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  2. I could have pretty much written the same letter. The only difference for me is that I knew I would have to come out for a very long time. I was just waiting for my children to no longer be living at home. I like being a dad, and didn't want to be a weekend dad. This is something that I don't think others really can understand. When you feel like you are being dishonest, even lying, about who you are, it stunts your relationship with God. It makes accepting any kind of love impossible. "Would they still love me if they knew I was gay?" The only way to get past that is to be honest with those that you love, no matter how painful you know it will be for you and for everyone. When I came out, I lost just about every friend and family member. Of all those friends I had in my ward and stake, only 2 every contacted me again. My wife never lost faith in me. My children struggled, but soon understood that I loved them and they loved me. Most of my family didn't have anything to do with me for 13 years. I never once regretted for a single moment the decision to finally be truthful in my life. And part of not regretting that decision is how closely that decision has brought me to the Savior. I can't tell you how much deeper my relationship is with Him. This roadblock that kept me from feeling even His love was now taken down. The guy is 64 years old. Those that think this is just about having an affair as being his motivation speak in total ignorance. Judge him all you want. Condemn him for a decision you simply don't understand. It really won't matter one bit for him. He knows what he is doing. And he is willing to pay the price to finally be at peace with God.
  3. Today
  4. People leave because they no long believe the prophet speaks for God. Everything you listed relates to that. 60 thousand left because they did not believe the November "revelation" came from God despite the assurance of President Nelson that it did. Probably just as many left when that "revelation" was dismissed for the very same reasons. It confirmed what many believed in November.
  5. And create pain and hurt in their wake? I hope not. I was an adolescent when my dad experienced the epiphany that a calling was not needed for him to experience the love of God. The pressure and thus desire to serve in an important calling caused him significant pain, and he was much happier when he abandoned the expectation. He's served as bishop several times since, and I think not seeking that authority made him a better bishop for the wards he served.
  6. There's no need for a conspiracy for a patriarchy to systemically shut out the voice of Heavenly Mother. It can be as natural and unintentional as English speakers shutting out other languages they do not speak. But, people can get around that natural flaw by trying to communicate with those who do not speak their language. And they include participation of those people by not requiring them to speak the same language. Then they will be more likely to understand and hear the voices and concerns of those who they cannot see by listening to others who have seen them. Similarly, by not excluding women because they're women, we just may be more likely to hear the voice of the Divine Mother.
  7. Go back to your last reply, remove the premise that you know what I'm thinking, please, then I may have something to address!
  8. I think you passed the crazy cat lady long ago. Edit to add: I see that Calm saw the irony of your question before me. I don't want to pile it on. We love your cat lady quirkiness 😁
  9. Oh I don't disagree with this one bit. And I would think it wise for the church to advise against vaping. I just don't think it should be tied to a commandment. Does everything have to be a commandment before they are taken seriously. If that is true, then that is another big issue that needs to be addressed. I can agree with most of what you are saying. And I think the key question you ask is do your attempts to keep those commandments lead you to the Savior. When attempts to keep the commandments and we fail, does that always bring us closer to the Savior? If a person has a smoking addiction, do they feel so guilty over that one issue that it keeps them from attending church? Does it make them feel separated and unworthy to approach God "once again" about their addiction? Does a youth feel like they can't participate in the sacrament because they have a tattoo or because they vaped? I know a woman who as a teenager had a CTR tattooed on her ankle. It was before the church came out against tattoos. I always wondered how she handled that. Did every time she looked at it make her feel guilty? Did others judge her as being unworthy? Did that tattoo bring her closer to Christ or make her feel like she couldn't approach Him?
  10. In order to comment, I would need to see a reference for keys of resurrection. I would guess they are included in the keys that have already been given. I don’t agree the list of keys I provided is short sighted. It includes those of the pre-mortal existence and every dispensation of the gospel. We say that there is only one man on earth who holds all priesthood keys. If there are more, they would probably be given in the same way...conferred by Jesus and his authorized representatives by the laying on of hands. Id this what you are looking for?
  11. No, I clearly understood what you meant. And I understand the concept of some arbitrary rule just to test obedience to God. I think a lot of the Jewish laws that creeped in was probably thought about in a similar way. I guess I have a different view of what God wants us to accomplish on this earth. He doesn't need obedience for obedience sake. He needs us to change our hearts. To have charity. To think outside ourselves. We have plenty of commandments to test our obedience to God without inventing artificial ones. As far as the changes on the WoW in the 20's and 30's, I think it is strictly a decision made during the frenzy of prohibition. It was a different time across the country with dry counties and dry states, and eventually a dry nation. Claiming revelation from God has it's pluses and minuses. It gives authority to Church policy, but it makes it difficult to change Church policy when the policy no longer works or looses its value. How do you tell everyone that the commandment is no longer a commandment when the Church placed such incredible emphasis on it. I think it is pretty clear that in this day and age, if you were going to come up with a health law, coffee and tea would probably not be listed. And I agree with you. I think originally hot drinks were what was advised against. That too was a product of the times. Many people in that time period thought it was healthy to only drink room temperature beverages. If refrigerators had been invented by then, there would probably have been a prohibition against drinking cold beverages as well.
  12. They preside by delegation. When the stake president is not in attendance, the first counselor presides under the authority of the president who holds the keys. Same for bishoprics. Counselors are not given keys when they are set apart. They have this privilege as members of the presidency. A high councilman cannot preside. The EQP has the keys of presidency only over his Quorum, but because of this he can preside in a sacrament meeting.
  13. Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed response. I don’t have time to respond to every comment, but it seems to me you want each mention of keys being given to also state that an ordination was also required. I think that issue is moot because in all cases the person receiving keys was already or in the process of being ordained to a position of presidency. It is strongly (if not definitively) implied that Priesthood keys cannot be held by unordained brothers or sisters, nor given by someone who does not possess them. Saying “It doesn't say that they had to be ordained to get them and it doesn't say that all who get keys must be ordained. It doesn't say anything about the connection of the ordination with the keys” is missing the forest for the trees. I don’t think that is a valid concern. It seems self-evident to me. I don’t know of any examples when keys were given to unordaned men. Maybe there are some? The pattern I see is that in all dispensations Brethren with positions to which they have been ordained (see Alma 13) are given keys for both specific and general functions. This is most obvious with Joseph Smith and the Restoration of keys by the ancient prophets who held them. All aspects of the Restoration - ordinances in and out of the temple, duties and functions of salvation, ordinations, the right to Presidency, etc. - are controlled by the keys that were given to him as an ordained Aaronic priest (by John the Baptist) and as an elder, apostle, and prophet of the Melchizedek Priesthood (ordained by Peter, James, and John) and by many other ancient prophets. The strongest evidence for this is the modern practice of conferring keys when and only when one is ordained to specific presiding callings and the retraction of those same keys when a release is given. Apostles pass keys down to other levels of leaders by ordination. Fathers and mothers do not have keys. The Great Apostasy was the result of losing the Priesthood keys because of the deaths of the original apostles who held them by ordination and passed by them to others. When they were gone, so were the keys of authority. Returning keys to the earth was the primary purpose of the Restoration. The Church cannot function beyond one generation unless it has continually ordained apostles who hold the keys of Presidency. Keys are given at the time of their ordination, just as they are to a stake president, a bishop, an Elders Quorum president, a mission or temple president, a deacons or a teachers Quorum president. The keys are the right to preside in Priesthood functions. Presidents of auxiliary organizations do not require keys because they are not Priesthood callings, so none are conferred on them . On the death of the prophet (the only man who holds all the keys on earth), they pass collectively into the Quorum of the Twelve. The senior apostle is then ordained President of the Church and all the keys now reside in him by ordination. I think this system is the great genius of the administration of God’s kingdom on earth.. To me the answer is crystal clear. Ordination to the Priesthood and conferred of keys where necessary are inseparable. I hope you find the answers you seek. I am glad I could do something small to help along the way.
  14. I plainly said that if it works for you, stick with it. I'm not interested in messing with your worldview.
  15. You are mistaken. The third quote was from Oaks, the second quote is from the official Church website and represents the shift noted in the news article. Your comments on Oaks are thus irrelevant. All beings in the universe (including God) are subject to natural law. God has an advantage over us in that He at least understands natural law so well that it is at His beck and call. We humans are not so fortunate, though we may someday understand it and interact with it in the celestial kingdom. "Charity" is really love (agape), and David O. McKay used to like to say "Love suffereth long and is kind" (1 Cor 13:4). Then he would repeat it for effect. I explain "after all we can do" (which you don't get) in my “Book of Mormon Theologies: A Thumbnail Sketch,” lecture delivered at the September 2012 annual meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology (SMPT), at Utah State University, Logan, Utah, online at https://www.scribd.com/doc/251781864/BOOK-OF-MORMON-THEOLOGIES-A-THUMBNAIL-SKETCH .
  16. Mill Creek Publishing...not much info on their website. Here is the description of services: ”Mill Creek Publishing offers a variety of services including editing, cover design, formatting, pricing consulting, marketing and distribution.”
  17. Several transcripts are already up. Iirc, the video for Elder Christensen is permanent.
  18. I bought the streaming video but so far have not reviewed the videos Hopefully this weekend.....
  19. Of course not, but he may have started considering what his relationship with the Church was, started questioning it, and then doubting and now doesn’t believe or doesn’t think it is worth the effort in the future. No need to assume an affair even if he has decided that after the divorce he sees no reason not to have a romantic SS relationship. And it comes across as gossip.
  20. I agree. I'm okay with the church teaching kids to avoid these harmful substances and habits. I just don't think we should be inserting them into the Lord's revealed word and pretending that this is part of His Word of Wisdom without His express revelation to so indicate. For me, it weakens true revelation for us to take an existing revelation and add our own words, beliefs, and philosophies and claim that the Lord "clearly" meant them to be there.
  21. You have inferred that from what I've said, but that is not what I said or meant.
  22. First you said that the WoW is evolving and that God could add to it but has chosen not to. Then you said that though God didn't change the text, the clarified it through his prophets. How do we know? You explained that we know God clarified it because the prophet changed it. So I am gathering that each time you used "changed" you didn't really mean to use that, you meant "clarified". So the apostles were involved in the decision to clarify the WoW and they sought the counsel of the Lord. Are you suggesting that they then had these clarifications revealed to them and so they decided to publish them anonymously in the New Era? So I take it you are not able to provide any support to your claim that the apostles received these recent clarifications from the Lord?
  23. No difference whatsoever. Even we almighty men receive the "keys" from an authority who is "higher" than us in the pecking order. The only practical difference as I see it is that RS YW and Primary presidents must get approval from the bishop whereas the bishop needs no further approval from up the line. But guess what? The EQ president has to do the same also. No difference. And yet the EQ president is said to have "keys". But practically that fact that the bishop heads the ward exists for two reasons: 1- Because he also has the ability to do personal interviews, he might know who is unworthy to be called whereas others will not know. 2- He knows the needs of other organizations and may judge perhaps that the YW president should become the RS president or otherwise, and of course this applies as well to priesthood callings. But practically to me there is no magic in "keys", the authority simply resides on the level of an organizational chart showing who answers to whom, which everyone (supposedly) accepts and sustains and acts as if doing so is proper. It has no relation to being female or male per se because the same authority chart applies to the EQ President for example being "subservient" to the bishop, the EQ counselors are picked by the EQ president because that is the way the chart is written. It's not really about "patriarchy" as much as it is simply the way things are done which has been the accepted norm. But the hierarchy exists as much for men as it does for women, except at the level of bishop and stake president etc. There must just be one leader to avoid confusion, but "lower" than the top leadership, within the organization, or other unit, like the Stake or Ward, or even the Q of 12- everyone actually gets their authority in the same way- by being "Called of God as was Aaron" by someone up the chart from them, presumably by revelation.
  24. I am specifically only concerned about kids whose brains aren’t fully formed Yet so need different treatment than adults imo. This was published in the New Era, obviously the concern was targeted towards kids, not adults You said we should trust the parents to teach the kids to avoid it. That is not working for many. Vaping can be dangerous for kids, especially since it can lead to smoking. Certainly we don’t need every unhealthy thing on the no list, but a commonly misused one by kids who haven’t yet formed the thought processes well enough to make wise decisions about their long term health? Not seeing the harm of helping parents out with kids who need extra or giving kids caring and support if they have crap parents who don’t care enough themselves
  25. If I ever call them fur babies I want someone to euthanize me as soon as possible. You will be doing me a favor. It is kinder that way. Not so much changed as clarified to cover new situations but yes, the apostles were involved in the decision and sought the counsel of the Lord. As to your CFR here is a video of the prophet signing off on the new interpretation from a news site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfr64zoBTAQ
  26. You are certainly being kind and generous. I need to learn from your example.
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