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About mapman

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    Senior Member: Divides Heaven & Earth

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  1. mapman

    That Deadpool Poster

    I have seen Deadpool 2, and I can assure you all that it doesn't have anything to say about religion. The poster is just supposed to be funny and weird like the rest of the Deadpool marketing that usually doesn't have much to do with the actual contents of the movie. I doubt this PG-13 version of the movie will have anything added mocking religion because it wouldn't fit with the tone or themes of the movie.
  2. mapman

    Is the Bible self-authenticating?

    I'm just going to respond to this bit. What does it matter that Catholics agree with a criticism? Catholics can see just as well as anyone else that it is in fact circular reasoning. Besides, the Bible never makes any claims to be it's own authority. It couldn't because it is a compilation of different books put together after the fact.
  3. Just for a bit of perspective, this is a problem at many different universities (see this article for example). It might be good for BYU to look at what other universities are doing to meet growing demands for counseling. I hope that they can find ways to make it easier for people to meet with counselors and get the help they need. They should also try to work on mitigating the things that get people to the point where they need counseling in the first place. There could also be more talk about mental health from the school and training on how to cope with things. On a more personal note, it is kind of bothering me that everyone is talking about this only just now. When one of my classmates at BYU killed himself a few years ago in a less-dramatic fashion off campus, hardly anyone seemed to care about it.
  4. Must be really serious if they are going to execute him.
  5. mapman

    Scaling back Church pageants

    Me and my family were in the Oakland Temple Pageant the last year it ran (I think like 2007?). It was a pretty fun production, but they decided that it wasn't as effective as it used to be to get people interested in the church. It was also a really big commitment for my parents. I think the feeling was that resources could be better used elsewhere.
  6. mapman

    The planets and the reckoning of time

    I don't know how literally to take all of this, but the point of the passage seems to be to compare the hierarchy of stars to the great chain of being described afterwards. See verses 17 and 18: "Now, if there be two things, one above the other, and the moon be above the earth, then it may be that a planet or a star may exist above it... Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other..." The light of the stars is described as emanating from the throne of God (Facsimile 2, fig. 5) outwards to all the stars. The stars closer to the throne of God are described as being created first, to be governing stars, to measure longer periods of time, and as "great ones" among the stars. Similarly, among the intelligences described later in the chapter there is God who is at the head of the chain, then come the "noble and great ones" who were to be rulers and prophets. Like the light that is said to be emanated out to all the stars, his priesthood also emanates out, I presume through the noble and great intelligences (Facsimile 2, fig. 7: "Represents God sitting upon his throne, revealing through the heavens the grand Key-words of the Priesthood").
  7. mapman

    Fallible and Infallible Prophets

    There is no tenable way to believe that prophets never say anything wrong at General Conference. Take President Nelson's talk. He essentially declared every time a previous prophet used the word "Mormon" in General Conference to have been in error. So either Pres. Nelson is in error or these other prophets were in error, either way you would have to conclude that prophets can say erroneous statements in conference. This is the same situation as when church leaders denounced the Adam-God doctrine.
  8. mapman

    It's Official- 2 Hour Block

    I understand that. I might take initiative to organize a group to meet on Sundays.
  9. mapman

    It's Official- 2 Hour Block

    Yes, not recently as far as I know. I remember reading about it somewhere, but I don't really know details about it.
  10. mapman

    It's Official- 2 Hour Block

    I'm feeling optimistic about informal scripture study groups. I think that will be helpful for a lot of people who don't have family members to study with. I think it could be a big positive in my life.
  11. I agree that accusations should be taken seriously and investigated. This particular case seems strange to me. I don't know anything about the details of the case, but if this is a case of "recovered memory" (which I understand was a hot topic back in the day) then the accusers could be sincere in believing something happened when they were kids even though it is made up. Recovered memories also are how most UFO believers end up believing they were abducted. On the other hand, it always bothers me when people use the defense that they took a polygraph. Polygraphs are pseudoscience and not good evidence.
  12. The website about the survey: https://thenextmormons.org/. Right now the website includes a copy of the survey questions, and some basic explanations of the methodology. Presumably more information will be included in the book being published by Oxford. In the FAQ it says this: "Was this survey IRB approved? Yes. The survey design and question wording received approval from Centre College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) on September 1, 2016, Centre College IRB Assurance #FWA00017871, IRB approval code 140-Knoll-NMS-F16." I don't know anything about Centre College, but it seems to be a reputable university. This survey isn't a hit job on the church as Jana Riess is an active Latter-day Saint, and Benjamin Knoll is as well as far as I know. Knoll is the one who designed the survey, by the way, he's a professor of political science at Centre College. Anyways, this number does seem pretty high to me. I was a missionary in Argentina from 2013-2015, and I'd estimate that at most 10% of my mission returned home early. I wonder if maybe some of this number comes from people coming home just a few months early and people at home don't realize it wasn't a complete two years. In any case, I'm sure it will be discussed in further detail once the book is published.
  13. I'm not sure if this is real. I looked up the domain and it's registered through WHOISGuard Inc, a company that keeps domain registration information private. Mormon.org and lds.org are registered by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Also the name of the website (up in the tab) is spelled incorrectly. It says "Latter Day Saints" instead of "Latter-day Saints." No idea why someone would bother setting up a fake version of mormon.org though.
  14. 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?
  15. 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.