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About HappyJackWagon

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  1. Yeah, in my experience missionaries have always assumed they are right and people will be drawn to their truth and there certainly isn't any formalized comparative religion training for missionaries. I always enjoy reading your posts. I would have never expected Mexico to have a large Mennonite population.
  2. Interesting. I've never heard of Oneness Pentecostalism. There are many theories about what is driving the increase in "nones" but I think that for many people they are just bored with the old ways of understanding, explaining, and accepting. Youngins today don't care so much about how their grandparents explained theology or the supernatural and don't find that it fits with their modern lives. So they become dissatisfied with the old, status quo which some churches, like the LDS (IMO). If they are going to be interested in religion it needs to speak to them. There needs to be some fresh application, scholarship, theological rigor instead of relying on past generations. I wonder if that could, at least in part, explain why people are responding to the new scholarship of Oneness Pentecostalism. I'll have to look it up.
  3. The question, Are Christians of other denominations "Christian" doesn't need parsing, or lengthy explanation about what a "True or Authentic Christian" might be. The answer is YES. Christians, whether LDS or any other denomination that professes to be Christian, IS Christian. It's a simple question and deserves a simple answer. I'm glad the majority of people here are surprised, or even appalled, that members of the ward wouldn't commit to calling a Christian of another denomination, a "Christian". But I have seen some hemming and hawing here as well. Sadly, we have had many discussions on this board about something similar which yielded much different responses, so I understand the confusion in the OP. Instead of asking if other denominations are Christian, try asking if other denominations are part of the body of Christ. I've been shocked in the past by some on the board who will not / cannot accept other Non-LDS denominations as even a part of the body of Christ. IMO, if someone (or a denomination) isn't considered part of the body, they wouldn't be considered Christian either. But I suppose it sounds harsher to say they aren't Christian so there is more hesitancy to take that position.
  4. In some other denominations the receiver must make more of an effort to receive the communion. They physically have to stand, walk toward the emblems, open their hands to receive as the emblem is placed in their hand. In some they call you by name and look you in the eye as you receive. It feels much more personal to me. I also like that many other denominations play music during communion. Some denominations are more inclusive. In Methodism they practice an "open table" which means that everyone is invited to partake. In the congregation I sometimes attend the pastor makes a point to let everyone know they are welcome regardless of their level of faith, no matter how worthy they feel, no matter what their denomination. All are invited to receive the Lord's supper, regardless of where one is in their faith journey. Personally, I feel that is how Jesus would act. I don't think there would be worthiness qualifications for partaking. Partaking can be a combination of ones faith, desire, hope, etc, and the only thing that matters to God is that an effort is being made.
  5. I've heard that perspective a lot so I think a lot of people agree with you. I've heard people take it further and say things like, "if Jesus was shot with a gun, would I wear a necklace with a gun around my neck?" IMO that is quite a silly response as it misses an important aspect of the symbol. Yes, the cross represents Jesus' death & resurrection (empty cross), but the cross also represents each individual's willingness to follow God, no matter the cost. "Take up your cross" and follow me. IOW- It's not just about Jesus's cross, but also about ours. It was mentioned by others earlier about the translation issues around "cross" and/or "tree". IIRC in ancient Judaism being hung on a tree was a symbol of condemnation before God. Of course Jesus wasn't condemned of God, but he received our condemnation and removed it (empty cross).
  6. I agree with much of what you say here, but I do think you underestimate the impact on membership of how some leaders have taught about the cross. I think Reed effectively makes the case that the teachings of leaders and their personal preferences regarding the cross deeply impacted the church as a whole in how it sees and uses the cross. Sure, it happened more in the past than it does today but that doesn't make it a historical problem. I think those teachings have led to the cross being stigmatized among many/most church members. But it would be interesting to study the differences of feelings about the cross amongst life-long members and converts coming from other Christian denominations. I suspect there may be a difference BIC members view the cross more harshly than people who grew up with the cross being a positive/normal part of their faith. Just for fun, sharing a "Cross" song that I enjoy.
  7. I love the question. My answer is ... I have no idea. But I'd be hesitant to call anyone's faith or works dead simply because I don't understand or appreciate the person's motives. I suspect God will be very merciful with us regarding our incomplete faith and/or works.
  8. I agree. Members tend to follow the leaders. If Pres. Nelson wore a cross tie tack during conference I imagine DBook would go crazy selling cross's of various varieties. It would be a good marketing move I'll have to ponderize on that. But seriously, it's a symbol; A Christian symbol not some occultist/devil sign . There's really no reason to shun it. My wife was given a cross necklace by a dear friend many years ago but she never felt comfortable wearing it and it always made her sad that she'd rejected a gift from a friend. Now she wears it most Sundays with a pride.
  9. I chose option 2 but honestly the answer probably has more to do with the "why" an endowed member no longer has a desire to keep covenants and a TR. For example, does the person see the church an important factor in the covenant made with God? Does he view the covenant as a legitimate covenant? Does he care about the church? Does he care about God? Everyone's faith journey is unique, much more than I used to think. So each individual must decide for him/herself as to the role of the church in his faith journey. Temple/covenants/ordinances are a piece of that relationship.
  10. For the vast majority of my life I felt a strong aversion to the cross, essentially because I had been taught that it was a false symbol. I now find the cross to invoke peace and reverence and I appreciate it much more. In addition to seeing the cross (on building, jewelry, clothing etc) the symbolism of the cross is also beautifully portrayed in literature and music. There are so many great songs about the cross. IMO it would be great if the church returned to acceptance of the cross as a valid symbol of the church's Christianity. It may also help others recognize the church as a Christian church. I say "return" to acceptance of the cross because it is really a fairly modern thing that the cross has been disavowed as a legitimate symbol within the church. There are many pictures (like the one of BY's wife) showing prominent church members wearing the cross. The cross used to be included on chapels. It is my understanding that anti-Catholic sentiment may have led to some leaders developing, over time, a personal dislike of the cross as a symbol for the church. In his book, Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo, Michael Reed talks about the history of using the cross in the Church and how it became a taboo. It's a very interesting book. The author has also done many podcasts on the subject for those who like podcasts. Here's a review from BYU studies https://byustudies.byu.edu/content/banishing-cross-emergence-mormon-taboo In any case, the cross is a personal symbol and IMO people shouldn't be discouraged from accepting the cross as a valid symbol of their faith.
  11. Gotta hand it to him. He seems to have more energy than I do and he's more than twice my age I think it's great that leadership gets out to visit the people. The more, the better!
  12. These seem like weak examples. I can predict right now that many families will be destroyed by both prescription and illegal drug addiction. That doesn't make me a prophet. It's kind of obvious, no. There is historical data as well as cultural evidence, kind of like p0rn, alcohol, etc. You're not claiming that the church owns the issue of chastity as a prophesy, are you? Chastity has been a religious issue forever
  13. I don't think so. If the title is merely aspirational, or an acknowledgement that God "could" use these men for these purposes, it also restricts God to using only these men as prophets, seers, and revelators. IOW- if it's descriptive of what they could be instead of what they are, it simultaneously limits everyone else to be incapable of being used as a prophet, seer or revelator by God. It's creating a separation with no real difference between leaders and everyone else, and again, is limiting to God.
  14. I agree with you. But I'm curious about your final question. Doesn't the church define the role of top leadership as "prophets, seers, and revelators"? Are you questioning that definition or are you looking at the stated roles as simply a title and not necessarily descriptive of gifts. Should members expect leaders to prophesy future events, see and discuss future and past events, and definitively reveal God's will?
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