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Posts posted by randy

  1. put another way....If I were given two gifts...one a picture of Christ on the Cross,  or a picture of the Garden Tomb...and I could only choose one to display....I personally would choose the picture of the Garden Tomb.   

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  2. Hey there!    Hope today finds you having a GREAT day!    I have thought about this topic many times.  I do not have anything "against" the cross per se'.  But..I think if you ask most Christans what they think of  when they say the word "cross" most would respond to "Jesus Christ died for us".  Is that a bad thing?  Of course not...he certainly did!   But....as we approach this coming Easter Sunday...my personal focus is on the living the Christ.  His resurrection....his overcoming death.  So, in that respect...I feel the symbolism of the Cross diverts our focus away from the fact that Christ lives.  I want to focus on, and celebrate the living Christ....not his death.  But, if someone were to give me a gift of a Cross...I would certainly keep it and cherish it.   Just my thoughts.....

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  3. Rain, I hear what you're saying!  My Wife and I discuss this topic quite a bit.  All I know is this...my Wife and I are doing our best.  Like you...it was very difficult for me not to compare my "faithfulness" to that of others.  But, looking back on my life...my Wife and I met in 5th grade, got married the summer of our Sophmore year..she didn't finish HS, I barely did.  We had 3 kids before we were 19 (I know I know! haha)….I had no education....and seemingly no future, at least not financially.  We were the "Ward project", and I say that lovingly and with gratitude.  But, we kept fighting the good fight...and as kids raising kids....I was a mess.  I made SO MANY HUGE mistakes....but my wife was patient with me for the next 24 yrs until the Lord blessed me with a job that I could finally pay the bills.   So, although I wasn't the best at many things...I tried to do be good at the two most important things....loving my wife,   and loving my children.   I suppose that is what I want that Sister above to always remember.  She IS a wonderful Mom in all the most important ways.  She may not be a scriptorian, or have 100 percent attendance at all activities etc....but, I've come to learn and understand (finally)...that is not what the Lord was expecting of me.  He expects me to love my family, provide for my family, be the best Priesthood man I can be (not comparing myself to anyone else) strive to be a good Husband and Father.    The rest is "as I am able".

    Watching our kids make choices that we know will bring serious repurcussions….brings such heartache.  Then Satan of course is right there ready to convince us that it's OUR FAULT!   Yes..TRUST IN GOD!!   That's it...it's all right there in those two words!  Thank you!

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  4. 23 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

    The reformation of the last quarter century within the Reorganized church has produced a distinctly Protestant religion. Given the product of the this reformation, it was completely necessary to abandon the truth claims of the Book of Mormon and the claims of a restoration of by Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith. 

    The obvious problem is if Joseph Smith's claims of a restoration or abandoned then the claims of Joseph Smith III, their church's founder, are necessarily false and without merit. If that is so, then what is the value of their new Protestant church? This reformation cost this church dearly in membership. They went from some 650,000 members to less than 250,000 members. 

    My father's sister-in-law is a member of the Community of Christ. My uncle joined their church in the early 1980s. They maintain a relationship with their local congregations in southern Alabama, but have abandoned any interest in the workings of the church leadership in Independence. The actions of that group are viewed as having become contaminated and no longer are worthy of being followed. 

    Launius's position is reflective of an individual that remains conflicted and see the dissonance in his church's position. 

    The RLDS Church has never had more than 250,000 members.  The #250k members has been the standard answer since 1860, not backed up by any reputable data.  They have no where near that number now.  Having said that...I have never taken the position that it is a "numbers game" anyway.

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  5. REV,  I know in my discussions with them they strongly adhere to the notion that Joseph "designated" and blessed his son Jos.Smith III to become the next Prophet of the Church.  Who knows...if Emma had remained faithful and put her personal animosity towards BY aside and went West with the Saints....JOS. Smith III very well may have been.  Obviously we will never know.  But, from the Emerg Conference convened on Aug 8th, 1844....and the mantle that was shown to be on BY, plus the fact that the young Joseph was still a child....there was zero doubt that the Q of 12 were the leading Quorum of the Church with BY being Senior and he was the Lords mouthpiece at that time..  At that point in time, there was ZERO reason (other than personal) that Emma and the family should not have gone west.  Having said that, I will not for a moment try to disparage her in any way, because she was true to her husband, and she was...and I believe, still is an "Elect Lady".  I cannot fathom for a moment all the hardship and anguish she went through for the sake of the Restored Gospel...so I choose to give her a pass and have confidence that the Lord will make that situation right.  

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  6. I was approached by a lovely young lady at work several weeks ago when she told me she had something that she felt she needed to share with me.  She and I have a "Father/Daughter" type of relationship and she has come to me for advice in the past.  This particular time she shared with me that she was Bi-Sexual and that she was struggling with reconciling that with her Christian upbringing.  She is active in her non-denomination church.   I have found her to be a young woman of faith, striving hard to live the gospel to the best of her ability and understanding.

    When she started the conversation, she paused...obviously very nervous....I held her hand, whispered to her that whatever it is...it's okay.  She took a deep breath and starting talking. I listened.  When she was done, I told her I loved her...and that would never change, gave her a big hug....and told her "we'll talk".  She smiled...told me she loved me....and said she will look forward to our talks in the future.     Then I began the process of getting my head around what I just heard..and what my own personal feelings on this were....and pondered over how to proceed.    

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  7. I must confess...everytime I see this type of discussion on LDS Church growth...I am somewhat at a loss to understand the angst and handwringing.  I am always reminded of  Elder Andersons talk entitled "It's true isn't? What else matters?"    The gospel  is being preached in all the world...at least in all the world that will allow us.  We have the Social Media presence which is increasing.  The peoples of the world are more and more...having their opportunity to hear the gospel.  At the end of the day...it's simply all about choices.  In my view, according to my understanding of the gospel....our responsibility is to share the gospel.  If the person I share with joins the church...great!  If they don't...I say "next"!!    I agree with Navidad...growth statisics cannot and should not...have any connection to the truthfulness of the gospel message.  If the church grows by a billion converts a year...yippee skippee,  if it continues to grow by 300k a year...that's fine too.  Either way...."It's true isn't it? What else matters?"

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  8. Hahaha....Ole Elder Richards!  He was awesome!   When I was stationed at Hill AFB in Utah...my Mom came to visit during GC time..and she very much wanted to go ...this would've been her very first time.  As you're looking toward the pulpit...we were seated in the upper section on the right side...just ever so slightly behind the pulpit.  It was during Elder Richards talk that Pres. Benson famously  hooked Elder Richards ankle with his cane and tugged a little.  We saw it all!!  It was awesomely funny!   

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  9. Amen to all that has been said!     I can also report that as our Wards Teachers Quorum Advisor...that out meetings have also been stellar.  The boys are attentive, they're engaged....they seem to be genuinely enthusiastic about being there..and learning!  This type of response and level of participation was what was hoped and prayed for.  Prayers answered.  The wisdom of the change being realized.

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  10. 4 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

    I am fortunate that in many ways and means that I can participate on this board and feel gratitude for that.  I have been listened to.  I just felt that "Our" in the topic just substituded for "members" as in what does the church or leaders believe.  I am also very grateful that so many of ouu have spoken your own minds and not in unison with one voice.

    Jeanne....I have always loved hearing your thoughts on things over the years!  I think you're wonderful!

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  11. This thread has focused on the land travel method....what if an enterprising group organized an airborne or seaborne "caravan"?  Any thoughts on how to handle those methods of entry, or if they would pose any greater risks/threats?

    Also, whatever happened to AoF #12 in this discussion?  Of course, in this discussion..there may be those here who feel that in order to obey #12 they are disobeying #13....fascinating discussion though!  enjoying it!

    Just wanted to add that I just saw on one of the major Cable News shows....an interview with a member of the Caravan who was from Honduras...who was asked about the possibility of some in the Caravan being dangerous or otherwise having a questionable background, and he himself confessed that he had been wanted for attempted murder in his home country.


  12. I would like to say though...that over the years Fast and Testimony meetings have been allowed to become something less than what they are supposed to be.  As mentioned..the Travelmonies,  a seemingly endless line of Primary Children waiting their turn (this is Great, but it's much more appropriate to encourage them during Primary).  As I mentioned in another thread a few days ago...the F&T mtg's in my Ward now are awesome!  Not the same people,  no feeling to rush to the podium to fill in time if more than 60 seconds goes by without someone being prompted to share etc.   These last two were wonderful, spirit led...honest and evoked very powerful feelings and emotions, and they were focused on Christ and gospel principles.  I left being very much uplifted and edified.

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  13. hahaha...when I was in the USAF stationed at Hill AFB in Layton, Utah....from 1979-1983....Star Wars  was HUGE!!   Two of my boys were 7 & 8 at the time and LOVED Star Wars.  Well, this one F&T meeting was going good....those two aforementioned boys were doing what boys do...aggravating each other when they were not fighting for the best sleeping spot in the pew...anyway, that all changed dramatically when a woman in her mid 30's in the pew behind us ...stood up and began speaking.

    Well, this very soft spoken and articulate woman gave a heartfelt testimony..then at the end told us that she had a very important announcement to make.  She then proceeded to talk about the recent Star Wars movies (boys now sitting up straight in pew listening attentively) and how she felt they had strong Gospel parallels etc.  She then announced to the Ward that from that moment on she was changing her name to, and wanted to be referred to as "Obi Wan Kanobi".  My boys looked at me with a "saaaaaay whaaaaat?" look on their faces...I was trying not to laugh.  I quickly looked up at the Bishop who was trying hard to find a comfortable sitting position (squirming back and forth).    

    When we got home from Church that day I remember having one of the most enjoyable and engaging discussions with my children about how much fun Church can be....and why you never want to miss a single Sunday!


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  14. 32 minutes ago, JAHS said:

    On their website there is no mention of them referring to themselves as being Mormons nor can you even find the word Mormon, except the very few places where they refer to the Book of Mormon.

    Correct.  Having been born and raised in Indep. Mo...and having lots of friends within all the various factions represented there....I can tell you, that almost without fail....members of all the Restoration Branches/Remnant Church/Church of Jesus Christ Restored etc... do NOT want to be referred to as "Mormons" because for the most part they still labor under the old nicknames of "Josephites" and "Brighamites".  Although the outright animosity has calmed down much over the last decade or so,  they still have that old mindset that anything connected with BY is bad.

    Members of the CoC do not refer to themselves as Mormons because they simply do not want to be seen as being affiliated at all with the Restoration, more than they do with the liberal factions of Protestantism.

    Having said that though...all of the Restoration Churches represented in Indep. Mo. have grown to have a very respectful attitude towards one another...and we do cooperate together nicely  within the community.  So in that regard...there has been progress made.

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