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clarkgoble

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About clarkgoble

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  1. I'm in Provo and there are a surprising number of non-Mormon or "don't want anything to do with the Church" families in our ward boundaries. So I suspect this really varies by location within Utah county. There's a fairly large hispanic population now. (I think it's 13% statewide) While many of those are Mormons, I believe many are Catholic or non-religious. In the ward I lived in when I got married in west Provo there was a very, very high non-Mormon population. I bet within the more established (i.e. old) upper middle class neighborhoods that the rates for Mormons are much higher. We live in a middle class neighborhood but one with fair turnover and many recent developments on the benches. So I suspect the influx of non-Mormons is more noticeable here.
  2. I think the loss of the family has changed demographically. While originally at risk now middle class and upper class people are having strong families. Arguably stronger than ever in the past since the quality within the family is much better. The main problems are getting married much later and having children much later. But the biggest problems are in the lower classes and lower part of the middle class where the family is nearly non-existent. From everything I can see Obama had an ideal family - the exact kind of family conservatives champion whereas Trump is exactly everything conservatives condemn.
  3. Right. More the point I'm making is that you have fully active people who are regularly missing meetings for a variety of reasons. Childhood illnesses is the most common but also baby blessings, farewells, homecomings, vacations and so forth. All those add up especially in Utah. So if every family misses lets say 5-8 meetings a year, that's a significant difference in the averaged attendance stats. The point being that attendance stats probably should at best be about 15% below what the actual activity is. And that's ignoring the chronically ill as Calm noted. Honestly 55% attendance is surprisingly huge just thinking towards my ward boundaries in Utah and how many inactives there are. Add that 15% in and you get around 64% which is actually pretty close to the difference between self-identity numbers and official church membership numbers as I recall.
  4. This has to be accounted for. With big families it's quite common to miss church with throwing up kids or the like. I swear some stretches I'm lucky to hit 50% attendance for months at a time.
  5. Well "plainly" is pretty disputable. But again, so we are clear, the issue isn't whether those justified are also sanctified. Rather the question is about whether those are processes and when they are complete (finished). BTW - cheap grace is a heresy and is the idea that no transformation in behavior is part of being born again.
  6. Ah, that makes more sense. I was still writing when you replied so take a look at my comments above. To me that shift happened during Joseph's life - arguably by 1838 things had largely shifted. Even D&C 132 wasn't really written for the church but arguably for Emma. There are a few exceptions, but perhaps because the Church is now somewhat stable and mostly gathered there's no need. Even in the early Utah period the focus is less on texts to organize the church than trying to put together major texts by Joseph that Joseph never really put together for the church. (Thus the development of the Pearl of Great Price in England - and then the later realization they needed to make those texts more available) Contrast this with the early Church where the structure was changing rapidly. My guess is we have so much of the D&C simply because new members in the 1830's needed to have a clear distinction between policy trying to implement God's command and the actual structure God commanded. As time goes on and Joseph's place is more secure that's not as necessary. (Those appealing to Weber's distinction between charisma in the church versus the formalization and bureaucratization tend to argue that's behind all this) Of course the complaint now is that there's no clear way to distinguish between what God commanded explicitly versus what is done by the authority of the apostles but with more of their own innovation. I suspect that's a feature not a bug since the reason people want that distinction is typically so they can simply dismiss what the prophets direct.
  7. To me this is demonstrably false as apostolic blessings demonstrate. I've seen it first hand several times. Now sometimes apostolic blessings are given in 3rd person language but often it's 1st person. (You can see this even with Joseph's rhetoric somewhat in places like the Wentworth letter) Again though, most of these circumstances are in smaller groups. You are right though that with most recent revelations to the church, we get the consequences and not the text. That to me though seems a different issue than first person prophecy. I think what's changed is that administration changes just don't need to be canonized, the way they did in the very early church (1830-34). But that change happened in Joseph's lifetime. By Nauvoo the structural changes for things like the Relief Society aren't in the D&C. The D&C shifts to more major texts. And even most of those are reconstituted texts of Joseph added to the D&C. The exceptions are D&C 136 (revelation by Brigham Young) and D&C 138 (Joseph F. Smith). Even the two arguably huge revelations (OD1, OD2) aren't provided in a textual fashion. So I do think you're right there. What's interesting is that during the post-Nauvoo period (and even for much of Nauvoo) there were plenty of revelations that simply didn't end up in the D&C. D&C 132 is arguably the exception and even there we don't know much about its writing. Even much of the revelations in the 1840's in the D&C seem odd. Why is D&C 126 included, for instance? With the exception of D&C 132, everything after that are epistles or items of instruction reconstituted. We know of really big changes in this period but not major texts. Again, even in the early Utah period there's no shortage of first person prophecy or purported visions. It's just that no one feels the need to put it into the D&C. Even the Joseph F. Smith vision is added quite late in the 1980's. Most of the ones that were clear that were had were added to the canon by Orson Pratt. So almost by definition all the other ones we don't have good records for. There are a few you can find in Joseph's journals or the like. The Parallel Joseph has most of the ones that ended up in The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith but in terms of the original notes.
  8. So you are arguing that people are fully sanctified in this life? I confess I don't see any way that is possible. My guess is you're conflating justification and sanctification. Even among Calvinists sanctification is usually seen as a process. Admittedly the Calvinists then come up with to me the dubious idea of a new essence and thus when they sin it's something non-essential about the person sinning. This is hard to justify (no pun intended) except by blurring the distinction between justification and sanctification, and then of course the ontology of the soul and essence. It's also why cheap grace becomes such a problem theologically. After all it you think your essence has changed and any bad act is "someone else" then you feel no particular need to stop those activities. The obvious rejoinder that most other Christian traditions would make is that if you constantly are acting in a certain way that demonstrates what your essence actually is like - and it sure isn't sanctified. The obvious way to read scriptures like John 5:18 isn't that we have two natures with only one mattering. Rather it is that when we are born again we have only one nature. Effectively those pushing this narrative are conflating Paul's teachings on the flesh and the spirit and inappropriately missing the forest for the trees. If sanctification is a process and not a one time event, then we will not fully have eternal life until our whole body is transformed in the resurrection. Almost by definition if you sin, that hasn't happened.
  9. I think there's a large diversity with Joseph. Some places, like D&C 76, are a combination of vision and then saying things as given in prophesy. In other places Joseph is clearly just reworking prior revelations for new circumstances (changing names, merging texts) but in a presumed inspired way. In many other passages we have no clue where Joseph learned what he learned. We just have fragments of sermons or lessons with no idea how Joseph got what he did. (Say D&C 131) But again revelation most emphatically is couched in those terms. That's the whole point I'm making. Most revelation in the church today is like that. When I get a patriarchal blessing or given a healing blessing that's the form it takes. Likewise apostolic blessings are occasionally given. I know several times in stakes I've lived in where they've done that. Again much of the blessing is given in first person. So I simply dispute your premise. I don't think it's changed at all beyond not getting scripture like that of late. But in small settings it remains common. So I think you're conflating scripture with revelation.
  10. Is this whole discussion based upon equivocation over the term "eternal life"? Because it sure sounds like it. As I mentioned earlier it appears to be about justification and sanctification and whether either is typically complete in this life. If I have FormerLDS right, he is saying that only justification relates to eternal life, that it is complete the moment we're born again, and that eternal life never relates to sanctification. The issue shouldn't be whether eternal life is ever spoken of relative to what we'd call justification. The question is whether it's only talked about in that fashion. That seems much harder for FormerLDS to claim. Effectively his approach is to find places it's talked about one way and then argue that's the only way it's talked about. Further, as I mentioned, he also simply neglects the question of whether because one has taken hold of grace that is permanent. Yet those two claims are fundamental to his beliefs yet he's not argued for them anywhere (that I can see). So all the things are argued for are somewhat beside the point. I'd add that he also conflates whether works alone can save versus whether works are inseparable from true faith. After all two people can do the same things yet do them for very different reasons.
  11. As I said, I've found it surprisingly common among the laity and often pushed by unscrulptuous preachers such as TV Evangelists. So I think it's worth asking why it keeps popping up given it's destructive nature. (Effectively those who come to the conclusion of cheap grace think what they do doesn't matter and that faith is just expressing an intellectual assent to Christ) While Bonhoeffer's writings are the classic on cheap grace, you find it discussed widely. Despite many Evangelical leaders preaching against cheap grace, how does it remain so common? My guess is that on the faith vs. works issue, when works are so devalued and there being no way of discerning when one has faith, that cheap grace is a rather natural consequence. The real question, particularly for Calvinists, is to ask how you know when someone has faith.
  12. Right, but at one time there was at least the feeling that leaders on the left had to portray it as the dominant view. The past few years that's apparently ended with few pro-choice people expressing dismay at abortion but thinking it should be legal.
  13. You see that's where I'd disagree. First off, communication from God seems to be how it is always talked about. Not sure what you mean by first person. Joseph described it as flows of pure intelligence which isn't really akin to hearing someone speaking to you if that's what you mean. As I mentioned earlier the distinction between textual revelation and non-textual vague confirmation seems blurry at best. For one the most common type of revelation received in the Church is priesthood blessings which are always textually given with people thinking the words are given to them what to say. So I just don't see the difference. Clearly in Joseph's time confirmation type revelations were also given. So I think at best you'd have to figure a way to quantify things better to make your point. It's fine to complain we don't have any insight into the process, but of course that was equally true for Joseph Smith or Brigham Young as well. In a few cases like D&C 76 for example, we have more information about what went out. Typically though we get an answer or doctrine from Joseph with zero information on the background.
  14. The question is whether it's permanent or not. That is can one choose to freely give up the hold of grace they've made. The Calvinists tend to say no whereas most everyone else says yes. There's not a clear scripture to that which is why it's a question that has raged the past few centuries.
  15. Venezuela hasn't been a pleasant place for quite some time.