carlimac

Gays and the church

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Has anyone seen David Archuleta’s emotional, more than 45 minute video he posted a couple days ago on Instagram and You Tube about his struggle to reconcile his disinterest in women/being more into guys and his 31 years of being devoted to the church. He’s apparently on the edge of suicidal about it. 
 

I feel for him. That’s tough. I still have no answers. But the thing that’s more frustrating than anything is that in the comments there are more encouraging him to leave the church, be his authentic self and know that God made him that way. Most claim to be  former members. There is a lot of the typical “ just love who you’re attracted to”. Why is it that almost no one is getting on there to encourage him to hang onto the truth and weather the storms and stay with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
 
What would you tell him to do?

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12 minutes ago, carlimac said:

Why is it that almost no one is getting on there to encourage him to hang onto the truth and weather the storms and stay with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
 
What would you tell him to do?

Dude has spent 31 years in the church - I'm sure he's heard that advice already. That's my answer - I don't have anything to add to the conversation, and I don't believe youtube comment sections to be worth the electrons they're run across.  The things that matter are genuine connections with real people, not who can spam a comment section the most. 

What did you tell him to do?

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28 minutes ago, carlimac said:

Has anyone seen David Archuleta’s emotional, more than 45 minute video he posted a couple days ago on Instagram and You Tube about his struggle to reconcile his disinterest in women/being more into guys and his 31 years of being devoted to the church. He’s apparently on the edge of suicidal about it. 
 

I feel for him. That’s tough. I still have no answers. But the thing that’s more frustrating than anything is that in the comments there are more encouraging him to leave the church, be his authentic self and know that God made him that way. Most claim to be  former members. There is a lot of the typical “ just love who you’re attracted to”. Why is it that almost no one is getting on there to encourage him to hang onto the truth and weather the storms and stay with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
 
What would you tell him to do?

I have not seen the video. He evidently needs a ministering brother right now who can answer his questions and help him with his conclusions.

Beginning with doctrine, God did not make him gay. This goes against the Church's position that we do not know the causes of why people are attracted to the same sex. The BYU 2019 valedictorian tried to assert this and it is false doctrine, which is why I think Elder Holland in his August 2021 speech to faculty, administration and student leaders used this as an example of "friendly fire." Emotionally vulnerable people need to make Christ the focus of their lives and he will carry them along.

Another point is that nowhere does the Church promote marriage as a function of sexuality, only gender, and that only gender is an essential, eternal characteristic. Again. emotionally vulnerable people cannot easily accept the difference between sexuality and gender.

People who cannot connect with others except through social media transactions will have a very hard time getting through their trials, and helping others with their trials without the Spirit. David has the gift of the Holy Ghost and can be grounded and settled in Christ. The depths of extremity Alma the son of Alma went through before he could find Christ were from sin, but such depths can be felt from physical and emotional pain as well, and Christ is just as ready to save.

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He’s obviously looking for help wherever he can get it. But maybe mostly validation that he’s normal for being attracted to men.

 If he really wanted to stay in the church and not  act on his attractions, I doubt he’d ask “the world” at large. Surely he’d realize he’d get  more encouragement to leave. He also said he thought maybe he would find a non-LDS therapist to help with his confusion.  I don’t that’s going to help much.

Edited by carlimac

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I don’t think David and the many many other LGBTQ saints are looking for doctrinal explanations for what they ought to do. It seems to me that they are in immense pain, have tried everything they can to get through it, and haven’t seen the light. 
 

It seems more to be a cry for help. David himself said that his post was more about getting things off his chest.

I know what the prescribed doctrinal answers are… but I don’t know how to help David, and others in his situation, overcome these immense feelings he is facing. I think the best thing one can do is mourn with those that more and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.

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I believe in the idea of the "customised curriculum" as taught most noticeably, but not exclusively, by Elder Neal Maxwell. I believe it is quite likely that we were closely involved in deciding what trials we would encounter in this life and that the manner in which each of us has been made is not random. David, and you, and I, may well have made an informed, perhaps even calculated, decision as to what trials we would be given the opportunity to endure in this life, we just don't remember it making that decision. This may be a viewpoint that might not be particularly helpful to David or one that is unlikely to attract his interest or attention, but that's what I believe and how I see things.

One thing that has helped me through difficulties is to have faith in my pre-existance self that I made very good decisions, and that I made decisions on matters that would test and stretch me, but not overcome me. The pre-mortal thinking is something like "I want to grow as much as I can in mortality, or I need to grow in certain areas, therefore I will choose such and such a trial in mortality, knowing that it will provide the growth that I seek and need." And the mortal thinking, here and now, when enduring the trial is, " I believe I chose this trial for good and wise reasons, and that I can have trust in that decision, therefore I will seek for whatever it is that I believed I could learn from this trial at the time I chose to be subject to it." Summarised, it boils down to, I signed up for this, so lets make the most of it."  

Edited by askandanswer

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Sadly, we live in a time where this trial will be one of the hardest to bear, because of so many opposing voices that tell you to "sin" rather than keep your covenants (even members of your faith -- which is the saddest part).

I don't believe there is really anything you could say, but love him. Ultimately, salvation is an individual choice. I hope he can avert the "finger of scorn" from the Great and Spacious building and continue to live according to the gospel truths.

 

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32 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Dude has spent 31 years in the church - I'm sure he's heard that advice already. That's my answer - I don't have anything to add to the conversation, and I don't believe youtube comment sections to be worth the electrons they're run across.  The things that matter are genuine connections with real people, not who can spam a comment section the most. 

What did you tell him to do?

What I would tell him to do depends on my mood. Sometimes I get so tired of people trying to update the doctrine to fit what they want the narrative to be that I think - fine! Go get yourself a same sex partner and see how that works out for you. Otherwise, if I’m not  feeling snarky I would remind them that they are loved, that they can be strengthened through Christ and that this life is a minuscule dot in eternity and to trust that eternal blessings are worth enduring some pain and perhaps loneliness if they choose to remain single. But I’m married with 7 children and 9 grandchildren so that kind of advice doesn’t sound very empathetic coming from me.

 

8 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

I believe in the idea of the "customised curriculum" as taught most noticeably, but not exclusively, by Elder Neal Maxwell. I believe it is quite likely that we were closely involved in deciding what trials we would encounter in this life and that the manner in which each of us has been made is not random. David, and you, and I, may well have made an informed, perhaps even calculated, decision as to what trials we would be given the opportunity to endure in this life, we just don't remember it. This may be a viewpoint that might not be particularly helpful to David or one that is likely to attract his interest or attention, but that's what I believe and how I see things. One thing that has helped me through difficulties is to have faith in my pre-existance self that I made very good decisions, and that I made decisions on matters that would test and stretch me, but not overcome me. The pre-mortal thinking is something like "I want to grow as much as I can in mortality, or I need to grow in certain areas, therefore I will choose such and such a trial in mortality, knowing that it will provide the growth that I seek and need." ANd the mortal thinking, here and now, when enduring the trial is, " I believe I chose this trial for good and wise reasons, and that I can have trust in that decision, therefore I will seek for whatever it is that I believed I could learn from this at the time I chose to be subject to it." Summarised, it boils down to, I signed up for this, so lets make the most of it."  

I like this!! Compelling ideas. I don’t think it would fly with those who have forsaken the church to deal with their trial. According to many, life is so much more beautiful without having to be limited and bogged down by doctrine. But I find enough beauty in life with the Gospel that I don’t need to leave to find a different source of beauty.

 

21 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

Sadly, we live in a time where this trial will be one of the hardest to bear, because of so many opposing voices that tell you to "sin" rather than keep your covenants (even members of your faith -- which is the saddest part).

I don't believe there is really anything you could say, but love him. Ultimately, salvation is an individual choice. I hope he can avert the "finger of scorn" from the Great and Spacious building and continue to live according to the gospel truths.

 

I agree. So is it wrong to push back or even just gently and politely disagree with all those trying to lead him astray? There may be only one voice in a hundred or more trying to stand up for truth. Why is that? I’m quite sure that a huge number of the thousands who have watched the video are members of the church.  Is it not appropriate on social media  to  encourage someone to stay strong? Or are we as the broad membership  tipping toward actually thinking  they might be better off leaving the church? Or are we just too squeamish or unsure about this topic to voice our faith in God’s plan?  Are we letting Satan win? 

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1 minute ago, carlimac said:

I agree. So is it wrong to push back or even just gently and politely disagree with all those trying to lead him astray? There may be only one voice in a hundred or more trying to stand up for truth. Why is that? I’m quite sure that a huge number of the thousands who have watched the video are members of the church.  Is it not appropriate on social media  to  encourage someone to stay strong? Or are we as the broad membership  tipping toward actually thinking  they might be better off leaving the church? Or are we just too squeamish or unsure about this topic to voice our faith in God’s plan?  Are we letting Satan win? 

No, it isn't wrong to push back; however, I would say the push back would be more a support.

These are the last days, and according to prophecy we will live in a time where individuals are lovers of the flesh and themselves. This is why there are so many voices against truth.

I would say it is totally acceptable to encourage someone to stay strong; however, expect the natural man response of attack. No different, than the Adversary's wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I hope we aren't in a time where members are feeling they are better off outside of the Church. That could only come from the Adversary's heart and mind.

I personally think, we are concerned for our own welfare, or we simply don't want a fight. I used to comment more on Facebook, but received more backlash, and so now I stop. Not because I don't care, but I don't want to deal with people who want to fight and call names.

Satan isn't going to win in the end. So, I think the best way for us to stick up is to simply live the gospel, and if we are asked for our thoughts to share them honestly and boldly without apology. If it is a open forum, I will typically avoid (unless a forum like that that is geared toward the Church) in order to avoid the hate from people who always say "its about love."

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He hasn't accepted the fact that marriage and a family, within the gospel, is likely not going to happen in this life. That's a tough pill to swallow but it's one that not just people with same sex attraction have had to accept. I know some women who for various health reasons are likely to not find a spouse willing to deal with the challenges they face. As a result they are pursuing other rewarding paths in life. Is it still tough? YES. But they don't feel without hope and that seems exactly like where he is at this point, without hope. We must have faith to not just accept THE plan but also His specific plan for us whatever that may be. I feel for the guy but it sure sounds like he is not looking for help to endure but reasons to give in. I don't know what anyone, especially strangers, can say to help in this situation. We generally only see what we are looking for.

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I haven’t seen his latest video (and frankly, am not likely to, if it’s really 45 minutes long).

In the last few months or so I do remember hearing that he had said he was going to date guys, but also keep the law of chastity.  That . . . didn’t strike me as the wisest course of action.  If you’re struggling with porn, then justifying your perusal of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue on the grounds that “they aren’t naked, and this lets me pursue my God-given desires without crossing the line into unchastity” is, at minimum, a darned foolhardy thing to do.   Absolute denial—to “cross ourselves in all these things”, as Alma put it—is harsh and unpopular medicine these days;  but I am increasingly persuaded that it’s the only medicine that works.

I wish him well.  It sounds like he, along with most youth today, is being seduced by the idea that an unsexed life is not worth living.  We (the Church) certainly didn’t teach him that . . .

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18 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I haven’t seen his latest video (and frankly, am not likely to, if it’s really 45 minutes long).

In the last few months or so I do remember hearing that he had said he was going to date guys, but also keep the law of chastity.  That . . . didn’t strike me as the wisest course of action.  If you’re struggling with porn, then justifying your perusal of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue on the grounds that “they aren’t naked, and this lets me pursue my God-given desires without crossing the line into unchastity” is, at minimum, a darned foolhardy thing to do.   Absolute denial—to “cross ourselves in all these things”, as Alma put it—is harsh and unpopular medicine these days;  but I am increasingly persuaded that it’s the only medicine that works.

I wish him well.  It sounds like he, along with most youth today, is being seduced by the idea that an unsexed life is not worth living.  We (the Church) certainly didn’t teach him that . . .

Good news, it isn’t 45 minutes. It’s 58 minutes.

This is actually a fairly heated topic right now. David Archuletta, Tom Christofferson, and Stacey Harkey have all announced they will start dating. It seems to be a new frontier that the Latter-day Saint lgbtq community is pushing.
 

Additionally, BYU removed the “dont participate in homosexual behavior” phrasing from their honor code and there were some professors who felt they could make some commentary on it. This lead to some clarification but not reinstating the phrase in the honor code. Since then there had been a ton more people asking if it is ok to date the same gender as long as you keep the law of chastity (which I always thought any homosexual romantic act was against the LOC but apparently that isn’t widely accepted). 

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28 minutes ago, Fether said:

Good news, it isn’t 45 minutes. It’s 58 minutes.

This is actually a fairly heated topic right now. David Archuletta, Tom Christofferson, and Stacey Harkey have all announced they will start dating. It seems to be a new frontier that the Latter-day Saint lgbtq community is pushing.
 

Additionally, BYU removed the “dont participate in homosexual behavior” phrasing from their honor code and there were some professors who felt they could make some commentary on it. This lead to some clarification but not reinstating the phrase in the honor code. Since then there had been a ton more people asking if it is ok to date the same gender as long as you keep the law of chastity (which I always thought any homosexual romantic act was against the LOC but apparently that isn’t widely accepted). 

Yeah, the Tribune had an article in the last week or two about it, I think.  (I’d heard about Archuleta and Harley, though Tom Christofferson’s alleged backsliding is a new one to me.)  One wonders what the difference would be between a chaste gay “dating” relationship, versus two straight people who happen to be best friends.

In some ways, the bigger issue is this mentality  of “how far can I indulge these appetites before it becomes a sin?”.  Whether in matters of chastity or honesty or anger or any number of other moral standards—this just isn’t a space we want to be living in. 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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One of the things about marriage is to be happy with oneself whether or not one is married or not.

If one is NOT happy because they are single, or because they are not married, it is very probable that being married is NOT going to be the cure for making them happy.  It may, instead, be a way to make others UNHAPPY.

One needs to be able to be content with themselves before incorporating others into a relationship...at least in my opinion.

In that light, whether one is gay or not, it should not matter on whether one can be happy or not.  If they are unhappy because they feel attraction to the same gender instead of the opposite gender, perhaps they are focusing on the WRONG things in life. 

My advice in that situation, regardless of who it is, is to focus on other things that make life worthwhile.  Perhaps, work on serving others, or improving oneself, rather than trying to get others to be the crutch to do it for you.

The way I'd suggest is to seek first the Kingdom of God, seek to be the ideal son or daughter of your Father first, and then seek other things (such as self improvement, etc). 

That may not be the way everyone wants to go.  Find something else rather than lust, or greed, or pride, to sate one's desires, and seek instead for things that can improve yourself and others instead.  Find a hobby or reading history or books, become passionate about music, study nature and science.  There is SO much in this world where you can focus on things to find wonder and excitement rather than focusing on our base desires.  Find ways to make one happy beyond the basic focus of the world (so lust, hunger, alcohol, and other base things should not be what we try to seek out for happiness, but rather things that increase our knowledge and ability or things that help others increase their knowledge and ability).

I find too often people define themselves by their base desires.  I do not think this is a path to happiness, and those who think this is how to define their relationships will find less fulfilling lives from them than those who find happiness within themselves and seek to spread that happiness to others.  Those who share happiness, in my opinion, will do better and have more fulfilling lives than those who try to derive it from others.

Unfortunately, when trying to convince someone that they should seek to be happy on their own (especially, when they are so deep into the idea that the only way to be happy is if they are able to get another person, sometimes specifically a certain person, other times a certain gender or sexuality) to make them happy, they are unwilling to listen.  Nothing one would say will convince them at that point, and sometimes telling them this will only drive them deeper into depression. 

It can be difficult, and the situation people find themselves in is a difficult one.  If they GET what they THINK they want, at times it will bring a reprieve, though this happiness may be fleeting and is HIGHLY dependent on someone else (which means, they can make you lose it just as easily) rather than being in control of yourself.  The more permanent solution is NOT to make it so that others are your source of happiness, but to be a source of happiness for yourself and for others. 

Two individuals that are founts of happiness will not only find happiness within themselves, but also in turn will make their partners and friends much happier by default.  It is a thing which aids not only you, but others as well.

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11 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Yeah, the Tribune had an article in the last week or two about it, I think.  (I’d heard about Archuleta and Harley, though Tom Christofferson’s alleged backsliding is a new one to me.)  One wonders what the difference would be between a chaste gay “dating” relationship, versus two straight people who happen to be best friends.

In some ways, the bigger issue is this mentality  of “how far can I indulge these appetites before it becomes a sin?”.  Whether in matters of chastity or honesty or anger or any number of other moral standards—this just isn’t a space we want to be living in. 

There also seems to be this idea that it is the church’s duty to punish all acts of immorality. Everything from rape down to eating too much food and not exercising.

If the church doesn’t have a corporal punishment for an act, it must be ok to do.

Edited by Fether

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14 hours ago, askandanswer said:

I believe in the idea of the "customised curriculum" as taught most noticeably, but not exclusively, by Elder Neal Maxwell. I believe it is quite likely that we were closely involved in deciding what trials we would encounter in this life and that the manner in which each of us has been made is not random. David, and you, and I, may well have made an informed, perhaps even calculated, decision as to what trials we would be given the opportunity to endure in this life, we just don't remember it making that decision. This may be a viewpoint that might not be particularly helpful to David or one that is unlikely to attract his interest or attention, but that's what I believe and how I see things.

One thing that has helped me through difficulties is to have faith in my pre-existance self that I made very good decisions, and that I made decisions on matters that would test and stretch me, but not overcome me. The pre-mortal thinking is something like "I want to grow as much as I can in mortality, or I need to grow in certain areas, therefore I will choose such and such a trial in mortality, knowing that it will provide the growth that I seek and need." And the mortal thinking, here and now, when enduring the trial is, " I believe I chose this trial for good and wise reasons, and that I can have trust in that decision, therefore I will seek for whatever it is that I believed I could learn from this trial at the time I chose to be subject to it." Summarised, it boils down to, I signed up for this, so lets make the most of it."  

So I'm not going to say I think this is wrong by any means because, you know, wiser men than me...etc... But relying on it too much feels somewhat like relying on the arm of flesh rather than the arm of God. I know that's going way too far...and I only put it out that way because it was the thought I had, but I accept it's not exactly the same thing... still....

I tend to hope I didn't plan my own trials because I pretty much expect that I am, and was, pretty darned stupid about everything. If I planned my own trials then I'm pert darned sure I'd mess it up...too harsh, or too easy for my needs. The idea that I know (or knew) myself and my needs better than anyone else is a problematic, flawed idea. The Lord knows me. The Lord knows my needs. The Lord knows what I need best to grow. The Lord knows what trials I can and should face. I sincerely hope and believe that He designed this. Not me.

Anyhow, not trying to debate the point. Just sharing my view.

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15 hours ago, Fether said:

I don’t think David and the many many other LGBTQ saints are looking for doctrinal explanations for what they ought to do. It seems to me that they are in immense pain, have tried everything they can to get through it, and haven’t seen the light. 
 

It seems more to be a cry for help. David himself said that his post was more about getting things off his chest.

I know what the prescribed doctrinal answers are… but I don’t know how to help David, and others in his situation, overcome these immense feelings he is facing. I think the best thing one can do is mourn with those that more and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.

Overcoming these immense feelings is also a doctrinal issue. True doctrine, correctly understood, can change attitudes and behavior. The Holy Spirit is the best way to understand true doctrine. We can have no better Friend see us through than Jesus Christ, and this is a deeply personal experience that we can invite people to share by our example.

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20 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Overcoming these immense feelings is also a doctrinal issue. True doctrine, correctly understood, can change attitudes and behavior. The Holy Spirit is the best way to understand true doctrine. We can have no better Friend see us through than Jesus Christ, and this is a deeply personal experience that we can invite people to share by our example.

Yes, however,  some doctrines for some people cannot be understood simply by throwing a book at them.

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42 minutes ago, Fether said:

Yes, however,  some doctrines for some people cannot be understood simply by throwing a book at them.

This is an interesting thing to think about regarding responsibility? Where does it lie? I mean wherein are we, the "teachers" culpable? Are we meant to (as I tend to believe) speak truth the best way we know how, and that fulfills our obligation...or must we learn mind-reading, advanced psychology, and have perfect, pure empathy for everyone's point of view or the failure is ours?

And what teaching methods are required, really, on the other end of the spectrum, before an individual literally "can" or "cannot" understand? Is the onus for understanding on the teacher or the learner, ultimately?

It's a challenging question. It's an idea I've been pondering on a lot regarding parenting, particularly. I want to teach my children well. But I can only do it the best that I can do it. And I have to accept that they have agency, and no matter what I do, they will still have agency. And I have to reconcile the ideas that no matter how much I teach and protect and guide my children, even IF successfully, there are so many children who aren't taught right, aren't protected, and aren't guided -- and they have every bit the same chance for exaltation per their agency as my children will.

Obviously the answer is relative to each individual. We are asked to do our best and the Atonement makes up for the rest. Everyone's best is not the same. For some, the best they can do is throw books at people. And that is sufficient....for them...if it is truly their best.

As for Archuleta... where does the blame actually lie? Who knows? We live in such a corrupt world that calling out accountability is tremendously difficult. And we shouldn't, really, anyhow. Judge not, and all that. We can definitely judge whether we think any course of action is wise or not though. Some of his are not. That seems clear. But does someone raised as he was in the world we live in even stand a chance at correct thinking? And if they don't, are they accountable?

I do not know. Go ask your Pop.

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8 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

This is an interesting thing to think about regarding responsibility? Where does it lie? I mean wherein are we, the "teachers" culpable?


D&C 42:13 And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit.


14 And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.

 

 

D&C 52:17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?


18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.


19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?


20 If it be some other way it is not of God.


21 Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?


22 Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.


23 And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.

 

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15 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

As for Archuleta... where does the blame actually lie?

Blame for what?

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1 minute ago, Just_A_Guy said:

In fairness, I don’t think that’s what @CV75 was proposing.

He was responding to a post where I was trying to point out that declaring doctrine to him is likely mot what he wants, nor what is best for him. My response to his comment was in that context

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