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About SteveO

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    Seasoned Member: Separates Light & Dark

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  1. When someone becomes disillusioned by church leadership, is it not because that leadership is at odds with their expectations of what divinely inspired leadership should look like? I’m saying their expectations for how a prophet should be are at odds with the reality. At the root of nearly every contention with the church is, I believe, the idea that the leadership is not divinely inspired. Whether the examples are of moral failings, failure to discern, factually incorrect or disproven theories, or just things that conflict with personally held beliefs—the common theme is that God isn’t guiding the leadership. And people become disillusioned because they can’t handle it. Now you’re saying they’re going off and doing their own thing—well yeah, because now they no longer believe God speaks through anyone on behalf of anyone. There’s no longer any need to know what the mind of God is—God is whatever they want him to be. It’s safe. I think if God isn’t offering uncomfortable suggestions from time to time—you’re doing it wrong. As for literally speaking through a prophet, I stand by my statement. The Lord reveals his will and mind through a prophet—but even a prophet has to be able to communicate that perfection in an imperfect manner, imperfect language, inadequate articulation, etc, etc. When President Nelson is speaking, he’s communicating the will of the Lord, but that doesn’t mean he does so without error. Anyways I’m on a sleeping pill, if the flow of logic is bad, I’m not taking responsibility till I can correct it tomorrow
  2. I’ve been listening to Allen Watts a lot recently. He has a line where he says that, (and I’m loosely quoting here) “A loving God would not allow his children’s brains to atrophy and rot by way of giving them a step by step handbook of everything to think, do, and believe”. I’m starting to see it (more like realize it) in a few other threads where people who have left the church or have become disillusioned are really the ones who have to be “commanded in all things”. They aren’t the “free thinkers” that they pride themselves to be. In reality, they just cannot bear the idea of a world where God is not literally speaking through a prophet. They can’t bear a reality where the onus is on them to go and “study it out in their minds”, and then go pay the price to receive personal revelation—because they really don’t believe God will speak to them. Far better, far easier to have someone else tell them what to think, do, and believe. Which is why, when leadership so often inevitably errs, they can’t deal with it. They can’t deal with Jospeh Smith going back to review the revelations and editing them. They can’t deal with his character flaws, or with any of the flaws of the succeeding prophets. It’s all or nothing. Either God is micromanaging the church up to and including how every red cent of tithing is to be used, or this is all a fraud with well intentioned people claiming to speak for God. Not saying that’s you, but I do think you’re reaching too far to try and find an error where there is none. When I give a lesson on the creation and fall, I’m going to give it as stated in Genesis. I’m going to give it as stated in the books of Abraham and Moses. I’m going to extrapolate while still referring to the creation period as “7 days”. I’m going to speak of Satan as a “serpent”. I’ll probably even throw in the Midrash commenting on how the serpent was cursed by being made to crawl on his belly, allowing him easy access to his prey, and thus the real curse being in the “easiness” of acquiring his food. Now, does Brother Steve really believe in all that being “literal”? I haven’t said, after each instance, “hey guys, you know scientists actually theorize the universe began 13.5 billion years ago and that life on Earth probably started out in the oceans as simple, single celled bacteria...hey guys, I really don’t believe Satan was a talking snake in the garden...etc, etc”. Do I really need to say that? Really? Or do I understand that people are at different stages of learning. That there may be some spiritually immature listeners in my audience who still take the biblical stories as literal, and may not be able to step outside that way of thinking just yet. Meanwhile, Brother Bukowski and Brother Robert are sitting in the back still nodding their heads in agreement, even though they’re doing so for completely different reasons than the spiritually immature sitting in the front row, also nodding their heads. I just don’t see President Nelson being literal on the rib thing. He’s expanding on the metaphor. The church for the longest time has taught that Adam was “placed here”. It’s even alluded to in the endowment. The prophet knows this. So why would he take the number of human and animal ribs literal, when he knows the act of creating woman from a rib is metaphorical? I don’t think you’re a guy who would appreciate a stop in the narrative each and every time with a “this is literal, and this is metaphorical” to precede a speaker’s commentary on scripture. Heck, even Jesus didn’t do that at the Last Supper when his listeners were absolutely confused out of their minds when he was giving them his flesh and blood to drink. The onus is on the listener to mature spiritually, and sometimes it’s confusing, and takes some thinking and study, sometimes takes life experience, and prayer, and on and on. It’s why we walk by faith during those times. And now we can talk about faith and hope, etc, etc...see how it’s all connected?
  3. ... But if I really believed in God and Jesus Christ--perhaps I received an undeniable witness of them--nothing against atheists, but disbelief is now no longer compatible with that witness through no fault of my own--would you not respect that? Your way or the highway? Not going to "change your life" for me? I thought that was the point of families-to be understanding of one another, to serve one another...
  4. Do you have this kind of charity and understanding for Sunday School teachers and leadership who may have mistakenly passed on inaccurate information regarding church history? Or are they deceptive liars who duped you and others all these years past?
  5. I don’t think so. You really just need to lack as much self awareness as “Changed” or even yourself have displayed on this thread.
  6. Ah, now we need legit examples...MY mistake...we can’t post just any old examples guys. They. Must. Be. LEGIT. Do you guys read your posts out loud and hear how ridiculous you sound before posting? Edit to add: what a waste of time coming to this board is anymore.
  7. A more interesting question: when the examples you seem to think don’t exist inevitably appear, are you going to be able to admit your mistake?
  8. Have you read/heard of Graham Hancock’s new book, “America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization”? I heard an interview he gave, and his comments on how archeologists have been stuck in a box when it came to thinking outside the “Clovis First” theory. He made an interesting comment that based on the most recent evidence, there’s no way people could have made the journey to the Americas any other way except by boat on the Pacific, but it makes absolutely no practical sense...
  9. God made them. I don't know how that helps to answer my question though. If you look at the leadership of Joseph Smith, there is no documented case of blacks being denied the priesthood or temple blessings during his lifetime. Brigham Young said three years after Joseph's death praised Q. Walker Lewis, a black man who had been ordained to the priesthood, saying, “We have one of the best Elders, an African.” Even in the act of imposing the ban in 1852, Brigham also promised that it would be lifted at some future day, and that black Church members would “have [all] the privilege and more” enjoyed by other members. Even after the ban, already ordained black men still held the priesthood, and Jane Manning James, a faithful black member who crossed the plains and lived in Salt Lake City was allowed to perform baptisms for the dead for her ancestors, but was not allowed to participate in other ordinances. President McKay clarified that black Fijians and Australian Aborigines could also be ordained to the priesthood and instituted missionary work among them. In South Africa, President McKay reversed a prior policy (kind of interesting no?) that required prospective priesthood holders to trace their lineage out of Africa. The point being, is that when 1978 came around, it wasn't a surprise when the ban was reversed. The guy who instituted the ban in the first place said it would be reversed in the same breath. SSM and the priesthood ban are not the same thing. I say this to preemptively discourage anyone from falling back to "...but what about the priesthood ban?". What we have with Same Sex relations (and I don't know what is or isn't offensive terminology anymore, just know it's not my intention to belittle or offend) is a restriction falling under the broader boundaries the Lord has anciently and today proscribed with regards to sexual conduct. To break any of them, to break any other restriction sexual or not, we are promised alienation from God and spiritual death if we continue to rebel and refuse repentance. If there are regulations on our conduct, if there are promised blessings for obeying, and promised consequences for disobeying, if Christ died for our sins and requires us to make covenants, and expects us to take the sacrament and repent when we break those covenants...well, you'll have to explain to me why you can justify reversing one regulation, and not any of the others. And you'll probably say that's because it isn't a regulation, and the brethren are wrong. Again, you'll have to explain to me the justness of a God who has permitted His children to be taught and believe that something was sinful, when in fact, the entire time it wasn't. Remember, the church is instructed to excommunicate people who enter into SSM. This isn't just a policy, this is serious stuff. And while i don't believe it, there are howls of protest that "people are dying" because of all this. Again, you'll refer me back to leadership as the root cause. So let me share how I view leadership with regards to Same Sex relations. It involves a number of scenarios. I really can't think of any more to add, so feel free to offer them. But to me, they are these: 1) The brethren do not receive revelation from God. They either never have, or have ceased being able to long ago. They are either charlatans of the worst kind, or well intentioned men who can't come to the reality that they are left to their own devises. Either way, this opens up a far more serious problem for members of the church that SSM. 2) The brethren receive revelation, but have not, or refuse to ask the Lord regarding the matter 3) The brethren receive revelation, have asked the Lord, but have received no answer. Meanwhile, a number of members have received revelation contrary to the church's position. 4) The brethren receive revelation, have asked the Lord, and have received an answer instructing them that His position on the matter remains unchanged. Meanwhile, a number of members have received revelation contrary to the brethren's. 5) The brethren receive revelation, have asked the Lord, and are being told "not yet, but eventually". All the while the brethren give no indication in public discourse as that being the case. (I'll refer you to the priesthood ban above and how its just a few of the many ways the two issues are not the same) 6) The brethren receive revelation, have asked the Lord, but are so biased and stuck in their old ways that they can no longer reflect the will of the Lord in their teachings and policies. The new blood of the up and coming generations are far more sensitive to the message, "love is love is love", and are therefore more in tune with the spirit and can more accurately reflect the will of the Lord if/when given the chance. (Again, I'll refer you to the priesthood ban above and how its just a few of the many ways the two issues are not the same) 7) The brethren receive revelation, have asked the Lord, and have received an answer instructing them that His position on the matter remains unchanged. Meanwhile, a number of members have mistakenly confused revelation with confirmation bias. (Start your own thread on that one if you want, or look at the countless others that already discuss this) I obviously tend to lean towards number 7. I would imagine you more identify with the others, or have your own. I think any of the others would cause serious problems. You may address SSM, but then I think we'd be starting back at square one where each person would be walking after whatever seems best for them. You would never be able to have faith in counsel from leadership. And then what would be the point of ever having it? I'm not saying church leadership doesn't make mistakes, but we have a question to an existing position of the church that affects thousands directly and many more indirectly. If the position is indeed wrong, why is there absolutely no direction to the contrary from the Lord to His Church? These questions aren't rhetorical, I'm honestly asking how can someone reconcile all this? With regards to the OP, I guess I'm surprised that there's surprise. My opposition to SSM in the church and the opposition from other members isn't uncharitable. Certainly we can always work on being kinder to others and loving them. But the opposition comes from being unable to reconcile SSM with established teachings. And I would include that being unable to reconcile SSM with revelation, as I see the Proclamation as representing the mind and will of the Lord concerning the matter. I go to Church every Sunday, and every time I go as a sinner in need of repentance. I am taught that who I am currently is not good enough spiritually. That I need, have, and can do better. My wife does the same. Everyone there does the same. We can always make it a more loving and inclusive space, but we do no favors when the appointed physicians, in a misguided effort to show compassion, refuse to treat the patient.
  10. I’ve asked a number of other posters in other threads the same honest question: How could this even be reconciled with church doctrine? I don’t care one way or another about gay marriage, except I just can’t see how the church could make this decision without some serious problems being raised.
  11. I was listening to Allen Watts recently, and sometimes I wonder if that guy ever read Joseph Smith...I keep finding myself nodding my head in agreement with a lot of the stuff he says.
  12. I don’t think it’s coincidence that almost immediately after the announcement, my sister in law insisted she now serve alcohol at her wedding reception next summer. Listening to her talk to my wife, it almost seems like she has the idea that the church is now equating the sealing with the civil ceremony, and that it’s not a big deal anymore. I don’t know how you make that connection, but I’m fearful she’s not the only one who’ll see it that way.
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