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readstoomuch

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readstoomuch last won the day on July 20 2014

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  1. I guess only you can answer your own question. You might try the book For Those Who Doubt and The Borderlands column in Sunstone. I can`t remember his name. He seems to be pretty good at helping people construct a template for how they might interact with the Church. I could see how I might be happy to have more time on my hands or not have callings. For me, the question is what Christ would have me do and that has ultimately led to the most happy experiences in my life.
  2. I really don`t want to get too much into this thread and I am not after any one, but since sometimes I just have to say something, I will. Does DNA evidence shape how I might perceive the Book of Mormon? Sure. Has it made me look at it differently? Yes. Do I think that the Lehites were the sole founding population for North and South America? No. Have I read some books including Southerton`s and genetic articles. Yes. Is there enough consistent coherent information yet to change my belief in the Book of Mormon as a significant religious document? No. Do genetic studies and archeology make me look at the Bible differently? Yes. Have I been in a room and heard scientists argue about scientific studies, including DNA studies? Yes. Some things I assume. The earth is at least 4.5-5 billion years old. Organic evolution is a fact and the backbone behind the study of genetics. We should learn by study and by faith. If certain evidence really convinces me about the Book of Mormon being different than I had thought, I will change my mind. It won`t change my spiritual belief because I received a witness of it. I follow the most closely with Blake Ostler`s Dialogue article of 1987 called The Book of Mormon as a Modern Expansion of an Ancient Document. Well worth the read and forms my world view of looking at the Book of Mormon in addition to what it actually says about itself.
  3. That is the big question. Is there really any proof about categories of plural marriage? Time, time/eternity and eternity only. There are examples and implications that there were these categories, but as far as I know no one spelled it all out in some type of document or written format.
  4. I look at the plural marriage differently than you are implying. I find that most latter day saints new about Joseph, Brigham, etc supposed quantity of wives well into the 30s and 40s. Those that didn`t generally heard about it from Fawn Brodie`s book. It was widely read. They couldn`t keep the copies in the libraries in Utah by some reports. It has really been the last 30-40 years that people didn`t seem to know as much about the polygamy. I think there are some strong arguments about the number of wives Joseph Smith actually had. 40 wives implies sex with them whereas there are no children and all of the children by polyandrous wives have been proven not to be his. One of the number of items that Brodie implied and proved by unsubstantiated quotes from Wylhelm Wyl. Most reputable historians count about 33 women who were sealed to Joseph during his lifetime. There are some who claimed to have relations with Joseph, but for those who admitted to that, it was for the most part at the Temple Lot trial to try and establish who the rightful owner of the property was. The Church had something to lose in that circumstance. I think it is much more genuine to say that Joseph Smith was a polygamist than really knowing or counting his wives. As far as the accounts of the first vision and Book of Abraham, they are more recent issues. In fact I have only read the second edition from early 70s and not the original from 1945. I don't know if the issues were discussed in the first edition or not (Brodies 1st edition). That is about all I feel like talking about, so I am just going to leave it at that.
  5. The question is basically the same for the Church History essays. Does information that is accurate, but tries to bring out the positive or apologetic side of the argument always help people to answer their question or overcome their doubts? No, not always. I would have loved to have had FAIR 35 years ago, but it was much harder. The apologetics that was available was often very poor. Things that were available that were any good were often photocopied and distributed in an informal matter. So, did the old system always work? Nope, but I think there are more people asking questions and that don`t know enough about history to put a context on a piece of information they find disturbing.
  6. Brodie was actually a gifted writer. Her style was very readable and entertaining. I spent a summer going through every one of her footnotes. This was long before there was an internet and it wasn`t an easy business. I found her footnotes to not be accurate and tended to favor anti-mormon books and not primary sources. For example she relies heavily on Wylhelm Wyl`s Mormon Portraits for the polygamy portions of the book. Her book has been often called a psychobiography. She tried to get inside Joseph`s heads and describe the motivations he was feeling. There were similar criticisms of her books about Jefferson and Nixon. Brodie Revisited by Marvin Hill and Reconsidering No Man Knows My History edited by Compton and Bringhurst qualify and explain much about Fawn Brodie. Nibley was flippant and not a great response to Brodie, but still brought up issues that are relevant. Still an interesting book that has to be explained in some way. Thus, it is discussed and reviewed many times in Mormon history.
  7. I still assume that our Heavenly Parents created man and woman in their image. Certainly unfair things happen. One of our best friends and relief society president with a brain cancer diagnosed a week ago and to another a baby born with leukemia at birth. I don`t understand that any more than I understand the person who was born intersex. I choose to believe that it will work out. I don`t know how, but it will.
  8. Members are encouraged to serve mission as seniors. I think senior missionaries miss events in the children and grandchildrens lives. I also find it harder to get to all events as my kids and family members spread all over the states. I would like more service opportunities for missionaries. There are some jobs that are clerical or are hard to measure as proselyting and service. They still have to be done for the work to go forward. I know it would be very hard to run a mission without some senior couples in the office. I happen to know about the Polynesian Cultural Center. PCC is mostly run as a way to support BYU Hawaii students with scholarships and financial need. The dancers, servers, concessions and guides are all students. If what I have heard is true, PCC is not a money maker, but rather a way to support the mission of BYUH. Rental houses in Laie are far less than hotels. You can go to church locally and hangout at the IGA there. It is easy to meet the locals and get some understanding of the area. Living stipends. I don`t know, I always knew they were given. Maybe that is the main message that needs to get out there. I also know what it costs to pay someone with an MBA or advanced degree to work in a business. The Church is a far bigger endeavor than the business I am involved with. I know the owners of the company make far more than GA`s. One is Lds and said he wouldn't work for what the Church pays. I am still impressed by what I see the Church able to do with their resources. Despite all the money people claim they have, I think it would cost far more to pay people and then they wouldn't be able to do as much to help people. I`m going to give them a break on this. If anything Wikileaks has made me feel better about the Church.
  9. Maybe so, but whatever the number, is he amount f service and good seems to be quite astounding. Some things are slowing down. I find myself strengthened in my faith of what I am experiencing.
  10. Yes, overseas less people go on a mission. My son is one of those 71,000 on a mission. He is in Europe and having a very good experience. The ups and downs of missionary number is almost as exciting as the Mormon Wikileaks. Our church isn't perfect, but does a pretty darn well. Maybe we should concentrate on the good things.
  11. It is a little off, but I suppose if no hanky pinky happened and there was some type of agreement that could be proven, why not. I don`t know. How many angels dance on a pinhead? I do think that polygamy would be a social answer for the ongoing problem that there seems to be more single eligible women then men in the Church. My unofficial survey as I go about my business. It served that purpose in Manti in the mid 1800s. I think Kathryn Daines (Danes?) work on that was wonderful. Do I want that, support that or in any way think that is the absolute best-no. If we are going to have ssm I don`t know how polygyny or polyandry can be considered illegal. I always have a different take on this. I am sealed to two women, as my first wife died of cancer. My second wife had a problem with that for a few year, but really is peaceful and much more settled with the idea of polygamy. I also spent quite a bit of time studying the people who lived in polygamy and found them to be amazing individuals. They lived it because it was God`s law at the time. Probably to raise up a core of righteous saints. I had no idea until about a year ago that I was descended from polygamists and my ancestors were on one of the last wagon trains to cross the plains. My dad is a convert and I never thought of myself as pioneer stock or was here because of polygamy. Then I was going through genealogy that had already been done, but was trying to get to know my mom`s family and bingo. So, I just try to own it. When I teach lessons, I usually bring it up, hopefully in a faith promoting way.
  12. I think it was fatheroffour. It was while I was in the military after officers training school. I had to dial up with aol. I went to some Fair conferences and got to know Dan and others. Fairmormon still puts on a good conference. I could see how the orthodox of any Christian sect might feel like you do. Having faith crises has become in vogue and the noise put on by the politically correct Mormons and exmormons is hard to squelch and inhabits every message board. It all just seems different. IMO Obama and his crowd fundamentally changed America in horrible ways. I don't hardly recognize the country I took an oath to honor and defend.
  13. I remember Zion`s Lighthouse Message Board. I never have much time, but that was a great time. I have gotten the impression MDMB might be a child of ZLMB. Our discussion board is still the best I have found, even if it seems like we end up with the same end arguments, such as social issues and some variation of polygamy. It is an interesting take that the board is about New Order and Traditional Mormons. I do miss Richard Abanes, at least an occasional run in.
  14. This is relevant, interesting and insightful. I know there are politically liberal Mormons that still are faithful. Most memebers from the northeast or Europe are more liberal than your typical mountain west member. What I find with my children is they have a million friends on Facebook, but one basically no outside friends and the other some good friends who have the identical political ideology. If it weren't for their family support they would often be in a bad way. I have to decide to let them suffer from their decisions sometimes. I find many millenials aren't into service or it may be more that it is someone else's job to do those things. Do some millenials apparent lack of motivation for service (imo), social justice/liberalism and the sense of community make connection to the Church in a meaningful way basically impossible?
  15. If that generation is more inclined to pay tithing, but on net, it is still commendable. Since I remember plenty of inactive people when I was doing fast offerings in the early 70s in the sketchier part of town (or the whole ward for that matter), maybe they are no more inactive than any other generation. They would rather text than ever call and definitely are different to work with. Mobility also seems to be no problem. I'll just quit my job because ___________happened and get another job or move in with my parents. That is some of my experience at work with them. As far as Tacenda, second outlandish statement I have caught in the last week. I find the Church very frugal with how they spend money. Sometimes to a fault. My wife is an officer in a condo association and I have served with a nonprofit. We have seen some interesting things with how money was spent. I think the Church does well. I just went to the lights at Temple Square and was well pleased. We are not from Utah, so we appreciated them as I think most people do. I am going to take the opportunity to say something about hungry people. We are finding that the missionaries and members are slowly taking over the food bank locally. We have run a program there and the community has come to rely on the Church to staff the food bank. They don`t seem to get many others to volunteer. They have a few employees, but it is mostly volunteer. A few other churches help out and a few wouldn't participate because the food drives are manned and collected for the most part by the Lds Church before it goes to the food bank. The Bishops Storehouse has been very good in working with our organization. Why don`t the non-lds people and secular folks help out more? Why aren't they out collecting food or sorting at the food bank? Sometimes the hungry children outside the US come up. I believe there is a Liahona Foundation that works especially in South America. Yes, there are hungry children and the local leaders have often said, don`t send more food or money without us administering it. They found they had too many people trying to just live off of the Church and not actually take part and be part of the gospel. They wanted programs that they could run and use the way that they felt the need should be met. We in the United States sometimes think we know what the rest of the world needs. What it seems like we need and people in general need are opportunities to succeed and be productive. I think that is where fast offerings and programs like the Perpetual Education Fund work. We as Latter-day saints do these things well.