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Robert F. Smith

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About Robert F. Smith

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  1. Society is filled to overflowing with institutions of all kinds, including marriage, family, city council, individual businesses, corporations, state and federal legislatures, military organizations, schools, etc., any one of which can go terribly wrong and become corrupt. What is the answer, Tacenda? Hide in a closet? Or find solutions to problems?
  2. Robert F. Smith

    Linear growth in church membership

    Correct. England, Ireland, and Western Europe generally have been moving into a secular funk or torpor. My bro-in-law was Pres of a mission in Germany in the early 2000s and found very little interest in religion among the Germans. However, his missionaries were able to make converts among the mainland Chinese students studying in German universities. Once baptized and endowed, they returned to China and baptized their own families, and got married in the Hong Kong Temple.
  3. Robert F. Smith

    Linear growth in church membership

    I would like to see some hard evidence for those assertions, with separate figures for each area or nation. I am well aware of stasis in some areas, and rapid growth in others. We also must be able to distinguish loss of members in one area, but growth in areas to which those "lost" members moved. If declining participation is real, I would like to see those figures arranged by area and by age. We have had some discussions of this in the recent past. Is it to those discussions that you refer? If so, please cite them. Your own personal experience in your area/stake/ward is of interest. Are young people drifting away in large numbers (what is the percentage?) in your area of concern? To what do you attribute that tendency, if it actually exists?
  4. Robert F. Smith

    Linear growth in church membership

    We have discussions about statistical growth from time to time on this board. Perhaps you could make some sense of additional stats: http://www.churchistrue.com/blog/lds-membership-statistics-report-2017/ . http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/68838-church-measures-and-treands/ .
  5. Robert F. Smith

    Equal Rights Amendment: The Church is neutral...

    Perhaps you could explain to me what the effects of the ERA would be. Its implications are unclear to me. So you agree that ERA was not needed to obtain those results, and would not be needed to render polygyny or polyandry legal? Or other forms of non-traditional marriage? So, what is the practical purpose of the ERA? I was around when Pres. Kimball was President of the Church. Weren’t you? I answered your question with a LDS link from 1980. Yes, I was certainly around, and I watched closely as the LDS Church and Phyllis Schlafly systematically defeated the ERA (I have a degree in political science). However, I still have not received a clear answer to my above (bolded) questions. The entirely one-sided legal brief in the March 1980 Ensign is a mixed bag and does not profit from the perspective of time (it is now almost 40 years since being prepared). I find many of the assumptions and statements in that brief to be false or tendentious. I regard, for example, the notion of the nuclear family strongly supported by the LDS Church to be a weak and failing structure, when we should have been pushing the notion of the traditional extended family (which churches and modern society have been destroying). Then too, many of the list of horribles which the ERA would supposedly create have come to pass without it. Most of all, however, I am just not sure that the ERA makes any difference if enacted. Is it needed for any valid purpose? Has its absence been noticed? Have the right or the left gained or lost anything in its absence?
  6. Robert F. Smith

    Joseph Smith Treasure Digging - MS Truth Claims Essay

    It doesn't seem reasonable to me that a written text would be hidden away for centuries upon centuries, only to be discovered, determined to be indecipherable, translated by spiritual means, and then spirited away, a mere decades (or less) from the text being competently translated and presented to the world in situ. Perhaps by non-believer, as you prefer. I merely answered your hypothetical question (which seems to be very unlikely anyhow) in a serious way, based on standard scholarly procedures. Not sure what your response here means, Gervin.
  7. Robert F. Smith

    Ibn Arabi quote on Kolob.

    It would be nice to know the precise source. However, qulub is a plural in Arabic meaning "hearts" (singular qalb "heart; center; soul, spirit," as in Qalb al-ˁAsad “Regulus [in Leo]” ), so a comment by Ibn Arabi would not be out of order, even in Medieval times. Since Kerry Shirts is a member of this board, I will try to send him a PM. [tried that just now, but was forbidden code 403] In the LDS Book of Abraham KOLOB is the greatest star, “first in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time,” “nearest unto” the throne of God; “signifying the first creation” (BofAbraham 3:3, facsimile 2:1-2,4-5). See the discussion by Kevin Barney, “Kolob as Sirius,” By Common Consent, Nov 18, 2006, online at https://bycommonconsent.com/2006/11/18/kolob-as-sirius/ . The comments which follow that article are also interesting.
  8. All religious groups have a problem with predators of various kinds, Roman Catholicism more than the others (and it is unclear that the Pope understands the problem). The solution is to encourage reporting to a central HQ which is programmed to take action, with a policy of zero tolerance, and careful predator tracking. This is also a problem for non-religious groups, such as the Boy Scouts. Insisting on background checks, not allowing adults to be alone with children, and the like, are only some of the solutions.
  9. Robert F. Smith

    All-you-can-eat religion, Buffet style

    Right on Brother Marklin.
  10. Robert F. Smith

    All-you-can-eat religion, Buffet style

    What is nice about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that it is very much a buffet-style religion. It does not depend on the pretended superiority of this or that culture or language. It doesn't care about race or genetics. It is not a matter of gender. All are alike unto God, and he offers all of us the same plan of happiness. God does not care whether one is a lawyer or bricklayer, a doctor or homemaker. He doesn't care whether one is young or old. God doesn't privilege those he has called to leadership, but instead expects more of them in compassionate service. They get no extra points for being in high positions. The prophet is no better than a doorkeeper in the House of the Lord. Where much is given, much is expected, and all are alike unto God. The prophet is not infallible and his words are subject to our agreement and approval. Brother Brigham worried that the members just followed his orders instead of asking for verification from the Holy Spirit. He did not want the Saints living on "borrowed light," which makes for weak and ineffectual members. Moreover, the Atonement applies to all humankind, without exception. And they who have not the Law of God, are a law unto themselves (will be judged fairly based on their own cultural laws). One does not have to be LDS or a Jew to be approved of God. God loves you equally regardless.
  11. Robert F. Smith

    Before the Temple is Restored in Jerusalem

    As Prof Jordan Peterson might say, "Good luck with that." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q85gA40fy5U .
  12. Robert F. Smith

    Before the Temple is Restored in Jerusalem

    Well, at least you are consistent in ignoring scholarship at every opportunity. You were provided with excellent sources, which you are afraid to confront because they might upset your ingrained assumptions. In that you are not alone. Many people choose to ignore reality.
  13. Robert F. Smith

    Book of Enoch

    Yes, there are some scholarly translations of it out there, and the NT quotes it as Scripture.
  14. Robert F. Smith

    Before the Temple is Restored in Jerusalem

    I gave you some excellent sources, from which you can elicit the consensus among scholars. If you are looking for an easy way in, start with Ritmeyer, Secrets of Jerusalem's Temple Mount, and go from there. It is a small book and has some excellent illus. Please don't be like John Dehlin, who is proud never to read any sources.
  15. Robert F. Smith

    Review of Dehlin's "Truth Claims" Essays

    Mark Hofmann, who is a sociopath, is an excellent example of what I have in mind. The irony is what gets me.