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  1. Like
    ztodd reacted to Traveler in Mormon and gay. Where are we going?   
    I do not intend to make this post long.  Rather I will only touch on highlights.   From time to time throughout history truth, knowledge and enlightenment have taken a back seat to political expediency.   Such things have brought about social change but never have such changes been beneficial in the long run.  In fact there seems to be an evolution of intellectualism within social structures that has eventually lead to the complete collapse of every civilization that once grew and prospered on this planet – because truth and understanding is ignored in favor of political expediency.
    It is my personal observation and opinion that this is the present course of the gender redefinition movement.  It can be hard to come across unfiltered and unaltered raw scientific data.  In addition there have been a lot of “behavioral studies” that currently are being discarded.  Studies by Pavlov, Skinner and even the notorious Joseph Goebbels.   Please allow me to summarize.   Cognitive behaviors in intelligent species are learned or acquired.  The more intelligent the species – the more diverse the behavior and the more the behavior is learned or acquired – that is why the behavior is diverse – because it is learned or acquired.
    For some reason the intelligent accusation or learning of certain behaviors – especially sexual behaviors is denied but more than denied – it is politically forbidden and even severely punished.  It is the false enforcement or denial of science that I believe to be the worst kind politics and the advanced degradation of any society.  In the debate between conservative religious ideologies and the gender redefinition movement – there is a lot of emotion and lack of adherence to truth and valid research – let alone logic – on both sides. 
    I do not see a resolution to any current direction.  The LDS church relies on revelation – I am not sure those that want to see things in the church change in this matter; understand this principle of revelation very well.  As to the community that supports gender redefinition – there is an animus that prevents any unbiased intervention.  I have been given the label homophobe; just for suggesting that there is scientific evidence that an intelligent species can learn and acquire any cognitive behavior.   I have been accused of denying people “happiness”.  I have not been presented with any scientific (empirical) evidence that any cognitive behavior in an intelligent species is exclusively programmed at conception of an individual and cannot ever be intelligently controlled and over ridden.  If truth makes one side in a discussion unhappy – what possibility is there for any common ground based on truth and understanding?
    The Traveler
  2. Sad
    ztodd reacted to pwrfrk in Missionaries   
    I have been without missionaries for over a year.  No home teachers, I read scriptures myself.  I figure if they don't have time for home teaching with me, even if I come into town (as I have offerend to do), then I'm not worth their time, and then they can go spend it where they feel it's better spent.  Not saying that to be offensive, but there is a reason why we don't meet. 
    I don't need a babysitter, I an read just fine by myself.
  3. Like
    ztodd got a reaction from seashmore in Missionaries   
    I've heard people say, "I'd like to think I'm a good person..." - just talking about it like it's something that is a goal or purpose for their life, and they feel like they are doing well in that goal so far.  I don't take that to be prideful or anything...
    I think the word "good" in that verse that was quoted, has a slightly different connotation in meaning than the way we use the same word nowadays.
    Have you heard the story of the Sunday school teacher who asked the class, how many of you feel confident that if you died and were judged today, you would inherit the celestial kingdom?  Hardly anyone raised their hand, and then the point was made that we ought to feel more confident about our standing with God.  Now... I'm not sure if the point of that story was necessarily that more people should have raised their hand... but the way it was told, I can understand how one might think so.  This story might have even been in a conference talk or something... anyone recognize it?
  4. Like
    ztodd reacted to Third Hour in Intolerance in a “Tolerant” World   
    I once heard someone say, "People are okay with you having your own opinion — as long as it's theirs." That really struck a chord with me at the time, and it repeatedly echoed in my mind during the recent election season as I saw words of hatred, malice, and anger coming from both sides of the political spectrum. Funny enough, it would appear that in a time when tolerance is celebrated and lauded seemingly more than ever, people are becoming less and less tolerant. Here's the thing: tolerance doesn't mean just tolerating someone that has your same opinion. Because that's easy. Anyone can do that. Tolerance means being respectful and kind to people that have opinions that you don't agree with. By its very definition, tolerance doesn't apply to people with whom you already share an opinion — it applies to people with whom your beliefs don't coincide, which is why you even have the need to tolerate their opinions in the first place. Tolerance doesn't mean to condone or approve; it...
    View the full article
  5. Like
    ztodd reacted to priesthoodpower in what if you don't want to become an endowed member?   
    Here is something to think about...why is it that at work, when you dont like your co-workers or boss you still need to be polite and interact with them, its called being cordial and its a very normal thing. At church its called fake fellowshipping and its a bad thing.
  6. Like
    ztodd reacted to Bad Karma in what if you don't want to become an endowed member?   
    I was baptized in 1996, Ordained an Elder in 2005, Endowed in 2005, quite some time before I was baptized before I was endowed. It was a personal decision for me, I wasn't in any hurry. I found myself again 6 years later finally meeting someone I would WANT to not just be married to, but sealed to.  Everything in God's time, sometimes and for some people, these things are fast, sometimes these things are slower. At whatever operational tempo, these things are beautiful. 
    Charge forward. 
  7. Like
    ztodd reacted to An Investigator in Requirements for baptism   
    I think that's the idea with the questions,  they really push you to go as soon as possible after baptism to do baptisms at the Temple.  studies have shown it helps with convert retention.   I have a one year limited use recommend for baptisms only. 
  8. Like
    ztodd reacted to askandanswer in It's Not Pertinent To Your Salvation   
    A small diversion here:
    Vort, be not deceived. The avatar of ztodd is a kitten, not a pig.
  9. Like
    ztodd reacted to Rob Osborn in It's Not Pertinent To Your Salvation   
    True. Ironically, the mysteries of the gospel and of God are all principled or known by understanding the very small plain and simple things. Even something as simple as the phrase "he that overcometh" from the scriptures is a mystery but once understood is at its simplest of understanding. But, by understanding its depth, it reveals a whole new light on the gospel and the plan of salvation. Almost every repeated word and phrase in scripture is like that- you have your basic seminary answer that everyone has memorised, then you have the deeper understanding that unveils the mystery and a completely new understanding.
  10. Like
    ztodd reacted to prisonchaplain in Did Jesus ever say anything regarding homosexuality?   
    Concerning marriage, Jesus quoted Moses, saying that a man leaves his mother and father (cut the apron strings boys!), clings to his wife (marriage), and then the two become one flesh. This means no messing around before marriage, or outside of marriage, and that marriage is between a man and his wife.
  11. Like
    ztodd reacted to mordorbund in Moroni, Elijah and Joseph Smith   
    Navigation is part of the intent of the Temple.
  12. Like
    ztodd reacted to An Investigator in Requirements for baptism   
    This was one of my questions when I got baptised in April.   I don't have a problem with it.  In my interview I said that as a former Catholic I thought the Pope spoke for God but then I realised that he didn't,  I find that having a prophet on the earth to guide us comforting.     I don't think there is much room with the questions though, they are pretty similar to the recommend questions and that's because it's the standard you should be at to get baptised. 
  13. Like
    ztodd reacted to bytebear in Requirements for baptism   
    Well, first I look at the Topical Guide because it's awesome.  But two things are repeated quite a bit.  Believe/faith which I think includes a testimony of the restored Gospel.  and second, a willingness to enter the body of believers, which applies specifically to the restored Gospel.  One can be baptized by any number of churches, but the covenant we believe in, includes a dedication and faith in the restored gospel, and the priesthood keys that we claim.  So, having a belief in the current prophet is a faith that he has the keys of authority and that this is the true Church of Christ.. 
    Baptism, Qualifications for
    Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: Matt. 3:8 . ( Luke 3:7–8 . ) baptized … in the river … confessing: Mark 1:5 . He that believeth and is baptized: Mark 16:16 . Repent, and be baptized: Acts 2:38 . they that gladly received his word were baptized: Acts 2:41 . If thou believest with all thine heart: Acts 8:37 . Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ: Acts 16:31 . the baptism of repentance: Acts 19:4 . be baptized … having perfect faith: 2 Ne. 9:23 . witnesseth … he would be obedient: 2 Ne. 31:7 . witness … ye have entered into a covenant: Mosiah 18:10 . baptized as a witness … willing to serve God: Mosiah 21:35 . whosoever is baptized … shall believe in my name: Mosiah 26:22 . who repented of their sins: Alma 6:2 . must repent, and be born again: Alma 7:14 . as many as did believe were baptized: Alma 19:35 . whoso repenteth … and desireth to be baptized: 3 Ne. 11:23 . become as a little child: 3 Ne. 11:38 . See that ye are not baptized unworthily: Morm. 9:29 . came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit: Moro. 6:2 . took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve: Moro. 6:3 . who humble themselves … and desire to be baptized: D&C 20:37 . arrived unto the years of accountability: D&C 20:71 . children shall be baptized … when eight years old: D&C 68:27 . received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name: D&C 76:51 . all men … must repent: Moses 6:57 .
  14. Like
    ztodd got a reaction from SilentOne in It's Not Pertinent To Your Salvation   
    Don't look beyond the mark.  Don't get caught up in any "gospel hobby" to the point that it harms you spiritually.
    Obey those pieces of counsel from the Lord's servants, and you'll likely be ok.
    Be humble.  Realize that you'll never (in this life) come close close to having the knowledge or wisdom that God has.  About anything.
    Always be open to learning something new about the plain and simple truths of the gospel. Faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, atonement, etc.
    Always have a purpose and plan in using the things you learn to change your life. Always seek repentance as you learn.  Always ask, for what purpose am I seeking this knowledge?
    Hunger and thirst after righteousness.  Seek to be strictly obedient.
    Think of these "riches" in these verses from Jacob 2 as being treasures of knowledge.  This was kind of enlightening for me- I hope it can be for others as well...
    18 But abefore ye seek for briches, seek ye for the ckingdom of God.
     19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to ado good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.
  15. Like
    ztodd reacted to zil in Favorite Book of Mormon verses?   
    Send her to this link and tell her to search the page for that phrase.  No more kicking allowed. :)
  16. Like
    ztodd reacted to mirkwood in Favorite Book of Mormon verses?   
    Alma 48:17  Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.
  17. Like
    ztodd reacted to pam in Favorite Book of Mormon verses?   
    Nephi 15:8   And I said unto them:  Have ye inquired of the Lord?
    It's a small verse but to me has a lot of power to it.
    How often do we see people posting in forums and on social media trying to find answers?
    When really, "Have ye inquired of the Lord?"
  18. Like
    ztodd reacted to Just_A_Guy in What is the most important verse in Section 89?   
    Methinks this thread gives whole new meaning to the term "cafeteria Mormon".
  19. Like
    ztodd got a reaction from Sunday21 in Seeing spirits   
    Do you do meditation? Prayer is very much like meditation. The main difference is that it is directed toward a higher being who you believe can hear you and help you. You can speak the words out loud or in your head- just like you're speaking with a friend in the room with you. This is a pattern that we mostly use to pray-
    1. Dear Heavenly Father,
    2. I'm grateful for...
    3. I ask thee for..
    4. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
    To be real precise, we say thee and thou instead of you in talking to Father in Heaven, but you don't have to worry about doing that if you don't want to.
    Give it a try if you'd like- can't hurt, can it? :)
  20. Like
    ztodd reacted to Dravin in Official church resources for those who have doubts?   
    Yep. Honest Abe, George Washington and the Cherry Tree, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, the Noble Savage, and so on and so on. I think the thing that makes the destruction of the mythical conception of Church history difficult for some people is that for things like the Book of Mormon or Bible all that has survived is the myth*. So it's a bit of a disconnect when one portion of religious history is treated to the lens of reality. All we can know is Nephi the Prophet whereas the records exist to learn about Joseph Smith the Human, and the contrast can be startling if you aren't prepared for it.
    *I use this in the more academic sense of a traditional story meant to teach/explain, not in the sense of myth = falsehood.
  21. Like
    ztodd reacted to MarginOfError in Official church resources for those who have doubts?   
    In some ways, what you have is not a problem with doctrine or with teachings, but a problem with expectations.  I don't think it's an uncommon problem, and I think it drives feelings behind the exoduses of people who feel like the Church has lied to them about its history.  When we build up a particular idea in our mind of what historical figures were like, it can be devastating to find out that our image isn't at all realistic.
    And once those images and expectations are entrenched in the mind, it's very hard to alleviate them.  For instance, my wife once dated a guy who is aggressively committed to adhering to every single word that comes from a member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve because he's convinced that the Savior himself makes regular Thursday morning appearances to them.  How am I supposed to tell somebody like that about the documentation one of my friends (a historian writing a Biography of Joseph F. Smith) has put together of Joseph F. Smith stating flat out that no prophet had seen the Savior since Joseph Smith.  Or of David O. McKay telling a member that he had never seen the Lord.  I suspect his soul would be crushed to learn of those statements because it is so far removed from the vision he has created for himself.
    The same thing tends to happen with Joseph Smith.  We talk about him and all the great things he did and kind of gloss over the less favorable ones.  That's common for us to do with people we admire.  But we also tend to mythologize historical figures.  Discovering the ugly truths that lie under the mythological veneer is unsettling.  
    And so we enter the big debate about how much the Church should teach history and how much members should be responsible for seeking out on their own.  I find a lot of the comments I read from people who have left tend toward blaming the Church for whitewashing the history and suppressing the ugly parts.  To some extent, that is true.  But their proposed solution that all of these things should be taught in Church is a bit over-the-top.  The Church is an institution committed to teaching principles and values of eternal significance.  I have my doubts that it should be responsible for educating members about the historical nuances (and yes, sometimes failings) of its past and its past leaders.  The more moderate comments tend toward wishing the Church would more openly acknowledge that this stuff exists. 
    Recently, they have done that with authorizing the Historical Department to publish articles about hard historical topics.  I'd like to see more of it, and, if I had my way, I'd like to see the Church encourage more peer reviewed research in Mormon History.  The solution, as my friend says, is not less information, but more information.
    And that's really where the answer to your faith crisis is.  You need to learn more.   You can't discount a lifetime of learning based on a few weeks of reading on the internet.  And you can't discount a lifetime of feeling based on that same amount of reading.  The issues involved here are complex, and twisted, and intertangled, and every bit as messy as human nature.  Don't try to unravel it all so quickly.
  22. Like
    ztodd reacted to skalenfehl in Official church resources for those who have doubts?   
    If I ever have doubts (which is never), I simply read the Book of Mormon again. It is the keystone of our religion. It will bring us closer to Christ than any other book on earth. That is the entire point of the book and of our religion. It may not tell you why polygamy was practiced (though Jacob does touch on it) or why so many other things were done. History is plagued with such things such as why did Abraham offer up Isaac as a sacrifice? Why did Solomon have so many wives? Whatever individuals do is between them and God. Ultimately, if you truly lack wisdom, why not connect with the Lord yourself? Ask Him. He will not upbraid. We have been taught how to ask, seek and knock. The Lord does open! :)
  23. Like
    ztodd got a reaction from paulsifer42 in I'm sinning, but I don't have a desire to change? How do I find that desire?   
    If you said this to me if I were in a similar position, I would probably be hurt and offended.
  24. Like
    ztodd reacted to The Folk Prophet in Praise to the Man   
    When we stand before our Maker on the day of judgement, somehow I don't expect that the question we will be asked will be, "Why did you praise, honor, and sustain my prophets?" Rather, I expect the possibility of the opposite, should we fail to do so.
  25. Like
    ztodd reacted to Suzie in Praise to the Man   
    Perhaps understanding why they changed the tune would help? The original version W. W. Phelps suggested was "Star in the East" then they changed to the tune of Scotland The Brave, not as a form of disrespect, but quite the contrary, as a form of honoring Phelp's Scottish heritage.
    I had similar thoughts in the past shared here with regards to the lyrics of this hymn and being quite close to veneration/worship, but I've learned to understand and empathize with W.W.Phelps and how he probably felt when Smith was assassinated. Let's not forget that Phelps was excommunicated and became very bitter, calling himself an Anti-Mormon and even becoming a witness against Joseph Smith in the Richmond hearings.
    I can only imagine how Smith must have felt seeing Phelps testifying against him and aiding to his incarceration. Just a couple of years later, Phelps wrote to Smith and asked for his forgiveness and called himself the "Prodigal Son". He was indeed very sorry for what he did to Joseph and our Prophet who was known to have a heart made of gold, did not doubt for a second and forgave him and called him a friend.
    How many of us would be willing to do such a thing for one of our brethren? We are angry at our brother or sister many times for such small things or for an unkind remark here or there, well just imagine what it would be like if one of them testify against us and put us in jail!
    I think we need to understand the lyrics of Praise To The Man connected to Phelps and his story and how he felt about Smith and his forgiveness for such awful betrayal. Phelps just wanted to ensure, proper respect was giving to the man who forgave something that most people wouldn't forgive.