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About HappyJackWagon

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    BISHOP Jackwagon

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  1. HappyJackWagon

    And now, Gina Colvin faces a Disciplinary Council.

    How dare you disturb the echo chamber! Nehor is making a slight variation on the usual persecution complex. If the church and/or its people are being persecuted, it must mean they are true...because Satan. Likewise, the church must be true and we must be doing it right because Apostate Gina doesn't like it. Obviously an apostate would never have any valid criticisms so we should ignore the entire POV since they are only being led by...Satan. OR the church and its members could reflect and see if there actually are legitimate concerns and criticisms. But alas, that can't happen because if someone considers a thought from an apostate, they are giving a victory to...Satan.
  2. HappyJackWagon

    Hype for April 2019 Conference

    If nothing else, leaders are doing a good job ginning up interest in conference. I don't know if interest had waned that significantly, but they sure seem to enjoy the hype and so far the enthusiasm has definitely ramped up. I'll be curious to see how long that level of increased excitement can be maintained.
  3. HappyJackWagon

    Revelation and the Ordinances

    As the others have said, the ordinances and the "presentation" of the ordinances in the temple have changed dramatically over time. IIRC it was the SLC Temple Pres. Richards ( who was also an apostle) who, with 1st Presidency approval created a more uniform temple experience in the 1920's & 30's. I believe he was responsible for much of the precise language we still use today. Of course the 1st presidency would have had to approve anything he suggested/wrote. I hope I'm remembering this correctly but Richards really seemed to be a huge influence on the presentation of temple ordinances. Presentation shouldn't be discounted or underestimated. Language matters and gives shape and meaning to the ordinances. If anyone can add or correct any misstatements I'd appreciate it. I'd recommend reading Devery Anderson's The Development of LDS Temple Worship https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10434402-the-development-of-lds-temple-worship-1846-2000 ETA- a little info about Apostle/Temple Pres. George Richards https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_F._Richards
  4. HappyJackWagon

    President Nelson and "Getting our own planet."

    Fair enough. But if you recognize that prophets are sometimes wrong and teach things as doctrine, that aren't necessarily vital or even correct, and if you recognize that not everything prophets and apostles teach is absolute truth, do you hold open the possibility that some revealed truth that you consider essential (like authority and ordinances) may also be well-intentioned dressing that isn't God's absolute will? I agree that the issue of doctrine is tricky because various definitions/qualifications have been given in the past. Things that have been declared as "doctrine" are later declared to NOT be doctrine, or worse, a heresy. IMO this is why it's essential to be humble about what we think we know, because we've been wrong so many times before. We can have beliefs. I've got no problem with beliefs. But declaring beliefs as absolute truth puts way too much faith in 1) the person declaring it (prophets/apostles) and 2) Us (how we interpret and understand what has been said). If 1 prophet misunderstands God's will but declares it as absolute, and then practices, policies, and theology are built around that incorrect understanding, we end up in a place where blacks are banned from the temple and priesthood for over 100 years. It's a game of telephone with no one really understanding why the ban was first enacted and the belief that God must speak deliberately enough for that incorrect ban to be lifted.
  5. HappyJackWagon

    President Nelson and "Getting our own planet."

    Yes, but how do you know which revelations are "clear"? If a prophet speaks it? No, that doesn't really work. If it persists and isn't corrected within 100 years? That doesn't necessarily work either. I'm simply trying to point out that 1) I agree with you that there is much that isn't knowable and 2) juxtaposing that with what we think IS knowable based upon what past prophets have taught. We can declare some things dressing and other things essential, but the process for receiving those things is essentially the same. Just because we think it is knowable and clearly taught, doesn't mean it isn't dressing/speculation. I think this should lead us (the church) towards a more humble position regarding its truth claims and firm statements about God's will. Prophets will do the best they can based but they are still not perfect/reliable in sharing the secrets of God. I'm suggesting that what we think is essential in differentiating us from other Christians may also be well-intended speculation and dressing. If we see through a glass darkly which limits what we know of God and exaltation, yet at other times claim to see with crystal clear precision, it makes me wonder how we can be so confident in the declarations of absolute, crystal clear truth.
  6. HappyJackWagon

    President Nelson and "Getting our own planet."

    Wow. Sorry to hear that. I hope recovery is going well, but that sounds miserable. BTW- no hard feelings. You are respectful. Your jab made me smile, which is why I jabbed back The thing that has me confused, is how can we claim such certainty in some instances and then claim total ignorance in so many others. You mentioned what was most basic. God loves us and he can save us. Great. You also say that beyond this prophets have added "dressing" which seems to be little more than speculation as they try to fill some of the theological gaps; Statements about pre-mortal or post-mortal worlds etc.of which we do not and probably cannot understand. Yet prophets have taught the "dressing" as doctrine. My question is this. How do you know what is or isn't "dressing"? You mention "authority and higher ordinances" as something that differentiates the church from others, but how do you know that those teachings aren't another example of "dressing"?
  7. HappyJackWagon

    Oaks on Religious Freedom

    I'm pretty sure you're smarter than this. You're responding to when I said... Does that honestly sound like I'm arguing against the church's right to self-define and set boundaries for the church? Come on, dude. I'm not arguing that the church can't self-define for itself. It may very well say that discrimination in cases of X, Y & Z are appropriate. What I'm saying is it can't control how society views their discrimination, nor can they force their views on society. So if the church says, it's ok to discriminate against LGBTQ in certain ways (like calling them apostates and refusing to baptize their children) they can do that, but they can't prevent others from calling out their discrimination. They define what's appropriate discrimination for themselves and the rest of the world will define what's appropriate for them. Of course I'm making my own value judgements about what is right and wrong. Aren't you? Or are you allowing someone else to form your value judgements? Have I argued against constitutional rights? CFR. Please be responsible in your posts. Claiming that I don't like constitutional rights, and going further by stating I'm "intolerant" is stepping over the line of polite discourse. It's as if you're intentionally creating conflict to deflect from the real issue. You can't just go around lobbing insults and accusations at people, even if you are losing an argument. I will expect an answer to the CFR or you can apologize with your retraction @Robert F. Smith
  8. HappyJackWagon

    Oaks on Religious Freedom

    You seem to be trying to make an argument of presentism but that doesn't really work. While it's true that people are in many ways a product of their time and culture, it doesn't necessarily change the inherent rightness or wrongness of what they believed and did. The social and political climate in 1984 was very different than it is today. There's no doubt about that. But that doesn't mean that overt discrimination in 1984 was ok simply because it was 1984. I doubt you would argue that slavery is OK simply because people in 1850 believed it was. The other difference is that Oaks seems to still believe what he said in 1984 despite the changes to time and culture. I doubt he would say it the same way today (I mean I sure hope he wouldn't) but I don't see any evidence that his position has changed.
  9. I disagree that this should be standard policy, but what I thinks he's saying, and he can correct me, is that if the accused wants to record he could also authorize the church to record so that no one could be taken out of context. That seems fair to me. If I am summoned to a DC and I want to record, I should allow the church to record as well so that I can't misrepresent them. And CB goes even further than that. He publicly accused the Church, by not recording and publicly disclosing disciplinary proceedings, of being "[dis]honorable." Not according to California Boy, who faults the Church for A) not recording the entirety of the proceedings, and B) not publishing these recordings to the world ("the light of day"). Again, you are overstating this. The truth is DC's are held behind closed doors. Most members never participate in a DC so they don't understand how they work. I think the "light of day" comment is more about bringing to light bad behavior by church representatives IF it should occur. I can. I have participated in disciplinary proceedings. Many of them. I did so in near anonymity. I usually just told my wife that I had a "stake meeting," and off I went. The only people who knew I was involved was the person being disciplined (who generally either didn't know me at all, or only knew me by sight), the other members of the High Council (11), the stake presidency (3), the stake executive secretary (1) and the stake clerk (1). The role of high council members in disciplinary proceedings is fairly limited, but they are still allowed to ask questions of the individual being disciplined and any witnesses that appear. I've also participated in many of them. I think it is debatable whether or not "near anonymity" is a good thing or not. Obviously there are some benefits, as you point out, but there is also the other side of the coin which could be viewed as negative; namely that with anonymity there is no accountability. Where there is a lack of accountability there is increased opportunity for those in power to wield their power unrighteously. That limited role, and that limited participation, could potentially go out the window if the Bill Reels and Sam Youngs of the world have their way. Take a look at this video of Bill Reel, publicly speaking outside of the church building after his disciplinary council. He specifically calls out the participants of the council and tells the crowd that he "asked those men to come out and to visit with you and to ask you to share their stories," and that he "[didn't] know if any of them will do that, but [he was] hoping they will come out and ask [you to tell your stories]." I think most people recognize that HC's really play a minimal role and have no decision-making ability. If that isn't know, it could be made known. Again, is it right for a HC to be protected in anonymity. We're talking about a proceeding that can set the course for a person's relationship with the church and even remove saving ordinances. Perhaps it would be reasonable to expect participants to open to criticism, should it be warranted. In most cases I would suspect that the Bishop or SP would really be the one on the hot seat, not the HC members. How long before members of the high council start having confrontations with supporters of so-called "high profile" excommunicates like Bill Reel or Sam Young? How long before they get "called out?" And is it possible that this sort of thing might veer into intimidation? I know that sounds a bit farfetched, but we actually may have seen somthing like this happen previously when Kate Kelly publicly announced her bishop's employer (see here and here and here). At the time I wrote the following email to the Ordain Women group and submitted it via their website (I never received a response): We also saw members of the Church lose their jobs for supporting Proposition 8, so that's another illustrative example. I'm not a fan of targeting people for their political or religious positions, however, in todays world one has to expect that they are accountable for the things they say, do, or support. I don't see that as a bad thing. Sensationalizing disciplinary proceedings has become a standard part of the exit strategy for people who are nominally members of the Church but arrayed against it. Kate Kelly, Denver Snuffer, John Dehlin, Jeremy Runnells, Sam Young, Bill Reel, and so on. These are pressure tactics that seem mostly aimed at the Church as an institution. Runnels resigned so there was no DC (IIRC) but I get your point. I think you're right that some of those being disciplined are using the proceeding to raise awareness of the church's policies and procedures. I suspect many of these people are adamantly opposed to DC's and view them as inherently unfair, unnecessary, and even unchristlike, so they are trying to illustrate their point by making it public. It is their way of critiquing the practice and obviously the church doesn't appreciate the critique. But is it possible that a publicity-minded person might choose to weaponize such sensationalism even further? Sure. It happens in every facet of life. Politics, community, schools, employment, church etc. I understand why the person or group on the wrong side of the sensationalism wouldn't like it. I know I wouldn't, but that's part of life in an open society. Will the day come when members of a high council and/or stake presidency are harassed and/or punished, before or after the fact, for participating in a disciplinary council? When they are confronted and grilled for their participation? Maybe. I think that prospect will give some pause about whether or not they want to participate. That might be a good thing. It's easy to participate anonymously and with no accountability. Maybe the value of anonymity should be challenged a bit more. You challenge me all the time about posting under a pseudonym. I assume it's because you think I say things or behave in a way I wouldn't if I wasn't anonymous. There's truth to that. Will they be hectored for asking questions during the disciplinary council, which questions have been published for public consumption, thanks to the Bill Reel-style tactic of surreptitiously recording the council meeting? Possibly. It means they should really think about what they say. Not necessarily a bad thing. Will they be doxxed, as Kate Kelly may have been attempting to do to her bishop? Will they run into problems with their employer, which may not want to be dragged into such matters? Will they lose their job for participating in the council, as a form of "blowback"-type retribution such as we saw with Brendan Eich? Are these things "out of bounds" for an "addicted to outrage" disgruntled member of the Church? Or is it possible that we are seeing a progression of upping-the-ante theatrics in these disciplinary proceedings, such that high council members and stake presidency involved in disciplining a self-proclaimed "prominent" disgruntled member might get targeted for these things? Yeah. Tell Kate Kelly's bishop that he had nothing to fear in convening a disciplinary council against Kate Kelly. Again, disgruntled members who are exiting the Church, and who are choosing to sensationalize and publicize their exit, seem to be upping the ante. I think local leaders may come to have legitimate concerns about facing "blowback" for participating in disciplinary proceedings involving a person who is out to make the Church look bad, and who is willing to punish the Church's local leaders to do it (Kate Kelly, take a bow!). I think the assumption pertained to Bill Reel. That the SP wanted everyone to sign it may have been to placate Bill Reel. And as it turns out, the assumption of Bill Reel's ill intent was, it seems, well-founded. I think it has more to do with decorum and sanctity. The Church doesn't allow most of its meetings to be recorded. Just last Saturday I attended a baptism where a lady (not a member of the Church) pulled out her phone and began to record the baptism. Her sister-in-law (a member) asked her to put it away. That was not because anyone was "scared" about anything (baptisms are, after all, fairly mundane in form). So the explanation must go another way. I think it's just reflexive animus. The Church asks for X, therefore the individual reflexively does the opposite of X. Out of spite. As an expression of contempt and disrespect and defiance, I think. That's the other reason. Publicity. Fifteen minutes of notoriety. Yes. Forbidden fruit and all that. I think the same can be said for recordings of the temple ceremony. There's curiosity borne of nothing more than the fact that the temples are only open to TR-carrying members of the Church. That curiosity may lead an individual to want to watch a YouTube video of the ceremony, only to find that it's not particularly interesting or controversial. Boring, even. Actually yes, they do. They may not possess a copy, but they can ask the bishop to read his copy of it. I wonder if a bishop or SP would allow someone to make a copy of the relevant pages they wanted to study. I suspect not. But before a person can even ask to see a policy, they must know the policy exists. Without access to the HB they may not even know what they don't know. Then they can ask questions about the proceeding. I suppose. Thanks, -Smac
  10. HappyJackWagon

    President Nelson and "Getting our own planet."

    In that case, any Christian church will work, right? The point is, prophets have added "dressing" on top of the basics which makes Mormonism unique. If we have the foundational info that "God can save us and we can return to him" and prophets add "dressing" to help motivate us, yet they don't agree on that dressing and in some cases flat out call it heresy, then I have to wonder about the value of prophets and the distinctions that make Mormonism unique. But I've got to disagree with you that what differentiates Mormonism from other religions is the "how we get back to him" bit. That's actually quite similar in most cases; faith, works, authority, sacraments, ordinances etc. IMO what truly makes Mormon theology unique are the doctrines about the pre-mortal life and post-mortal life, degrees of glory / exaltation etc. The nature of God, our relationship with him as full heirs, and our ability to become like him. You seem to think that is "dressing" and therefore insignificant when prophets disagree or change the teaching. Like I said before, it sounds like any Christian church will work for what you're describing. That's fine, but don't pretend like that church doesn't teach bigger things and make more spectacular claims than that. We are witnessing the continual watering down of Mormonism and being fed the fantasy that it has always been this way.
  11. HappyJackWagon

    President Nelson and "Getting our own planet."

    I'm glad I amuse you I agree with the general statement that disagreement doesn't mean we know nothing. But that's not really what I was saying, is it? What I am saying is that prophets, seers, and revelators exist to reveal the word of God. Why do we have religion at all? To help us know where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. Prophets are intended to help us come to know God. So it's not like they are disagreeing about some trivialities. They are disagreeing with the entire foundation for why the religion exists. They disagree on the nature of God by evidence of their disagreement on what it means to become like God. They disagree on what exaltation is. People disagree with each other all the time. That's why there are thousands of religions. Humanity is incapable of agreeing on the nature or even existence of God, what our purpose is in this life and what our state will be in the next life. There is plenty of disagreement and confusion regarding religion without God's prophets adding to that confusion and disagreement by disagreeing with each other. These aren't trivial matters and if prophets aren't consistent in the answers to these foundational questions, it seems reasonable to wonder about the value of a prophet. If scientists claimed to reveal the absolute truth of God yet couldn't agree on foundational issues like gravity I suspect few people would listen to their scientific pronouncements no matter how absolute they were in their claims
  12. I think this depends largely on how the SP conducts the DC and what level of participation/feedback he is open to. I've seen 1 SP who was very open to the thoughts and feedback of the members of the HC. I recall the stated desire for consensus. Those Stake DC's were conducted well IMO. But I've also been part of a HC with a SP who wouldn't allow HC members to ask questions or even speak during the DC. The SP made the decision and told the HC he expected them to sustain their priesthood leader. Surprise, they always did. I couldn't say for sure if it was because they agreed with the SP or if they were afraid to disagree. It was a very authoritarian approach and it was very rare for someone to voice dissent of any kind in any HC meetings because "sustaining" was the primary expectation. That was extreme, unhealthy, and counterproductive IMO. But regardless of how the SP conducts the DC, and whether or not the HC votes to sustain unanimously or not, or whether they even feel they have the ability to dissent from the SP decision, the SP is the decision maker and his decision stands whether or not others on the HC agree. ETA That is my understanding as well. As I stated above, I seriously wonder if 1 SP I worked with even preferred unity in the decision. It was super unfortunate. One very experienced HC raised the issue of how DC's were being handled. He was released within the month. No joke.
  13. I think I missed something. Is someone stating that the Church should record proceedings of DC's and confessions? Who is demanding that? If you're right and that's actually being asserted, that's crazy, but I haven't seen it. Can you show me where that's happening. The confession & the proceedings of a DC should be conducted in a way that protects the confessor/disciplined person's privacy since it is about them. Personally, I don't see why the church leader's privacy would need to be protected as the leader isn't being disciplined. The only thing the leader would have to fear from a recording is A) the accused makes good points and damages the church's case (but if that happens the decision could reflect that so it would only matter if the punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime) or B) The Church appointed participants do or say something inappropriate OR C) the accused doctors the recording in a way to misrepresent the proceedings and the other participants. C would seem to be a legitimate concern. Especially in todays climate I think I might be a little worried about that possibility, especially in highly contentious cases. Still, having participants sign an NDA before a DC seems to assume ill intent of the participants. Should a bishop/SP have every member sign an NDA the prohibits recording prior to any conversation? It doesn't seem logistically feasible. I'm rambling here...but it's because I don't really understand either side of this. I don't understand why the church has adopted such a defensive stance on this, requiring NDA's etc before allowing a person to participate in their own DC. Whether they are or not, it makes the church (or its leaders) appear scared. What does the church gain by refusing the accused the opportunity to record the proceeding? But I also don't understand the reason why people release recordings of their DC's, especially when they've agreed not to. I can understand why someone like Bill might want to record and keep that record for personal use, or even possibly release it IF there is a gross injustice or highly inappropriate behavior exhibited by the church participants. A recording would be very useful IF a SP or Bishop said or did something very inappropriate. It would really be the only check on bad behavior from the church. But I haven't seen anything like that in the recordings that have been released. The person agrees not to record, but then they do, and then they release it, but to what end? It doesn't help their case and it hurts their credibility. It may provide a little bit of content for a podcast episode but...really? It's gotta be about more than that. Having said ALL of that, I can appreciate why some audience members would be interested in listening to proceedings like this, especially if they've never been a part of a DC. For the average member who could be subject to a DC for myriad reasons, there really isn't much info shared about the proceedings. Average members don't even have access to HB1. I think people are concerned, nervous, uncomfortable with being subject to a proceeding they know very little about. Listening to something like Bill's DC at least gives them a feel for what it is and how it is conducted. It doesn't need to be a mystery but I think for many members it is. The church could easily fix that by simply making the handbooks available to everyone.
  14. HappyJackWagon

    Oaks on Religious Freedom

    You're right. That was my mistake in reading. You said, "more 'like' secured", NOT "more secured". My apologies. Thanks for helping me understand.
  15. HappyJackWagon

    President Nelson and "Getting our own planet."

    I don't see it as much of a perk that prophets, seers, and revelators can't agree about what exaltation means. If they can't agree on the nature of G(g)of and what it means to be like H(h)I'm, then there seems to be a giant hole in theology which prophets are supposedly in place to help fill. Their disagreement simply adds confusion and illustrates that no one really knows anything so acting like we have a handle on eternal truth and destiny is foolishness.