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Found 14 results

  1. Is Anarchism compatible with the church? If so, should not we all be anarchists, as believers in freedom of agency?
  2. I am obviously new and have enjoyed reading through some of the discussions that have been held in the past. I recently gave a talk on leadership and and a few questions came up in the preparation. I have since been thinking about it but haven't been able to find a prior discussion. How do people understand stewardship and the responsibility as leaders that we have for the choices of others. To me it is something that needs to be judged on a case by case basis and requires a perfect judge to understand the complexities of each situation. Regardless it is interesting to ponder on it and I feel it would be beneficial to have a better understanding. Overall my thoughts are: I feel it is just when we learn that the sins of the Lamanites will be answered by their parents who chose darkness for them. I wonder about suggestion by Jacob that part of the motivation for his efforts to teach the Gospel is so that there is no chance that he will be responsible for the sins of his people. I'm not asking at what point have I done enough, more is this something we should be regularly considering? Also where is the balance between letting people make their own mistakes and influencing them to choose the right?
  3. It is said (I think by Joseph Smith although please let me know if I'm wrong) that were we to feel even just a small little fraction of the love God has for us, we would all willingly commit suicide just to see him again. If this is true, does that mean that whenever we are in the presence of our Heavenly Father or even within his love, none of us could ever resist obeying him? But then, why did Satan go so far as to completely go against God? Perhaps technically God's love doesn't take away our agency but it's so wonderful that most souls, not all but most, can't resist it and thus it's partly why our minds are veiled in this stage of our lives.
  4. Intro: Will you marry me Years ago when my wife and I were recently married, and her younger sister was a teenager at the time, she asked me one time something along the lines of "if I was single would you marry me?" I was shocked at the question and quickly changed the subject because of the impropriety of it all. She could have asked a totally different question like "do you believe I have virtue and personal qualities that would make me someone appealing to good guys." She didn't think through the question but just gave the raw honest question. Awkward. Fast forward some 5 or 6 years later, and now the answer is sometimes I think about that, and more. I think about wanting to be with my sister-in-law. Yikes or gross? For the past two years just about every time I engage in dialogue or conversation, or if we're talking on the phone I just realize how awesome of a person she is. She also is very attractive and very down to earth. My wife, who is her older sister, is one of the best people I have ever met, and I am happily married (I will get back to this later.). She, my sister-in-law, let's call her Natalie, on our last phone call, gave me some kind compliments. Recently Natalie said, "that seeing my kids makes her want to have kids of her own" and on another occasion told my wife that she looks up to our me and my wife's marriage. I spoke to her recently and I told her I had to go which he firstly said "Okay, I love you. I will talk to you later." This is abnormal as I tell this to my actual sisters, and I come from a very open loving family. But is this appropriate for my sister-in-law? Why? Just why?! God Complex or something I think I have some more psychological issues going on, and I'm not sure what to do about it. I have these feelings about Natalie now, but I have noticed that I am just a huge flirt. I don't try to flirt with other women, but I love attention from women and talking to them. I just find the back and forth intriguing and the novelty of getting to know the other person something I love to do. I enjoy making new friends, and we're the type of people that invite friends from Church over for Sunday dinners, through Christmas parties, I mean I joke with my wife that my nickname in high school was OFG. One fun guy. I know that not every woman is interested in me, but I get so confused because I'm a friend and outgoing guy who isn't afraid of being both men and women compliments; e.g. my guy friend from church I always talk to I call him "Ken Doll" because he's ridiculously good-looking dude, and trust me I'm not gay, I just call it like it is. Anyways, I can recognize the Spirit where the lines are. When introducing myself to the attendant at the gym, and the conversation lingers too long and she seems friendly I end the conversation and move on. Etc. etc. I practice on the Spencer W. Kimball rules about not being along with other single or married women which I totally agree with. But why am I seeking interest from someone outside my spouse? A good friend, and a good guy, but I'm holding a grenade in my family room Because this is anonymous, we can be honest. I'm a good guy. Putting modesty aside and we're all adults we know what that generally means. I have a temple recommend, been married in the temple, make 6 figures, serve in multiple church callings, my wife stays home with our kids, I give anonymous amounts of money to friends and family, 100% home teaching, serving widows, I don't say all of this because I need internet approval, but to just make the point that I'm not a bad person or looking to hurt people. People want to be my friend, and I try to make many friends. But I have noticed something has been in leadership callings before. The more "successful" men become the more likely they are to cheat, steal, lie and blow up their family. Pride is the sin of Zion, someone wiser than me once said. We have about 6 active divorce LDS moms in our ward. All of them were cheated on by their husbands, who were, all 6 figure respectable professionals with an appearance about a 6. The same pattern reoccurs again and again. Good looking guy with money can't take the attention of other women and blows up their family. Welcome to divorce court where men have no rights. Goodbye life. I understand that I fit that profile. I'm a solid 7-8 being overweight if I lost 20 lbs. I'm a 9. I'm actually scared of losing weight because I remember being thinner and have more attention from women. I don't want to blow up my family, and I don't want to be unfaithful. I've learned that sad song of sorrow before and look to learn from error of my past. The Scenario on Repeat with Natalie We're alone. Only myself and Natalie sitting on a park bench. I look at her and tell her, "Natalie, remember when you asked me a long time ago if you were wifey material? [her reply] then I respond, Well, the answer is that you absolutely are. You are an amazing, smart, funny, beautiful and talented person and perhaps even in another lifetime, since you asked, I would be lucky to married to you." I have a near overwhelming desire to tell this to her, but I know if I do I'm pulling the pin on the grenade.Almost to see what her reaction would be. Would she reciprocate? Would she get awkward? I dunno, but not knowing is exactly why it's appealing. The Ask How can I have a relationship with my sister in law and not feel this way? If I am flirting, or sending signals of interest to women, how do I stop or recognize I'm doing it? How can I be obsessed with my wife, to the point I don't seek interest elsewhere? What if I tell my sister in law my "scenario"? Please and thank you. -Ragnar
  5. A few days ago I watched a documentary, First Contact The Lost Tribe of the Amazon. This film sparked something I have been pondering and debating in my head for some time now. Maybe someone here has been able to reconcile this issue in their own mind. When looking at the earth population as a whole, 7 Billion people, I start to ask myself about the pre-mortal circumstances that placed me to be born in a semi-active, good natured LDS family vs. the circumstances that allowed for one of God's children to be born and live their life in total isolation to not only the gospel, but the entire world as we know it, such as some of the people shown in the documentary. These people have to worry about scavenging food each day and hoping the other tribes don't come and murder their family in the night, while we debate here about the fate of "unrepentant" people in the Telestial world. And not to focus on just extreme poverty or isolation, there are plenty of "civilized" people that go through very similar circumstances today as well. The spectrum is so broad and its difficult to account for the whole group under the Plan of Salvation as I understand it. The first inner conflict is that I just don't feel like I am that lucky. Out of 7 billion people, I just happened to be born into the Gospel, ended up serving a church mission ( I was certainly not prepared at the start, but I was able to gain a real testimony during my service), sealed in the temple and have access to higher temple knowledge, by chance? And that doesn't even take into account the amazing point in time during the earth's history. I don't believe there is any randomness in the Plan of Salvation. I feel that there must be something I did or requested to be where I am, but I can't tell if that makes me feel better or worse. Without a doubt, there are plenty of people I know, outside of the LDS bubble, that are in many ways much closer to Christ that I or my fellow church members. So I don't believe it can't be solely based on merit, however looking at the doctrine of Foreordination it gets messy in my head. A .002% chance to be born in the true Church of Christ on the earth gives me pause. I am never ever that lucky at anything. Take it a step further an look at of those .002% how many will actually truly be saved after receiving higher ordinances and knowledge. Its difficult to imagine or such a small fraction of God's children becoming exalted. How would so many by into a plan they might not ever be exposed to? states, under Foreordination, "In the premortal spirit world, God appointed certain spirits to fulfill specific missions during their mortal lives. This is called foreordination. Foreordination does not guarantee that individuals will receive certain callings or responsibilities. Such opportunities come in this life as a result of the righteous exercise of agency, just as foreordination came as a result of righteousness in the premortal existence." So am I really to believe that my foreordination to be born in these relativity abundant circumstances as compared to others is because I was potentially more "righteousness" than others? I suppose the only way for me to accept that perspective is to acknowledge that now I am under a much greater condemnation than those that started with "less," so it wouldn't be viewed as an un-fair advantage. The "what if's" make me really wonder if I would have been able to listen to the spirit of Christ enough to be pulled towards the Gospel and become converted from the outside. Could that be the only reason I had to be born within the Gospel? Because I wouldn't have been strong enough to find or accept it otherwise? That line of thinking just leads to more questions and doesn't feel right. This begs the question of what is fair? At least in the context of everyone's starting mortal condition. It doesn't seem fair that I was placed where I am, given so much without much "temporal" effort on my part, and then I see others that will possibly never even hear the name of Jesus Christ in the right context. I don't buy into the pre-mortal "fence sitter" line of thought so how does everyone else reconcile their situation with that of those on the other extreme of life? Are any "Noble and Great Ones" born into an amazon tribe in the middle of the rain forest? Is that the "mission" some feel they have been assigned in life? Can any of these missions be unrelated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Great Muslim leaders for example? When we were all sitting their during that great council in the beginning, were we thinking about how this could all be fair to everyone? I can imagine that maybe this topic might have been something that caused some others to choose the other side, complaining "How could that be fair?" Honestly it is hard to imagine a new, excited spirit child of God giving their "buy-in" to a plan in which they will have no part while in their earthly state. A plan that so many will never learn about. Were we able to see what path we would be starting in our earthly existence? Did we all agree to our birth time and surrounding circumstances, or parents even? It just seems too easy to say to ourselves, that they "deserve" their lot in life because that is how they chose to exercise their agency in the pre-mortal existence. Seeing these people make contact with the outside world makes me really wonder about the Garden of Eden setting. How close are these people to that same state of "innocence"? They must have some inkling of the Light of Christ somewhere, but things like taking another person's life don't seem to impact them spiritually in the same way. How different could these people be from the time of Adam and Eve and Cain and Able? Go and watch some of the first time encounters and tell me what thoughts run through your head as you attempt to view life through their perspective. Maybe I am just overthinking all this. I trust in God's plan, but I would really like a way to fit this part in my understanding. Elder Holland's recent talk in GC, "Songs Sung and Unsung", touches on the fact that it can be hard to focus on singing happy hymns in the face of extreme poverty. This talk touches on the topic I am getting at, but its not just the poverty, its the access to the Gospel knowledge. Not only do they not have the basic Gospel teaching or temples, but they don't know who their savior is in any sense of the word. Its impossible for us to decide what constitutes a "Fair Chance" to accept the Gospel of Christ, but at least the majority of people get to hear the watered down story of who Christ was. Long story short, I just don't feel that I am lucky enough or was righteous enough to deserve my life over the life of someone less fortunate, in both a Gospel sense and temporal well being. How am I and that tribal chief different in God's plan? How is it all fair to everyone without thinking you are or at least were better in some way, than someone else?
  6. SAITH EINSTIEN: Choice doesn’t really exist. It is just a figment of our imagination. We are all part of the most complex clock in the world. What we think of as choice is merely the forces of physics & chemistry combining at the right time in our brains to bring about a predestined course of events predictable since the big bang based on precise interactions of the forces of nature. SAITH MICHIO KAKU (I believe it was him. It’s been a while): Einstein was wrong. What about the uncertainty principle? That accounts for things that cannot be predicted. Thus choice is real. SAITH CARBORENDUM I believe both are correct. I also believe them to be incomplete because they lack the gospel. Suppose We have an infinitely sharp razor upon which we can perfectly balance as measured by an infinitely low-energy, infinitely high-frequency wave. I believe that this is what happens when we are placed in the refiner’s fire. All temporal forces are perfectly balanced and are predictable while providing us the illusion of choice. Satan will always add that extra photon to his side. At that point, only faith (defined as the motivating force of action) can push the balance to the other side and back to the Lord. It is faith that is our gateway to the power from another plane. Those who choose to use this power to do evil will find their agency reduced in a small way each time. Those who choose good will have their agency increased in a small way each time. Trials are not difficult to see how strong we are. Trials are what is required to make us exercise faith in such a way to make us grow. And the harder the trial, the more faith is required to push us to the Lord's side and the more we grow as a result of it. This is how faith and agency are intertwined. I do not believe this is so far above our understanding as one might suppose. If we have a choice to learn to speak Spanish, and I come across someone who only speaks Spanish, then I have the added choice of being able to communicate with him in his tongue or I can choose not to. If I decided not to learn, then that choice simply isn’t available to me. Also note that in this case, it did not decrease my agency from before I made that decision. It simply did not increase my choices at a later time. Some decisions (as is obvious with many forms of addiction) will decrease our ability to choose over time. All the commandments that are given to us are not simply hoops to jump through. They are there to increase our agency as we progress. Exaltation is nothing more than the continual pattern of making more choices that will continue to increase agency throughout Eternity. And those in lesser kingdoms eventually find increase in agency is halted (damnation).
  7. I have a question regarding our roles as "agents unto ourselves". If we have complete free agency as humans, and must be tested to see if we will always choose the right in all the crazy and hectic scenarios that life will throw at us, then how does God protect us? What is his role in our lives? And how can the verses found in Matthew 6:25-34 be applicable in our lives? In those verses, Christ states we should take no thought for what's to come tomorrow, from what we eat to what we wear...but if you feel that you are being met with crazy challenges in life but you have agency of how we should deal with our cllenges, then what is God doing to guide us to a great life?
  8. A subject spurred on by my own thoughts, but also some on here. I was wanting the hear your guys thoughts on the matter. To what degree is a person a good person whom does evil things, or at what point do does a person become evil? (I'm talking about one's adult choices to be evil, not whether one is inherently good/evil from the get-go).
  9. Why did it have to be a commandment from God to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil as opposed to simply providing a choice? Genesis 2; "16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Then in Moses the command seems a little more open; "16 And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." And then in Abraham it seems like more of a choice; "12 And the Gods commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, 13 But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the time that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." Abraham's description sounds more like, this is what you do if you want to stay in the garden but if you don't want to then eat of the tree of knowledge and then you will die. The commandment seems to be a strong statement against what Satan will tell them in a while that they won't die. My question is why would God "command" them to not die? Why didn't he simply say if you want to live in the garden forever choose this tree and if you want to move onto mortality with its accompanying death then choose this tree. As it states in Moses "thou mayest choose for thyself" but then He "forbid"s it. Why did He have to "forbid" it? We believe that Adam and Eve made the choice knowing the consequences and still did it. This is what Joseph Fielding Smith said; "Did Adam sin when he partook of the forbidden fruit? I say to you, no, he did not! Now, let me refer to what was written in the book of Moses in regard to the command God gave to Adam. [Moses 3:16–17.] “Now this is the way I interpret that: The Lord said to Adam, here is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you want to stay here, then you cannot eat of that fruit. If you want to stay here, then I forbid you to eat it. But you may act for yourself, and you may eat of it if you want to. And if you eat it, you will die." In other words the commandment to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is only if they wanted to stay in the Garden of Eden, then it is a commandment. But the moment they do not want to stay in the Garden and they want to move on, as was previously planned, then they can eat of the tree of knowledge. Am I misunderstanding what Joseph Fielding Smith is saying? The commandment only pertained to the situation of staying in the Garden and eating of the tree of knowledge at the same time. That could not be done and that was the commandment, right? The commandment is one or the other but you can't have both. Like I tell my kids, you can have one dessert or the other but not both, if you choose this one then I forbid you to have the other one.
  10. My daughter came home from her singles ward combine Sunday School meeting this last Sunday and was very discouraged with the topic of the lesson. The bishops wife gave the lesson, she along with many of the men in the class emphasized how it is the responsibility of the women to dress modestly to prevent men from having inappropriate thoughts and actions. This is not the first time I have heard this concept taught. This is neither doctrine or appropriate. In fact it communicates a very unhealthy message and ignores our personal agency and responsibility over our own thoughts and actions. Have you heard this message taught and how how you responded? I really enjoyed this article it communicated, in my opinion, the correct concept. "If you want your daughter (and hopefully son) to dress modestly because you want them to value their intrinsic self over their outer self? Fabulous. If you want your daughter (and hopefully son) to dress modestly to create healthy attitudes toward sexuality? Great. If you want your daughter (and hopefully son) to dress modestly to glorify the Creator of all things? Boo-ya. If you want your daughter (and hopefully son) to dress modestly because it is a long standing tradition of your church/synagogue/people/culture/or group? Awesome possum. But don’t you dare say it is to protect my son. Because I am teaching my son that he is responsible for each of his thoughts and actions. I am teaching my son that he needs to treat females and males respectfully, no matter what they wear. I am teaching my son that the media uses sex to sell things and that he’s strong enough to not be manipulated by a woman’s body. I’m teaching my son to use his mind over his groin and I’m teaching him that women are more than just their body parts."
  11. I've noticed whenever we have a lesson on Agency in church, comments are usually shared about Soviet Russia and how agency was limited by enforcing atheism. What are your thoughts on law and Agency? Can political laws restrict Agency? If so, in what way? (I know there's another thread on agency going on right now, but it has another focus and I didn't want to detract from it.)
  12. Something that I've been struggling to wrap my mind around is the whole idea of agency and God's plan for each of us. Especially now where I'm at a point in my life where I need to make a lot of decisions. We all have the ability to choose for ourselves what path in life we take, but in the end God knows what we will choose. He knows the spouse we will choose, where we will choose to live, whether or not we will choose to make and keep covenants, etc. So we essentially have the sense of agency since we don't know what will happen to us, but I have a hard time viewing it as true agency. Can someone shed some light on the subject?
  13. I am LDS, and I have served an LDS mission. I am active, and have served in many callings. I currently hold an active temple recommend, and am worthy to have it. However, I do not understand everything, especially how detached the Lord seems to be from the lives of the majority of the world. Statistically and historically, the Lord is very unlikely to intervene and save someone, righteous or wicked, from harm, treachery, horror, torture, abuse, rape, murder, etc. How many people living in the world today dread their fathers coming home, knowing they will be beaten, molested, abused, maybe even killed. And they pray and pray, and yet still the fists land just as hard. Where is the intervention of God in this? I met a lady on my mission who had grown up in El Salvador during some rough times in the 70's and 80's. She was the sole survivor of her village. Guerrilla soldiers invaded her village, raped and tortured the women and children, then lined up everyone from the village on a bridge, tied their hands behind their back, and began to shoot them, one by one. This lady couldn't wait to be shot, and so she jumped from the bridge. She experienced what she called a miracle then, the soldiers shot at her, and the bullets cut through the rope around her wrists, and she was able to escape. She hid in the jungle for around a week, and was able to eventually escape to America. However, she lives with the horror of what happened, and the nightmares of what happened to her personally. She can't afford more than living in a run-down apartment, because she has to pay for so much mental therapy. She said that she can't go to church, she can't forgive God for not intervening when little children were raped and tortured in the mud and dirt of her village. You don't have to look far to see the crime that goes on each day. In Salt Lake City, where the prophets and apostles live, there are numerous horrible crimes, gang problems, rape, murder, child/spouse abuse, drugs, theft, adultery, embezzlement, etc. If where the prophets and apostles live is such a mess, how can there be any hope for the rest of the world?!! What kind of message is that sending to the rest of world. Where is the beacon of hope, the sanctuary from filth? It is not found in this world, there is minimal celestial intervention.
  14. Do you have, or have you heard of, a 'non-traditional' idea or definition of Agency? I have seen some discussions of Agency on the internet that are different from the common "Freedom of Choice / Freedom to Choose / Free Will" type definition that seems to be the traditional meaning within the church. Please briefly share your ideas or others you may have heard. Feel free to refer to books, articles, or link to websites as well. I'm not asking to start a debate, just to share different points of view. Because the 'war in heaven' is a related subject (Satan sought to destroy agency), you may want to discuss that as well if it helps shed additional insights into the meaning of Agency. I also have some POLLS which ask "What does Agency mean to you?" and "How would Satan have implement his plan?" (Unfortunately the polls only allow 4 responses, and I had 6 in mind, so I had to split the question into two parts. Read both parts, and please only select one of the options from among them. I guess you could also choose the last parenthetical option if you want to view the results for the half of the poll you do not select. You may have to go to the next poll page to find them)