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HappyJackWagon

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About HappyJackWagon

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  1. When someone, or even a group of someones proves to be untrustworthy or unreliable on a (semi)regular basis, it is reasonable for one to stop trusting or relying on them. It's not about perfection or infallibility, but it is about trust. People will come to different conclusions about where the line of trust is drawn, but it's difficult to recover once trust is lost. I find it interesting that some want to blame the people who have lost trust in leaders by arguing that it's their fault because they had previously placed too much trust in leaders. It could be argued that losing trust in leaders is a necessary step in spiritual progression. I placed too much trust in leaders and the institutional church. Why? Did that level of trust come naturally? I don't think so. It's because I was taught to place extreme levels of trust in leaders. I was taught to sing Follow the Prophet. I was taught that obedience to the words of the prophets, even if wrong, would bring blessings. So I'm very willing to admit I trusted too much. I guess some would call that naïve, or juvenile, and maybe they're right. So now I don't trust church leaders to adequately teach the will and mind of God. I'm sure I'm wrong in some of my beliefs, but so are the prophets so what's the difference. I might as well be wrong on my own instead of being wrong because I trusted someone else that didn't deserve the trust. When I meet God I'll be happy to answer for my beliefs and actions. Church leaders aren't a part of that. So when a church leader says I should stop saying "Mormon", I decide for myself if that makes sense or if I will continue saying "Mormon". When a leader tells me I covenanted to wear G's 24/7 I will decide for myself if/when/how that covenant was ever made and how I want to wear G's. When a leader tells me God doesn't want me to drink coffee, I'll decide for myself if God really cares about that. I no longer accept the judgement of church leaders in declaring my worthiness status before God. I will decide everything for myself instead of abdicating my personal decisions to someone else who claims to speak on God's behalf, yet has been proven wrong repeatedly.
  2. As long as people care more about the messenger than the message, then there's really not much to talk about. Even rotten, nasty politicians, with all of their ulterior motives and scheming can be right on occasion. But when the politician is vilified in a way to completely discount the message, regardless of what that message is, then the opportunity to address the content ceases. I see Runnells as being somewhat similar. Just like a politician, he may not have had pure motives in raising certain issues to the consciousness of a large group of people. I don't know the guy so his motives don't much matter to me. What matters is the content. It's dangerous to toss out everything a person says because you don't like the person or what you perceive to be his motives. IOW- Even IF his motives were bad, Runnells points out some serious flaws with LDS theology, practice, policy, history. Is he 100% accurate? Probably not, but that doesn't mean he's 100% wrong either.
  3. That was one of my first thoughts as well. The guy is a serious creeper. Maybe the wife is too, but my first thought was that she wanted to avoid the pain and embarrassment for her husband, herself, and her entire family. Her attempt to "cover it up" was really just an attempt at self-preservation. Who knows what the impact will be to the family re: church, but also financially, and socially.
  4. Do you accept that there are people who follow the WoW with exactness, yet still are stopped by pain, or disease, or illness? Do you recognize that there are those who do faint, who can't walk without being weary after 2 steps? Sorry, it just doesn't hold up. Regarding the "bad advice"- I wonder if in the era the WoW was given, there would have been less sickness and death if more people drank "hot drinks" from purified water. Boiling water seems like it could have purified water and maybe could have helped people be more healthy or even live longer lives, which is not to say they should have drinks so hot it burns their esophagus. It does seem like wisdom not to hurt oneself, but avoiding "hot drinks" doesn't seem too useful. I don't know. I haven't seen any massive health benefits from abstaining from coffee and tea
  5. I'm glad those promises were fulfilled for you, but have you ever thought about all of the people for whom the "promise" was not kept? What about those people who have never smoked a cigarette in their life yet get lung cancer, or those who eat healthy, exercise regularly, and then die of a heart attack at age 35? Clearly the promise isn't kept universally. I heard someone in the temple once defend the universality of the promise being kept by saying something like "for those who die young, or have serious health conditions in this life, the promises of keeping the WoW will be realized in the next life." Really? So after resurrection people won't be sick, or die? Who would'a thunk it But even so, if God makes a promise, and then others add to that promise additional restrictions, are they making new promises on God's behalf? Are they accountable if the promise isn't kept, or is God? IMO the WoW is well-intentioned advice, some of which may be good, some bad, and some neither good or bad.
  6. I've seen black and white photos of men at the LDS sacrament table in a similar position. I think it used to be done this way, way back when. I did a quick search to see if I could find a picture, but couldn't. Maybe someone else would have more luck, or I'm remembering incorrectly.
  7. Yes, the president has the power to set and enforce policies, such as temple worthiness expectations, BUT that doesn't mean it's a God-given commandment. IMO- I think we should be concerned about conflating commandments from God with policies, preferences, or commandments of men, even if they have the power to enforce them for the church.
  8. Back in the day when I interviewed people, I followed it with exactness and expected them to as well. IMO- God establishes commandments. Men don't. A man might say something is a commandment, but that doesn't mean it is.
  9. The revelation provides general guidance. The GA's add opinion and preference and call it commandment.
  10. IIRC, didn't McConkie write most of the headings? Was the new version of scriptures ever raised to common consent, or was it just introduced? I don't remember but I suspect it was just changed and given to the church. Kind of like when the Lectures on Faith were removed from the D&C. The only version of common consent the church ever really uses anymore is in sustaining the leaders. I suppose they think that if we accept leaders through common consent we must by extension accept all of their actions/decisions/teachings by common consent. Common consent is broken.
  11. The most important lesson learned from the 1st Vision is that the heavens are opened and that each person is able to receive inspiration/revelation directly from God, not through middle men. So the idea that we must trust the middle men and that they will hold us accountable to what they say, instead of relying directly on God and his judgement puts us on a sandy path. As others have noted, we are all responsible for ourselves. We will not be able to blame others, (not even the prophets and apostles), for the mistakes or errors in judgement we make. Having said that, I believe God will be very merciful in how he judges us based on incomplete/unreliable information we have. We are asked to trust in God, and in Jesus Christ. That is faith. Requiring that we place absolute faith in fallible humans and a fallible organization would be silliness on God's part. I don't believe God is silly So when it comes to the WoW, I have no problem believing JS felt inspired to share it, as stated, by way of invitation and NOT commandment or constraint. Turning the advice into commandment when it specifically says it is not commandment, is like unto the Pharisees adding to the Mosaic law. Even if it is done with good intention, it still is taking the name of God in vain, claiming that God commands us to do something, when really he has not. The WoW is used by the church as a loyalty test to prove obedience to leaders, and as a branding tool to differentiate members from the rest of the world. I think it's effective in those two purposes.
  12. I don't think it would make me less healthy, but it sure didn't make me more healthy either. I see it as advice that I should consider. I believe "wisdom" comes into it when I consider the best way to apply it in my life.
  13. I think the bolded part is the whole point of the WoW. It wasn't about creating new commandments or worthiness qualifications. I will admit that I no longer follow the modern interpretation of the WoW with exactness. Yet I'm healthier now than I've ever been in my adult life...by far. So while I no longer qualify for a TR, I believe I am following the spirit of the WoW and am quite happy with my level of health and fitness. I am in no way an addict to any substance and anything I do partake of is done legally and in moderation. I think God wants us to be happy and healthy, and use wisdom in what we eat and drink and is likely displeased at the way the church as created new commandments and worthiness tests.
  14. You're right, in the regard that every conversation could potentially be used for grooming purposes. Thankfully most people are good. Unfortunately we can't always tell who the few bad apples are, which make it challenging. But the problem with the church on this issue is that it mandates private interviews. In most conversations both parties engage in the conversation willingly, but when it's an institutionalized requirement if a kid wants to fully participate, it creates a power dynamic where the child/youth really can't say no to a person pulling them in for a private one-on-one interview to talk about the LoC and their masturbatory habits. In my mind, parents should be cautious of adults who interact with their children and take precautions to protect their children. Part of that would be the simple messaging that the child doesn't have to be alone with anyone or answer any question they aren't comfortable with. But when these interviews are a part of religious observance, it grants additional power to the adult and the kid just has to take it. After all, God asked the man to ask these questions so it must be ok, right? I hope you can see some of the differences.
  15. Sam Young brought a huge amount of attention to this issue. Is it impossible for you to accept that he have been influential in raising this to the consciousness of members and leaders? Gee, "good start" doesn't sound all that critical. It sounds logical. It's a good step. Is it the only or final step? Of course not. Can more be done and will more be done at some point? I'm certain it will. So is a "broad overview" all that is needed? Or would more specificity be useful? I'd hate for you to be critical and call the broad overview a "good start" or something awful like that Personally, I feel it is a "good start" at best. It's kind of the least they could do and I expect the church will do more. They can't do everything all at once so I suspect over time the training will be updated and added upon. But there are still issues that aren't addressed by the training. Why are bishops and Stake presidents exempt from requirements for 2 deep leadership? I'm guessing that the church did this with good intentions of battling abuse, but also as a way to address the public expectation and disappointments around the church's policies and procedures. Yes, it can do good, and it's also a decent PR move. But if they think this PR move is all that is needed they are going to be disappointed. More needs to be done. I expect it will. The only question is when.
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