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RevTestament

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  1. RevTestament

    All-you-can-eat religion, Buffet style

    Yep. Scripture is subject to interpretation.
  2. I am pleased with the Church for seemingly better acknowledging this issue over the last 20 years, but in terms of history, I am speaking of that as "more recently." How lives of people I know would be different had the Church had a similar approach say 40 years ago, I cannot say. Nevertheless, as others have alluded the Church is doing a decent or a good job in this area imho - better than it used to. Certainly better than say the Southern Baptist Convention. I also share your concerns that innocent people don't become victims in this process, which is why I said "However, we should not tip so far as to allow mere accusations to ruin innocent lives - that can lead to societal abuse which can be almost as tragic as sexual abuse." As your quote from the Jewish Community Watch page I think shows, they seem to have an almost callous regard for the lives of the families of abusers saying they must bear the shame or some shame along with the abuser. Striking the right balance is perhaps trickier than I am going to be able to address on this forum, but I just want to address the complications of the issue. Again, I think the Church is doing a good job here, and should continue to try to lead the community in helping victims of abuse.
  3. RevTestament

    All-you-can-eat religion, Buffet style

    I think you are clear enough for the purposes of discussion. The idea of "buffet religion" has been discussed on this forum before. Here are my ideas about the subject. I believe in the gospel 100%, but how do we determine exactly what that gospel is? If the Pres of the Church says we should read the Book of Mormon every day, my wife makes it a point to do so, and can get very stressed out about not being a good disciple if she doesn't because she is not following "the commandments." I don't see it the same way, and have often said to my family "what about the Bible?" If I don't read the Book of Mormon every day do I feel I am not living the gospel? No, I don't. As for the question of authority, where do I stop? With the accepted scripture. I even question Joseph Smith. I believe it quite obvious that some things he said were his own opinion, based on his own understanding, and were not straight from the Lord nor the HS. As for others there is no level of authority which is safe from my questioning. If a Pres can be incorrect in his opinion, why can't anyone else? As many who have read me on this forum no doubt know, I don't accept everything every Church Pres has said. So how do I believe I am following the gospel? I weigh what they have said against scripture, and if I perceive a conflict, I pray about it. I concede this is a subjective process, but I am totally willing to discuss how I reach my conclusions, and why I believe the way I do. Basically, I am LDS because the restored gospel made the most sense to me as a young man, and just "felt right." I have also received various forms of revelation which affirm the "restored gospel" and even that this Church is our Lord's true work. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that "the Church" is always right - for instance Kimball denounced aspects of what he perceived was the teaching of Brigham Young. So do I believe Brigham Young or Pres Kimball? By necessity we all interpret what we read and hear. This has led to a lot of different interpretations of the Bible and a lot of different churches. As long as a member is not trying to lead people away or after them, I think the Church has to give some allowance to differences of opinion. That is certainly the way I operate. I certainly do not criticize those who have a different take of the gospel than myself for simply that reason, but I do expect them to be able to defend their differences - I am the first to admit that I have different interpretations than say you will find in Mormon Doctrine for instance. In short I totally respect what you are trying to analyze here, and will say that I am someone who "struggles" with the same issues because I just don't accept what I am told. I have always been one to question everything. I believe that is what led me to the truths of the Church, so I am not going to stop doing it when I join the Church, and try to follow the restored gospel as a member. So, I have always ignored calls not to read certain stuff - even "anti-Mormon" materials. To understand why they are wrong or why I shouldn't believe like them, I believe can only strengthen me. I am not saying this approach is for everyone, but I am not scared of analyzing truth claims - I am also not scared of criticizing those who believe in "scientific methods," which also have various weaknesses. I am a believer of the religious experience, and believe it is what ultimately will lead us to happiness.
  4. Currently, I think the change is awesome, and see very little downside to it with lots of possible upside. I think it will help my wife more than my son though....... Pres Nelson has made a couple of changes I have applauded, and this is another. Sending out young men and women is a huge change in their lives, and being able to communicate more freely, I think will help many make the adjustment.
  5. Congratulations pogi and Blue Dreams! Maybe you can post baby pics when the day comes! Wonderful to hear.
  6. I don't know if you intended to make the inference that Southern Baptists don't care or are not concerned with this problem. I believe they are, but to some extent how much an organization cares is manifest in their actions, and to this extent you probably have a point about Southern Baptists. Many of their larger churches have had a tendency in recent decades of having "youth ministers" and as one may imagine this is an area ripe for sexual predators. I believe Southern Baptists have utilized at least some common sense in requiring background checks for youth ministers, although I don't know if this is a uniform requirement in the convention. Nevertheless, I have heard of instances of abuse or inappropriate behavior by youth ministers. But I have heard of such instances in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and disturbingly, even with a centralized HQ, sometimes the accused have continued in their callings without the accusers actually getting a fair hearing from what I have heard - this is largely due to the feeling that those called are called by the Lord, and therefore the calling can't be questioned. More recently the Church has instituted a call line, which I applaud, and is certainly a recognition that members, and those in callings are imperfect, and cannot be assumed to be passed off as innocent. Perhaps both can take some cues from the Jewish Community's approach to the issue, and the degree of openness it engenders - it certainly seems a more honest approach to the issue than most organizations are willing to provide. As pointed out by Navidad most organizations are not prone to be open about abuse matters. However, we should not tip so far as to allow mere accusations to ruin innocent lives - that can lead to societal abuse which can be almost as tragic as sexual abuse.
  7. I will address a couple of things which kind of reveal my pet peeves about the subject: I first think it necessary to be more precise about the subject. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I don't believe Jacob 2 "clearly condemns the practice." It condemned HOW the Nephites were practicing it, rather than the practice itself as practiced by their Jewish forebears. Notice it emphasizes that the Lamanites loved their wives and raised their children closely. For different reasons the Lord also condemned the polygamy of David. The sin of David was not in having multiple wives which scripture tells us the Lord "gave him." His sin was revealed by Nathan's parable of this man who had plenty of sheep, wanting the one sheep of another. The Lord has never condemned polygamy per se, but He has condemned sin which may be associated with it. Rather, the Lord even gave Israel of law of inheritance if a man have two wives - that is hardly a condemnation of polygamy. The Nephites were taking multiple wives and concubines for the wrong reasons, and that is why the Lord intervened and put a stop to it. Again, I think the topic needs precise analysis. It seems clear that Joseph Smith felt he was commanded to live polygamy, but is that because he was commanded to teach the principle? In other words was Joseph Smith breaking some commandment if he remained monogamous? The early history of the Church certainly paints Joseph Smith as following a commandment, but I feel less certain about exactly what that commandment was. This is doubly true when I examine D&C 132. Where is its commandment to practice polygamy? It simply is not there. There is certainly a commandment to Emma to accept the principle of polygamy, but I don't see a specific commandment to her to accept some other wife Joseph desired, and point out that would seem to be contrary to its provision that the first wife(s) had to give her permission for polygamy to be legal under the law of heaven. Personally, I feel the Church is reluctant to admit it may have misinterpreted the "commandment" concerning polygamy, when the early leaders promoted it so highly. So, as I see it, that is part of the "conundrum" you are running into. I don't see a conundrum at all, because I simply feel the Church misinterpreted things under Brigham Young. Yep. Joseph apparently did not do all those things anti-Mormon type critics accused him of - he didn't sleep with the wives of other men. Their children all belong to their own husbands. This sobering fact seems to have put some dampers on the claims of Joseph being some kind of selfish sex-crazed sinner. When I bring this up, even some on this forum have told me to "just stop" because as they see it, it brings their stories into some disrepute, but again the plain fact is, even when their own children believed they belonged to Joseph, they did not. The implications of this for Church history are deep and profound, and paint a different picture than one I think painted by Brigham Young and his contemporaries. Nevertheless, it is what it is, and may point to problems with the way the early post-Joseph Church was living polygamy.
  8. To the extent that some such as yourself wish to create a sincere dialogue, such theological exploration is good, and I welcome it, rather than posturing and screaming about LDS over the pulpit. But to think that such dialogue will result in LDS becoming more orthodox is not in the plan. Incidentally, I do personally believe that Hinckley was prevaricating on the Snow couplet, and had a desire to bring the Church more into the mainstream, as I think Mouw suggests. However, I am not privy to his thoughts nor the thoughts of the Apostles at the time, and I do believe that he was sincere in saying "we don't know much about it" despite it being manifest in scripture. He saw what he saw, and no more, and continued the path of the Church away from the last teachings of Joseph Smith on the subject. Nevertheless, the destiny of this Church is not to become more orthodox nor mainstream. The destiny is for the Gentiles to flow unto this Church when the veil of the temple is again rent for man to see inside. The state Church effectively put the veil back up which Yeshua had rent for us, and man has lived behind that glass "darkly" as several have said recently on this forum. For your benefit I am willing to discuss these issues, but I don't see a broad dialogue opening up with evangelical Christianity at present. The implications of the Snow couplet are just too wide for orthodoxy to feel comfortable with. It is usually met with charges or at least thoughts of blasphemy. i understand that knee-jerk reaction. If a dialogue does no more than to remove that knee-jerk reaction, however, I believe it will be beneficial, and I stand ready to make the attempt. Some do not aspire to learn. Some aspire to nothing beyond "being saved." However, some do strive to understand God, and to live godly lives, as our Savior taught us. It, I think, is just the way some are wired to be curious and inquisitive. The sum, I think, of a discussion on the topic will rest on the nature of God. Is it provided by tradition or is there more to know? To the extent that some are unwilling to investigate beyond tradition, I don't think such a discussion will be fruitful, but to the extent that "orthodox Christians" are willing to investigate new or unseen scriptural interpretations, I think a discussion on theosis will at least help everyone to better appreciate the alternate views among LDS Christians and traditional Christians, and that I believe is a good start. I am, however, of the opinion that this discussion will not get far amongst evangelicals though, because, to put it bluntly, the time of the sixth seal is finished, and it is time for that era to be sealed in history.
  9. RevTestament

    Jesus becoming God in Pre-Mortal Realm

    Yes, He was the firstborn from pre-existence, but the question is how. How did He become the only begotten Son to be sent into the world?
  10. RevTestament

    Jesus becoming God in Pre-Mortal Realm

    Not really. It seems self-conflicting to me: "In 1833 the Savior Himself testified of His position as the Firstborn with unmistakable clarity: “And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn” (D&C 93:21). Many of the Lord’s chosen servants have also taught in unequivocal terms that the mortal being known as Jesus Christ was the Firstborn in premortality." And what is the evidence given for this claim? "The Apostle Paul wrote that Jesus was “the image of the invisible God [meaning the Father], the firstborn of every creature” (Colossans 1:15), the “firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29), and the “firstbegotten into the world” (Hebrews 1:6)." The last expressly speaks of being the firstbegotten into the world - not in the preexistence. It also ignores what Hebrews says about Yeshua becoming the begotten - that the Father said to him "thou art my Son. This day I have begotten thee."
  11. RevTestament

    Jesus becoming God in Pre-Mortal Realm

    John 15:26 26 But when the aComforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall btestify of me: & others like it
  12. RevTestament

    Jesus becoming God in Pre-Mortal Realm

    That may just be the next world.... being that this one took millions to create....
  13. David seemed to be happy with his life, and has not renounced that. As you note: "During his tenure, he co-created the “Journey into Manhood” experiential weekend with Ben Newman and began serving on the board of directors of People Can Change." There is lots of evidence that people do change. Sex drives lessen, and physical attractions dissipate during marriages, etc. I don't think anyone will deny that. Sexual attraction is by its nature a somewhat fluid thing. All you are really showing is that this is true in this case - not that men with SSA cannot be happy in a heterosexual lifestyle. How is it proof? Did Matheson say he was unhappy living with his wife? Or with his prior lifestyle? Did he say his therapies or lifestyle harmed him? While I understand your anger at the therapies that you and your friend underwent, that doesn't mean that we should outlaw all sex therapy for those who want it. People go to sex therapists for many reasons - they have various difficulties - the sex therapies don't always work, and have unintended consequences - so should we outlaw Dr Ruth? I think that is just absurd. If people consider something to have value, even if it doesn't always work, I think we should allow it, even if sometimes bad things seem to result. If a therapy is abuse under the law, then I think under the law, a jury could hear those issues, and a bad therapist will not last. But to turn your bad experience into a vendetta against all therapists is I believe a very bad precedent, which is what I feel, ultimately, you are doing with this. I see some of the same problems you do, but I do not support your conclusions.
  14. RevTestament

    How to reconcile Hagoth and the Heartland Theory?

    I do not personally believe Joseph F's proclamation that the Polynesians are Hagoth's people. Remember, many if not most of the people left on foot. However, the idea that Polynesians are directly related to the Heartland theory so-called, I do not believe can be supported. I do believe that Polynesians beat Columbus to the Americas by far. They clearly reached Easter Island by 1000 AD. There is simply no reason not to believe that many missed that tiny speck in the ocean, and hit "the wall" of S. America. There is some reasonable evidence that they still reside in S. America - both linguistic and archaeological. There is also some evidence that some who reached America sailed back to Pacific Islands with sweet potato and other products. Does any of this mean that the story of Hagoth is untrue? Certainly not - only that it has been misinterpreted. Of course if Central America is the land of the Book of Mormon, then I think it would be reasonable to believe that at least some Polynesians may have something to do with Hagoth.... i just don't believe that it can be reasonably connected to the heartland theory. I have a very different belief about that, which I believe has at least some archaeological support ie chronological support. I believe the story of the Jaredites is more correctly placed in the mid-late third millennium BC. I think 3100 BC would place the Jaredites before Noah, who didn't live until the mid third millennium BC, if one accepts scripture as it presently reads. Rod Meldrum has promoted the belief that the Nephites introduced Haplogroup A into the Americas, but has not successfully presented any scientific evidence for that. While it is possible that some Nephites had haplogroup A mtDNA, I think that is difficult to support at present. It is, however, more likely that Jaredites may have introduced some haplogroup A, although at present scientific evidence seems to clearly show that it preexisted the Jaredites in the Americas at least by 6000 years. Nevertheless, we still do not know much about genetics, and mutation rates. It appears that some male DNA mutates much faster than mtDNA, so we are placing some supposition based on accuracy of C14 samples, etc. Do I believe the BoM people spread? Yes, I do. How much is unclear to me, but I do not believe they filled the Americas to form all the Native American peoples or Polynesians. I am by no means saying that Polynesians are not related to Israel, but I believe there are other people whom Christ appeared to besides the Jews and the Nephites, and to try to include all the Americas and Oceania in the BoM is imho not accurate nor reasonable fwiw.
  15. True for the most part. However, whether or not it materially changes anything is another matter for debate I think. For the time being it doesn't. However, in my interpretation the time will come when those who do not believe it will be cut off from the covenant. As I have inferred you are completely free and allowed to believe what you believe. I have given my interpretation, which I admit is mine, as does everyone else. As for there being nothing about this in Church teaching, I disagree. While it is not presently taught in so many words, Brigham Young taught that Adam came from another world and brought his wife with him. That necessarily implies having a body on another world where he married a woman who apparently became sealed to him. The gospel doesn't explain any other way to gain a wife. Do we marry in the preexistence? So while what I have said may not be taught in the exact words I use, it is certainly taught in principle, and in that I am not alone contrary to your implication. Again, this is not an adversarial point for me. I am merely giving my interpretation, and a little bit on how I have come to my conclusions. I believe I am merely showing that my belief is not without precedent in not only Church history, but in the gospel. The scriptures on point are many and varied, and i have discussed them several time in this forum, but imho the plainest reading of them is typically dismissed by not only orthodoxy but by the present Church. I am not stating this so as to create "a debate" per se, but just to clarify that there are other reasonable interpretations besides yours or those presently commonly held. What I believe is not necessary for salvation, but I do believe one day will be necessary for the priesthood to accept, so it is not a trivial matter in that sense. I appreciated your attitude and demeanor. Thank you for your kind words, Navidad. You are a most unusual visitor.
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