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Hamba Tuhan

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Everything posted by Hamba Tuhan

  1. Continuing on the theme, using the wrong case of a pronoun is not an instance of misspelling ...
  2. Exactly! We had a man who got baptised in our ward about five years ago. He drank alcohol occasionally but consumed vast quantities of both tea and coffee and also smoked. After he was baptised, he did the sums and realised that by living the Word of Wisdom and paying tithing, he'd come out financially ahead. When I was studying in America, one of my classmates did the sums and realised he was paying nearly $6,000 p.a. just on takeaway coffee -- an amount equal to an entire semester's course fees. As I've often said -- and genuinely feel! -- every commandment is a gift.
  3. And I'm happy for you to believe whatever you wish, but in this case, doing so puts you at odds with every single prophet who has ever taught on this issue, from the Creation till now. It is. They're good people whose lives and very natures are being shaped by their faith in Christ. Many thanks! I certainly try. I'm grateful for the opportunities the Church gives us to seek to be of use!
  4. There is nothing perfect about my ward. About four years ago, we had a couple of fulltime Elders who told me they had made a mistake by inviting someone complicated to church. I asked them what was wrong with that. The senior companion said, 'Well, the bishop in my last ward asked us not to bring complicated people to church'. I laughed out loud. 'Elder', I asked, 'do you have any idea how many people we'd have in sacrament meeting each week if all the complicated people stayed home?' Blank stare. 'No one. Not one single person. We are a congregation full of complicated people. He'll fit right in'. And fit right in, he has. It took two years for him to qualify for baptism, but he finally got off all the drugs he'd been using for nearly three decades. The resultant brain damage, however, still throws up occasional complications. He's currently in the mental health ward and has been there for nearly a month as a result of persistent psychotic episodes. Our solution: we visit him several times during the week. Three of us got to be there with him as he faced a tribunal hearing to determine if he should be placed on a treatment order. The senior tribunal member said she'd never seen a psychiatric patient with so much 'community' support before. This man's response: he bore his testimony of the Church to the entire panel. But I can assure you that active, faithful members of my ward, most of whom I know well, fully embrace the Lord's teachings on the Plan of Salvation and the central role of the natural family.
  5. I can dispute it because that's actually what happens when people approach a topic from completely different interpretative frameworks. Erecting an unsolveable wedge between a child and its legal parents is what would be against a family. (I honestly don't know what a 'gay family' is, but I'm assuming you mean a family that includes same-sex parents?) No, but you certainly have brought this topic up repeatedly as proof of the Church's wrongness, and you know it. Again, please link to the data on this. Thanks!
  6. Simple: it's wrong for a Latter-day Saint to even think that her/his experience with the Spirit might be more reliable than anyone else's (though I don't actually believe that's even what we're dealing with when it's brought up), but it's fine for Mr Reel to assert boldly that his 'rationality' is somehow more reliable than ours.
  7. I don't know what Jim means by 'reliability', and I'm not certain you and I even mean the same thing when I used the word reliably. I take my definition from the Cambridge English dictionary: I find that the gospel works well and in the way that I expect it to based upon its truth claims. Here's an example of what I mean from an earlier post: And as an example of what I meant when I used the word consistently, here's another previous post:
  8. And I personally know no active member who is opposed to it. I suspect that says more about whom we both hang out with than it does about the supposed longevity of the policy.
  9. You've certainly mastered the art of attempting to control the narrative: 'this policy against gay families'. But no, I'm reasonably confident that most people outside the Church have literally zero interest in or opinion about the Church's family-honouring policy that you despise so much and endlessly bring up.
  10. Can you please provide a link to this data on what 'most people' think?
  11. Do you sincerely believe (a) that the Latter-day Saint ordinance of confirmation literally and in actuality confers the Gift of the Holy Ghost and (b) that this gift is unavailable to the same degree outside of this ordinance?
  12. It's not Church leaders or those who understand and support the policy who are seeing this as some kind of punishment. This spin is what is genuinely sad to me.
  13. I've intentionally waited a bit in order to increase the likelihood of preserving anonymity, but sometime in 2019 our stake received an unexpected visit from one of the presidents of the Seventy. It coincided with our stake conference, although we already had a member of the Seventy who had been assigned to preside (and who still attended). The senior authority told us when he arrived that it had been a last-minute assignment for him, so his portion of the adult session of conference was conducted entirely as a Q&A session. I groaned inside when he announced this, but then it turned out to be one of the highlights of his visit. I was so proud of our stake members for overwhelmingly asking really deep, meaningful questions. This was a perfect opportunity for hype if this Seventy has wanted to do so. He didn't. One brother, however, did ask what we could look forward to in April General Conference. The Elder gave a really honest answer. He said he had no idea but that he sits on a committee with some of the apostles and that what is being discussed sometimes takes his breath away. He said that discussions, however, don't equal revelation, and that everything is subject to that. He did mention that the Church is currently experimenting with online church services in some areas of the world where members are too few to congregate in person. I got the impression that they hold a sacrament service in the home and then hold a discussion using Come, Follow Me using something like Skype or Facetime. He then concluded with something intriguing. He said that Pres Nelson has said that we've been known for too long as a faith that builds churches. Going forward, we will be the faith that builds temples. Make of that what you will.
  14. I think this is key, as long as 'us' is everyone. In Latter-day Saint belief, the purpose of prophets is to bring ordinary men and women into the presence of God so that they can 'see and hear and know of these things for themselves'. I'm a personal witness that the heavens are still open. I don't need the prophets to tell me that secondhand.* ----- * Though it can be instructive when it happens. I quote here a post from 18 months ago:
  15. I'm not always on top of online American English; is that a good thing or a bad thing? If the latter, I apologise!
  16. It's bad specifically because it doesn't involve the Church capitulating on gay 'marriage', which is precisely what most critics of the Church's policy want. People who openly don't accept the unique validity of baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aren't really upset that some hypothetical child somewhere might be missing out on eternal blessings; they're upset because the release of the policy threw a spanner into their progressive fantasies that the Church is going to have to change its doctrines relating to sex and marriage.
  17. Mr Reel can certainly answer for himself, but elsewhere he seems to provide some explanation for the podcast persona he chose to adopt specifically for this occasion:
  18. Prophecy often doesn't make much sense until it's fulfilled, in my opinion. Why Bethlehem, for example? Why a donkey? Why three days? I wouldn't get too hung up on this being about your faith. I honestly don't see it that way. ETA: None of the apostles is framing it that way, either.
  19. Agreed, but the fact that he actually thinks the Church has a future will gall many who see their personal apostasy as symbolic of what's ahead.
  20. The Book of Mormon clearly identifies that the Bible, whilst the word of God, has lost some of its 'plain and precious truths'. That's part of why another testament is so important. Having said that, however, my goal has never been to sow doubt in the Bible. One can know that it comes from God and teaches truth despite any internal inconsistencies or other issues. That's what so many people I met as a missionary seemed not to get.
  21. I’m still awaiting the braying by the naysayers. They’ve been oddly silent so far.
  22. I get to 'confront Mormonism' literally every day of my life, no podcast needed. It is precisely what it claims to be -- reliably, consistently and predictably.
  23. In many cases, symbols important in Freemasonry have very clear ancient antecedents or parallels. One example comes from America's Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, where, according to the official website, 'the so-called "Square and Compass" emblem, which is carved from a sea shell, has aroused wide interest. It was found about 1925 in the eastern edge of the Casa Grande Village about four feet down in a trash mound of the red-on-buff period and the indications are that it was made by the ancient inhabitants about 1,800 years ago'. More clear are ancient Chinese analogues relating to the creation myths of Nüwa and Fuxi:
  24. Indeed: As a fulltime missionary, I didn't work with very many religious people (mostly the unchurched and the agnostic, though a few atheists), but when I did, I was really struck by how 'unspiritual' their faith seemed to be. I genuinely thought, for example, that other Christians would have had experiences with the Bible similar to the experiences that I'd had with the Book of Mormon. One very devout Lutheran couple invited my companion and me in one evening, and we started to talk. They immediately went on the attack with the Book of Mormon. I thought to ask them to explain to me how they knew the Bible was the word of God, it being my intention to suggest they use that same process (whatever it was) with the Book of Mormon. I genuinely didn't know what they would say, but I assumed it would involve God, coming to know Christ and the power of His Atonement, the Holy Ghost, answers to prayer, spiritual experiences, 'experimenting upon the word', or some combination of the above ... maybe even something I'd never thought of, in which case I could appropriate it, as Navidad suggests above! Instead, they started to discuss Biblical archaeology: how we know Jerusalem, for example, really existed because it's still there. I pointed out to them that that doesn't mean that the Bible stories that are said to have occurred in Jerusalem really happened anymore than the presence of Mt Olympus in Greece means that Zeus is real. So next they moved on to 'internal consistency'. I asked them what they meant by that. They said that prophecies in the Old Testament are fulfilled in the New. I noted that the Bible is actually full of inconsistencies, and that the fulfilment of prophecies depend upon imposing a Christian interpretation on the text that, though I agree with it, is not the only option. I then pointed out that the Lord of the Rings probably has better internal consistency than the Bible, including with 'prophecies'. I didn't mean to be argumentative, but I was genuinely stunned and felt that if I gently pushed just a little that they'd get around to telling me about the spiritual role the Bible played in their lives. Instead, my companion and I were shown the door.
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