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About Rivers

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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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  1. The idea that God is not benevolent is terribly frightening. But I believe there is good reason to believe He is.
  2. I’ve been thinking about how I would make a logical argument for the veracity of my religion to those of other faiths without relying on the traditional “read and pray” or testimony bearing approaches (not that those are bad). I feel the best approach is to go straight to the theology. I would begin by laying out some basic assumptions: -There is a God. -God is benevolent. I would then argue that there must be an afterlife since there is too much injustice in this life. If God is loving then there would have to be an afterlife. Then I would ask what kind of if afterlife is consistent with a benevolent God? That obviously rules our Calvinism. It would also rule out any religion that teaches anyone suffers forever in Hell for not having the right religion as is portrayed in the South Park movie. Universalism makes much more sense since God is loving. And our understanding of varying degrees of glory is a universalist model that also takes into account the gradations of virtue and holiness that individuals attain. I can’t think of a better model consistent with a benevolent God. Can you?
  3. God is a parent. Good parents love and value their children. They comfort their children. They provide for them. They teach them. They also discipline their children. Parents sometimes get angry. They do things that the children don’t like. They ultimately try to do what’s best for their children. Our Heavenly Parents are the same way.
  4. What in the world kind of ward is allowing you to teach a class?🙂 Here is my favorite story from Elder Alvarado: “A story is told of a woman who was upset that her son was eating too much candy. No matter how much she told him to stop, he continued to satisfy his sweet tooth. Totally frustrated, she decided to take her son to see a wise man whom he respected. She approached him and said, “Sir, my son eats too much candy. Would you please tell him to stop eating it?” He listened carefully then said to her son, “Go home and come back in two weeks.” She took her son and went home, perplexed why he had not asked the boy to stop eating so much candy. Two weeks later they returned. The wise man looked directly at the boy and said, “Boy, you should stop eating so much candy. It is not good for your health.” The boy nodded and promised he would. The boy’s mother asked, “Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago?” The wise man smiled. “Two weeks ago I was still eating too much candy myself.” This man lived with such integrity that he knew his advice would carry power only if he was following his own counsel.”
  5. Rivers


    Sustaining is accepting and supporting. Not blind obedience.
  6. What exactly does the church mean by the use of the word “worthy?” It seems like a lot of people equate the word “worthy” with having worth. Thus I hear some complain that we need to stop using the word in reference to meeting qualifications to enter the temple. But I really don’t think being worthy has anything to do with having worth. I had never made that kind of connection. Do we need to find a better word to use than “worthy?”
  7. Oaks didn’t say anything new. He simply reiterated the church’s long-held teachings on the law of chastity and the doctrine of marriage. But he did put a much greater emphasis on loving and respecting those with whom we disagree. When dealing with such a sensitive topic, there’s no way to not trigger people. But I thought President Oaks was quite graceful in the way he handled it.
  8. I thought the Q stood for questioning.
  9. I just finished listening to all the talks. Except the women’s session since I am not a woman. I did, however, listen to President Oaks’ talk in that session to hear all the mean things he said. I was pleasantly surprised to find that much of the talk was spent admonishing us to obey the second great commandment to love all people even when we disagree. And it really did strengthen my resolve to love everybody. I also find it interesting that GA’s are now using the LGBT acronym. I also liked Oaks’ talk on the spirit world. It was something different. President Nelson’s talk on humanitarian aid was uplifting and inspiring. Elder Uchdorf’s comparison of the Plan of Salvation to The Hobbit was great. It had a nice Joseph Campbell vibe. The first African American GA gave an important message about not comparing yourself to others. I needed that one. The rugby talk was great. There were some other good ones but I can’t recall them all. Overall a good conference. Looking forward to worshipping Joseph Smith in April 😏
  10. I used to think the Word of Wisdom was a simple topic.
  11. The feminists will never be fully satisfied no matter what. They’re always looking for stuff to whine about. But this is a nice little change nonetheless. This is a kind of change I had never really thought about. I would say this easily paves the way for women holding the baby during a baby blessing.
  12. I’m grateful to have grown up with the Word of Wisdom. Working in healthcare has given me greater appreciation for it. I love the theology. Pioneer heritage. Pot lucks. Elder Uchdorf Church ball The youth programs that helped keep me inline as a youngster. But the most important thing to me right now is having a set of values and morals giving me some kind of meaning in life. It’s hard to live life without some sense of purpose. I think the lack of purpose and meaning in people’s lives is a contributing factor in the suicide problem we’re facing. Heck, I may not even be here now if I didn’t have the gospel to hold onto in my lowest moments.
  13. Shorts and T shirt. Wearing church attire while watching conference at home is heretical and psychotic.
  14. Calling it the Two-Cumorah theory is inaccurate. The argument is that there was only one Cumorah and that the early Saints wrongly assumed it was in New York. I’ve never had a problem with the supposition that Moroni traveled from Central America to New York with the Plates. He was also fleeing for his life. I imagine he had plenty of time on his hands. I just don’t see why this theory gets so much flack.
  15. I was reading 1 Corinthians 15 in John Waymant’s Translation for Latter-day Saints. Verse 40 uses the words “heavenly” and “earthly” rather than than “celestial” and “terrestrial.” I find it rather odd that “celestial” and “terrestrial” became words that both denote levels of heaven. This makes D&C 76 more confusing to me. Joseph Smith knew that “terrestrial” means “earthly” didn’t he? Am I missing something? Or do we just need to accept that the Lord appropriated the word “terrestrial” to mean the second level of heaven?
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