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california boy

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california boy last won the day on July 7 2016

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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. My definition of gay is someone that is attracted to the same sex. Yeah I know, quite radical. Finding somone you love and cherish to have and to hold in marriage is also very fundamental to both the purpose of our life experience and the center of the plan of happiness. Choosing to live a celibate life when marriage is possible is every bit against the plan that God has given us. I remember growing up and being told that the celibacy the Catholic church imposes on it's priests and nuns were against the very laws of God. In fact the Bible states 1 Timothy 4: The Bible specifically calls this teaching out as doctrines of devils. Yet the church, which seems to want to hang onto every other verse concerning this issue, completely ignores these teachings. Interesting huh. While I love the church, and wish I could be a part of it, I truly believe that it is a toxic place for someone who has same sex attraction. The path that the church has outlined for those that are gay is not a plan of happiness at all, but a lone and dreary path that goes against everything that seems important to follow in this life. When you and any other member of the church stands up and bears testimony of the importance of their spouse and family, they are also bearing witness to the false teachings of this current church policy. You cut your wife and family out of your life, and what do you have left that is of any real importance? Your job? Your money? Your house or any of your other possessions? Most people would give that all away rather than loose their family. Just because you are gay doesn't change the reality of that. Giving up religious dogma from a church that has been wrong before about who qualifies for marriage seems like a small price to pay. (And let's be honest, it is not like church leaders have falsely made promises concerning same sex attraction in the past that proved to be disastrous as well.) You trust fallible men that lead this church. I trust God. I know He looks upon the heart. I am more than willing to accept God's judgement over the judgement of the leaders of the Mormon church. And I think if you were honest, you could certainly see why.
  2. For you, maybe not. For me, I completely think there is.
  3. I wanted to comment on this if I could be a bit personal. I have to say that my excommunication was a very positive experience. I felt nothing but love from all that were in the room. Many of them I knew quite well from serving on the High Counsel. I am not sure if I could have left the church on my own. I loved being a member, but I honestly believe that you can not be a member of the church if you are gay despite the church rhetoric on this issue. They did perhaps what i would not have been able to do on my own. In hindsight, it helped me move on with my life. And that has been a great blessing. After the excommunication, all that were present in the room stood and each one of them hugged me individually and wished me nothing but love and happiness. I will never forget their kindness and have never harbored hard feelings against the church nor the action that it took on my behalf.
  4. The trouble is, those of us who have same sex attraction have been promised things before in the name of God that proved to be absolutely false. Why would anyone trust these two statements as being any more true than former promises?
  5. You do realize that the California Supreme Court specifically ruled that gay couples had the civil right to marry in the state of California. It was absolutely legal and their right to marry prior to Prop 8. Prop 8 took away that civil right in the form of an amendment to the California constitution. So yes it is a FACT that homosexuals had the absolute right to marry in California. The church's heavy involvement in Prop 8 took away that civil right until the case was appealed the the Supreme Court of the U.S. Sorry you are completely wrong. And yes, this is the first generation that finds themselves in a church that actively worked to take away the civil rights of gay couples. I disagree with your opinion and stand by what I wrote.
  6. Clark, I read your article and I pretty much agree with what you are saying. So perhaps we are talking past each other. The only numbers I would disagree with you on is this statement. Wondered where you got these statistics? I got my 70% young people leaving the church from the church records that were part of the Mormonleaks info. It has been talked about quite a bit. I also disagree with your feeling that the Christian right has not taken over at least the rhetoric of the Republican party. There does seem to be more lip service to that group than actual legislation. But I find both parties to be pretty ineffectual in getting anything passed these days. Certainly Trump has made significant executive orders that are directed at the Christian right as well as his Supreme Court nomination.
  7. People spend their time where they see value or enriching their lives. They spend their time doing what they love to do. Everyone makes these choices. Those that think they are getting value out of continuing to attend church stay, sometimes even when they no longer believe it to be true. But certainly people that find the church to be a negative influence in their lives and not a place of truth are going to have a much more difficult time rationalizing the amount of time that church takes.
  8. I don't disagree that society is much different than it was 200 years ago. Women aren't burned at the stake any longer for practicing medicine or branded with a scarlett letter for having an affair while the the men got of scott free. There are more reasons that just public prayer not being said in school. People used to accept every single word in the Bible as if it was uttered by God himself. People would argue whether the comma was in the right place. Religion lost a lot of credibility when science started to reveal the factual errors that the Bible contains. Suddenly God or Religion could no longer be trusted as a place of truth. While prayer was officially taken out of public school in 1962, it had not been a part of most public schools for decades before that. I certainly never heard a prayer uttered in class. And I would say that not discussing religion in social settings has also been around for decades. Other generations went through school without prayer and did just fine. Do you have any real evidence to support your opinion? Have there been studies that say school influences children more than their parents? I certainly have met my share of "recovering Catholics" that attended Catholic schools but no longer want anything to do with the Catholic church. They not only got their religion taught to them 5 days a week at school, but also on the weekends and special camps, Bible retreats, etc. This is the first generation that finds themselves in a church that actively worked to take away the civli rights of gay couples. It is the first generation that finds themselves in a church that fires teachers at their schools for supporting the right of gay couples to marry. It is the first generation to find out that Joseph Smith didn't translate the golden plates, but from a stone in a hat. This is the first generation that knows Joseph Smith married 14 year old girls and other husbands wives. It's the first generation that knows the earth is not 7000 years old or that Adam and Eve were not the first humans or that there was never a world wide flood. It is the first generation that has learned that not everything coming from the prophet is true or necessarily the word of God. Yet you blame it on them for "having it so good" or that they spend too much time in school. They aren't abandoning God, they are abandoning the church. And they are not alone for many of the same reasons.
  9. People aren't flocking to any religion. They are leaving religion. In the last couple of years 7 million people have left organized religion. Honestly, you haven't noticed that the Republican party has been hijacked by the religious right? This started by Jerry Falwell founding the moral majority in 1979 which changed the face of the Republican party and continues on today. It has gotten to the point that even in the Mormon church being a Democrat is seen as some kind of anomaly that should be questioned. How much more political could a church or politics be? And the Mormon church is by no means alone. The church is seeing 70% of it's young people leaving the church. That is a huge unparalleled number ever in the history of the church. You just have to read the reasons they are giving for leaving the church. It is not an attitude outside the church that is doing this. It is an attitude within the church that is doing this. You think this is an abortion issue? You think the mainline protestant religions are not identified with the Republican party? You really think that religion has not changed in it's political activism? You are completely ignoring the surveys on this issue, including the one sited in the article. That is the issue the survey identified. And that is the issue that so many who have left the church have identified. The church just chooses to ignore it. It is hardly just an abortion issue. It is behavior and political views issue just as the survey results are reporting. Both of those issues are so blatant in the Mormon church, how can you not see that?
  10. Blaming secularism seems to be the new fall guy. But that is not what the recent surveys is talking about Specifically, this is the problem Religion has changed. And what it has turned in to is what people are walking away from. You can't blame that on secularism.
  11. That is also probably the main threat to Mormonism as well. I think this issue is only going to get bigger 'If Americans are fussed about religion at all (and a growing number aren’t), they are more concerned with behavior and political views than with orthodox belief. And many self-professed evangelicals don’t even know their own theological tenets, according to a LifeWay study released last year."
  12. I have been thinking about this lately. From what I understand, pretty much all of the Book of Mormon appeared on a stone in a hat to block the light. There really was no translation going on. So what was the whole thing with Charles Anton? Why give him a couple of lines that were suppose to be copied from the Book of Mormon for him to translate? It appears the the Church of Christ still has the script, though there seems to be some question of it's authenticity. Does it really make any difference if that script was authentic? Did Joseph Smith go through the whole exercise just to make the claim that it fulfilled prophecy? I think this is part of the question you are asking.
  13. Because I have never seen that kind of total expection of faith in anyone living in the states. We always give God a way out i remember another conversation between two women. They were talking about a boy with severe handicap. The comment was that the priesthood leader that healed the boy should have been more in tune with the spirit and let him die rather than suffer. Just because you can heal someone doesn't mean you should always do that.
  14. I served my mission in New Zealand. I love the Maori people. Their faith is unmatched anywhere in the world. I could tell a hundred stories of these humble people being in touch with God. I will share one story with you. One of the elders in my Zone was sick and called to ask me if I could take him to the doctor. Since I was his zone leader, I had a car and could help with that. I traded with his companion and then went to the relief society's president to ask for her recommendation for a doctor. When I told her what I was looking for, she just looked at us both and started laughing. I mean really laughing like I had said the most hilarious thing she had ever heard. Se then just said, "two elders holding the priesthood and asking for a doctor?" I sheepishly backtracked to our car, gave him a blessing and that afternoon he was out knocking on doors again. I remember coming home and knowing that doctors would once again be a part of my life. No greater faith have I ever seen.
  15. When religion starts to attempt to legislate and control Americans based on their own religious beliefs, it creates foes that it didn't have before and ultimately those foes strike back at religion. When religion defends unChrist like behavior such as refusing to serve someone because they believe they are a sinner or that their marriage is wrong, then religion looses it's moral position. It trivializes religious principles. All the sudden, those that naturally would defend religion find themselves fighting unjust behavior. Religion no longer represents morality or kindness, or caring or love of others. It becomes something more nasty. Something that supports discrimination. Something that has lost respect for how we should treat others. The biggest enemy of religion is found in those that champion the treating of others uncharitably. Religion finds itself supporting uncivil behavior. People are not leaving religion because of the good it represents. People are leaving religion because they no longer see kindness, and charity and a sense of fairness. Their new champions of justice are those that are not just at all. People are not stupid. They know bad behavior when they see it. They know that refusing to bake a cake for someone's wedding just because they are gay is not a behavior one could attribute to Christ's teachings. The biggest threat to freedom of religion is religion. It is systematicly turning this country against religion.