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About hope_for_things

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    Places Sun, Moon & Stars In The Sky

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  1. One man's trash is another man's treasure. We're a church of lay ministers, no paid clergy, no little to no formal training for leaders, just jump into callings and do the best you can, follow the spirit and hope it all works out. I believe people can do good and make a difference with 3 months of service, personally I believe even a couple hours of service can help do good.
  2. Eat your vitamin pills. Get some rest. It's going to be exciting.
  3. The next step that I expect to happen in the near future will be much more flexibility on missionary service times. 2 years or 18 months will become a thing of the past. Why not have a 3 month or 6 month or 4 1/2 month missions? Service only missions for everyone without any stigma attached that these are of lesser import. Missionaries will begin to realize that the time they are giving in the form of service isn't a rigid set time that God somehow divinely mandated that everyone must devote. Rather, is is a sacrifice of your time and efforts to a cause, and any sacrifice however large or small is of value and is respected and honored. This is the next step in a healthy development of the idea of missionary work.
  4. Great news! Also, another example common sense change that many of us have been talking about for years. Or maybe we should call this revelation from the prophet?
  5. hope_for_things

    All-you-can-eat religion, Buffet style

    As I've thought about this buffet analogy over the years, I've really come to the belief that everyone is a cafeteria religious follower to some degree or another. It is impossible to align perfectly with any group that has disparate beliefs held by every individual in that group. The more I've read about our uniquely Mormon history, I've learned how different the perspectives held by various leaders are in any given period of time, let alone how those opinions evolve and shift over time. How each individual interprets orthodoxy is different as well, and we see this with the plentiful examples of leadership roulette. As for authority and my personal journey, I don't give a whole lot of authority to any source. I respect people to differing degrees based on my previous experience of engagement with their ideas. For example, because Elder Utchdorf has said some things I've found compelling in recent years I pay closer attention when he speaks. Other leaders who I've had differences of opinion with, I likewise have a high degree of skepticism towards them when they speak. I think this is just an example of human nature at work. For me personally, I don't align with the idea that any human is ever communicating the words of a divine being in any kind of pure sense. I do believe people can be inspired to various degrees, but that this inspiration isn't located in some ecclesiastical job title or position of authority. I don't see inspiration as following any patterns or that inspiration has any sense of objectivity to it. I believe that inspiration is subjective and relative, and while I have some sense that there are core principles in this universe that might not be relative, I can't prove this in a factual way. I do operate my life hoping that the core principles I hope exist, do actually exist and that by my following these principles I am adding value to my own existence and to the lives of others as well. This is a hope of mine and not necessarily a belief, but it is something that I feel is important, and it gives me purpose in life.
  6. hope_for_things

    The Book of Romans

    Thanks for the info, this is all new to me. I'll check out the links you provided.
  7. hope_for_things

    The 18 Witnesses to the Book of Commandments

    Martin Harris gave some other witness statements to later religious endeavors he was associated with later in life. These witness statements represent the feelings of the people at the time that they experienced something. Powerful but subjective memories of events, but prone to error like all memories are.
  8. hope_for_things

    The Book of Romans

    I liked this book by Adam Miller. https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Not-Gods-Backup-Plan/dp/1508647763/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=adam+miller+romans&qid=1549926615&s=gateway&sr=8-2
  9. hope_for_things

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    I also think that the church leaders themselves don't do heavy lifting on historical research. They've outsourced that to the historians. They've essentially split the appeal to authority into two branches. When it comes to the specific details around what happened in history, they appeal to the professional historians for the specific details. When it comes to an interpretation of the implications of those historical details, the appeal to authority is back on church leaders who have properly interpreted the meaning of the details in a faith promoting way that is approved by God. While this dynamic might allow for some differing interpretations on the details of history as described by the professional historians. This dynamic does not allow for a differing interpretation on the implications of the history. Church leaders are not flexible on how to interpret the theological implications and how they factor into the correlated narrative. Unfortunately, this very rigid approach is kind of like the when a child asks the parents why they should do something that they are being asked to do, and the parent answers "Because I said so". Church leaders answering "Because I said so" doesn't work for more mature children and only serves to undermine a sense of trust in the family. This approach is also failing greater numbers of members that are exploring issues of history from uncorrelated sources today.
  10. hope_for_things

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    Yes, I think I understand better for sure. It’s somewhat foreign to me though, as I approached things differently as an orthodox member, and very different that how I approach things today.
  11. hope_for_things

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    It’s not all speculation, we have quotes and a report by a friendly source in the church news which I think we can have some level of confidence is attempting to accurately represent the spirit of the message. If the full transcript is produced at a later date that will be even better, but what we have right now offers enough insight for a healthy discussion.
  12. hope_for_things

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    Yes, but even more important than learning about multiple first visions, would be a discussion of what this actually means. Many people have a mindset that these accounts represent not just a vision, but a tangible event in time and space. It would be even more important to talk about what a vision is, how Joseph might have thought of a vision, how these narratives evolved over time in response to environmental circumstances, and how they represent a window into Joseph's theological development over time.
  13. hope_for_things

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    If you don't like my comments and have another perspective to share please feel free to support your different perspective, I welcome participation and engagement. I'm using the article as it has been reported and this seems to be a straightforward reading of the meaning reported in the article. Is it possible that things were taken out of context by the reporter whether intentionally or not, sure, anything is possible. A person could speculate all day about the possibilities.
  14. hope_for_things

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    Ok, thanks, I don't really have much I can think of to respond to in a productive way, but its interesting to see how others work through these things.
  15. hope_for_things

    President Oaks' advice to young married couples in Chicago

    Do you have a copy of the transcript? If the reporter was taking him out of context then someone should write the church news so that this can be corrected and the proper context of the message can be shared.