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About Walden

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    Senior Member: Divides Heaven & Earth

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  1. Walden


    Agreed, though a vegan would argue that eggs and cheese don't come from animal death, but rather, animal torture due to the squalid conditions of factory farms that produce much of the dairy that we consume. Study after study confirms that a diet that is primarily plant-based leads to longer lifespans and less health issues such as heart disease, cancer, etc.
  2. Joseph Smith admitted himself to being a money digger. This is recorded in the History of the Church, volume 3 (1838-1839). Also recorded in the LDS publication, the Elder's Journal, vol. 1, num. 2, pp. 28-29, it reads as follows, Question 10. Was not Jo Smith a money digger[?] Answer. Yes, but it was never a very profitable job for him, as he only got fourteen dollars a month for it. [1] Also from the History of the Church, Vol.1. Chapter 2: "Joseph secured the services of a neighbor, Peter Ingersoll, to assist and accompany him in acquiring Emma's property. In August 1827, eight months after their marriage, Joseph and Emma returned with Ingersol to face Isaac. Ingersol reported that Isaac exclaimed in a flood of tears, You have stolen my daughter and married her. I had much rather have followed her to her grave. You spend your time digging for money--pretend to see in a stone, and thus try to deceive people." "Yet on that visit there was an attempt to reconcile Joseph and his father-in-law, for an invitation was extended to Joseph and Emma to make their home in Harmony. Isaac, with evident paternal concern and with some compassion, indicated to Joseph that if he would move to Pennsylvania and work, giving up "his old practice of looking in the stone," Isaac would assist him in getting into business. Isaac claims, "Smith stated to me he had given up what he called `glass-looking,' and that he expected and was willing to work hard for a living." [2] "[Of significance] are the affadavits and statements made by a number of Smith's neighbors in Palmyra, about Smith's lifestyle in the 1820's. Several neighbors have stated that Joseph Smiths Senior and Junior were both money-diggers, and that Jr. (i.e. the Mormon founder) was particularly good at it and was the head of a group of money-diggers. "In late 1825 a wealthy Pennsylvania farmer named Josiah Stowell (sometimes spelled Stoal) came 150 miles to hire Smith because of Smith's reputation. Smith was hired to help Stowell locate a supposed old Spanish silver mine on Stowell's farm. During this time two significant things happened. First, Smith met his future wife, Emma Hale, and in later interviews her father explained how he didn't like Joseph Smith when he first met him because Smith was a money-digger, and Mr. Hale didn't want any criminals marrying his daughter! Perhaps even more damaging, however, was the fact that Smith was tried and convicted in court in March 1826 for 'glass-looking'. The charge had been brought up by Stowell's nephew, who saw through the con that his uncle didn't. Mormon historians now acknowledge that this trial happened and that Smith was convicted on this charge." [3] Joseph Smith responds to "money digging" accusations: "In the year 1823 my father’s family met with a great affliction by the death of my eldest brother, Alvin. In the month of October, 1825, I hired with an old gentleman by the name of Josiah Stoal, who lived in Chenango county, State of New York. He had heard something of a silver mine having been opened by the Spaniards in Harmony, Susquehanna county, State of Pennsylvania; and had, previous to my hiring to him, been digging, in order, if possible, to discover the mine. After I went to live with him, he took me, with the rest of his hands, to dig for the silver mine, at which I continued to work for nearly a month, without success in our undertaking, and finally I prevailed with the old gentleman to cease digging after it. Hence arose the very prevalent story of my having been a money-digger." -Joseph Smith-History 1:56 [4] Peter Ingersoll (family neighbor and friend of Joseph Smith) Affidavit, Palmyra, Wayne County. N. Y. Dec. 2, 1833: "In the month of August, 1827, I was hired by Joseph Smith, Jr. to go to Pennsylvania, to move his wife's household furniture up to Manchester, where his wife then was. When we arrived at Mr. Hale's, in Harmony, Pa. from which place he had taken his wife, a scene presented itself, truly affecting. His father-in-law (Mr. Hale) addressed Joseph, in a flood of tears: "You have stolen my daughter and married her. I had much rather have followed her to her grave. You spend your time in digging for money -- pretend to see in a stone, and thus try to deceive people." Joseph wept, and acknowledged he could not see in a stone now, nor never could; and that his former pretensions in that respect, were all false. He then promised to give up his old habits of digging for money and looking into stones." "Joseph told me on his return, that he intended to keep the promise which he had made to his father-in-law; "but," said he, "it will be hard for me, for they will all oppose, as they want me to look in the stone for them to dig money." And in fact it was as he predicted. They urged him, day after day, to resume his old practice of looking in the stone." [5] Affidavit of Isaac Hale (Joseph Smith's father-in-law), given at Harmony Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania on 20 March 1834: "Emma wrote to me inquiring whether she could have her property, consisting of clothing, furniture, cows, &c. I replied that her property was safe, and at her disposal. In short time they returned, bringing with them a Peter Ingersol[l], and subsequently came to the conclusion that they would move out, and resided upon a place near my residence. Smith stated to me, that he had given up what he called "glass-looking," and that he expected to work hard for a living, and was willing to do so." [6] William Stafford, a neighbor and fellow treasure seeker: "Joseph, Jr., could see, by placing a stone of singular appearance in his hat, in such a manner as to exclude all light; at which time they pretended he could see all things within and under the earth, — that he could see within the above mentioned caves, large gold bars and silver plates — that he could also discover the spirits in whose charge these treasures were, clothed in ancient dress." [7] " If this court record is authentic it is the most damning evidence in existence against Joseph Smith' and would be 'the most devastating blow to Smith ever delivered." -Hugh Nibley, The Mythmakers
  3. You are wrong, women do not generally get equal pay. According to this report by Business Insider dated August 2018, "Today, on average, a woman earns 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns, and women's median annual earnings are $10,086 less than men's, according to data from the US Census Bureau." And no, there are not separate pay scales for men and women that are maintained by corporate HR departments. What does exist is a pay range for each position, and women are generally offered a wage at the lower end of that range than a man in the same position.
  4. Exactly Storm Rider, you get the point.....belief or non-belief comes down to a matter of personal integrity. Your personal integrity drives you towards belief. I, on the other hand, side with Nietzsche's maxim that "The will to a system is a lack of integrity." My point about my adherence to the WoW was in response to the tired yet common Mormon refrain that ex-members leave the church in order to sin.
  5. My family is deeply involved in the LDS faith, and has been since our g-g-g grandfather Parley Pratt joined the faith. I still feel the pressure from certain family members to return to the faith, this site gives me an outlet to discuss, debate and analyze faith in a anonymous setting without the hangups involved with family discussion that evolves into misunderstanding and hurt. Regarding faith, I am also a member on a Buddhist/humanist board, so it is something that intrigues me.
  6. And this is the simple reason why I left the LDS church, it came down to a matter of integrity for me. After spending a lifetime chasing Moroni's Promise and still having many doubts, concerns, etc. and no testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, I had no choice but to leave. Staying in the LDS church at some point became detrimental to my mental health/well-being and my sense of integrity. I did not want to leave, I had to leave. I am a better person, a better husband, father, son, sibling, neighbor and friend since leaving. And no, I did not leave in order to sin without regret. To this day, I still follow the word of wisdom with regard to alcohol and tobacco, I am singularly and utterly devoted in thought and action to my amazing wife and I live an honorable existence.
  7. There is no "problem", I am happy, content and fulfilled in my current path, I do not feel that I am missing out on anything in not having received a testimony of Christ. Many people, my family included, have received an affirming answer to Moroni's promise, and their faith makes them happy, so good for them too. Personally, I do not credit it to an actual higher power, but they do, and they are happy, and if their faith brings happiness to them and compels them to be better friends, neighbors, family, spouses, workers, citizens, etc, who am I to judge? I love the false premise that it is easy to profess atheism, a common refrain amongst believers. Is it easier to adhere to belief that one will be saved and blessed throughout eternity for following their God's rules, or is it easier to realize that life is finite, this earth life is all we have and there is not some omniscient, all-loving being who we can attribute our mistakes, choices, outcomes, etc. to? And Mormon's defining anyone as "condescending" due to their belief system is rich....coming from a belief system that considers themselves the one, true church in all of existence throughout the history of the world. Funny you should mention AA in the same post as your argument that one must sometimes reach a point of desperation before Christ reveals himself to us. AA is exactly where my faith crisis led me in the end, my excessive drinking for several years being partly a product of my faith crisis. I did work the 12 steps, though I revised my own 12 steps to involve a higher power that was not otherwordly, instead replacing it with an image of my potential. I am sober now over 19 years.
  8. I guess I adhere to Commandments 5 through 10; Commandments 1-4 don't hold any value for me. I try to live by the Golden Rule, to treat others as I hope to be treated. Outside of Christian values, I have experimented with Buddhist values (the 4 Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path are much more applicable to my life than the 10 Commandments) and Humanist values. Yes, I hear this a lot from devout Latter Day Saints, they have a hard time wrapping their head around any other outcome of Moroni's Promise than the one that they have experienced. They generally consider that I must have not interpreted some sign, feeling, prompting, etc. correctly, or that I didn't pray/ponder/study/fast with enough diligence or humility to receive a true answer. What was I expecting regarding a "true testimony"? I suppose a burning in the bosom would have been nice, I would have settled for a still, small voice, or even an internal confidence that what I was to believe was actual truth. I felt nothing but more doubts, questions, etc.
  9. I am an atheist because I failed to find objective or spiritual evidence of God's existence. I prayed, pondered, studied, fasted, etc. for years in the LDS faith and never gained a true testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. I left the LDS faith and attended, prayed and pondered on other christian faiths, and did not gain a testimony of Christ. I studied Buddhism and meditated with monks and did not find absolute truth in that belief system either (though I found their perspective to have the most truth and meaning in my life). Upon further study of science, philosophy and religion, I came to peace in accepting that God does not exist.
  10. Not necessarily, but maybe the church might allow you to wear two earrings on your ear instead of mandating just one earring per ear....baby steps
  11. As a former LDS, now atheist, if it turns out that I am wrong in my belief that there is no god, I figure bringing arguments to support my cause will be fruitless, as I was raised in the LDS faith and chose a different path, so it's not as if I wasn't exposed to the teachings of the plan of salvation and exaltation from an LDS perspective. Nor did I find any convincing basis for belief in the many other religions that i studied and visited after leaving the LDS church. I may however question the logic in god's plan in sentencing me to an eternity in hell for a lapse in judgement that lasted for 80ish years of an eternal existence; the punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime.
  12. IMO, this is the only way to explain these horrible errors in judgement by men who have supposedly been given the authority to seek heavenly confirmation in their decisions regarding ward and/or stake leaders....god cannot be omniscient.
  13. I agree, I cannot imagine a supremely loving god prompting or providing confirmation to his leaders to appoint a man to this position when god knows that this man will use this position of authority to abuse children in such a devastating manner. If this is the outcome of praying, fasting and pondering by stake leadership, you are just as well off putting the names in a hat and pulling them out randomly to select ward leaders.
  14. Ladies of the LDS church, welcome to the mid-20th century! Maybe in a few more decades you will be permitted to join the 21st century!
  15. For the sake of argument, I will rescind my assertion/assumption that this bishop may have had predatory thoughts or inclinations prior to getting this assignment (even though this would fly in the face of most sociological study that indicates predators have thoughts/fantasies/inclinations of a predatory nature long before they carry out their initial criminal activity). Putting aside prior inclinations toward this behavior, is the Holy Ghost omniscient, as God is supposed to be? If God is omniscient, he knows all that has happened and all that will ever happen, he has knowledge of everything. He knows now what decisions I will make 10 years from now (unless you believe God can be surprised, which means that he is not omniscient). Does the Holy Ghost have this same power of discernment? Did the Holy Ghost confirm among the leadership that this particular man was the best candidate to be a bishop? Was the Holy Ghost thus surprised too that this man turned out to be a predator? And if the Holy Ghost could not discern such things, why not just put some names in a hat and have a drawing to determine the next bishop; what is the point of praying, fasting, contemplating, etc. about such appointments if the holy Ghost is not going to steer the leadership in the proper direction?
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