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  1. "Olea is also an occasionally used Norwegian and Danish girl's name and is said to be an Old Hebrew word for night or moon." Source: http://nameberry.com/babyname/Olea (Note that Strong's concordance has "moon" being listed as H3394 yareach yaw-ray'-akh. The pronunciation isn't terribly different, they could be cognates.) Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olea BINGO.
  2. So I'm going to part with Vort here and go with the entirely metaphorical interpretation of Abraham 3. Metaphors are a way of conveying a new or unfamiliar idea by comparing it to something familiar. Back in the day, everyone was familiar with the stars, especially in the middle east. Abraham would have been no exception. The idea that stars differed in brightness and their relative motion would have been very familiar to Abraham. Using Abraham's existing knowledge of the night sky as a metaphor for explaining the order of spirits and their progression in eternity makes a ton of sense the same way that President Uchtdorf's airplane stories make sense to us. While we can debate for the rest of our lives about the relevance of Abraham 3 to actual astronomy, I think such a pursuit is ultimately useless. (Can you even place an omnipotent being that exists outside of time into any physical place in this universe?) I think we can benefit the most from it when used in (what I believe is) its original intended meaning: a metaphor for Christ and the order of spirits. Worth noting, the Hebrew word for star is "Ko-Chav" (ch being a hard H like a cough and often rendered as a K), and the associated plural would be "Ko-Chav-im". Kokob and kokaubeam are (may be) simply different romanizations of real Hebrew words. Time can account for variations in pronunciation that may lead to difference in spelling. (If you're reading Macbeth, you might keep in mind that 400 years ago "heath" rhymed with Beth.) (I'll also note that the usage of the word "time" in this chapter doesn't necessarily refer to the ticking of a clock or the duration of a day, but can also refer to the motion of the planets through the heavens - astrology, more or less. A reference to the time of the month or year when certain stars and constellations and planets appear in certain places in the sky. This interpretation would mean that Kolob would arrive at the same position in our sky once every 1000 years. The motion of such a star would be almost entirely imperceptible to humans on Earth, appearing to hold a fixed point in the sky.) (As for Joseph Smith being an uneducated upstate farmboy, by the time He translated the book of Abraham, he was vastly more educated than at the time he translated the Book of Mormon. By the end of his life he was reading the Bible in German and other languages and was well-versed in Hebrew and Greek. We tend to talk about this ignorant rural farmboy a lot, but it is important - I dare say even essential that we understand that he did not stay uneducated.) (Edit: I should add that I think Vort's analysis is quite thorough and I agree with quite a lot of it.) As for the remaining question about the order of operations - did God give birth to a complete and finite set of spirit children before laying out the plan of salvation? The answer to that is, I think, rather plainly given in the temple endowment. To summarize: there have been other worlds with other populations and other Edens and other creations. We can read the scripture in Moses 1:38 "and there is no end to my works, neither to my words" to refer not only to space but also to time - meaning that there will yet be other worlds and other populations and other creations. Considering that we are talking about a being for which time simply does not exist, to try and put all of this pre-creation hypothesis into some kind of chronological order is a bit of a non sequitur. But I might venture to describe it thus: Heavenly Father gathered a group of His spirit children, had a council, laid out the Plan of Salvation which, when agreed to and the war over, was then put into motion with the first spiritual then physical creation of the world. So a hypothetical, non-doctrinal, totally unrelated to any kind of importance to our temporal or spiritual salvation chronology might look like this: HF has spirit offspring HF gathers a subset of said offspring to counsel on the creation of this world for them to dwell (note: it is possible to have an infinite subset of an infinity. Whether the selection of spirit children assigned to this creation is finite or infinite is a matter of pure speculation). Council in Heaven War in Heaven Spiritual creation Physical creation This conversation The question I want answered is "Does a resurrected being with a physical body give birth to non-physical spirit offspring?" Chew on that one for a while, if you're looking for some gristle in the Gospel
  3. It looks like my response got lost with the recent forum changes. But since I consider this a very important topic I'll try to summarize it here. First, this talk and this New Era article should be required reading: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1971/04/the-lords-people-receive-revelation?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/new-era/1980/06/how-to-get-personal-revelation?lang=eng A quote from one of them: "Because he operates on principles of eternal, universal, and never-deviating law, any individual who abides the law that entitles him to get revelation can know exactly and precisely what President Kimball knows, can entertain angels just as well as Joseph Smith entertained them, and can be in tune in full measure with all of the things of the Spirit." And another quote: "Now I say that we are entitled to revelation. I say that every member of the Church, independent and irrespective of any position that he may hold, is entitled to get revelation from the Holy Ghost; he is entitled to entertain angels; he is entitled to view the visions of eternity; and if we would like to go the full measure, he is entitled to see God the same way that any prophet in literal and actual reality has seen the face of Deity." And my two bits: If you are not entertaining angels and visions of eternity, it is more likely you and not God that is preventing you from having that experience. By this I mean something akin to "It's not that I believe that God can't show me these visions, but I believe He won't because I'm not good enough." And we tend to have a list of excuses: I'm not worthy because of XYZ sin or discretion I'm not spiritual enough There's no purpose or reason for me to have this experience (i.e. it's not expedient ) It's not the Lord's time for me to have this experience Just because the Lord promises it doesn't mean it will happen in this life As long as those reasons come from us and not from the Spirit, we are holding ourselves back and limiting the influence of God in our lives. All that is really required of us to have the grand visions and visitations and to see the face of God is repentance. The formula is clearly laid out in those links I shared. As TFP pointed out - this lack of faith in ourselves circles back to a lack of faith in God: God has clearly and repeatedly promised us these blessings. If we don't believe that we can receive them, then we are disbelieving the God's promises and the Atonement which enables us to receive them. There, I hope that answers the OP's question though I think the way I'd put it the first time was probably better worded....
  4. EXACTLY. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migratory_Bird_Treaty_Act_of_1918 That's... not at all related to my point. Or any point. It's almost like you're suggesting that war is a good thing. And that's the problem. That there is a segment in American society that thinks that 10,000 women and children riding in train cars into Texas is a defense issue. What are you afraid of? That a couple thousand 12 year old Guatemalans are going to invade Dallas and cede from the Union? Why does the nation need defending from a bunch of hungry children? Answer: because there's no profit in feeding them. And Americans would rather let them starve than (God forbid!) give them food. And God's law is....? Oh, right, thou shalt treat the stranger as one born among you. Breathe easy, because God didn't command us to take care of the poor. Nope. God never did that. So relax! Oh, and 12 out of the top 20 richest people in the world, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, are democrats. And 36% of people with an annual income over $200,000 are democrats. That's a lot of people volunteering to be taxed. The OP asked what the doctrine on immigration was. The doctrine is clear - "But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself..." Note the imperative verb in that sentence. That is language God uses when He means business. We could debate all day about the appropriate ways to manage and regulate immigration. There might even be some good that could come of that debate. We could argue for hours about legal immigration vs illegal immigration. But this I promise you - every single person talking about deportation is guilty of the same sin Ezekiel preached so adamantly against. The doctrine is clear.
  5. Just a few of the well known examples. Bruce R McConkie Neal A Maxwell James E Talmage Doctrine and Covenants 93:36The glory of God is intelligence...
  6. So I had dinner with the missionaries a couple months ago and they asked me the same question, more or less. Why do we need to be sealed? After thinking about it, and then saying a little prayer, the answer I got was "because we are all one". Now, this might get a little mystical and buddhist for some people, but getting sealed (and most Priesthood ordinances, for that matter) involves a lot more than making a note on a piece of paper that X happened. There is energy and spirit in motion. Real physical (spiritual) bonds are formed (Joseph Smith called it welding). The impression I got was that we are all like the Avatar in The Last Airbender - unique individuals, but tied to our ancestors and our descendants in a way that makes us literally "one". I probably didn't explain that very well, not sure that it's something that can really be explained. Probably why I got it via metaphor.
  7. http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-confirms-evidence-that-liquid-water-flows-on-today-s-mars/ SO EXCITED!!!!!
  8. Citizenship: The idea that a person's right to seek job security, health care, housing, or political participation are dependent solely on the place of that person's birth, rather than on the place where they currently reside or their activity in the local community. Illegal immigration: The idea that birds need a visa and a passport to fly south for the winter. The idea that an entire class of people are criminals based on how they cross an imaginary line. Notes on ancient Israel: They were invaders violently evicting the current residents. They were far more than illegal immigrants, they were warmongers. Borders were completely open except for armies. Trade and immigration were almost entirely unregulated. Notes on ancient Lehites: They were immigrants from Jerusalem to the Americas. They were undocumented. Other indigenous peoples already lived here. We do not know if they were unwelcome. Their borders were essentially open except for armies. The Lord's actual words regarding immigrants: Exodus 12:49 Exodus 22:21-22 Leviticus 24:22 Leviticus 25:35-38 Jeremiah 22:3 Ezekiel 22:29 Matthew 25:35 Luke 10:36-37 Galatians 3:28 Galatians 5:14 Hebrews 13:2 3 John 1:5 (Summary: God sees no difference between you and an immigrant. Period. God is no respecter of persons, NOR of a person's origin. Period.) It's important to point out that we teach all investigators to "obey, honor, and sustain the law" and to "follow the law of the land". And the church allows illegal immigrants to get baptized. And finally, on the note of legality vs illegality - those are man's laws, not God's. The Saints are not required to silently subject themselves to unjust laws. Most people who talk about illegal immigration don't actually have a clue what America's immigration laws actually say, much less whether they are just or not. I'm also going to point out that most of the people complaining about illegal immigration are the same people who are complaining about government over-regulation. The hypocrisy, and all the ways that it is rationalized, is suffocating.
  9. These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus. I'm as guilty as the next man. I suppose the question really is "How much slacking does the Atonement make up for?" Which, I think for obvious reasons, is a really bad question to ask. For my part, I have learned that what I think is my best, and what actually is my best given the circumstances are not always the same. I tend to overestimate what I'm capable of, then under-perform when put to the test. Reasons why there's a difference? I don't adequately compensate for my ADHD, so I assume I'm going to be able to focus when I plan my day at work, then I'm completely unable to focus when I get there.I'm not very good at estimating how long a task will take.I tend to ignore reminders in order to complete a task I'm currently working on (then forget about the reminder task - see ADHD above)Task priorities change, causing me to switch gears mid-task and leave many tasks half-finished.So the real trick, perhaps, is learning how to accurately judge what our "Best" really is.
  10. That's what I tried to say in my first post on this thread - but rewording apparently helps communication. I think we're on a roll! THIS is how we "solve" the "problem" of "Utah Mormons".
  11. Fact: Mormons exist who are rude, inconsiderate, judgmental, holier-than-thou, hypocritical, etc. etc. etc. Let's call them "Superficial Mormons". Fact: ALL Mormons are rude, inconsiderate, judgmental, holier-than-thou, hypocritical, etc. etc. etc. AKA Superficial Mormons at some point. Fact: Nobody's perfect. Except Jesus, and I'm pretty sure He isn't commenting on this thread personally. He's probably got better things to do. Now maybe a lot of us who don't live in Utah feel that there are a disproportionate number of "Superficial Mormons" in Utah, hence the term "Utah Mormon". Personally, I think that's most likely a sample bias (in spite of my numerous sardonic rants about "Utah Mormons" among my friends). In short, it exists because people are imperfect. Mormons are imperfect at being Mormon, even in Utah. Mormons visiting Utah are imperfect at judging Mormons in Utah. Even the worst, most superficial hypocritical Mormon I've ever met still had their spiritual strengths. So if you're going to judge a Utah Mormon for being superficial, don't forget to also judge them for all that they get right.