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Hamba Tuhan

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About Hamba Tuhan

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    Brings Forth Plants

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    an isle of the sea

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  1. The Demise of Scouting

    And this problem is solved the instant that we follow the Church's repeated instruction to let class presidencies actually function in their roles. If the Laurels want a certain activity, for example, all they need to do is plan it themselves.
  2. Mission calls and Monday nights

    I think concerns arise when we feel/suspect that something may not actually be harmless.
  3. I wish you could teach me some things! I'm good at both killing plants and eating them ... not so much at growing them.
  4. It certainly would have been an obstacle for many. I have a special fondness for our Black African brothers and sisters who, pre-1978, pressed ahead with the truth when they found it.
  5. I don't understand your entire request. I don't have a video. Like the practice of plural marriage, I don't think one can put this policy in any kind of tidy nutshell. And I think the only pre-1978 Black Africans who were ordained are those mentioned in the Church's gospel topic entry.
  6. I suspect the answer he was seeking to elicit was 'Because it's true'.
  7. What exactly is 'a skin of blackness'? If the Book of Mormon is a genuinely ancient text, it is necessary to consider that question without applying a current interpretation. For example, as recently as the 16th century, Europeans in what is now northeastern Indonesia described the people of New Guinea as being variously white or black, depending on how far from the coast they lived. And the King of Banda had, according to the Jesuits, a white skin, in contrast to the black skins of his people. So again, what exactly is 'a skin of blackness' if we go even further back in time? And where exactly in the verse you quoted does it identify this 'skin of blackness' as a sign of cursing. The simplest reading is that it was a marker of undesirability. And how exactly did 'racial' divisions work in the Book of Mormon as a whole. What exactly happened to Lamanites who converted? And what happened to Nephites who dissented? Hint: if Nephites could become Lamanites simply by dissenting, then we are not dealing with a people whose conceptions of difference were rooted in any kind of biological determinism, including (but not limited to) actual skin pigmentation. And how many times were the Nephites told by prophets that their hatred of the Lamanites was a sin? I honestly don't know how to respond to people who see the text of the Book of Mormon as inherently racist when the text so thoroughly deconstructs notions of race and difference from beginning to end.
  8. I think one of the obvious consequences was to restrict where the Church proselyted and therefore where it established footholds and grew for the decades the policy was in place. Would you agree that it overwhelmingly kept us out of Africa? And at the same time, it limited the Church's presence in the 'inner city' of many American metropolitan areas. Does the Lord ever have purposes in slowing or limiting the growth of His church in any way? In the email that I mentioned earlier, Pres Packer was reported as having referred to Jacob 5 as one of the purposes He felt the Lord had had for keeping the Church out of Africa for so long. Earlier you mentioned the impossibility of implementing race-based policies because the 'mechanics' break down. You're absolutely correct. And having a personal opportunity to learn that lesson is priceless. To take just one example, what do you think Church leaders, full-time missionaries who served there, and others learnt about race as a 'biological' construct as they laboured in Brazil? I think my personal hatred for dividing people into 'races' stems from my little boy days in the Church when I learnt that my favourite Sunday school teacher couldn't be married to her husband in the temple. (He was eligible for temple blessings at the time, but she wasn't.) I know there are still some pockets of racism in the Church. I had the opportunity some years ago to be in the SLC Temple for the endowment/sealing of some of my West Indian friends, and I overheard one of the workers say something terrible about a 'bunch of darkies' on their way down to the change room. I had literally never heard anyone in the Church talk like that before, and it was like a kick to the gut. I actually wanted to take my friends and go to another temple. I certainly didn't want the brother who spoke like that to have any part in performing sacred ordinances for people I love dearly. It was painful. But in retrospect, the incongruity of that with all my other experiences in the Church, past and present, underscores how thoroughly we seem to have learnt our lessons about 'race'. I have two housemates. All three of us are different races. Where I live that's still an odd situation ... except in the Church. Some years back, one of my Church brothers and I had a regular monthly temple trip together. On one of our visits, I introduced him to my favourite Chinese hole-in-the-wall, where I had been eating for many years. On our first night, the woman who owned the place said, 'Oh, you have brought one of your friends'. I replied, 'He's not my friend; he's my brother'. She looked at him, and then at me, back at him, and again at me ... and walked away shaking her head. We actually laughed at loud. My dear brother said, 'She doesn't get it'. And she didn't. Based on our appearances, she understood that we could be friends, but she just couldn't see how we could be brothers. And that's an important distinction. When I worked in the West Indies, there was literally a single space anywhere on the island where all races mingled freely. Churches were segregated by colour. I taught at a school where students self-segregated at lunchtime. But in our little branch chapel, black, brown and white mixed so thoroughly that it took me weeks to figure out which children belonged to whom. Some of our Christian brothers talk about the impossibility of fully keeping the Law of Moses as one of its most instructional purposes. I don't think they're wrong, and I personally see the Church's race-based policy as serving a similar educative function. I have more, but that's a start. And I've certainly been influenced by my current West African housemate and also a previous one, both of whom are adult converts to the Church, one baptised in Africa, and one here.
  9. That is the question, isn't it? Plural marriage in the Church has a significantly clearer genealogy, though it's still complicated. More than a century after the Manifesto, do we all agree what its purposes were? For what it may be worth, I shared something in an Institute class in America once. The instructor then asked me to stay after. In his office, he let me read an email that his CES mate had just sent him. A stake president, the friend had just had Pres Boyd K. Packer as the visiting authority at his stake conference. Pres Packer had earlier returned from doing some stake organisations in West Africa, and he had told the leadership of the stake that he was just beginning to understand the Lord's purposes for the priesthood ban. Maybe the first place to start in all this, in light of Pres Packer's words (which are of course hearsay in the legal sense), is to ask if we are even capable of entertaining the possibility that the Lord really has been in charge of His Church in this area? Unless or until the answer to that question is yes, discussing possible purposes is pointless.
  10. Why not? If the document is authentic, it provides a beautiful eyewitness account. It also reminds us that -- as our scriptures themselves suggest -- revelation often doesn't come spoken in words that can be written down ... contra a number of board members who constantly argue that lack of publicly disseminated, dictated revelations is evidence that God isn't speaking to our current prophets.
  11. I don't think that your over-interpretation of a single verse qualifies as explicitness.
  12. That's a deal-breaker for me. I once had one of my Russian friends ask about moving into my house. He then warned me that he sleeps with the window open, even in the wintertime. Nope!
  13. No, they don't and never could make sense from that perspective. Race is a purely social construct, and defining race by quantity of melanin is demonstrably recent. If the priesthood restrictions therefore 'did' anything, we should be looking in the realm of social constructions, nowhere else. Laws against 'miscegenation' are necessary in racially divided societies specifically because a single 'mixed-race' marriage that produces children is the death note of any workable 'science' of race. ETA: The 'mechanics' of widespread plural marriage likewise quickly break down. I suspect one has much to tell us about the other.
  14. I disagree. I also really like the document, purportedly written by Elder Bruce R. McConkie, recently published by Mormon Leaks.
  15. Make of it? I just read the entire thing again. I find it balanced, well researched, and factually accurate. What am I supposed to be making of it?