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rongo

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About rongo

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    Brings Forth Plants
  • Birthday 07/19/1975

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    Baseball, basketball, football (especially college); LDS Church history; the Gospel; reading

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  1. I don't think the two are mutually-exclusive. That is, one serving in a calling with hear and soul doesn't have to, or shouldn't mean, that they don't want the ward to succeed. Or, even that they aren't part of the larger vision of the ward. And even if one strives to "survey large fields, while cultivating smaller plots" (my first mission president's analogy), I still can't see someone actually seeing herself as member of the ward council first, and president of her auxiliary second. No matter how amazing you or the WC is. I get what you are saying, though. And, I have been mulling this counsel over.
  2. Back on track . . . One item I disagreed with was the a) possibility, and b) desirability of this: If you are young women's president or a primary president or an elder's quorum president or a Relief Society president, I don't think that you *can* consider yourself first and foremost a member of the ward council, and only secondarily president of your organization. No matter how amazing your ward council is. I don't think it would be ideal, even if you could. When you are that president, that organization is what you preside over.
  3. But wait! I thought that becoming more theological liberal --- especially with women ordination and gay marriage --- would result in our church thriving and expanding. CoC is often held out as an exemplar for us. Do you mean to tell me that the Church could go into financial free fall (and membership free fall) if it "went CoC?" I'm shocked! Shocked, I say!
  4. CNN article on Mormon dating issues

    *This* is the great tragedy of steady dating among LDS teens. I see it as a bishop, a parent, and as a high school teacher. The vast majority of LDS teens who date, pair off (contra Church counsel). The problem isn't as much that they get into trouble, it's that their relationships to their friends change. They become like quasi-married couples, and they aren't fun to their friends any more. They have more drama when the break-ups happen, and they go into a depressed funk. And, since they've been with one person for so long, their skills at interacting with different dating partners is stunted --- especially since they are accustomed to the steady relationship. I tell all youth (member and non-member) to enjoy their childhood and youth. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up and be adults (in this aspect)!
  5. All things being equal, people should be taken at face value. All things are not equal with the Savannah incident. There is clearly an agenda, and there is an aftermath. This was planned and done in a sacrament meeting (I know, I know --- the friends had just come to record it so Savannah could share it with her LGBT club). I don't think it's unChristian to be skeptical of motives and "aw, shucks" posturing here. The text of Savannah's written text alone makes me suspicious. But, as we've both acknowledged, people will pretty much segregate themselves along "party lines" according to their pre-existing biases.
  6. I don't think anyone can actually speak to what the facts are. We all carry our assumptions into this. A) What Savannah and her parents say should be given full face value. The parents tried to stop her from doing it. They only reluctantly helped her with the wording after it became clear that she was going to do it. They didn't want it recorded, and had no control over friends recording and distributing it. B) This was a planned thing, with the parents full support and participation. Neither of us (not you, not I) can actually demonstrate which of these is actually the truth, based on the news accounts and interviews. For the sake of argument, there would be a vested interest in portraying things a certain way in the media, akin to a basketball player "selling" a charge and not wanting to be called for a blocking foul. While I concede that it is possible that the parents' and Savannah's version of events are, in fact, completely factual, do you likewise concede that they might be spinning things, and even being untruthful, in order to inflict maximum PR damage and gain maximum PR advantage? Ultimately, the issue becomes a mirror of our own biases and inclinations.
  7. It's not revelatory change that is the problem, per se. It's when disavowal (or sometimes ignoring) of past teachings comes into play. That doesn't make anyone comfortable.
  8. CNN article on Mormon dating issues

    I think the three hardest things for people not otherwise inclined to apostasy are: single adulthood, inability to have children, and divorce. When people I know have lost their testimony after having always been strong, one of these has almost always been a factor --- arguably *the* factor. Your phrase "barely hanging on" brought this to mind. Sometimes good people's grip slips, but they're trying to hold on. These three things are very difficult for Latter-day Saints, given our doctrinal and cultural emphasis on eternal family and children.
  9. CNN article on Mormon dating issues

    In another ward, one of my stalwart Laurels asked me earnestly if it would be wrong to marry outside the Church. She and her two sisters were living with a non-member guardian. Both parents were excommunicated, and her mother is in prison for life for serial murder (a series of babies over a decade while babysitting). Given this horrible background, it is amazing that she was in as good a shape as she was. I told her that there is really only one answer I can give as a bishop, and she knew what that was (you marry who you date; if you marry outside the church, you have no promise and cannot guarantee that your husband will join, etc.). She was dating a non-member pretty seriously (both she and he were students of mine). I told her, that said, she should marry a man whom she loves and who treats her right and loves her and who is a good man. I told her that marrying a good non-member would be better than marrying a bad member, but --- good, better, best. Best would be marrying a good member. Turns out, she is sealed in the temple (thankfully). Given how many duds we are producing among the young men (and there are some duds among the young women, too), this is not cut-and-dried and not all that easy of a question or problem to solve. Especially looking forward.
  10. This is what I love about the Church, and wish our current correlation culture wasn't so restrictive about. Elder McConkie teaches one thing strongly. Another Seventy disagrees and gives another perspective. We all can weight both and decide where we, personally, come down on these things that are not the core of the gospel. Our last stake president had a firm testimony of fasting. You could feel it in him. Like the sons of Helaman on their mothers, you knew that he knew. If you were struggling with things, he invited you to fast fervently for it. Not like a desert ascetic, but a couple of times a week as you worked on your problem. I add to this using the prayer circle at the temple. In context of this conference, Matthew 11 was mentioned (Why could not we cast him out? Ye did not believe; howbeit this kind goeth not out by by much fasting and prayer), along with the focused desires of the sons of Mosiah (Alma 17). I think that for people working on grave problems, maybe they aren't tapping into this source of power enough, and once a month may not be enough for them. Especially how we usually go about our monthly fast, as he pointed out . . . But, that is a personal choice. Like Avatar said, food for thought (pun intended).
  11. The apostasy was the parents, in my view. The girl was a tool. I mean, they filmed it for viral distribution, for crying out loud! She read a prepared statement that clearly was not written by her. F&T meeting is not the venue for manifestos ---- least of all when using a child for viral sympathy and attack points.
  12. Both general authorities quoted extensively from the Book of Mormon during the four hour meeting (it was broken up by a cookie/brownie/peanut M&M/ice water break). On the order of 50+ BoM scriptures, with D&C to a lesser, but still significant, extent. They were clearly modeling without pointing out using the BoM and D&C to answer questions, teach doctrine, and exhort, without calling explicit attention to it. In the course of this, he spent some time talking about translation method (I don't remember the specific context or drift of discussion). It seemed clear to me that bringing it up and exposing us to it with more than a passing mention was intended, and it sounds like this is happening elsewhere (cf. bluebell's last stake conference). As it was emphasized that these meetings are supposed to be pretty uniform, then this should be emphasized elsewhere. Although I don't believe tight translation/reading words to dictate, it didn't bother me at all that this was his explanation. I like hearing people confidently discuss their views, and think that we are too diplomatic in setting the table with "this is just my view, but we really don't know." That's a given with a lot of these things ---- in spades for translation method. That's why I like the old stuff, all of which would be heavily and carefully correlated away. We get the rich stuff when people share the "Mormonism that is inside them" (Brigham Young's phrase), and it's actually not a problem when it is sometimes contradictory or controversial. Especially with the open questions.
  13. No, that wasn't specifically mentioned. It's a tough scenario, when it happens.
  14. He said that at this point, she is doing much better. It also wasn't that the primary program was a magical silver bullet. It was a link in the chain of healing salve. I equated it to myself with a powerful spiritual experience I had a year ago while looking through paperwork for the ward financial audit. Not usually looked at as an inspiring event . . . It's not the anchor of my testimony, but but it happened, and is one of the few times in my life where I had a powerful experience at once. I can see, given what she had been going through, the primary singing and teaching simple truths being a catalyst for needed testifying by the Spirit.
  15. The elder handled it much, much better than some of you are assuming, or than my brief representation seemed. He had a long talk with his daughter about her concerns, and while it wasn't fully resolved after that (that happened, for her, in the primary program when she had a strong witness). He also didn't throw the bishop under the bus. Not at all! The takeaway was for leaders not to give a shaky foundation when helping people with doubts. This included when empathizing. I agree with him that one must be careful in this, because sometimes how we do this does more harm (or at least doesn't help at all).
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