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  2. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. "
  3. I know my genealogy extremely well on all ancestral lines down to my great great grandparents, and I definitely know where all of them come from. When I did my DNA test (Ancestry.com) I found that the test correlated very well with what I knew already. Ancestry also provided lists of probable cousins, and I found a number of people in the lists whom I already knew as my cousins. This includes a lady whom I am personally acquainted with, who is my second cousin once removed -- a rather distant relationship -- as we share one set of great great grandparents. I wish that it had occurred to me to do DNA testing for my late wife -- we know her genealogy only back as far as her grandparents. If we had had her DNA checked, we might have been able to find relatives who are now unknown to us. Actually, while writing this it suddenly occurred to me that I could get one of her children to do a DNA test! That would work, too, wouldn't it? Wow! But with these tests you can find out things you didn't want to know. The video you posted indicated there are some white supremacists who use the tests to get all warm and fuzzy about being "pure" white. Gosh, I hope they all find out they are part something they don't like, so they can be at war with themselves. That would be soooo precious.
  4. Surrounded by the twelve tribes no less.
  5. Maybe it is my ignorance of Catholicism, but I don't get it. Immaculate fire? Wait. Catholics like burning people, and now they get something of theirs burned? Hmmmm. Still not very funny or clever, to me anyway. What are you thinking with the "Immaculate fire"? Are there fires that are "conceived" in original sin? Of course I know you don't mean that. One of the biggest differences between LDS and everybody else is that LDS hold that everyone is immaculately conceived. Catholics agree with LDS when it comes to the Virgin Mary. Anyway, if you or Stargazer could enlighten me, I sometimes appreciate theogical humor. My favorite is on the Jehovah's Witnesses, who don't believe in hell, and don't believe in observing any kind of holiday. So with all due respect to JW beliefs, as you surely have for the RC's, the funny thing about Jehovah's Witnesses is their favorite Christmas hymn! No hell. No hell. No hell. Born is the king of Israel. Pretty good, eh? Disclaimer. Sadly, I only repeat that joke. I have never made a good joke myself. You get the joke, even if it is weak? Most people seem unamused at my telling of it though I trot it out several times a decade. I never think of it. I probably need more practice in the telling. Thanks for reminding me of it. It always amuses me. I just don't understand your joke. Thanks for your help. 3DOP
  6. Many people fighting on the side of the Confederacy, perhaps most, were not fighting because they loved slavery or wanted to keep it. The Confederacy itself existed because of slavery (one should examine President Davis's remarks on the proposal of raising black southern regiments if one doubts this), but those who fought on its side were more frequently doing so out of loyalty to their state, or because they believed that the North was endangering their rights as free men. So don't assume that your ancestor was fighting to keep slavery; he might have been, but it's unlikely. Oh, and one of my ancestors fought against your ancestor! My great great grandfather Pvt Christian Stoltzmann was a recent immigrant from Germany, and signed up to fight for the Union as part of the 8th Indiana Infantry. He never got near the Army of Northern Virginia, however, so your ancestor and mine never fought face to face! From the film Gettysburg:
  7. That's lovely! My wife and I just started working at the temple. Allow me to annoy you still further: you're way younger than my daughter! But I've learned that young people can frequently have a freshness of outlook that sometimes caps my experience. Both I, the second counselor, and the first counselor in our elders quorum presidency are each more than twice the age of our president, and our president is actually younger than you (as far as I can tell from this distance). He's extremely competent as quorum president and we both look up to him, even though our church leadership experience is way more extensive than his. If he's the future of church leadership then all will be well. As for you, I've marveled at your insight on many matters over the years, and I'd gladly take advice from you at any time. Not that I need much! 😄
  8. Today
  9. Well, that can be taken two different ways. It might be more accurate to label my feelings on the matter to be my conscience, and my clear conscience leads me to believe that is what the Lord feels about it. In any case, I don't think the Lord is up there counting every last minim; I believe he's up there weighing the heart. On the other hand, it would be rather difficult to believe that the Lord felt that paying 5% was an honest tithe, on the other hand, regardless of what I felt about paying at that rate.
  10. I like that it is more about how you feel rather than how the Lord would feel.
  11. I believe one of the brethren indicated (during the televised news conference) that they’d be meeting in a designated area of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. My wife and I served a Church Hosting mission at the JSMB several years ago, and were aware of an area on the east side of the top floor of the building that was reserved for regular general authority meetings and was off limits to our tours. Perhaps they’ll utilize that space, or maybe they’ll meet in some other area of the building.
  12. At times in my past I was lax in my obedience to the law of tithing. I would not say that I suffered any misfortune as a result, but I did feel a consequence: feeling dishonest before the Lord and ungrateful. I feel much better about myself and my relationship to the Lord when I am faithful in this respect.
  13. The two great LDS biographers of the life of Christ, James E Talmage and Bruce R McConkie, both assert that in addition to the enormous physical and psychological sufferings attendant to crucifixion, Christ’s sufferings in Gethsemane recurred during the three hours of darkness while he hung in agony on the cross. If true, this means that while in Gethsemane Christ had to deal with infinite and eternal spiritual suffering, but while on the cross he had to endure that same infinite and eternal spiritual agony while simultaneously being cruelly physically tortured by crucifixion and emotionally tormented by his gathered mercilous enemies. And more recently, Jeffrey R Hunter also testified that he believes Christ’s greatest trial and suffering occurred while on the cross in his General Conference address, ‘None Were with Him.’ i believe part of the reason why many in the Church have emphasized Christ’s sufferings in Getsemane, over his sufferings on the cross, is because they were looking for a way to rationalize why the symbolism of the cross is not outwardly emphasized in the Church as a symbol of Chrit’s atonement. But for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, it’s plainly obvious that the Church does place extreme importance on the symbolism of Christ’s sufferings on the cross in the higher and more sacred ordinances of salvation found in the temple. In fact, though most members of the Church don’t seem to realize it, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints places more symbolic importance and salvative efficacy on the symbolism of Christ’s crucifixion than does any other Christian church. For those with eyes to see, t’s clear that the reason why crosses don’t adorn the spires of the temples is not because the symbolism of the cross is less important but because it is too sacred. The symbolism of the crucified Christ is encountered within the temples, not outside of the temples.
  14. Well, that would be apt, except for the fact that under Marxism, as practiced, all property, including labor, belongs to the State. I remember hearing the proverb under Communism in the Soviet Union: "They pretend to pay us; we pretend to work." Marx was a lying fatherless piece of excrement. If he isn't roasting in the fires of hell right this minute it's only because hell doesn't exist. His "philosophy" led to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people, by proxy. Mass murderers like Genghis Khan deserve more consideration -- at least they committed their murders while facing their victims.
  15. Yes. I agree with you. But I also appreciate the symbolism of the Temple as a beacon of light and righteousness—visible to anyone in the world with “eyes to see.”
  16. Tag-team match between the First Presidency and the three strongest members of the Twelve on WWE Monday Night Raw. (Hey, when you live alone, ya gotta be creative when it comes to planning "Family" Home Evening! )
  17. I know we've hashed this around before, but it's a fun subject, so... 🙂 Besides, I'm interested in your thoughts, as you've always seemed to be a thoughtful person whose contributions here I enjoy. Of course. This doesn't answer anything I raised, so is this to be understood as at least partial agreement to some of what I wrote? That sounds very community-spirited, Scott. But you either didn't read, or chose not to address the concepts I was proposing, because you don't answer them at all. As for fear of consequences, please don't tell me that the potential consequences never enter your mind. One has to be careful with taxation, because an innocent mistake or misunderstanding can land you in just as much hot water as intentional cheating. You are aware that a business is permitted to deduct expenses such as light and heat in the calculation of taxes owed, right? Yet the business cannot say that it hasn't received value for what it has paid, and these expenses directly benefit the life of the business. Why then is the business permitted to deduct these expenses? The business should be paying taxes on the gross, not the net, according to the logic you propose. I don't disagree with you, as to the necessity of taxation -- even if I say that taxation is theft. Some theft is perhaps necessary. Yet the pooling of resources with those of your fellow citizens is done as a community, and you have an effective voice in its administration at the local level. And by the way, I happily tithe the property taxes I pay to support the schools and local government. I actually approve of the federal government maintaining a standing military force to protect us from foreign enemies, and many other things that the federal government constitutionally does. And the state and local governments, too. We needn't discuss here the things those governments do which are extra-constitutional. My post that you were answering here actually pertained only to the federal income tax (and state income tax, if I were in a state that had it, which I'm not). Your response has intermixed that with local taxes. I'd really like to separate them, because to me they represent different classes of taxation. I've explained above about why I agree with part of what you're saying here. It's just the income tax I don't tithe on, because while I could sell my house and live in a tent on public land (such as the homeless tent city in my hometown) and thus avoid property taxes, I can't avoid income tax, except by not working. That's why I consider the income tax a "cost of doing business." In short, I CAN'T work unless I pay income tax -- at least I won't be able to keep it up for long, once the government has tracked me down. This is why I believe that tithing can legitimately and honestly be calculated on the net after income tax. If this were not so, then Saints who live in countries where the income tax rates go up to extremely high levels would actually be paying WAY over 10% of the income the government allows them to keep. Granted that most high-tax countries reserve their highest rates for those earning tons of money, and thus they should be able to survive on what's left over -- the principle is the test, in my opinion. What if the government decided that at your income level they could confiscate ALL of it -- unlikely, I know -- where would the tithing-on-the-gross be then? You can't tithe on what you can't have. I am pretty sure you will disagree with me. But do you at least understand where I am coming from? I do wonder about one thing. Do you believe taxpayers should pay taxes on their gross income, rather than their adjusted gross income? Or in other words, do you believe they should voluntarily eschew taking deductions? If not, why not? Wouldn't that better support our government and our community? Just because the government allows you take those deductions, it doesn't require that you do so. That's one of my gripes with the likes of Warren Buffet complaining that he's paying a smaller percentage of his income in income taxes than his employees are paying. Instead of complaining about it, why doesn't he just pay more than he's required to by stopping taking the deductions allowed to him! Why advocate the government take more from others when he himself appears to be unwilling to pay his self-assumed "fair share" voluntarily? Of course, I don't know if he does after all voluntarily take fewer deductions than he's entitled to. If he pays more in income tax than he's required to, that's fine, but he can jolly well stop advocating that others be taxed at higher rates. Maybe he should start a voluntary movement advocating the super-rich to forgo taking deductions. I'd support him in that. As long as it was voluntary.
  18. Heh. Reminds me of a funny story. My companion and I were tracting in the Encinitas CA area one day when my companion, walking a few steps ahead of me (evvvvvverybody walks a few steps ahead of me: I'm slooooowwwwwwww. ) ducked to miss a low-hanging tree branch ... but didn't quite make it. "Ow!" he said. "Thamn ding." I asked him, "What?" and he repeated, "Thamn ding." He did not realize what a gigantic cat he was letting out of the bag. I took what he, no doubt, intended to be an isolated, single instance of spoonerizing something and began using it regularly. Thereafter, we spoonerized everything from investigators' names (Joe Polanski became "Poe Jolanski") to days of the week (our Thursday night appointment was held on "nursday Thight," instead). One day in District Meeting, during training, our District Leader asked us a question. I don't remember what the question was, but, obviously, the correct answer (or, I'll say, the "more effective" answer, to use the missionary jargon then in vogue ) was, "Yes." Nobody said anything for several seconds, because we were all sitting there thinking, "Well, what else do we say, other than 'Yes'?" Finally, I said, "Yell, hes!" Fortunately, Elder Snow "covered" me by exclaiming, "Hes!" The Sisters, despite the fact that they were such Celestial Beings, really got a kick out of it when we explained what was going on.
  19. I'm the exact opposite. I love the immersiveness of multimedia. In other news, I officiated one of the endowment sessions this morning, and we had to set up an extra chair. Always love that!
  20. That’s a red herring which, of course, obscures the issue. If LDS are remiss in their general practice regarding the use of the cross for symbolic ornamentation or self-identity as Christians, are they therefore unchristian or less Christian than those who do? If not, then where’s the beef? Compare Google result for Why don’t Mormons use crosses with Why don’t Mormons hang stuff on their walls from Deseret Book. I’ve never heard of anyone LDS or non-LDS criticize, admonish, question, whatever, Church members who don’t hang up things from Deseret Book. I have, however, heard and read criticism of and been questioned about LDS lack of use of the cross as an sticking point of religious belief and practice. This thread contains some, even throwing shade on specific Church leaderss. By the same token, I would never question or condemn anyone - LDS or non-LDS- about their sincere use of a cross.
  21. Yes there is a television series that plays here in the UK, it is a comedy and upon observing fascist tendencies one man says "Funny how you get more right wing as you get older" I constantly battle with myself to stay in towards the center of politics. Also like you said it still takes a village to raise children.
  22. Not really. Since you reject the appeal to understand words in context as was explained,, there’s not much more to say. Having had numerous interactions with non-LDS Christians, I believe there is plenty of confusion to go around. We, usually end up with this very discussion about salvation. Even so, I remain quite confused about what they believe.... Once saved, whatis the plan of salvation, am I always saved, can one fall from grace, what is the role of baptism in salvation, do I have to accept all the Christian Creeds to be saved or just a few select ones, must I believe only the Bible in order to be saved, are only certain types of believers saved, what does resurrection mean, will all mankind be resurrected or just the saved, how will the saved spend eternity, what is Hell, what happens to people who never heard the gospel or the name of Jesus, are there people who are not capable of being saved, does God choose those he will save and damn all the rest, must one pray the sinner’s prayer to be saved, is saying a prayer a work, do I play any part at all in my own salvation, how does one know he is saved, does being saved give me license to sin some more, can I believe I am saved but not really be saved, how do others know I have been saved, etc.? After a number of good conversations with you, I get the feeling that your frustrations are centered around the simple fact that LDS beliefs are not the same as your beliefs and you wish we would change ours to be more compatible with yours so we can get along better. Is that accurate? For example, are you willing to consider that there may be varying degrees of reward (one size does not fit all) in the panoply of salvation? In your view, who is saved, how are they saved, do they have any responsibility for their salvation, and what are they saved from?
  23. Investigation into the cause is ongoing, but the initial report from officials is that they suspect an electrical fault, nothing suspicious.
  24. Unless of course you define them automatically as nonsense because you are a positivist, which is itself a position accepted on faith. That that is why it is a dead philosophy. It was pronounced dead by self-contradiction. But folks who don't understand that still believe it. It becomes their God. But that God is dead. Nietzsche pointed that out pretty well. It was the god of objective evidence that died, not the one of hermeneutics.
  25. That process is doomed to failure. the only evidence is that which is found in your heart. Either you see it or you don't. There is no objective evidence never will be never was. All of our theology tells you that. How you miss that as a mystery. You know kind of like maybe we come to Earth to walk by faith? Have you ever heard that one? Again you are a perfect example of positivism barking up the wrong tree.
  26. Yes, I am calmoriah, got lazy one night and shortened my name. I didn’t take it as cheek, thank you for understanding
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