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About Coop

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  1. This is an interesting topic. I had an experience in the Calgary Temple that I had trouble processing. We were in the second ordinance room when a cell phone went off. After two rings this brother answers it. I sat there thinking this has to be the weirdest experience ever. Then just as everyone was getting over their shock his phone rings again, and again he answered it. This is as close as I have been to a demonic experience in the Calgary Temple. I decided that the next time this happens I'm going to get up, grab the phone, and take it out to the front desk. I do things like this but I don't recommend it to others unless your real old and you don't care what people think of you. All the best, Bob
  2. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I've never seen a discussion forum succeed as you suggest. And the reason they don't is because no one is in charge. Sure we have the police (Mods) but they are reactive. We need a solution that works in real time. There is term in economics called the tragedy of the commons. This is where a group of people share a resource and unless they are bound to each other in some meaningful way (think Zion) some one in the group will use more than their fair share. This is what is happening here. The good news is there is a solution to keeping discussions on topic but I've only been able to affect this solution in face to face settings. I have no idea how it would work here. All the best, Bob
  3. Two good questions. Let me offer two short answers. I believe that there are some good things in this life. For example all humans need air, heat, water and food to survive. These are real goods as well as being good. The short answer to your second question is yes. The longer answer is that I believe that we are on this earth to learn to discern between those things that are good and those things that aren't. And the reason why you or anyone would ask this question is because learning to discern between good and bad isn't easy, notwithstanding the belief that we were born with the light of Christ to help us with this process. All the best, Bob
  4. I hope you don't mind me getting a little radical here but I for one don't agree with the idea that we will be judged on our thoughts. What it means as far as this discussion is concerned is that I don't see the problems you see in discerning what is true. The argument I could make in support of this belief is easy to understand but requires a lot of background so I will leave it for another time and place. All the best, Bob
  5. This quote, and all the rest which I have eliminated for ease of readability, is great. Much applause CLAP, CLAP, CLAP, etc. If I could shift the discussion on truth just a little I would like to share something that Mortimer Adler said in his book Six Great Ideas. Adler, in the chapter on the liar and skeptic, argued that it is possible to be either a liar or skeptic, but not both. Of course, he said, it is better to be neither. The extreme skeptic is a person who argues that nothing is knowable and because no statement can be true or false he interdicts himself from telling lies. Even milder forms of skepticism give me pause. The liar on the other hand knows the truth, and knows when he is lying or telling the truth. Truth then is when our ontological predicates match. Or in other words truth is when what we say, matches with what we think. This definition of truth fits my world view better than the belief that the truth is out there somewhere. But just because the truth isn't out there doesn't mean that there isn't any truth outside of us. For example my Bishop and I play golf together as well as watch the pros play when they are in town. This means we have a common vocabulary and when he says something about his seven iron the existence of this seven iron isn't a question. The same cannot be said for all of my friends. Some have no idea what a seven iron is. So when we talk about golf I have to explain what a seven iron is and they take it on faith that I'm telling the truth. So the idea of a seven iron exists both as an idea in our minds, like some of my friends, as well as in the real world that my Bishop and I share. First off I believe President Kimball was telling the truth when he said that he spent a lot of time praying and pondering on how to reply to his young friend. What I have a problem with is how he defines truth. He suggests that there are two type of truth. They are namely absolute truth and relative truth. He argues that the truths of the gospel and the truths of various natural phenomenon, like the fact that the earth is round, are absolute truths. He then argues that an example of relative truth are those discounted theories of science that have been proven false. I agree that there are absolute truth and relative truth. I disagree in his definitions however. I believe, to the extent possible, that there are some absolutes and I agree with President Kimball that these absolutes consist of various natural phenomenon. Where I disagree is in his inclusion of religious truth as an absolute truth. For me religious truth is, and has to be relative, otherwise what purpose does this world serve if not to learn what is true through faith. But even if we had all the faith possible we would still be short of an absolute knowledge of the truth until the next life or if God makes a personal visit. All the best, Bob
  6. I like what you said in your first sentence. While I'm wandering around wearing those darn dim glasses or peering out of a cave full of smoke I hope the end result is a "man is that he might have joy" experience. And this is because for me the bottom line isn't what I'm perceiving or if I know what truth is or what reality is, it is that I'm happier doing good than thinking about good. Thanks to all those who have welcomed me back and those who are meeting me for the first time. I don't post much because I'm old and I don't have the energy to slay windmills like in the olden days. All the best, Bob Funny story. I just read that talk last month. And I hope I'm not being an idiot, a word by the way that my wife hates me using but it fits me so well, if I could ask an impudent question. I agree that the article does explain the traditional LDS perspective but does it represent your perspective? And the reason why I ask is because there are parts of his talk that I question in the sense that I disagree. All the best, Bob
  7. Common definition of a realist - "a person who accepts a situation as it is and is prepared to deal with it accordingly." I like this definition. And in discussions like this it is always helpful when those on opposite sides of an argument can find some common ground. If I understand you correctly I think there is one point on which we agree and one on which we disagree. I think where we agree is in the matter of choice. When you said that "...We can cultivate gratitude, compassion, etc. It is a choice of perspective...' and "..we can practice a more mindful and positive approach to life with proven and positive outcomes...' I agree with you that choosing to be an optimist is a good thing. What I said was the way we do this is a mistake and not that promoting optimism isn't a good idea. Where we disagree is in our ability to perceive reality. If I understand you correctly you are arguing that because there is no reality and that "...EVERYTHING is a matter of interpretation..." it makes sense to choose to be an optimist because being an optimist has positive outcomes. You further argue that a realist is "...only pretending that he can perceive reality..." I would argue that there is a reality out there, that we need to know what is real and what isn't. And here is why. In the D&C 93 it states that "...truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come..." I would argue that a knowledge of what is true is a critical component in life. And this is because I believe that our purpose in life is to learn to discern between good and evil and that we need to know that there is truth out there somewhere so we can make those decisions that God will hold us accountable for. In fact I can't imagine a world where everything is just a "...matter of interpretation...". All the best, Bob
  8. I've been in numerous priesthood meetings where this topic has come up. And someone will make a comment like, "It is better to be an optimist than a pessimist". It is often accompanied by a quote from a Church leader, typically President Hinckley. I argue that this is a false dichotomy. Limiting your choice to only two options is an error in logic as well as psychologically and spiritually unwise. Studies into decision-making have shown that the best decisions are made by those who are neither an optimist nor a pessimist, but rather a realist. The way we promote optimism in the Church is a mistake in my mind. All the best, Bob
  9. I just realized in rereading this thread that I missed an important point. What I failed to do is to make the distinction between mandated one-on-one interviews and pastoral interviews. My objection is to the former and not the later. I'm sure that there is much good that we all can do to minister to each other. In my case I spent time this past Sunday talking after Church with a sister who shared in Sunday School her pain in having a gay son and his life style. It was clear to me that she was struggling with this issue and I tried my best to help. And in my mind a lot of good can come of this type of ministering. This for me is where we need to focus our efforts. But even in this we need to be cautious. I think in the Church we get so caught up in trying to do as much good as possible that we can overload ourselves to the point of feeling guilty for not doing enough. In this I'm reminded of the Savior who was able to cause the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the lame to walk but He still hasn't visited a friend of mine who is confined to a wheel chair due to an industrial accident. If there is a limit to how much good God can do then I'm not too concerned about how much I do. The parable of the labours in the vineyard and their unequal compensations comes to mind. All the best, Bob
  10. I would go one step further and state that it is an essential human need. But having one-on-one interviews with a Bishop isn't the only way for a relationship to develop For example I'm good friends with my current Bishop. Our friendship has developed on the golf course and not in his office. As far as the privacy factor goes when I go to my lawyer, doctor, therapist or spouse I, like you, expect our conversation to be confidential. I don't see the same need in the context of a relationship with a Bishop and a member of his ward. And this is because I don't think confession needs to a private conversation. I believe that confession is between God and man, and man and congregation. For example when I bear my testimony I will often confess, in a general sense of the word, and then ask for forgiveness from those I have offended. I believe private confessions are a good example of unrighteous dominion in the Church. All the best, Bob
  11. In my heart it is hard to argue with someone called "bluebell" but on the chance that I won't offend you and wound my heart I would beg to differ. If the Church were to eliminate one-on-one interviews there are a number of things they could do to replace the good that comes from such interviews. This makes the good that comes from such interviews a relative good. For example the replacement of the Boy Scouts is a relative good being replaced with something better. While on the other hand if we eliminated one-on-one interviews I'm absolutely certain that no bad will ever be done in this context. To me the choice is obvious. I go with the absolute certainty of no one-on-one interviews over the relative good of using them. All the best, Bob
  12. I feel for those who feel this way. I'm sure that there are lots of people who were helped by leaders in the Church. And not to denigrate them but I often say that the most significant things I learned growing up, I learned from comic books. The thing that swayed my thinking on this issue goes like this. If I was faced with a choice between: a. The absolute certainty that one-on-one interviews were causing harm, or b. The hope that one-on-one interviews might help someone, I would go with certainty over hope. If I'm wrong on this issue then I'm willing to accept what ever punishment God doles out to me in the next life for my decision. But I know that I couldn't sleep knowing that someone is suffering because of on-on-one interviews because those who support them felt that those are harmed by these interviews some how deserved their fate, or that someone else's life was more important. So rather than dealing with the certainty that someone is suffering because of a decision I made, I choose to suffer with those who aren't helped because they didn't have the opportunity to be in a one-on-one interview with an able Church leader. For me this is the Christ like thing to do. I think the thing that muddies the water on this issue is the concept of "one or all" as in "It is better for one man (Laban) should perish than for a whole nation to dwindle in unbelief" or to put it another way, "Christ died that all may live." The question in my mind is, does this concept of "one or all" apply in the context of interviews in the Church?
  13. Sometimes I feel like yours is the correct answer. Where I have problems with this position is the same problem I have with the obedient perspective and that is with the concept of absolutes in this life. I like to keep my options open to all things having to do with religion. Even if it means making a really tough decision. And I'm not saying I would happily offer up my son anytime soon. As far as I'm concerned if I can wait until I'm a god, and looking for volunteers among my children before I make that decision, that would be a good thing.
  14. If God comes to me and asks me to sacrifice my oldest son, or even my only son, I hope that I will ask Him why before I do anything. That’s not to say that I’m not going to follow thru on His request. After all He is God and Father knows best as Fred MacMurray would argue. But I believe that He expects us to question everyone, including Himself, especially anyone who is in authority over us, including our Church leaders. Otherwise why would Joseph tell us about unrighteous dominion as a potential problem in our leaders. I see the tests of life more as tests to learn who we are rather than tests to see if we are learning to be obedient. Where I have trouble with this story is that it is often used to justify being perfectly obedient to God’s commandments, and by extension to God’s servants, as if obedience is a virtue. Unfortunately obedience isn’t a virtue. Obedience is simply behaviour. Even Satan’s minions are obedient. All the best, Bob
  15. Here is another site that I use. https://www.lds-general-conference.org/ All the best, Bob
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