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About bdouglas

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    Knight Of the Woeful Countenance

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  1. You remind me of our ward gospel hobbyist when I was growing up. No matter what was being discussed in priesthood mtg or gospel doctrine, this old High Priest would always find a way to steer things to a discussion of the communist threat, Ezra Taft Benson’s writings, etc. And every F & T mtg., there he was, front and center, harping on the same thing. “Is there any other tune you can whistle?” my dad asked him one Sunday after meetings, only half in jest. Who cares where the Mesoamerica limited geography theory came from? I don’t. What we do——or what we should do——is follow the evidence. And right now this evidence seems to point to a Mesoamerica limited geography.
  2. No, I'm not Catholic. But my favorite British novelist is (or was). Graham Greene. There is such a thing as "natural law". There are natural laws that govern morality just as much as there are natural laws that govern the natural world. Moral laws are as fixed as any natural law. God is bound by such laws, moral or physical, just as much as we are.
  3. Two men or two women coming together sexually will never produce offspring. This is all I meant when I said it gay marriage can never be productive.
  4. Lest any think I am callous towards the plight of gay Latter Day Saints . . . . I have a very large extended family, all LDS. And I have gay nieces, nephews that I am very close to. I am very sympathetic to their plight. But tinkering with something so basic as "male/female" would bring disaster upon the church. Were the church to start doing SSMs in the temple ... well the church would cease to exist. Male/female. It is basic. It is at the very heart of the Gospel.
  5. No, not hyperbole at all. An atom is composed of a proton (positive) and an electron (negative). What happens if you say, “Oh, to hell with it, I’m going to put two protons together?" What happens is the entire world, all of creation really ... it all comes apart. Literally. The world, the universe . . . it is all composed of opposites. Homosexuality is not treated much in the scriptures because, up until a few years ago, it was obvious to any thinking person that two men (or two women) don’t get married. Such a relationship can never be productive. On gut level (apart from what your reason tells you), there is something deeply wrong about it. In short, it is contrary to natural law. “In the beginning, God created man, male and female created he them . . .” Marriage, heterosexual marriage, is at the core of the Gospel. It is basic. If you dispense with it and say, “Male with male, female with female, or male and female . . . it’s all good, man! Love who you want!” Once you say that, you are tinkering with something that ought not to be tinkered with. On a moral level, it is no different that tinkering with a proton and electron, the most basic building block of nature.
  6. Some LDS have been bothered by JS's early treasure digging. I never have. The point I was making with Isaac Newton and alchemy is that Newton's alchemical pursuits did not preclude or disqualify his scientific pursuits. In the same way, JS's early treasure digging does not seem to me to preclude or disqualify his later prophetic career. As for the "stretchers", others have pointed some of these out. I confess to not reading the entire essay. I found it hard going.
  7. I don’t know what John Dehlin and anonymous authors hope to accomplish with this essay. It reminds me of the scandal that arose when it was discovered the Isaac Newton had been a dedicated alchemist his entire life. For a long time this knowledge was suppressed, or people tried to suppress it, but after a while it became impossible and now everybody knows Isaac Newton was an alchemist. For my part, I read about it all in “Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer”. From this book a case can be made that, not only were Newton’s alchemical pursuits NOT incompatible with his scientific ones, but that these alchemical pursuits led to his great scientific discoveries. I think the same can be said of JS's early treasure seeking and his later prophetic and revelatory career. For this reason, I find this MS essay to be a big yawn (and I also think it is filled with what Huck Finn would call “stretchers”).
  8. I apologize to rockpond and to any other members of the board I may have offended.
  9. If I have mis-judged you, I apologize. But still, I do not see how it is possible for you, on the one hand, to hold up John Dehlin as someone who is doing a great work and is the sum of all virtues, and on the other claim to be active believing LDS. The two ideas are incompatible. Why? Because John Dehlin is an enemy. He didn't start out as one, but he was always trending that way. And now he is an enemy. To deny this points to a certain naivety, or perhaps innocence, on your part (if you are, as you claim, active believing LDS).
  10. But materialism can be, and it is. And that is what JD is, a materialist. And he also wishes — more than anything, I think — to see the demise of the church/Gospel. This is his mission. You might even say he was "foreordained before the world was" to this mission, this calling. Dehlin's, "I'm here to help people going through faith transitions," is a facade. Someone who is really sincere about helping people in faith crises does not hang out with people like "New Name Noah". "Yeah, sure," the Dehlin-ite says, "there are a lot of good things in the BOM. But it is a 19th century production. It is like 'The Book Of Miracles' or the 'Urantia' book. Would I ever read it? Nah. Why waste my time? I prefer Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris." I guess people who are in the church can hold such views, but for how long? Eventually they will have to choose.
  11. I find your love of John Dehlin and your claim you are active believing LDS to be odd. Frankly I don’t believe it. I think you are a fraud. The British having a saying: “You can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.” Which are you, hound or hare? I just finished “Witness” by Whittaker Chambers. Chambers was a former communist. He became a Christian, and found that he could not simultaneously hold his communist ideals and his new Christian faith. They were utterly incompatible. One had to go, and he chucked communism and became a devout Christian. Afterward he didn’t go around saying, “You know, communism really helped me. There are really a lot of good ideas in it.” Rather he became an ardent foe of communism and everything it stood for. You can’t hold up John Dehlin (“Science is my god”) and his supposed virtues on the one hand, and the Gospel/Restoration on the other and pretend they are compatible. They are not. You have to choose. (And I think you have chosen. You are a disciple of John Dehlin.)
  12. Is there even a single ex-/anti-Mormon who will be writing these essays who is credentialed? Somebody with, say, a Ph.D in Psychology might be qualified to write an essay about LDS gays (even if this person is not an actual licensed practicing clinical psychologist). But would he be qualified to write about church history? Or the BOA? I predict what we'll get are authors like Jeremy Runnells, maybe Bill Reel (Bill would need to use not only a spell checker but a grammar checker), Dan Vogel, Sandra Tanner (if she is still producing material). But not a single author who is actually credentialed in the subject he is writing about.
  13. The "narcissistic personality disorder" is interesting, because I've always thought he has grandiose ideas about himself ... or he can come across that way. I thought it when he admitted that during his mission he believed his destiny was to become a GA. And he has become a sort of GA, not in the church, but GA to the ex-Mormon congregation.
  14. This idea that John Dehlin is really doing what he does for purely charitable and altruistic motives is really pretty silly. It’s how he makes his living. Yes, he has a Ph.D, but he is not licensed, and I’d be surprised if he ever does get licensed to practice. Even sillier is the fiction that he helps people stay in the church. John Dehlin hates the church and he hates church leaders. This animus comes out, whether he wills it or not, at odd moments in his interviews. We saw it also in his excommunication, his behavior and what he said. We saw it when he appeared at Bill Reels court, making common cause with “New Name Noah”, the most ridiculous, virulent and hateful of all anti-Mormons.
  15. For my part, when reading church lesson manuals and church magazines, I have always felt it important to remember who the target audience is. The target audience for an Ensign article by a GA is different than the target audience for a 300-level church history class at BYU. (Even so, there have been many challenging articles in the Ensign, for example, the article written by Elder Nelson in 1998 about the seer stone and how it was used by JS.) I have also found it useful to remember, or keep in mind, that church leaders (in conference and otherwise) have not been teaching history, they have been teaching the Gospel. To illustrate my point ... does anybody really imagine that the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea happened exactly as Moses (or whoever wrote Genesis) says it happened? I sure don't. But when I read Genesis I am not expecting Moses to teach me history (actual, raw history), rather I am expecting him to teach me the Gospel. If I thought Moses in Genesis was teaching me history, and then one day I find that it never really literally happened the way he said it did ... well then, I guess I might feel betrayed.
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