breaks. This should be where the lawsuit resides and not on the infringement of religious discrimination. Now, I can see if Hertz used the sudden, you have to clock out and back in as a measure to force out those employees as a means to discharge them. If this were the case, then Hertz definitely is at fault for a technical religious discrimination by utilizing a policy requirement change and in violation of their contract.
  10. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Hertz facing Religious discrimination Lawsuit

    If it is a basis of a Union Contract Violation, which I do believe it sounds like it is, then there ought to be a written grievance process that these people should pursue and file a lawsuit based on that and not Religious and Ethnicity discrimination. I agree, both sides are accusing the other of not being correct. I am of the opinion that there is a legitimate suit here, however, the question is, did Hertz discriminate because of religious perspective or did they simply negate a Union Contract and violated that union contract? I believe they did and therefore the legal pursuit should be under that provision and not the other. However, if those individuals took longer than ten minutes as allowed by law, then they are themselves in violation of the company and the law as well and may not even have grounds for a lawsuit. Will watch and see what happens with this one.
  11. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Two Examiner articles

    I have just published two examiner articles. One for the Marysville Parenting Examiner: Looking for some interesting subjects to develop more articles about, the Marysville Parenting Examiner happened across the Seattle Times article titled – Do parents need to stop the gossip mill? By Heidi Stevens of the Chicago Tribune. This is an interesting question, and therefore would like to know what parents in the Marysville, and surrounding communities have to say in response to these questions. As parents, should we interfere, and talk with our teen about gossiping? Do you believe teen gossip is a fundamental part of teen development? If so, why? If not, why? If you are comfortable: Share how gossiping affects your son or daughter and family Feel free to email your responses to [email protected] and in the subject line place “Teen Gossip”. Provide First name (or pseudonym if you would like) and your answer to the question. From the Marysville LDS Church Examiner column: Christmas is almost here and the shopping season is almost winding down. Thinking upon this time of year and the meaning of one of the more significant events in human history, one subject keeps coming to mind: Are we forgetting the true meaning behind this holiday season and Christmas? Many people make statements that Christ is the reason for the Season, or that you cannot have Christmas without Christ. While this is true, there is something more that we have strayed from in relation to the heart of this season and the meaning behind the season. What is this reason that we have strayed from? This is the idea and concept of giving rather than receiving this holiday season. The greatest gift ever given is the birth of the Messiah. The Foothills Park Ward Primary sang Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus at the Ward Christmas breakfast this past weekend.
  12. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Parental Rights Amendment

    I have recently published an interview with Jonathan Horton of Parentalrights.org (Parentalrights.org - Protecting Children by Empowering Parents ). There is an amendment that has not received much media attention and am presenting it here for all to circulate, pass along to friends and family, and to become politically active about in contacting state and national legislatures on. Here is an excerpt from my article published at the Marysville Parenting Examiner: Today, the Marysville Parenting Examiner had an opportunity to interview Jonathan Horton, national grass roots organizer for parentalrights.org. In a previous article – You’ve gotta fight for your right to parent! – MPE introduced readers to the website of parentalrights.org and the parental rights amendment brought before congressional vote. Having watched the YouTube video – Overruled: Government Invasion of your parental rights – and reviewed the website, this is one interview that parents within the Marysville, and surrounding communities, need to pay attention to. This is one issue parents need to contact their legislatures about and ask for their support on the passage of the Parental Rights Amendment. Continue reading on Examiner.com MPE Interview: Jonathan Horton - Parentalrights.org - Seattle Parenting | Examiner.com MPE Interview: Jonathan Horton - Parentalrights.org - Seattle Parenting | Examiner.com
  13. Think about it this way - what physical evidence do we have of Christ's resurrection? There is none. What we do have is the testimony of men who "claimed" to have saw the Risen Savior that is recorded in what we now call the synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John, along with Paul's testimony. The original documents have long since been lost and we have the information handed down to us from copies of copies of copies that claim to be "eyewitness accounts". How, then, can you put your faith in something that you yourself have not seen, and how can you rely on the testimonies of men that are on copies of copies of copies that make up the resurrection accounts without physical evidence or proof of the actual resurrection? Critic's tend to stumble over the fact that there has to be "proof" to substantiate ones faith - well, the Bible has archaeological proof to back it up. That is great, fine, and dandy, however there are atheists that accept there is some degree of evidence to back up some of the more natural aspects of the Bible but does not equate it to be inspired by God, only written by men. If proof is all that it takes to believe on something, then that would negate what the Apostle Paul taught - faith is based on not what we can see and verify, but is based on that which is unseen and that which is hoped for. The additional problem with this is that even if there is substantial amount of proof supporting the lands, people, and such within the Book of Mormon, would you still accept it as inspired scripture? Remember, Laman and Lemuel had seen an Angel several times, have experienced the power of God on numerous occasions, and still, they did not believe in God, nor accepted the reality that there is a God. Here are a couple specific articles I published at the Mormon Apologetic Research Studies Blog: 1) What if there was no proof at all? 2) Faith is not based on objective proof (video republished from YouTube) 3) What do Troy, Atlantis, and Zarahemla have in common? These are three different articles, one mainly of a video, and the second with a video about the program on the possible location of Atlantis and how the City Troy was found when it was believed to be non-existent and fiction. Finally, let us recall the encounter the Resurrected Christ had with the disciple Thomas. The other ten disciples were relating to Thomas that they had seen the resurrected Lord with a physical body of flesh and bone. Thomas stated that he would only believe if he saw it with his own eyes. Then, Christ appeared and chastened Thomas because the apostle doubted the testimony of the other Apostles. Christ stated that those who do not see, and yet believe are more blessed than those who have to see in order to believe. In reality, it takes a greater amount of faith to believe that there is a Loving Heavenly Father and a Resurrected Christ, than it is not to believe. In short, how would you answer an Atheist when he/she demands physical proof for the existence of God and Christ?
  14. SeattleTruthSeeker

    John 17

    Many responses has missed the most obvious point of John 17. This obvious point is where Christ requests that the Father restore unto him the Glory and honor he had held with the Father in the Beginning. Here, we must understand the terminology - Essence. What do Trinitarians mean by essence? Well, to properly understand the term Essence in Trinitarian construct, we must go back to the original use of the word which was the debate of two Greek words. Arianus, if you actually study the dispute out, believed that Christ and the Father were separate and of separate natures. The misunderstanding of Arianism was not so much on the nature of the Father and Son, but on the doctrine of subordination of the Son to the Father (which was actually a prevalent thought up until the Council of Nicea). Prior to the Arian Controversy, Valentinus taught that the Father and Son were of different substances and essences, and that one of the differences is due to the fact that the Father was a duality God (masculine=feminine), and a being that was both incomprehensible, invisible, and unknowable: When we come to the scene of the Council of Nicea, we come to understand that the Bishops had an alternative view of Christ and the Father. A view that no longer held a First-Century understanding of Christ. This is why there was a need of a Restoration. Humanity had lost understanding of who God the Father is and Jesus Christ. Yet, when we look to the scriptures, we find that Christ not only distinguished himself as being separate from the Father, he also distinguished himself as being subordinate to the Will and Desires of the Father (one can only study the Garden of Gethsemane where the true idea of subordination between the Divine Son and the Divine Father is self-evident). Let us get back to John 17 where Christ prays to the Father. We know they are separate and distinct. We also know that Christ, while praying in John 17, does not possess the same essence, substance, and nature of the Father. We also know that Christ is the creator of all things and that Christ existed prior to Abraham. Christ existed as a premortal spirit, yet appeared in anthropomorphic human forms. This also is evident in the Old Testament where Christ is YHWH, the One True God of Ancient Israel. Thus, Christ essence, and nature and substance, had changed from one of divine glory to a mortal flesh. He then died, was buried and rose with a perfectly glorified resurrected body of flesh and bone. He still possesses this resurrected body. What the problem becomes for the Trinitarian is that if Christ has a body of flesh and bone, and that the Father restored the same glory Christ had with the Father from the Beginning, how then can they have the same essence and nature if Christ's nature is ontologically different than that of the Father since one has a resurrected body and the other is a mere incomprehensible spirit? How then can they be "One in Essence"? This is where the doctrine of modalism enters in and we know it is a heretical doctrine because one, then, can't argue that God could not have taken on Mortal flesh when Christ did that very thing. What then is the answer to this? We only look to Revelation 3:21 where Christ says that those who overcome, He, Christ, will grant to sit with him on His Throne, as he sits on the throne With His Father. We also know that there are 24 thrones surrounding Christ's throne, and seated on these thrones are Elders in White Garments with golden crowns. We also know that Christ is also mentioned to be on the Right hand of God - a position of authority and majesty. Revelation has the one handing the scroll to the Lamb of God (which is Christ). Now, think about this, if God the Father is seated on a throne, Christ is seated on the Throne, and they are separate and distinct from one another then we know that there are two distinct individuals who are seated on two separate and distinct thrones - Christ being on the Right hand side of the Father.
  15. SeattleTruthSeeker

    I want to be active again

    Actually, having the missionaries over is a very good idea. They will provide you with the missionary discussions (and being a ward missionary in my ward, I found out that those members who are coming back to church after being less active are advised to have the missionary discussions, especially if you have children). I am not sure of your gender, if you are a single mother, I would make the effort to find out who the Relief Society President is, make a call and find out about having visiting teachers. I would also find out who the EQ president is and ask for home teachers. However, to start off with, having the missionaries over once a week will be a start. They can do splits and they are to receive help from the ward to visit the less active family members of the ward. By the by, take it from someone who has made it back from being an antagonistic apostate, give it time, work slowly, get back into reading scriptures, get a copy of the Ensign (which you can access online) and just go at the pace you feel most comfortable with.
  16. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Regarding Stephen seeing a physical God

    The heavens were opened and Stephen saw Christ on the "right hand" of God the Father. Let us look at something that is even more significant. This one is in Revelation and I had just recently come across it through studying. It is very interesting because it teaches several things in a small amount of words. Revelation 3:21, in the King James Version says this: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." The Aramaic version says this: “And I shall grant the overcomer to sit with me on my throne, just as I have overcome and I sit with my Father on his throne.” All versions render Revelation 3:21 in the following way Those who overcome the world Christ will grant them to sit on a throne with him Christ sits on the throne with the Father. Revelation also describes 24 thrones in Revelation 4:4. Those who were seated on these 24 thrones were Elders and that these Elders where dressed in white and crowned with Golden crowns on their head. The Apostle Paul, in 2 Timothy, informs Timothy that he had fought the good fight, endured to the end and that there is laid up for him a "crown of Righteousness". Even more interesting is that the 24 thrones surround the other throne. When we look at this, we have the Father seated on a throne. Christ is also seated on a throne as well. Those who overcome the world will be granted a seat on a throne. Surrounding the Throne are 24 other thrones. When you start seeing this, what one realizes is that Christ inherited power and glory. He prays in John 17:3 that the Father restores the power and glory He had held prior to his mortal ministry, power and glory that he had with the Father. This shatters the long held view of a Trinitarian concept because how can Christ and God occupy the Same throne and how can those who are granted permission by Christ occupy the same throne that Christ occupies? The truth? Those who overcome the world will receive a divine position of kingship. Why is that? Because we are heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. He has the authority to bestow unto us divine glory and honor because we have overcome the world. How do we overcome the world? By being obedient to the principles and ordinances of the Gospel. We literally are the Bride of Christ and Christ is the Bridegroom. In fact, when you look at the pure Ancient Jewish Religion, it reflected the Marriage Ceremony of YHWH and the Covenant People. The Bride is bought with a price (The Atonement of Jesus Christ). While the Bridegroom (Christ) goes and prepares a place for his Bride (My Father has many mansions and I go and prepare a place for you), the Bride begins to learn how to be a wife and a mother. She devotes her time to learning the tasks and skills in order to be loyal and obedient to her husband and when she is prepared, the Bridegroom will come to call her forth (parable of the Ten Virgins/ The Christian Believer, in preparing to meet the Redeemer of Israel, learns what the covenants mean, and how to fulfill those covenants so that they will be prepared). What does all this mean? Christ and the Father are separate distinct beings that occupy their respective thrones of authority. Thus, when Stephen looked up in heaven and saw Christ "standing on the right hand" throne of God, we see that Christ stood from his position of power and authority in Revelation. Did Stephen see the Father? No, but he did see the Resurrected Christ. A being that is possessing a body of flesh and bone that is exalted and glorified. And, who is Christ in the express image of? The Father. So, if Christ, having an exalted body of flesh and bone and is in the express image and likeness of the Father - then the Father has a body of flesh and bone as well. Before you disagree, remember that in Colossians, we learn that Christ created all things. This includes the physical bodies of Humanity. We, then, conclude that when Genesis says "Let us make man in our Image" we know that it was the Father speaking to the Son and instructing the Son to make man in the image of God, after the likeness of God. Question: If Christ did not have a physical body of flesh and bone, but the word Likeness and Image in Hebrew is the same as Adam having a son named Seth that was born after Adam's image and likeness (referring to Adam's physical body), then we conclude that the Father instructed Christ to fashion Adam's immortal body from the dust of the Ground into the express image of the Father - since the Son had not yet taken on mortal flesh. Therefore, not only do you have the Trinity exposed as not being biblical in Revelation 3:21, but you have Eternal Marriage, you have Obedience as part of the requirement to overcome the world, and you have the separateness and distinctiveness of Jesus Christ from the Father as two separate beings sitting on thrones of glory and exaltation that those who do overcome the world will occupy with the Father and Christ - the Deification of humanity right in Revelation 3:21 - to those who overcome the world, I will grant them to sit on the throne with me as I sit on the throne with my Father. Through the Obedience of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the commandments of Christ, we will become like Christ and the Father and receive our own crowns of Righteousness. If anyone disputes this, then they have to make an concerted effort to explain why there are 24 thrones surrounding the other Throne, and interpret Revelation 3:21 to not mean that we will sit on a throne of glory and exaltation as John the Revelator states Christ will grant.
  17. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Need some help with a talk ....

    The main teaching method that Christ used in all his dealings with mortal men, and how he related his message was through common everyday situations and scenarios. Think about it, he is sitting at the well when the Samaritan woman came to him. He used the opportunity of drawing water from the well to teach her about those who truly hunger and thirst and how he is the fountain of living waters. His parables were established on gardening principles, harvesting, laboring, workers in the vineyard, and even the Jewish Marriage Custom. His reference also includes teaching how he is the Bridegroom and his disciples and those who followed Christ are the Bride (again, pointing back to the Ancient Jewish Wedding Custom). So, if I were asked to give a talk on Jesus Christ, our Master Teacher, I would focus on how he took the opportunities to teach simple principles through every day ordinary events and circumstances. There are many diverse New Testament Scripture passages that come to mind on this. Already mentioned is the Samaritan woman at the well, the Good Samaritan, the Beatitudes, the Woman caught in Adultery, the Calming of the Sea, Calling Peter to come to him as he is walking on the water, becoming like Little Children, preparations in our mortal life and how they apply to our eternal welfare and well-being (parable of the Ten Virgins), understanding the spiritual aspect of the law and not the law itself, the Widows mite, all are great references that focus on such ordinary and every day examples. Eating with the Tax Collector's is another great one. Hope that helps.
  18. SeattleTruthSeeker

    My Three Examiner Columns

    I would like to post information about the three Examiner.com Columns that I am now writing for. The Marysville Parenting Examiner is a column that focuses on discussing issues that parents within the Marysville community face, tips, advice, and inspirational articles as well as interviews. The Seattle Multi-Faith Examiner is a column that focuses on the diverse faith communities within the Greater Seattle Area, articles for spiritual inspiration, and news that may impact the faith community. The Marysville LDS Church Examiner is a new column that focuses on news, local LDS profile spotlights, and the impact the LDS Saints have in the Marysville community. No, you do not have to be part of the community to enjoy reading these materials. Comments and ongoing discussions are always encouraged.
  19. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Parenting Challenges: Sexualization of Children

    Has anyone read the latest articles in the Deseret News by Sara Lenz and Lois Collins? The end of innocence: the cost of sexualization of our kids Sexualizing kids: No Child Left Behind - and Fighting Back These two articles stem from a two-decade long research, study, and report. Even the American Psychological Association has published a recent report on how this affects young women and men. For the longest time, Latter-day Saint Prophets and Apostles have discussed with the members of the church the importance of Parents instilling good values, morality, and even modest dress and attire. Today we see the evidence of the decadence of our society as we spiral out of control. In an overtly sexualized culture, how do we as parents keep our children safe? How do we teach them the importance of personal values and modest in a world that is driven by "Sex Appeal and Sexuality"? My own article discusses the epidemic and reality of this poison being thrust upon our children: Courageous Parenting - Combating Sexualization of our children
  20. SeattleTruthSeeker

    My girlfriend wants to get baptized, but it's very difficult.

    I am going to offer a bit of advice here that I have not seen mentioned. This is based on the fact that you stated your relationship with your girlfriend is "serious". 1) Invite her family over to your place where all of you can have time spent as a family. Do not broach the subject of religion as in "We are Mormon's and here is why and what you are doing to your daughter is wrong". Invite them over so that they can see, taste and experience the spirit in your home. If your family truly active in the LDS Church, what a great missionary opportunity your family has to reach out to her family. Have the conversation about things people are doing in church. If you have younger siblings and it is normal for your parents to ask how everyone's day is, that will put a greater impression on the type of family environment you have grown up in. 2) Offer to answer their questions. Here is a very proactive way of starting this type of conversation, "I hear your daughter is wanting to be baptized and we understand you have some reservations about it," What this communicates is that they are concerned about your girlfriends parents concern. Yes, it puts them on the hot seat, but then when the conversation is about them, then they will most likely be more incline to open up and discuss. Here, one needs to be mindful of the spirit. Listen to the spirit, and ask questions that invite a good conversation. 3) Be ready and prepared to answer their concerns, including their criticisms (since the mother is steeped in Anti-Mormon literature). This is where it helps having them over because if you have pictures of Jesus Christ, they hear you pray in the name of Christ, and are just showing a wonderful Christ-Like attribute, that will help soften the hearts of her parents and get them to think that Mormon families are just as normal as any other family. 4) Be empathetic about their concerns and criticisms. Empathy goes a very long way in dealing with even the most difficult persons. Understanding their concerns, allowing them to talk about their concerns helps them digest and be more open and receptive to the information that is being processed. Communication is merely the transfer and exchange of ideas. 5) Leave an open invitation for them to come back and spend time with your family. Let them know that you and your family would love having them over, to talk with them, and to get to know them. Ask them if there is anything that they need help with. Now, for you personally, if your intentions and hope is to return and marry this young woman (and whether or not this truly does happen after your mission), approach her father privately and ask him if there is anything around his house you can help him with. Does he need anything? Ask her mother if there is anything she would need help with. Remember King Benjamin when he said that "when ye are in the service of others, ye are in the service of the Lord". finding ways to serve her parents will help out because now you are a living testimony to the compassion and charity of Christ. Actions speak louder than words. Final thought - when it is all said and done and they are still resistant to your efforts - pray on behalf of them. Pray for them no matter what. Pray for them even though they may say things to you and about you and your family. Read Nephi very carefully and the trials he had to face with his own family's share Nephi's experience with your GF and let her read about him and the things he had to go through at the hands of his own brothers. Whether this works or not, one never knows until they try. If it does not work it shows your girlfriend a very important message that you and your family truly do value her and her family no matter what. In the end, that may be the very reason why she decides to be baptized and want to be a part of such a family.
  21. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Parenting Challenges: Sexualization of Children

    All of these are good ideas of what to do. However, the sexualization is not merely an issue of whether one is teaching their daughter to dress modestly or not. The American Psychological Association Task Force published a work on the Sexualization of Girls. This is what the APA describes this issue: 1) a person's value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exlusion of other characteristics; 2) a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy; 3) a person is sexually objectified - that is, made into a thing for others' sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity fro independent action and decision making; and/or 4) sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person. Here is an example of sexualization - Gender confusion. A mother decides to dress her one year old son in girl clothes instead of boy clothes with the statement that "as he gets older he can choose whether or not he wants to be a girl or a boy". Another example of sexualization comes from So Sexy So Soon by Diane E. Levine and Jean Kilbourne: "A four-year-old girl, in the dramatic play area of her preschool, begins swaying her hips and singing, "Baby, I'm your slave. I'll let you whip me if I misbehave." When her teacher goes over to talk to her about it, she volunteers that she learned the song from her eight year old sister. After doing a bit of research, the teacher discovers that the words are from a highly popular Justin Timberlake song." Sexualization of our children is all around us. From the Fashion industry (Abrocombie and Fitch produced the padded bikini top for pubescent and pre-pubescent girls). Halloween costumes are becoming more and more risque, not for adults, but for little girls (Newsweek Magazine: Eye Candy - Little Girls' Halloween costumes are looking more like they were designed by Victoria's Secret every year. Are we prudes or is this practically kiddie porn?). Even toy manufactures are catering to the exploitation that because "Sex sells" they tailor their toys to reach younger and younger children that have immodest clothing. The bratz dolls, are a prime example - all info according to the APA. There is a difference between healthy sexual identity and healthy sexual perspectives that we parents must teach our children. However, because of the innundated messages from the outside world, it is truly an uphill battle. Girls are viewed as "Sexual beings and sex objects". Children are having premarital sex - not in their adolescent ages, but in pre-pubecient ages. What a 17 year old Girl used to worry about 20 years ago, a five year old is worrying about today. Whether she is skinny enough, wearing less than revealing clothing. Turn on Tiarra's and pageants and you will see how these young girls are being dolled up to be mini-Adult women. And there is a link between this "Sexualization" of children, child abuse, and the rise in pedophilia acts: "Child sexual abuse occurs at an alarming rate. According to the most reliable studies, as many as one in three girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused at some point during their childhood. Almost 90 percent of the time, the abuser is someone known ... The sexualization of childhood encourages these dangerous attitudes and makes it seem normal to look upon children as sex objects. While child sexual abuse is beyond the scope of this book, the sexualized climate we describe most likely contributes to it." It is much more than simply teaching our children modesty, and modest behaivor. It is far more deeper than teaching young men how to properly treat women, view women, and how to not "lust after" women in a desires manner. The depth of this issue delves right into the issue of how the message is being presented to younger and younger people. Boys grow up today thinking that it is okay to treat women as objects of sexual satisfaction by "scoring". This is beyond the idea of whether or not a young man is still a virgin. It is about how many girls a young boy has slept with. What contributes to these? 1) desentization to the reality of what is healthy and unhealthy sexuality and sexual behavior 2) An aggressive move to continue to promote unsatisfaction with a person's natural body and personality, to sacrifice their esteem so that they can have larger breasts (yes, it is documented evidence that some parents have taken pre-pubescient girls into a doctors office to get Breast agumentation before they even have grown breasts). 3) Message to young men that women are there to look upon (thanks to the "its okay to look at porn" mentality) with a desire to "have her". All of these contribute to many of the ills of our society today. We are beyond the warning, we are now at war with Toy Manufacturers, Super Model's, Fashion Industries, et al.
  22. SeattleTruthSeeker

    What happens to members that LEAVE the church

    From what you describe here, sounds like they are being dangerously selfish. Pride comes before the fall.
  23. SeattleTruthSeeker

    What happens to members that LEAVE the church

    I vowed to never return back to the LDS Church. I attacked the Leaders, founder, and the doctrines of the LDS Church. I attended various denominations. Shifting from "Born again" to Charismatic, to nondenominational, to Calvinist, to Agnosticism. I attended an AG church, worked at an AG Church and questioned my faith in God in general. I was praised by counter-cult online ministry groups. I came on pro-LDS discussion boards and attacked, and subsequently was banned (Ask those who still hang out at MADB now MD&D). Not once had I ever asked for my name to be removed from the Church records. I had thought about it, even talked with a Bishop about it, but then life just simply got in the way and it was furthest from my mind. I have lived in sin on numerous occasions, rebellious, drunkard, homeless, detached, arrogant, and suffered a big ego of entitlement. Today, I am now an active member of the Church, holding two callings, married to a wonderful Lady who is a RM and we have a beautiful little girl we are blessed with. I am very active in the LDS Apologetics field. Why did I come back? Because, I finally received the long sought after question. I really sat down and read the Book of Mormon. I had read it several times, but never received an answer to Moroni. I now realized I never truly had a testimony of the Church, when I thought I had. This was all despite the fact that I still struggled to reconcile certain doctrinal issues with what I have come to learn and understand, as well as some historical accounts. Despite these doubts, they have slowly dissipated and were replaced with a reality of truth and revelation of those truths. Do I still hold those doubts? Not really because they are not important. What do I personally say to those who rattle off "Well, I was a member held such and such calling in the Church and know Mormonism very well!"? My response is - so what? Who cares about the callings you held. They don't do anything for your testimony. They are just mere positions one held at one time. The real question is within the context of whether or not they truly understand Mormon doctrine. If the couple left because of Doctrinal issues, then I guarantee you they started entertaining ideas presented to them about the Church that put those doctrines in question. Not only doctrines, but the history of the Church. Take for instance, I had one of the full time missionaries ask me what is the most craftiest Anti-Mormon argument I personally know. My honest and objective answer, the Adam-God doctrine. As to answering the question - what happens to members that leave the Church? It is quite ambiguous because those individuals who leave the Church because of doctrinal issues tend to become apostates in the sense that they start aligning themselves with the Anti-Mormons (or counter-cult ministries) in an effort to witness in love. Some have been known to go into evangelical Christian Churches and become teachers of Sunday School Programs where they talk about how to witness to Mormons, and speaking engagements about their "tenure" as members of the LDS Faith. Others tend to become either Atheists or Agnostics because their faith is shattered to the point that they can't believe in God anymore. From the standpoint of the Church's perspective, I am of the opinion that the Church does not view them as lesser individuals, but simply individuals who have gone astray, and are just as important as those who are actively involved in the Church.
  24. SeattleTruthSeeker

    I don't feel like I belong

    Several people have given you different perspectives on what you are going through. Yes, it is wrong that your husband is neglecting his duties as an honest priesthood holder. He should be encouraging you, fighting for you, lifting you up. He should not be beating you down and forcing you to be his "beckoned servant girl". One thing you will learn about me is that I am not the "sugar coating" type of guy. I shoot straight and forthright with my advice and opinions. It may come off offensive, however, there is truth within what I share because it is the very same things that were once said to me. Allow me to share some things for you that will help you at the moment 1) Get up and read your scriptures. If it is one verse at a time, or a couple verses or simply just opening up your scriptures and reading wherever you opened them up to, we are promised that when we get into the scriptures, we will find renewed strength and hope. One thing I have found is that when we read the scriptures, we will find that the people we adore, admire, and learn about were every day people doing extraordinary things in their lives. Take Nephi for instance. Read 1 Nephi 1 and you will find something interesting: Afflicted in the course of my days. We all face different types of afflictions. Nephi was abused by his elder brothers. Not only that, but he was mocked, ridiculed, his life was even threatened on several occasions. Yet, he still found favor with our Heavenly Father. He learned the mysteries that were revealed to him, and he lived his life in the midst of the abuse, struggles, and afflictions that he had to endure. Alma the younger used to be an apostate, attacking the Church, going against the teachings of his parents. It was not until he had a spiritual encounter that brought him back to the truth and he became a mighty missionary, even finding resistance from those whom he used to run around with. Peter, James, John were all attacked, abused, and even put into prison. They ultimately were martyred for what they believed in and what they taught. Still, in the midst of such things and troubled times, they accepted, believed, and preached the gospel. They never let go. Lehi's vision is more than just a dream about the Great and Spacious building, the iron rod, the strait and narrow, the tree of Life. It is about our journey in mortality, the temptations we face, the struggles we must endure, and the things that will separate ourselves from Heavenly Father. This is where faith grows. It does not grow when we are not being challenged. It does not grow when we are not being afflicted. It does not grow when we are not active in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our faith can only grow when we are challenged, and we are setting ourselves onto the path of the strait and narrow. We are to be of good cheer despite the afflictions we face. We have a faith that helps us endure that which we are called upon to endure. 2) Pray. Yes, I know this is always something that is said. And, I for one have had a hard time when people stated that I just simply need to pray. However, there is truth (and something I have had to learn on my own because no one afforded any explanation of what they mean when they say "pray") in this advice. We should not pray "Heavenly Father, please rescue me". We should pray with sincerity, recognizing our situation. Some of the more humble and simple prayers I have heard others relate are essentially these kinds of prayers. "Heavenly Father, I need your guidance right now because I am in a situation where I feel like I am drowning and I ask that you help me through this, help me through this situation, lighten my burden, and take away that which is troubling me, or help me understand how to endure the situation". Even if it is a simple statement of "I need help". When we begin to pray with faith, knowing that our Heavenly Father will answer our prayers, we will know and understand that we begin to submit ourselves over to him. 3) Service, Charity and Compassion. One of the things that I have heard many times over is people who are in a situation where they keep stating something to the effect of "Well he is doing this, she is doing that," type of thing. Never once has anyone stated "you know, I have some responsibility in this." Meaning, what are we doing or not doing in our present situation? One of the most interesting things that we must learn is that when we serve, show charity, and compassion, we do far more for the Kingdom of God than sitting down, murmuring and complaining about our present situation. So, how can we serve, show compassion, or even charity when we are in an abusive relationship? That is a very difficult position to be in. It is not an easy one to deal with. However, what one can do is bring themselves over to forgiveness. Forgiving yourself, and forgiving the person who is the abuser. From here, what can you do for yourself and your family right now? Here are some things to consider. Have you made up a lunch for him? Have you sat down and really had a conversation with him? I am not talking about general chit chat, but really have an honest husband and wife conversation with him? Have you taken some time to spend time with him? How often do you guys interact with one another? Played a game, gone for a walk, or done something as a couple instead of the usual come home from work, acknowledge one another's presence and then be in the same room but distanced from one another. Yes, this is the most difficult part because it requires the action of being humble to do this. Coincide this with prayer. Have you honestly prayed for him? Sometimes that may work as well. 4) Get up and do something. Nehemiah, upon finding out the report that was brought to him about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jews, went in and prayed to God (Nehemiah 1). Upon fulfilling his service to the King, he was asked about what had his spirits down and depressed. Nehemiah related the news and received a reprieve from his duties. He then went forth and journeyed to Jerusalem and surveyed the damage done. The Book of Nehemiah is all about a prophet who took upon himself the desire and will to restore and rebuild part of Jerusalem that was destroyed in the Babylonian captivity. This was done despite the persecution and mockery of those who thought it was an unwise movement. However, Nehemiah did not just simple wait, he got up and did what he felt he knew he had to do. For us, when we are in broken situations, when we are depressed, we tend to focus on us and sit and wait for some grand miracle. We will be waiting a long time and furthering our depths of depression. However, recognizing what needs to be done, recognizing the issues that we are affected with, we then can get up and do what it needs to take to get our lives back on track and restore ourselves back to the faith that we once loved and possessed. In a sense, when we get up, we are working on rebuilding the foundations of our testimony and restoring ourselves back to the reality of the truths the principles of the Restored Gospel has for us. 6) Stop looking at other people. Simply put, if we spend our time looking at other people and comparing ourselves to what other people have, we are going to be miserable fools. We should not ever compare ourselves to other people. Who really cares about the family that comes in all nice prim and proper? How do you personally know if they have it all together. Maybe the husband and wife had a huge argument before Church. Maybe they are dealing with a rebellious son or daughter they had to leave at home, or they are dealing with a debilitating disease that is making it difficult for one to come to church, but they do anyway. We do not know what is going in the lives of other people. We should not even make any comparison to their lives whatsoever. We must worry about and focus on what is wrong in our own lives and fix what we can fix, and rely on our Heavenly Father to help us through those difficult times. The adversary uses other people to entice you, to keep you in bondage, and to keep you from progressing into a much happier and productive life. One of the ways he does this is by speaking to us. "Look at that sister. See how her husband shows his affection toward her? Where is your husband at? He is not here, he doesn't love you, he doesn't care about you. Why bother coming to church anyway? Why not stay home." Granted, it is our human nature to look at someone and say "gee, they have it all together, the wonderful family, the perfect children, the well-behaved children, the house, the car, etc". This does not do us any justice because we then look at our lives and think "wow, I am really missed up and no one appreciates me, or wants me around". 7) Stand your ground and move with conviction. One of the things that knocked some sense into me years ago was when I was attacking the Church and had started dating my wife. She discovered, through my own fault, what I was posting online about the church, how I was attacking the church, and the things I was saying about the Church. She became very offended, upset, and even angry about it. She confronted me and point-blank told me that I had a choice. Accept her and her religious views and stop attacking the Church, or get the heck out the door and leave her. Sometimes, it takes a swift kick in the arse to really get someone's attention. It takes courage, it takes faith, and it takes a certain resolve to come to this place where you can stand and say - If you do not want to honor your priesthood authority, then that is a decision you have made, however, I am not going to allow you to speak to me, put me down, or get in the way of my wanting to attend Church and fully participate in it. That includes paying my tithing. If you do not want to support me, then that is fine, but I am going with or without you. Once you made your stand, stick to your guns. It is when you cave into the other that you have relinquished your own power and authority over to being someone's servant. Invite your hometeachers over. Do not wait for them to call and set up an appointment. Be bold about it. Find out who they are and invite them over. Let your husband know that you are having hometeachers over and that he is welcomed to sit in, but he is not to say anything to them about how he feels about the Church. This is where when you stand your ground, you also have to establish boundaries. And, while your husband may not want to fulfill his duties as a priesthood holder, your hometeachers are the ones that can give you that need for the time being. They can provide the blessings if necessary. Be honest with them. If there are things you need let them know. Do not be afraid to ask. Also, find out who your visiting teachers are and invite them over, get to know them. 8) Be straightforward but never pitiful. What this means is be honest with yourself and others. Those who need to know the situation should be made aware of the situation. Be honest about how you feel, about the circumstances. To others, do not sound like you are having a pity party, and be frank, but vague. "Hey I haven't seen your husband at church for awhile". Respond with "he is dealing with some things and I am praying for him that he will make it through so that we can come to church together". Are you lying? No, you are being vague by acknowledging that there are some things going on but people do not need to know the intimate details. 9) Invite the missionaries over once a week for dinner. Seriously, my wife is not active in the Church anymore because of something that was said to her. She also suffers from depression. Yet, we have the missionaries over once a week to help with yard work, and we have dinner with them. We start taking about Church, about how their mission is going, about us, about how we can be better member missionaries, and then they share a message with us. For my wife, this helps her stay connected to the Church and receive some blessings, even though she is still working on getting over the offense that was caused. While it may take a while, having the missionaries over for dinner will provide some wonderful blessings for you and your family. And, if it is a weekly thing, it maybe the way your husband may start coming back to Church. 10) Worst case scenario. If the abuse continues, the disrespect, the lack of support, then maybe it is time to consider a possible separation. While the Church does not advocate divorce, nor does it advocate separation. Sometimes particular situations may call for the understanding that there may be a need for a couple to separate. This is true for Abuse and those who are victims of abuse. If it is physical abuse, then the best thing one can do is separate themselves from the abuser. This can be done in many ways, and one of them should never be done alone - especially if there is known physical abuse. Asking someone to leave their home can be very dangerous if not done appropriately. Other ways is maybe seeing if there is a friend you can stay with, a family, or a single sister in the ward - explaining only what is necessary as the reason for the separation. If there is not physical abuse involved, and it is verbal, or emotional abuse, one should also consider counseling. This is for your own benefit as well as the benefit of the other party involved. Sometimes this works, other times it does not work. And, finally, the last thing a person should do is simply realize that no one may fully understand what you are going through unless they themselves have gone through the same thing.
  25. SeattleTruthSeeker

    Getting service when there is an adult male at home

    Here is a thought, and I am surprised no one even made this comment before. While you are affording your son an opportunity to save money and finish out graduate school, you also are enabling him to be "mothered". He is a grown man. What would he do if he were on his own, in his own house with a family? Would he expect his wife to do the yard work? Here is what actually should be done. 1) Cancel the yard service. 2) Inform your son that you or he are no longer paying for the yard service at all 3) offer to pay him the amount of money that he was paying/you were paying for the yard service. 4) If the work is not done to your satisfaction each week - no payment at all. 5) Furthermore, tell him he has 90 days to find a place of his own because it is time that he lives on his own and fends for himself. 6) stick to your guns. The reality is that by having him not do any lawn work is showing that he is not willing to respect you or the home. Regardless of him doing his own laundry. For him, he is acting like a child and needs a swift kick out the door. There are many people who are in grad school that have more responsibilities than he does. They have house payments, families, jobs, church callings, and they are able to manage. Yes, having the missionaries over will help out greatly because not only is it an opportunity for them to help out, but it gives them an opportunity to be out in the public doing service. We have had the missionaries over helping us with our lawn work on several Saturdays and it was always fun working alongside them. Neighbors ask who the young men are.