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About gopher

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    Member: Moves Upon the Waters

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  1. I talked to a dad at basketball yesterday who has a son currently working on his missionary application He was really struggling with the section asking about anxiety and homesickness when he got the email about the change. He didn't feel he could honestly answer the questions before, but with the change, he now believes he can do it. I'm proud of the kid. He worked hard to lose 100 lbs. He still wasn't ready to go so he went to college to give him some experience being away from home for the first time. He only survived by calling his mom several times a week. I don't understand why there are so many youth struggling today, but I'm proud this kid is making the effort to try.
  2. gopher

    "Why some people leave the Church"

    One of the problems with the recent reasons given by people who leave the church is that the reasons are usually debatable. The very intelligent defenders of the church on this site have provided valuable context and clarification for many of the arguments against Joseph Smith. They also provide important speculative arguments to defend the church against the speculative arguments against the church. There are many examples of members who have been wronged or hurt by church leaders that remain in the church (I have an uncle who suffered a horrible tragedy in his family, but is stronger now than before). I'm not putting down anyone's experiences, just pointing out how fuzzy it gets when trying to understand why people with the same experiences choose such different paths. One reason that isn't debatable is if you say God told you it isn't true. Who can argue that? I don't see that reason given often except by those who break off to start their own sect. I doubt there would be many believers left in the church if they hadn't received their own spiritual confirmations from God that this is Christ's church, JS was prophet, the BOM is holy scripture, etc. Those who leave and claim they never had any spiritual confirmations or witnesses during the time they attended are easier to understand. It's those that claim they were TBM, served missions, and list their resume of leadership callings that are more difficult to understand for the still-believers. I don't think it's fair when members try to assign sinful motives to those leaving, but I do think there is a desire to understand why someone would give up the promises of the restored gospel which most believers regard as worthy of any required sacrifice or trial of faith. It's hard to accept that everyone that still believes in the church is either gaslighting or suffering from cognitive dissonance or tribalism, etc. So maybe it's not possible to come to any real understanding.
  3. gopher

    Missionary work during the priesthood ban

    I don't know how much of a lasting effect the ban will have. It's been long enough that it seems to mostly bother the white critics of the church today. Since the ban was lifted, I've had black HT'ers, EQPs, Bishops, counselors, and now our current SP is a brotha. If they can remain believing members of the church, it doesn't make sense to for me to get upset since I'm a whitey. It's hard to believe that for many decades God allowed prophets to ignore his will and continue the ban. He would have done something like sending a whale to swallow them for disobeying. Whatever the reasons (and it didn't help when leaders and members were left to speculate), I appreciate hearing the testimonies of the black leaders and members in my stake who don't seem to hold a grudge against the church for the Priesthood ban.
  4. gopher

    How was two hour church?

    The snow has mostly melted but the forecast calls for 1/3 inch of snow tonight so they cancelled mutual. I hope none of the pioneers that crossed the plains in the cold are paying attention to us right now...
  5. gopher

    How was two hour church?

    I'm teaching the same class as last year so I'm missing my CTR 7 kids. They are a very entertaining bunch
  6. gopher

    How was two hour church?

    We are still waiting to experience 2 hour church. We had stake conference the first week and last week church was cancelled due to the massive storm on the east coast that dumped 3" inches of snow on us. That's 3 inches, not feet. We are such wimps.
  7. gopher

    Missionary work

    I'm not sure missionary work would be more effective by removing the emphasis on the JS story and the BOM. During the five years I spent as WML, i saw that both continue to be key to conversion. One heavily tattooed convert still bears testimony every month about JS. A black sister went against her Baptist family and was baptized because of her testimony of the BOM. Another sister had a powerful spiritual expedience watching the Restoration video and was baptized. Another prayed to find truth about God and three days later the missionaries knocked on her door. She bore testimony of the BOM at her baptism. Not all stick with it - one sister left after a year due to intense opposition from her family. At her baptism, she told me she felt like she was walking on air. Hopefully she'll come back. As long as God continues to let people know JS was a prophet and the BOM is holy scripture, it seems the church should continue to use them (in addition to preaching of Christ) in missionary work.
  8. gopher

    Nehor Rants About Online Dating

    Meanwhile, convicted murderer Chris Watts is having no problems attracting women...
  9. gopher

    Baptist confess-all report on Legacy of Slavery

    It's more impressive when we can confess as individuals our weaknesses when it comes to race. A few months ago our stake president spoke in ward conference and confessed he had racist feelings when he was younger. He even admitted he wouldn't have had anything to do with certain members of our congregation had he known them at that time in his life. Of course, then he got into the boring part about how the restored gospel of Jesus Christ changed his heart so he now can look at everyone as brothers and sisters regardless of their race. But it was a very frank and refreshing openness that we don't often see. Especially from a man who wouldn't have been able to serve as a stake president until 1978.
  10. gopher

    Come follow me

    I was told the validation story by a homeschool parent who doesn't feel all secular learning needs to be at home. I thought the comment was only directed towards the church giving additional recognition for the value of learning at the home, nothing more. But I could be wrong - I was public schooled.
  11. gopher

    Come follow me

    If you have kids and need any ideas, go ask homeschool parents who all screamed "validation!!!" after the announcement in GC. Just make sure you have a good exit strategy because you may be there a while.
  12. I wish the critics would give the church credit for the progress that has been made in viewing women's roles. There's a good example at the :30 service mark in the new Light the World video: The helpless man with a flat tire is rescued by the young lady who not only brings over a tire iron, but also helps loosens the lug nuts. Progress?
  13. Over here on the other coast we've heard all the sad reports of celebrities losing their homes to the fire. There hasn't been any reporting about non celebrities affected by the fire, so that's a good thing.
  14. gopher

    Anniversary of the “The Policy”

    Fair question. I haven't found one that would cause me to leave the church. But I realize it's different for some people. I do know someone who was deceived into joining the church. My sister told a boy she was dating she would only get married in the temple. He took the missionary lessons and was baptized. A week later she dumped him. He came from a broken family filled with lots of abuse and hopelessness. He served a mission, met a nice, nondeceitful girl, got married, and has five beautiful kids. I saw him a few years ago as they were planning a trip to visit his old mission. He seemed very happy. So maybe it's ok to be deceived into joining the church. I have another sister who left the church with her husband after reading some false claims against the church online. In the next few months she made a big deal about how nothing bad happened to her for leaving. Within six months, however, she was diagnosed with cancer (she got better, but that's not the point). She's the only breadwinner since her husband is an alcoholic and won't work and her son gave up a promising baseball career to lay around the house and do drugs. But she loves her family and loves her job. And we still love her. So maybe it's ok to be deceived into leaving the church.
  15. gopher

    Disturbing New Statistics about Seminary

    There may be some truth in that at least according to a member of the ward who has a son that left for Brazil last week. She says Brazil requires missionaries to have extensive training beyond just the few weeks in the MTC before they can work in the country. The church claims the four years of seminary fulfills that requirement. Anyone heard anything similar?