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About Oliblish

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  1. After reading 29 pages of comments on this subject, I am wondering what would happen if the policy were reversed tomorrow. Would the people staunchly defending it today decide that it wasn't that big of an issue after all? Probably. I think there would be all sorts of post hoc arguments of how the old policy was appropriate for the time but now the new policy makes sense too. I think that for some this discussion is more about getting in line with the policies that come from the general authorities than actually evaluating how these policies affect members and their families.
  2. Is the Word of Wisdom a commandment? According to the scriptures it is not (D&C 89:2). We have modern prophets saying it is a commandment. In this case it seems we take the word of modern leaders over what it says in the scriptures.
  3. I think most of the older generation in the church identifies more with the left column than the right. When they hear the more recent quotes from the rights side, it is in one ear and out the other. Confirmation bias in action. I have a gay cousin that came out to his family when he was about 20 in the early 80s. His father was told by leaders that it was his fault because he didn't have a good relationship with his son. Like most gay members he left the church. I look back and feel really bad about how the whole family treated him. He was forbidden from coming to family reunions. Things have changed quite a bit and I would have to credit the church a little bit for the changes listed above. I believe that if another column were added to this chart in another 40 years, the changes between now and the future will be at least as great as the difference between the two existing columns, probably greater. It is just sad that positive change is so slow in the church, especially when there are so many people being hurt every day. I think it is a good example of how major shifts happen in the church. The leaders provide two contradictory messages. The older generation listen to the old message and the younger generation only hear the new message. Both ways of thinking exist at the same time for decades. As the older generation dies off, the old message fades away and the new one takes over. I have seen this happen with topics like birth control, women working outside the home, blacks and the Temple/Priesthood, etc.
  4. So is it possible that we are not in the true church. We might just be in the right church for us right now for reasons known only to the Lord. We will then be led to the actual truth later. How can we know this isn't the case? And why can we know that when there are others with similar spiritual confirmations that can't? This is the problem I see. When we try to explain what is meant by the confirmations of others we need to realize that those explanations could just as easily apply to us.
  5. Ok, I can see how the elephant analogy kind of fits in. There are good and true things in lots of churches even though we don't agree on everything. But how are we different then? Are we just members of another church that has some partial truths like all of the other churches? This is not what I hear at testimony meeting. Everyone says they know they are in the right church because of the spiritual witness they have received. Others only have small pieces of the truth but we have the complete picture - the whole elephant. But why don't others recognize that they only see a portion of the truth when they think they have it all figured out? Should we think that we would recognize it if we were in their position? Are we in their position? It is easy to see the error in others thinking but difficult for us to admit that we really don't have any reason to believe that we know more than anyone else.
  6. I read the story about the elephant and I still don't understand either. How do you think that relates to spiritual confirmations?
  7. Assuming that only one fruit can be "the best," how can we be sure that it is our fruit that is the best? Most of us have never tasted all of the other fruits. Have you sincerely prayed about all of these other religions with true intent? I think all of the people in the video would say that their fruit is the best. Is there a way we can actually compare the different fruits to see which one is actually "the best?" I have had it explained to me that people outside the church can feel the spirit to bear testimony of the partial truths that they understand while we are the only ones who have the full truth. This may be so, but how do we know that we aren't the ones with a partial truth and someone else has the full truth? No matter how I look at it I don't see any way to know which of all these testimonies lead us to the best fruit.
  8. I agree. I think the video would be much better if they didn't display the name of the person's religion at the bottom of the screen during the testimony.
  9. My mission president was from Idaho and owned a potato farm. He would tell us stories about the migrant Mexican workers he would hire to work on the farm. He knew most of his workers didn't have the proper paperwork. This was in the early 80's and it was very common for Mexicans who needed work to cross the border illegally and work on farms. It was the only way the potato farms could operate. (I am not sure if this has changed much in recent years or not). For the most part the government would look the other way because it was a benefit to the economy, or perhaps for other reasons. I think it may be preferable if there were some sort of temporary worker program that would make this sort of arrangement legal, but sometimes the added bureaucracy makes things worse rather than better. There are lots of laws broken every day that are not enforced. I could probably be cited for dozens of traffic violations every time I drive to work. (Stopping a few inches past a stop sign, going 5 mph over the limit, etc.) Should a group of children running a lemonade stand be cited for operating a business without a license? They probably don't even have proper food handling permits. Are garage sales legal? Should they charge sales tax and report their income to the state? Do people pay the proper social security taxes and file the proper paperwork for babysitters, house cleaners, or yard workers? If I buy a bag of chips at a gas station in Nevada and then bring it to Utah, I am supposed to file and pay Utah use taxes. The list is endless. I don't think it is reasonable to suddenly change immigration enforcement and start to track down and deport people who have been in the country for years who came in at a time when the laws were widely unenforced. I think it is reasonable to make changes to the system, but it should be done in a thoughtful and deliberate way, taking into consideration the lives of the people who it will affect.
  10. If you are interested in learning more about the history of the Johnson amendment, there was a podcast on KUER Radio West on the subject: http://radiowest.kuer.org/post/taxes-churches-and-political-game
  11. I remember these when I was younger. At the time families were assessed a ward budget contribution to help pay for the bills of running the ward. This was above and beyond tithing. You may be assessed $500 or some other amount determined by the bishop. At the end of the year there was a joint MP meeting in the chapel where they reviewed the ward budget on an overhead projector to see how money was spent and to make a budget for the next year. I remember the announcement where they did away with this because tithing funds reached the point where it was not necessary any more. It was kind of a big deal at the time. A quick google search shows that this was discontinued in 1989. http://lds-church-history.blogspot.com/2010/06/lds-history-oct-05-1989.html
  12. I think this happens a lot. We have had a very high number of missionaries returning early in my ward. (There were 5 in a row a couple of years back). I am in a big ward with high expectations of missionary service. We had more than 20 missionaries out during the surge. I feel that most missionaries that return early would have been better off not going in the first place. My son is mission age but I know he would not do well in a structured environment like a mission. I don't think he would survive the MTC. He hasn't been to church for several years and I think high pressure to go on a mission is part of the reason for that. I don't think leaders are pushing him any more, but all of his friends are now leaving on missions and I think they push more than the leaders ever did. I am leaving the decision up to him but I think he will be better off if he doesn't go.
  13. Any married couple can be separated at death whether they are sealed or not. If one spouse dies and the other lives, they are separated (until the other partner follows in death). I think that the understanding of most people have when they hear "till death do us part" at a wedding. I don't think most would understand it to mean that God prevents them from being together in the next life if they so choose.
  14. It looks like there is precedence for this.
  15. In the past young women have prepared and passed the sacrament in church. (I think the example I saw was back in the 1930's or You are right that the only thing that requires priesthood is saying the sacrament prayer.