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About mapman

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    Senior Member: Divides Heaven & Earth

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  1. mapman

    Missionaries and Discernment

    I've been thinking a bit more about this matter, and I just wanted to add that I don't think I really have a good understanding of how my personal spiritual experiences compare to someone's outside the church. I remember having a few spiritual experiences before my baptism when I was eight, but I don't remember well enough to say more than I remember receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost being an important stage in my life in feeling close to God and feeling that I could receive revelation to guide me in my life. I've read many accounts and heard people's stories, so I know that spiritual experiences are common to the human experience, but it is hard to know what someone else's experiences are like compared to my own. Perhaps some converts to the LDS Church here could share their experiences. I'm also curious if anyone knows where the idea that the Gift of the Holy Ghost means a right to a constant companionship comes from. I admit that I'm not familiar with the scriptures behind this doctrine. I'm aware that there are scriptures that talk about the idea that the Spirit can be your constant companion, but are there any that says that you can't have that unless you have the Gift of the Holy Ghost?
  2. mapman

    Missionaries and Discernment

    I was attempting to explain my understanding of what the doctrine of the LDS Church is. It's pretty clear in the Book of Mormon that after you get baptized by someone with authority and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost that the Spirit is supposed to be poured out more fully upon you. As far as I know that about sums up official doctrine on that matter. I would just add my personal opinion that people naturally come with varying levels of spirituality, and that receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost will elevate your gifts from what they would have been otherwise. I don't think that I'm particularly spiritually gifted, so for all I know you might have a closer relationship to the Holy Ghost than me. I don't think I can really compare two individuals in that way. Joseph Smith was certainly close to God and spiritually gifted naturally, as he communed with angels and received a significant portion of the Book of Mormon before he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Yet he also described how receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost opened his mind and increased his understanding.
  3. mapman

    Missionaries and Discernment

    I'll take a shot at answering your questions. I think for most of them there aren't any clear official teachings. Latter-day Saint theology can get kind of fuzzy in places and when it comes to other religions you can find both very positive and very negative statements by past Latter-day Saint leaders. 1. In the Book of Mormon Christ defines the "fullness of the Gospel" as: that we can achieve salvation through the Atonement as we (1) have faith in Jesus Christ, (2) repent, (3) are baptized by a person with authority from Christ, and (4) receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost from someone with authority from Christ. After that you have to endure to the end. What the Gospel means for Latter-day Saints is found in 3 Nephi 11 and 2 Nephi 32, as well as Articles of Faith 3 and 4. Sometimes Mormons will use it to more generally refer to teachings of the Church, but that I think is a mistaken or at least confusing usage. 2. "Saints" refers to Latter-day Saints (Mormons) or to "former-day" Saints, a.k.a. the early Christians, the faithful Israelites, and others that had the priesthood of God in past dispensations. I've never seen the distinction between literal and figurative dwelling of the Spirit talked about before, so I'm not really sure what they're talking about. The difference of experiencing the Spirit between Latter-day Saints and everyone else is a difference of degree not kind. 3. Probably some feel that way and others don't. You won't find any leaders saying something like that for the past century I don't think. Personally, I think that non-Mormon Christian baptisms are probably all a positive thing for people, or at least harmless. 4. You might have some kind of authority, but the official Latter-day Saint view would be that you do not have authority beyond this mortal life. 5. Absolutely. We believe that you take with you whatever progress you make here in this life into the next. The various levels of heaven are filled with good people who sought righteousness of all sorts of religions. According to some interpretations, people will be able to progress upwards in the afterlife even if you didn't try to sanctify yourself in this life. 6. There's no way that this is an official teaching. There is no official teaching ranking the value of different religions. My personal opinion would be that Christians have the great blessing of knowing about Christ and his teachings, and that certainly counts for something. I sense that you might not like the idea of being compared to Muslims or Hindus or pagans, but most every religion has much goodness and truth in them as well and no doubt their devout followers will be rewarded in heaven for their faith and good works.
  4. I might be misunderstanding, but I think they already have what you're talking about. An individual can have multiple sets of parents connected to them, and you can indicate whether the relationship is biological or adopted.
  5. mapman

    Pres. Oaks talk - Be One event

    I agree with you, but I can't think of anything else Pres. Oaks could have been referring to. I think it's pretty clear that Pres. Oaks' idea of an acceptable response to the priesthood ban is different than a lot of other people's. Thanks for the link, I hadn't heard about that before!
  6. mapman

    Pres. Oaks talk - Be One event

    I think he is likely referring to this part of Bruce R. McConkie's 18 August 1978 BYU devotional: "There are statements in our literature by the early Brethren which we have interpreted to mean that the Negroes would not receive the priesthood in mortality. I have said the same things, and people write me letters and say, “You said such and such, and how is it now that we do such and such?” And all I can say to that is that it is time disbelieving people repented and got in line and believed in a living, modern prophet. Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world. We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don’t matter any more." (https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/bruce-r-mcconkie_alike-unto-god-2/) Whether Elder McConkie's talk was effective in dispelling racist theories I think is debatable.
  7. You can read the first few chapters here to see what it will be like: https://history.lds.org/saints?lang=eng&cid=rdb_v_saints_eng. It's written in simple language, but I think it's pretty good. These first chapters talk about seer stones and treasure digging, for example, which will probably be new information for a lot of members.
  8. mapman

    Navigating college admissions

    In answer to your big question: I worked for BYU a while ago in admissions, so I'm familiar with how they do things (though I would recommend talking to them anyways because my info could be out of date). You can't get refunded the application fees for the BYU schools, though they are a one-time fee, so if you reapply in the future you don't have to pay it again. Accepting your admission doesn't involve paying any money, and you can always change your mind later. You don't get charged tuition until you actually sign up for classes, and if you were to drop the classes before the add/drop deadline (a week into the semester), you get a full refund on tuition. I think this is pretty similar to how most schools operate, but of course other colleges could do it differently. I'm not sure about housing deposits since I didn't work in that.
  9. I know this is supposed to be funny, but we need to be clear that Millennials aren't teenagers any more. Millennials are people born between early 1980s to the mid-90s. Most of them are adults with careers and a lot of them have started their own families. I enjoy video games, but I haven't actually played any in about a month because finals are coming up and I also have work. I've never played Call of Duty myself nor Pokemon Go. I have a friend that plays Pokemon Go regularly, but its not like its taking up a significant amount of his time. The dumb stereotypes and hilariously shallow understanding of what it is like to be a Millennial shown in this thread goes a long way to explain why Millennials have been abandoning their parents' churches.
  10. I think that most people still want to get married and have kids. I don't know all the reasons why people don't get married as soon, but I think its partly economic insecurity and a reaction to all the divorces in our parents' generation. I was trying to think about if I know someone my age (mid 20s) still living with their parents, but I couldn't think of anyone other than someone with mental health issues, so I don't know who all these people are and why exactly they are in that situation. I rent an apartment and I imagine will do that for a long while still. It is a lot easier to do that though when you are single because you have roommates who are also paying rent. I guess it's just a matter of it being cheaper to live with relatives so you get a chance to save up more money.
  11. The average age to get married in the mid-1700s was like 30.This was the generation that fought in the Revolutionary War and gave us all the freedoms we enjoy. Although people have a hard time imagining this, living like it's the 1950s isn't the answer for all times and places. Part of the reason that a lot of young Mormons have a hard time being a single member is because people equate being married with being competent and mature. Believe it or not single adults can be competent and mature and don't need to be treated like teenagers. I agree that having more people living with their parents can be problematic (I think its somewhere between a quarter and a third of millennials). Economic insecurity and the increasing difficulty for young people to be able to afford buying homes I'm sure has a lot to do with it. I don't think it is all people playing video games in their parents' basements.
  12. According to Wikipedia Millennials are usually understood to be people born from the early 1980s to mid 1990s. These are mostly people who already have careers or are in college working towards that, people who have to deal with the screwed up economic and political realities that older generations left for them. They may have less loyalty to corporations, but studies haven't shown any major differences in work ethic, just that Millennials tend to be more idealistic, more concerned with balancing work with the rest of their lives, more willing to get paid less to work in a field they are interested in, and do more volunteer work than previous generations. It's absolutely ridiculous that people can think that Millennials lives revolve around memes and video games. People are people. Each generation is biologically the same. People grow up in different circumstances, but someone born in 1100 or 1960 or 1990 is going to act basically the same. There have always been lazy people. If you look for them you will find them. New generations tend to be disillusioned with old institutions and way of doing things, and old people complain about it and think the world is ending. There is no new thing under the sun. Edit to add: If we are going to over-generalize anyways, lets remember that the baby-boomer generation gave us the hippies. Therefore we can conclude that baby boomers are lazy leftists that expect everything to be given to them and don't know how to get real jobs. Their lives probably revolve around watching sitcoms all day and doing drugs with their friends. They are rudderless and don't know what to do with their lives. They are atheists or into self-centered spirituality.
  13. One thing I've thought about is that our reputation has suffered along with the decline in acceptance of Evangelicalism and fundamentalists by younger people. We aren't evangelicals or fundamentalists (or at least shouldn't be), but I think certain overly-partisan Christian groups have come to be the epitome of Christianity in a lot of people's minds. People see how churches getting involved in politics has corrupted them and the perception is that Christians are hypocrites that claim to want religious freedom but really mean they want to preserve Christian privileges, that they claim to follow Christ's teachings but fight against people's rights and support morally bankrupt politicians. Obviously most Christians aren't actually like that, but that is how many Millennials view Christianity, and that I think is how many young Mormons come to view the religion they grew up in. I'm not sure what kind of solution there is for this, but it is a problem that all not-crazy Christians have to figure out: how to not get lumped in with the fundamentalists and partisans in the public's minds.
  14. I don't like that people are so swift to jump to the conclusion that Jana Riess is completely incompetent at doing surveys and that this survey is worthless and meant to discredit the church. I'm sure that one could probably find things to criticize about their study, but you should probably actually read it first instead of just assuming it's junk. I think that Dialogue has high enough standards that they wouldn't publish a non-scientific survey like the one John Dehlin did a while ago. Also even if you disagree with her approach to our religion, she is a faithful member and everything I have read from her has led me to believe that she thinks what she does is helping the church. (Also it's off-topic, but I have to say that her book on spiritual lessons in Buffy the Vampire Slayer I thought had some really great insights and actually helped me out quite a bit during a rough patch in my life where I didn't really want to engage with the church that much but was willing to read a book about one of my favorite shows). I also wanted to note that I grew up in a family that wore Sunday clothes during the whole Sabbath (this would be the 90s and 2000s), so it is definitely a thing. As far as I know my parents still do this, but my siblings that have moved out we have all dropped this practice.
  15. I'm having a hard time finding it right now, but I was pretty sure that I remember reading a post on her blog where she said that self-identifying Mormons they surveyed were asked about whether they ever had seriously doubted teachings of the church. About half never had serious issues, and then some had occasional or minor issues, and then another segment of Mormons had serious issues. I assume that it is this third group that they categorize as "Doubters." If I remember correctly the ex-Mormons were surveyed about the reasons for them leaving the church, so they would have been asked different questions and not counted as Mormons, doubters or otherwise. Perhaps cinepro will be able to confirm whether I remember correctly.