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Five Solas

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About Five Solas

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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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  1. Establishing Boundaries within the LDS Church

    That was a lot of confusion, Smac. Perhaps if you didn't break my paragraphs into stand alone-sentences and you considered what I wrote a bit more holistically, it would help. Regarding what is community and why students might have a desire for it, consider the third level in Maslow's Hierarchy. But if we can't at least loosely agree on that, then yeah, the rest of it probably is a bit silly. I am interested if anyone else out there sees examples of members establishing and maintaining boundaries, apart from official statements from church leaders. Smac, I get that you think such activity is merely members behaving badly (at least in the example I gave). But whether you discriminate based on age (those over 30 in my example), appearance, combinations thereof or anything else--it still comes down to establishing and maintaining boundaries. Or at least it does to me, and I think it would to most people. And as I endeavored to show, there could be organizational benefit from such boundaries. Not sure if this little synopsis is helpful, but there you have it. :0) --Erik _____________________________________________________________________ Well, the only person talkin' 'bout love-thy-brother is the preacher And it seems, nobody is interested in learnin' but the teacher Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration, aggravation, Humiliation, obligation to our nation Ball of Confusion, that's what the world is today... --The Temptations, 1970
  2. Establishing Boundaries within the LDS Church

    I'd like you to at least acknowledge the grass roots/bottom up view of boundary establishment/maintenance has merit, Smac. Maybe I just need your validation, I dunno. ;0) Let me pose a hypothetical to you: Supposing college students want community, including church community, with other college students and perhaps young single professionals as well. That's not such a leap, is it? Now supposing college students curious about the LDS Church were to cross the street (15th Ave NE in this case) and see a bunch of clean, friendly, well-dressed college students and young professionals. Would that make stepping through the Institute building door to make further inquiry harder or easier? Easier now, right? Now supposing instead they encounter the fellow I just described. Harder now, right? Obviously I have some empathy toward that bishop, looking back in hindsight. You can tell that from the way I told the story. But could it be I'm just seeing at the world through my apostate soda straw? What if I took a utilitarian view (seeking to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number)? Then the young adults who at least passively encouraged him to find community elsewhere--they had it right, didn't they? (And through that lens, expulsion from the YSA program at age 31 is smart.) Perhaps all this has actually lead to more LDS conversions--because the membership enforces boundaries, not just the leadership. And the right sort of conversions too--many of these young folks from UW's programs will be tomorrow's leaders. Now you could point out the obvious & reply to me, "Well, when you were there, Erik, there were four University wards (U-1 through U-4), and today there are only two remaining, so I guess your navel-gazing hypothesis kinda blows." To which I could only reply, "Well, perhaps otherwise there might be just one." In a purely hypothetical conversation, of course. :0) --Erik
  3. Establishing Boundaries within the LDS Church

    Is boundary setting in the LDS tradition something that only happens from the top down, smac97? Do you imagine the leadership delivers its edicts & admonitions--and the members demonstrate their worthiness via their obedience? Or could boundary setting also happen from the grass roots--from the bottom up? From your reply, it seems you would only recognize the former (top down) and you disregard the latter (bottom up). Hence you deny my story has anything to do with boundary preservation. But I suspect many here will recognize my story does indeed have to do with establishing boundaries--and how the rank & file decide to act is every inch as consequential (and arguably more so) that whatever the leaders might say and publish. --Erik ______________________________________________________ and that's the end and that's the start of it that's the whole and that's the part of it that's the high and that's the heart of it that's the long and that's the short of it that's the best and that's the test in it that's the doubt, the doubt, the trust in it that's the sight and that's the sound of it that's the gift and that's the trick in it --Placebo "Twenty Years"
  4. Establishing Boundaries within the LDS Church

    Okay, seeing as how this is in danger of becoming the Willie Nelson appreciation thread (not that there’d be anything wrong with that)—let me try to get this back & prime the pump a little. I’ll share a story from early in the previous decade in one of the University of Washington affiliated YSA wards I was a part of-- A fellow starting visiting our ward. He had a pretty unpleasant demeanor. He didn’t smell too good. He’d occasionally bump into people and make no apology. And he was too old to be there (you typically got the boot on your 31st birthday—perhaps an example of “active” encouragement I mentioned in my OP). But our bishop befriended him, gave him some modest financial support. Worth noting our bishop wasn’t the typical LDS bishop (aren’t at least half of them dentists/orthodontists?). He was an adult convert who otherwise had no connection to Utah. He also ran a large, leading-edge technical research team for the UW that drew talent from all over the world. At the time a lot of us wished this fellow would just find another place to hang out on Sundays and few (if any) made an effort to help him fit in (an example of “passive” encouragement I mentioned in my OP). He made things really uncomfortable. He’d repay the bishop’s generosity by sitting on the institute steps facing 15th Ave NE after church, and enjoy a cigarette. How self-righteous many of us felt, and what a fool our bishop was being for subsidizing tobacco consumption (with our hard-earned money!). Now, does it change the story if I mention he was also blind and walked with a cane? Well, it didn’t much for us at the time. After a while he did move on. I’d see him in the U-District neighborhood on occasion. Then after a couple more years I didn’t see him anymore. Active & passive—yeah, I think we had all the elements. And whatever else may be said, the boundary was preserved. What do folks think? An unlikely story? Or one that hits close to home? --Erik _____________________________________________________ The sun is filled with ice and gives no warmth at all And the sky was never blue The stars are raindrops searching for a place to fall And I never cared for you --Willie Nelson, 1964
  5. The Joy of the Temple

    With all due respect, Maidservant - the choice is not yours. The author of the OP, Bernard Gui, put his post in "General Discussions" inviting feedback. If he wanted mere affirmation - he would have put it in "Social Hall" instead. He's been around a while and knows the difference. Suggest you give him the benefit of any doubt. ;0) --Erik
  6. Not everyone fits. That much should be incontestable by now. And any club can set rules for admission and continuing membership. That also isn’t up for debate. The reasons and the tools for maintaining boundaries within the LDS Church and perhaps more broadly in Mormonism—that’s what I’d like this thread to be about. When should you resign, for reasons of conscience, ethics or other considerations? And when should someone have their membership revoked or otherwise be disenfranchised? And when should a member, passively or actively, encourage another member to find a different community with which to associate? --Erik PS. There was a thread about boundaries a while back. I shared some thoughts, based on my own experience. Someone even gave me a rep point! But then my little post got deleted, because someone else got offended (doubtless someone much worthier than I). Or maybe it was because I quoted from a Willie Nelson song (“I Never Cared for You”, going back to 1964)—and quoting Willie always carries risk in these quarters. But hopefully we’ll make some headway on the topic of boundaries this time. It's an interesting topic, at least to me. :0)
  7. The Joy of the Temple

    The point of the rending of the curtain is that God's presence is accessible everywhere. Yet the OP imagines there is still something special about a building called a temple and rituals taking place therein. It imagines that a temple somehow makes God more accessible, that extra good things happen there. And yet this flies in the face of the New Testament and the verses I cited previously. When the temple was destroyed ~ 70 A.D., it was already superfluous, made so by Christ's work on the cross. The age of the temple had passed. It's understandable that those of the Jewish Faith wouldn't appreciate this. But it's less clear why LDS wouldn't. Does that help you see the difficulty/contradiction, or are you still not understanding it? --Erik
  8. The Joy of the Temple

    In the Bible, the death of Jesus is marked by the temple curtain being torn from top to bottom. (See Mark 15:38-39, though the account is repeated in all the synoptic gospels). In the Christian tradition, the rending of the veil signifies the removal of the separation between God and people. Through the work of Jesus on the cross, gentiles everywhere have access to the very presence of God. And the fact it's torn from the top down makes clear this is the work of God, not man. The author of Hebrews understands the significance and underscores the point in 6:19-20. And the coming destruction of the temple is made inevitable. It's certainly understandable why those in the Jewish faith would reject all this and suppose God would remain most accessible in a particular space (e.g., along or under the Western Wall). But for LDS who claim faith in the person and work of Christ--it makes a whole lot less sense. What do LDS think of Mark 15:38-39 and the torn curtain? Was it just a random event and the Apostle Paul and ensuing Christian tradition made a mountain out of a molehill? --Erik
  9. I think it's okay to be entertained. I find many of the discussions (including some of the ones I initiate) entertaining, although that's never my sole purpose. I am intrigued by your statement "life is more enjoyable when I feel like I don't have to take a side." Most people familiar with Mormonism would assume you've already taken a side on the basis of your disclosure of being a temple recommend holder. You've explicitly affirmed to your stake president your lack of agreement (if not outright opposition) with individuals/groups whose teachings are contrary to the teachings espoused by the LDS Church. It's not like you get to play the Switzerland card & claim neutrality (between Allies and Axis). Perhaps that particular question (which I paraphrased) is ambiguous in your mind and affords wiggle-room to make the statement you did. But I doubt most would see it that way. I'd be interested in hearing you unpack it further, should you wish to do so. --Erik _____________________________________________________ Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose --Janis Joplin, "Me and Bobby McGee"
  10. Just quick not of thanks to the 45 folks who participated in the poll (as of 6:31 AM Seattle time). I have to admit, I didn't anticipate the results and thought it would be a little more evenly distributed. It's encouraging, from my point of view. And I thought it would be interesting to divide responses between LDS temple recommend holders and LDS without--and so I authored the poll accordingly. My hypothesis was that we might see a significantly different answer ratio between the groups. But that wasn't the case. And I also didn't expect temple recommend holders would outnumber all other groups combined by over two to one (31 to 14). Concerns are sometimes expressed on the forum that critics dominate--but they certainly don't appear to based on the data here. --Erik _________________________________________________________ Everything is supposed to get in I just don't know where I'm a-getting it from A cha-charger What is the cause of it? And well in that case, how do you know it's your own? A cha-charger What do you say now? --Gorillaz, feat. Grace Jones, 2017
  11. While critics don't have a literal seat at the table in a church council, their ideas certainly find their way into the room and into the discussion. You need only spend a little time with content made available via MormonLeaks to appreciate the fact. LDS leaders even commissioned a summary slide about them, listing critics & movements on an ideological spectrum, left to right. It got a fair bit of attention when it was released, including on this forum. You sure you can't think of even one example, CV75? --Erik
  12. Appreciate the question, CV75. Personally, I take the view that greater transparency and openness is a good thing, especially in non-profit organizations that receive tax relief/benefit from the rest of us. So I applaud the recent efforts of the LDS Church to be more forthcoming about its history. At the same time, I doubt these steps would have been taken were it not for some brave individuals at independent publications (e.g., Sunstone, Dialogue) in the late 80's /early 90's who stood up to LDS leadership and their strong counsel at the time against "alternative voices." In addition--there were a lot of quiet heroes out there who kept their subscriptions and donations coming--enabling research and many truths about LDS history to be published to a broader audience. So, do you have an example to share? --Erik _____________________________________________ I wanted to tell her but I stuck to my lies I wanted to tell her till I looked in her eyes --Ministry, 1983
  13. On another thread an LDS poster alleged critics of the LDS Church endlessly repeat “same old claims” and disregard evidence. He cited Jeremy Runnells as an example to demonstrate critics lack originality and any thoughtfulness. He went on to liken critics of the LDS Church to “zombies.” In the face of my challenge, he enjoyed significant support from fellow LDS and many likes/rep points were given. So I thought it would be worth a poll to the broader audience here. How do you feel about critics? Are they like zombies and the only surefire way to neutralize them by complete physical destruction of their brains? Or might they serve an occasional useful purpose (besides kindling)? Have a go & don’t hold back. We critics know how some of you feel already. ;0) --Erik ______________________________________________ She appears composed, so she is, I suppose Who can really tell? She shows no emotion at all Stares into space like a dead china doll --Elliott Smith, "Waltz #2"
  14. RIP Anti Mormon Literature

    I can assure you (and I'm probably in a much better position to judge) that the second one is more than a little controversial, especially for folks with a "complementarian" mindset. But if you were hoping I was going to dish the dirt on the pastor's wife or some such--then yeah, this was weak sauce, for sure. How about you lead by example, Vance. Are there any valid examples of criticism of the LDS Church that you can think of? Or are you going to be joining the No-valid-criticism-of-the-LDS-Church-exists Club that we seem to have got started here? I hear they're looking for a club treasurer... ;0) --Erik ______________________________________________ It all seems so stupid It makes me want to give up But why should I give up When it all seems so stupid --Depeche Mode, 1983
  15. RIP Anti Mormon Literature

    You know, a single glass of red wine in the evening can go a long way. For you, I'd suggest a Russian River Pinot Noir--and there are some truly exceptional vintners in the Northern part of your fair state. And as you enjoy God's goodness in the glass, you'll pause and reflect. Perhaps our Lord's work at Cana will come into your mind (John 2) and you'll wish you could have been there, if only for an evening. But regardless, you'll undoubtedly feel a bit better about me (and likely about people in general). That, and light to moderate drinkers on average live longer than teetotalers--so you'll have that going for you. ;0) Take care of yourself, mfbukowski --Erik