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california boy

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About california boy

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    Looks for truth over dogma

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    I like to listen to others that share different beliefs than me. I try to respect those differences, but will also challenge those beliefs to sort out truth from dogma. I feel that people have often let religious dogma overshadow the basic message of Christ. I adhere to simple truths. Love God, love others, let God judge and worry about my own faults.

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  1. I have a feeling Whatsapp will become a well-known app among members of the church. Free texting, phone calling and video anywhere in the world where you can get an internet signal. It is a commonly used app all throughout Europe to make calls between countries.
  2. california boy

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    Glenn, I really agree with most of what you wrote. In fact, I have very similar feelings when I was actively involved in the church. I often said to myself, "even if the church wasn't true, I like the life that the church provides." It was a great environment to raise my family in. I am sure that if I wasn't gay and therefore had other reasons for leaving the church I would probably still be active in the church even though I had completely lost any kind of faith or belief that church leaders receive any special guidance from God. It is why I support my kids that are still active in the church. And I support the ones that have walked away from the church. I think there are many involved in the church that feel like you do. Maybe the church isn't what it claims to be. So what. It is still filled with good people trying to live good upstanding and faith-based lives. That is a very solid reason for staying in the church. But for some, the church has become a place that they find toxic to their lives and is actually detrimental to them. I certainly feel that way. I have gone back several times. I just can't take the hostile gay attitudes, And certainly the church's attitudes towards my partner. Maybe I was just unlucky, but almost every time I have gone back to church, some snide remark was made about those being gay. In fairness, the last few times I tried attending was around the time the Supreme Court ruling took place. But just knowing that is how many members feel about me being gay and having someone in. my life that I love and completely share my life with was enough. Others have different issues. We. have read about some in this forum. When the church no longer enriches their lives, then the question of the truth of it all becomes the ONLY point in deciding whether to stay. For many, the history and trust that has been broken makes it impossible to stay. Telling the to not study the issues that are troubling or just stay on the good ship Zion or even inoculating them is not going to be enough if they don't find the church a safe place to be and they can't believe the claims of the Church being the one true church. Too many holes. Too many leaps of faith for them.
  3. california boy

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    I wasn't really trying to pick a fight with you. I was only saying that verifiable evidence is definitely something that should be looked at and considered carefully in addition to spiritual conclusions. I once believe in the flood as told in the Old Testament. Now I don't think it is possible because of the physical evidence. So what I once thought was a spiritual witness turned out to not be true. Should I completely ignore the evidence that CAN be evaluated just to hang on to a spiritual belief?
  4. california boy

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    I hope not. That certainly was not my intent. But his post seemed to be advocating to just take things on faith and not evaluate other sources in determining the truthfulness of something.
  5. california boy

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    I am really interested in your answer and would like to know how that actually worked for you. Sincere question. You certainly don't have to answer it if you want. But take for instance Joseph's claim that the papyrus scrolls were written by Abraham himself. And that his translation of that ancient record is the Book of Abraham. When you found out that the scrolls were nowhere near that old nor did they translate anything remotely resembling the Book of Abraham, how did that strengthen your faith?
  6. california boy

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    There are a couple of major flaws in your logic. If we had actual verifiable writings written by Jesus Himself then, of course, they would be invaluable in evaluating the claims He made. If there were verifiable court documents containing legal judgments against Jesus then, of course, they would be invaluable in evaluating the claims He made. If there were verifiable records of eyewitness accounts of people that actually saw the claims Jesus made then, of course, they would be invaluable in evaluating just who Jesus was and the kind of person he was. We have none of that. But we do on Joseph Smith and the claims he made. Those writings, eye witness records and court judgments are factual and verifiable. There is nothing irrational about taking those records into account to evaluate the claims made by Joseph Smith. It doesn't have to be all blind faith. The second flaw is that if spiritual answers are so concrete in the answers, then why is there no consensus on who Jesus was and what he taught. You act as if spiritual answers are clear and the same for whoever inquires. The evidence clearly shows that is not the case. It seems to be more a question of people believing what they want to believe. There is no consistency in any answers people seek. I am not saying that your blind faith approach is wrong. It certainly may work very well for you. But you can't expect everyone to evaluate spiritual matters in the same way you have. And if there is more than just blind faith information available, then for some people, it seems logical to evaluate claims using all available information.
  7. california boy

    Missionary work during the priesthood ban

    Ah, the good old days where we used scripture to discriminate against blacks. Those days regrettably are gone, Thank goodness we still have the gays and can use the scriptures to justify discrimination against them and their families.
  8. california boy

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    Thanks for responding. Sorry I missed your earlier post. How do you think they handled all the discrepancies? Did any of them ask how the accounts be so different and still credible? Or is that something that probably wouldn't happen with a bishop and CES guy in the room. I personally can't see how it would be troubling to at least some of them.
  9. california boy

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    Well, that is why I am confused by your statements. First, you say it is no big deal and a non-issue, that nothing was done wrong, The next sentence you are saying that the new approach of inoculating is a good idea. Which is it? Should church leaders have taught multiple accounts of the first vision and all the other issues on a regular basis or was how they did it in the past adequate?
  10. california boy

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    Everyone seems to be in agreement that the current inoculating approach is a good thing. But aren't millennials leaving the church in record numbers? Does anyone think that possibly they are simply questioning many of the foundational claims the church makes because of these multiple first vision accounts, Joseph marrying other men's wives, the Book of Mormon coming forth through looking at a stone in a hat, the Book of Abraham having nothing to do with the scrolls that could not have possibly been written by Abraham himself, etc? Just curious how those that are teaching the youth feel these stories are being received. I personally have no idea. Having taught seminary for a number of years, I know I would find it tough to expect all students to just nod their head and take it as no big deal. Maybe this should be another thread and is too far off track.
  11. california boy

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    If the old curriculum is evidence of just how much of a non-issue church leaders thought this issue was, then why change the curriculum at all? Why not continue to teach only one version with the rare mention of other visions from time to time? Why even make this new inoculating approach to any of the "less taught" issues? It seems like if you think the church did an adequate job of teaching church history in the past, there should be no need to change.
  12. This whole issue of David Matheson is dredging up so many old memories that I really care not to remember. The stuff David was trying to get me to do was so upsetting and so not helpful. Sorry, but I had no anger issues with my father, nor do I blame him for me being gay. I also attended Evergreen for a couple of years. Great group of guys. But there was really no point except a bunch of guys that happened to be gay and be members of the church. We would go on outings together. Sometimes just to a ballgame. Sometimes overnight trips. Many of us also went to the annual conference in Salt Lake City. I liked connecting with guys dealing with similar issues even when at times inappropriate things occurred. I remember one specific evening. Jay, the leader of the group announced that he was leaving Evergreen because he was moving in with his boyfriend and needed to move on with his life. One by one, each of the guys that had been attending decided that it was time for them to quit as well. The Evergreen group in the Bay Area completely collapsed. About 5 years later, an elderly couple contacted me and asked if I would help them restart the group. I told them I would because I felt like it was healthy to know that these gay members of the church are not alone. It never got off the ground. By then, I think that most guys felt it was ok being gay and didn't carry the shame that those had in the past. I still hear from some of the members of the group. The friendships continued long after the group disbanded. Only one person is still married to a woman. A couple of the guys that attended got into the whole Journey into Manhood thing. They told me all about his weekends cuddling with other guys, running around naked and sitting in a sweat lodge. As I recall, the weekends was pretty expensive. It didn't interest me. I never attended. But what they described is very similar to the things that David Matheson talked about. Honestly, it seemed like he loved going because he saw it as permission to hold someone of the same sex and be naked with a bunch of guys. I didn't know it was supposed to be a secret. I kind of suspected that they just wanted to do some of those activities of cuddling, being naked and the whole sweat lodge thing with me. Seriously, none of this stuff is going to somehow make one "loose the gay". It isn't therapy, it is exploitive. I agree with David Matheson, it should stop.
  13. california boy

    "Why some people leave the Church"

    I appreciate your input. Not sure why you feel like you shouldn't have posted your comments. They are great points. I am just saying that your point of view doesn't work for everyone. Just as obvious is that it works for others.
  14. california boy

    "Why some people leave the Church"

    There are many that would disagree with you. Just saying. And perhaps if this was the only issue, you would have a stronger argument.
  15. california boy

    "Why some people leave the Church"

    Maybe. You have to admit it is confusing when it seems like it should be pretty straight forward. Something as simple as a clear explanation on how such an important book came about, even if there were multiple processes used. This sounds more like nobody could keep the story straight. Personally, I have much bigger issues with the church than this. But I think it would be perfectly understandable if some people struggle with this.
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