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hope_for_things last won the day on June 26

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About hope_for_things

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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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  1. 1. Revelation at best is the human enterprise of seeking to understand the divine will. It will always be contextual to the understanding of humans, and therefore always flawed and limited. We seek for greater understanding, empathy, love, goodness, these affirmations are vague attempts to articulate the divine will. Revelation is not the pure will of God, I don't think that is accessible. Every word ever spoke by a human being is always filtered through the brain of that human being, and therefore instantly becomes limited, finite, corrupted, and at best an approximation of the divine will, but cannot and will never represent the ineffable. As a Mormon, I am a strong believer in ongoing revelation, meaning whatever we think we know today, can change tomorrow, based on the context of the situation, greater understanding and is relative to the circumstances. 2. This is why its so important that we all participate in the revelatory process. Since we've agreed to a church structure that is led top down, we are in the in a conundrum of having to wait for the top leaders to find consensus on major policy issues prior to implementing change. This makes it hard when good individuals in the church, understand that the policies of the church are flawed and out dated, in the case of the priesthood ban, there were members of the church who ordained blacks to the priesthood prior to 1978 or spoke out about their concerns about the policy, and who were mistreated by the institution. The wheels of revelation in the modern church are slow moving and sometimes take a step in the wrong direction, as with the Nov 2015 policy. But that doesn't mean we as individuals have to outsource our personal integrity. It is our duty to stand up for what we believe in (choose the right) even if that means not waiting for top leaders to lead, and when we feel inspired to do so, to stand for goodness in spite of how that might marginalize us in our community. Its a balancing act, this is my opinion, and I think everyone has to decide for themselves how they can negotiate this. 3. Personalities played a huge role, Pres. Lee was a roadblock toward the change, and Pres. Kimball seemed uniquely qualified to be willing to rethink this prior doctrine and be bold enough to change. I think we can see this as God working through these personalities as well, not just the other way around. I think it goes both ways.
  2. We get these words from Matthew, so remembering that Jesus didn't write anything and we don't know who Matthew was and his writings were 2-3 generations after Jesus lived, what do we know about the author. He was likely writing to a Jewish audience, and as a synoptic he's borrowing from Mark much of the gospel narrative and that he's likening Jesus to a royal Lord with prophetic heritage, a modern Moses or Elijah, but greater than those. He's also painstakingly connecting passages from the Hebrew Bible to symbolize Jesus. Here's some interesting commentary I found online about this passage. My interpretation differs from this, but I thought it would be interesting to show. I'm persuaded that the Jesus commonly portrayed in the synoptic gospels is not talking about heaven and hell as some kind of afterlife. He's speaking of bringing the kingdom, right now, on earth, to this current generation, in this lifetime. In my mind, his call to life in this scripture is a call to abundant life here on earth and he's saying that many aren't living an abundant life, because they aren't willing to sacrifice, they aren't willing to set aside the easy path and do what's hard through serving others, giving up their selfish impulses and experiencing the transformation thats found when we let go of our weakness and follow a higher path, this is the path that few find, not because few will make it into heaven in the next life (notice those scriptures say nothing about heaven or hell or the afterlife), but few find and experience an abundant life. That said, "this few that find it" doesn't have to be reality, I believe in a God and a Jesus that is calling EVERYONE of us to life, not saying that only a certain % can make it. Everyone can experience it, his arms are wide open and welcoming us to live this way, there are no restrictions from God, only limitations we perceive ourselves, we can overcome these.
  3. The church's current policy is bigoted, yes. Whether or not you consider it doctrine is up to personal interpretation. If doctrine is defined as inspired teachings from God, then its not doctrine to me. Its evil.
  4. Thanks that helps me understand better your perspective. I think I get what you're saying, but I disagree with you that the principles he's espousing are prescribed in as narrow a fashion as you're interpreting. Testimony is a broad definition, I consider myself having an expanded testimony of God today than what I used to have and this expanded testimony isn't at all certain or specific. Context is important, but its also important to not limit a principle to certain prescriptive situations. The most important principles are guidelines that point us in a good direction and broadly without specific conditions.
  5. Just saying that your comment about the brethren being guided by God in their decision making is basically a definition for a religion. An institution guided by the divine. The specific doctrines of how that happens vary quite a bit across the different traditions, but the central idea is the same.
  6. Great comments Robert, thanks. One other thing we ought to do as a community, we ought to respect those that choose to separate themselves from the church for whatever reasons they choose to, and rather than call them apostates, we ought to honor their journey as a respected path in their life. For me, this falls into in the teachings of Jesus of how we should love our enemies and do good those that harm us (harm the community through separating) by trying to understand the reasons for their separation better, but also respecting their choice (agency is our key value) and not demonizing or disrespecting them. I'm not accusing saying you Robert, but I'm critiquing the kind of tribalism that I see as part of our tradition and part of our current teachings (Gospel Doctrine lesson 24 this year). We can do better.
  7. Perhaps you can boil this down to what is the definition of a religion, an institution that has divine guidance.
  8. They say that history is written by the victors.
  9. Yeah, its kind of like the Big 12 in NCAA football, it has 10 members but its still called the Big 12.
  10. Agreed. Have you ever heard of anyone being excommunicated who has has their second anointing? I just wondered if that has ever happened before.
  11. I think that's a pretty charitable view to take, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.
  12. You can't separate the human from the equation.
  13. I was wondering the same thing while listening to the interview. Some speculate that this is why Tom Phillips was never excommunicated. Do we know if anyone who's had their second anointing has ever been excommunicated in the church?
  14. Actually, its the low margins and restrictions on non-profit orgs that I don't like. Give me a high margin, for profit religion!
  15. Group dynamics influence the individuals and individuals influence groups. Its the circle of life my friend.