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phaedrus ut

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Everything posted by phaedrus ut

  1. phaedrus ut

    Missionary work during the priesthood ban

    The pencil test was a well known test of African heritage. What I don't recall was the circumstance I remembered it used by missionaries. Phaedrus
  2. phaedrus ut

    Missionary work during the priesthood ban

    I seem to recall reading about a "pencil test" in the hair of Brazilian men. If you could stick a pencil in their curly hair and it stayed it was because of their "negro blood". If it fell out you could give them the missionary lessons. I couldn't find anything with a quick search so I may be thinking of a apocryphal story that I was told rather than read. Phaedrus
  3. phaedrus ut

    Adoption: Elation/Depression

    I know quite a few people over the years who have put children up for adoption or been adoptive parents themselves. In my experience the situation that has brought the most joy for everyone involved was where the adoptive parents and the child could maintain contact with the biological parent(s). I've seen this communication happen though an intermediary with cards and pictures exchanged a couple times a year or where the families stay connected with direct contact and even semi regular visits. These are complex situations with many types of emotions on all sides. I admire both sides for making loving and selfless decisions to hopefully raise a child in a good home. The 2018 movie Instant Family was a pretty good show about the adoption and foster system that gave this old softy a few tears. Phaerdrus
  4. If you look at the history of Utah politics you'll see that Mormons were predominately Democrats up until the late 60's early 70's. The two issues that seemed to push Mormons to the Republican party were first civil rights and then the ERA along with the rise of very conservative leaders like Ezra Taft Benson. There is a reasonable argument that the highest national political office ever held by a active Mormon was Harry Reid as the Senate Majority Leader. Phaedrus
  5. Dag nabbit. I clicked back a couple pages and even did a search and didn't find a duplicate.
  6. "A new two-page, handwritten note offers evidence of who ordained Able to the priesthood, the exact date of that ordination, as well as a variety of other tantalizing details. It is, in fact, a rush of new information about Able, his ancestry, a bit about his wife, Mary Ann, and mostly about his ritual relationship to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was found in the Joseph F. Smith papers and has been verified to have been written by Smith." Keepapitchinin, The Mormon History Blog offers more details on the discovery. http://www.keepapitchinin.org/2019/01/18/guest-post-newly-discovered-document-provides-dramatic-details-about-elijah-able-and-the-priesthood/ The basics are that Elijah Abel was ordained and Elder by Ambrose Palmer, on 25 January 1836, he received a ministerial certificate and license from Joseph Smith himself, he received his washings & anointings in the Kirtland Temple, and was later ordained a Seventy. The new documents also show Joseph F. Smith was dishonest in 1908 when he said that Joseph Smith declared Abel's ordination "null and void" when he was one of the few people who knew the exact opposite was true. Phaedrus
  7. phaedrus ut

    What is love?

    Baby don't hurt me........
  8. phaedrus ut

    Joseph Smith's Monogamy

    From what I understand the new Saints book does cover it more than has been done in the past. The Wheat and Tares blog has some coverage of the book and polygamy if you are interested. Phaedrus
  9. phaedrus ut

    Joseph Smith's Monogamy

    I remember seeing so many people arguing that Joseph Smith fought polygamy on these forums over the years. If that's what you wish to believe there is plenty of evidence you can use to defend your case. I had a conversation with one of my in laws., a former Bishop, this past summer and he had no idea that Joseph had multiple wives. I think the evidence shows that Joseph tried to keep his polygamy hidden and I think the Utah church continued that tradition for him. I've always considered the Temple Lot affidavits from his former wives to be the most convincing evidence not only of his polygamy. Malissa Lott gave a sworn statement in the Temple Lot case and was detailed enough to remember the room number in the Nauvoo Mansion where she and Joseph slept together as husband and wife. She later gave a the same testimony to Joseph Smith, III, gave a notarized statement to Joseph F. Smith and was interviewed late in life by church historian Andrew Jensen. All confirming she was his wife "in very deed" and they slept together as both husband and wife at the Nauvoo Mansion and at her fathers house. Phaedrus
  10. That is how it works. It's called the ideomotor effect. A fun way to test this effect is to suspend a key or something similar at the end of a length of string. Hold the string in your hand and try to move the key with your mind while keeping your hand & arm perfectly still. You'll find you can magically move the key and you'll swear your hand never moved. Water doesn't give off any magic energy and as CA Steve pointed out that Ouija boards stop working when the participants can't see the letters on the board. When dowsers are tested by James Randi in his challenged I think they are genuinely surprised when they fail the test. Phaedrus
  11. Fortunately for us dowsing has been well known for centuries and scientifically tested many many times. In fact The James Randi Foundation has tested many dowsers attempting to win his million dollar challenge. Belief in such devices is still so common and a British defense contractor was selling them for $60,000 to governments as bomb detectors. Luckily the company's devices were discredited and owners sent to jail. Sonar can be used to magically see deep into the earth and your phone can invisibly communicate with local cell phone towers and communicate back to you. Sticks, rocks, and strings are just inanimate objects without any any ability to discover items and communicate about the world around them. This is the reason why we don't have finely calibrated dowsing rods on the science rovers on Mars. Some people believe in the "gift of the rod/Aaron" but it's really just pseudoscience. Phaedrus
  12. The interesting question to me is whether or not someone can use a rock to find hidden treasure. If that isn't possible is the person selling their treasure seeking services merely self deluded or perpetuating a fraud? Phaedrus
  13. I childhood friend of mine works for the church as basically a business analyst. He mentioned that in the past few years the church in the United States is starting to see the declines in membership and activity that has been happening internationally for the past decade. Committees are being formed to address the biggest topics causing disaffection. This includes a general rebranding to seem more mainstream Christian, lessening time burdens of meetings, home teaching, and Sunday church blocks, and trying to make the church a better home for women and minorities. Losing the youth is still seen as the biggest problem in the church and the lower missionary age did not help as much as predicted. Inoculating the youth before they begin to have doubts is seen as a preventative measure. One other statistic he mentioned had changed is the benefits of building new temples. Historically when a new temple is being built they would see inactive members return to the church and the increased tithes would help justify the expense of the building. Now temples are seen as more of a international missionary opportunity. I think we should expect to see many more talks about doubts. Also you'll notice the new term is "anti-Church" and no longer "anti-Mormon". Phaedrus
  14. phaedrus ut

    History of the Satanic Panic

    That sounds like an amazingly positive environment. Did you have any specific methods to teach social skills and socialization that may have missed in a large school environment?
  15. phaedrus ut

    History of the Satanic Panic

    I recently had someone explain to me the hardest part for them going to a public university after being home schooled was understanding it was ok to disagree. Having been raised and taught everything by his parents the concept of dissent was foreign to him and something he had to learn. He told me he basically wrote a checklist of all his beliefs and questioned them all to try to make sure he only retained those he had personally chosen. The changes he made had his parents convinced he was being brain washed when really it was the opposite. Phaedrus
  16. phaedrus ut

    History of the Satanic Panic

    We had very conservative families in our last ward that home schooled their kids and constantly railed against Harry Potter and science education on public schools. Phaedrus
  17. phaedrus ut

    History of the Satanic Panic

    I remember all the warnings in the 80's about satanic rock music, playing cards, Ouija boards, & Dungeons and Dragons. Looking back it seems so silly but it was taken seriously for a while. Phaedrus
  18. phaedrus ut

    History of the Satanic Panic

    This subject always make me think of Jay's Journal.
  19. phaedrus ut

    Giving Machines

    And this is the problem with the lack of transparency. On the outside it looks like you raised a lot of money for emergency relief but didn't spend it. In the following years I recall news articles about the church working with local relief agencies and they did likely provide much more aid than the financial statements suggest. The hording of fast offerings is a bit more curious to me. I'm willing to go hungry so someone else doesn't have to and therefore I've always been under the impression that donations would be used to help the poor and needy in the present not to build up a long term fund. As I recall when I looked at 10 years of the UK financials only about 1/3 of the fast offerings collected were used in the average year and the restricted fund balance had grown quite large before being eventually sent to the hq in Salt Lake. Phaedrus
  20. phaedrus ut

    Giving Machines

    There have been some behaviors in charitable fund raising in the past done by the church that I have some serious questions about. I did some analysis of the public financial statement of the church in the UK and posted it here previously but I can only find one of the posts. Let me set the stage. On December 26, 2004 there was a tsunami in the Indian ocean that hit over a dozen countries and killed over 225,000 members. As calls for aide and donations went out there was a request for members to make their aide donations to the Humanitarian Aide Fund of the church because "100% of every dollar donated is used to help those in need". I verified with members I knew in the UK that they also received the same request. I had noticed in previous years only a small portion of the money collected for fast and humanitarian donations were ever used in a particular year and the funds saw continued increases in their unused balance each year. So after the 2005 financial statements were published we had the opportunity to analyze donations and expenditures. Here is what I posted back then. It's been a few years since I've looked but I believe the policy now is to sweep the unused balances of these "restricted" funds and send the money back to the church headquarters. Phaedrus
  21. The article does mention The Bishop is using his knowledge obtained through sexual interview questions to manipulate the youth into situations like this. This is how predatory grooming works. It's too bad these isn't a grass roots organization advocating to protect LDS children. Phaedrus
  22. David was always one of my favorite participants on these forums and he is being interviewed by John Dehiln right now. This has been one of the best Mormon Stories interviews I've watched. I highly encourage everyone to watch this episode. Phaedrus
  23. phaedrus ut

    David Bokovoy on Mormon Stories

    I'm not a believer and I'd say that David still is yet I found it interesting. He speaks highly of the church and I don't believe it is at all threatening to believers. Topics like politics or religion are so emotionally charged it's easy to retreat into your own echo chamber. I do it all the time. But I've found when I step outside my comfort zone and truly listen to opposing ideas I found find people making thoughtful well reasoned arguments that shouldn't just be dismissed because of a bias I have. It's one of the reasons why I participate here because I enjoy the subject of Mormonism and I like considered opinions on all sides. Phaedrus
  24. phaedrus ut

    David Bokovoy on Mormon Stories

    Great they can watch the 3 hour video which is also easily available. If you care enough to be critical of someone and post about it in a forum you probably shouldn't do so from complete ignorance of the interview. Phaedrus
  25. phaedrus ut

    David Bokovoy on Mormon Stories

    It's strange that the strongest opinions in this thread seem to have come from those who didn't watch or listen to the interview. I'd hate to be so rigid in my thinking that I'm afraid to listen to someone else's experience. Phaedrus
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