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About Meerkat

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    Seer of Sights
  • Birthday 11/07/1948

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    South of Seattle
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  1. And often a person needs multiple referrals to find one who can help. It isn't because some aren't good. People can have unique personalities that respond better to one therapist than another.
  2. Yes, this is what it comes down to. If a person doesn't believe that, why would they want to be a member? And what difference would it make to them if they were excommunicated from a church they don't believe especially if their main interest is criticizing the leaders, doctrine, scriptures, etc.?
  3. They are courts of love. The main reason for excommunication is to help people start over. When they are repentant, rarely are they excommunicated. If they insist on harming the reputation of the Church, don't believe the leaders are inspired by God and they aren't willing or able to accept their authority, they shouldn't be members, in my opinion.
  4. Meerkat

    How much should religion cost?

    I've been in several of your cathedrals from Rome to London. It was a sublime experience for me in every case, just as you said. And I would say I was blown away by them. The workmanship was inspiring. I thought the craftsmen must have done their work with great love for God. The sculptures in Rome (Michelangelos) were nearly alive. All the art and artists communicated a beautiful testimony of Jesus Christ and His early Christian followers.
  5. Meerkat

    How much should religion cost?

    Doing the sacred and important work in them rather than viewing them as beautiful symbols of our faith that are admired rather than used? Interesting point, if that is what you mean. These temples have a purpose that is greater than their appearance. Mosques also serve an important function in the Muslim faith. I'd like to better understand the function of cathedrals. They are indeed beautiful and draw one's attention to God. Is that the main pirpose behind it?
  6. Meerkat

    How much should religion cost?

    Right. The cathedrals, mosques and temples are beautiful and inspiring. When I see them, I don't think about forced labor. If that's how some were built, the workmanship appears to to have been done by proud craftsmen. I hope it was a statement of their faith. That's how I take it because I have been inspired.. Regarding the poor, money can't be the limiting factor. Microsoft was just an idea to a couple of teenagers. The mind of God is full of them when we need them, and just for the asking and a little labor. Perhaps poverty has more to do with the agency of despots, our own greed and insensitivity and also some of the poor. Christ said the poor will always be with us. How we treat the poor is probably an important part of our test. In the end, the last will be first. I don't believe lack of money is the problem.
  7. Meerkat

    Stirred up with Hatred

    I thought by " timely lesson," you were referring to our day and circumstances. We have many challenges that need solutions. There are differences of opinion on what they may be. How do things change for the better if half the population says "No, leave us alone," and the other half keeps pressing for what they want? We need to have thoughtful and persuasive discussions from all sides to identify problems and make necessary changes, imo. I apologize if I caused contention. That wasn't my intent.
  8. Meerkat

    Stirred up with Hatred

    I agree with much of what you say. I see you as a compassionate person who doesn't want to see anyone suffer. Most people do survive no matter how bad things get. I think that's part of our lives. We are educated by the things we suffer, and the compassion we gain from that suffering. I get your thought about the Protestant Work Ethic. I've read that the average person will now have five plus careers in a lifetime. Each of us has a choice to make when adversity comes to us, or to those to whom we can bring relief. I read a quotation today from Elizabeth Kubler Ross: "The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." Our struggles have value. We can't take them all away. But we should do our best to identify corruption when it causes suffering in our midst. I would agree with you that much of the system is corrupt. Greed can corrupt most of us, not just the wealthy. You say social (and economic) engineering is vital. Yes, IF the engineers choose to encourage good behavior. How often does that happen? The engineers use human greed to guide behavior. We need to be self aware, and fight their persuasions on an individual basis. Their power is great. It would be hard to fight it on a societal level. Examples: Home ownership is desirable for many or most people. So lenders create the incentive of low initial interest adjustable rate products that lenders know the people can't afford. The people know they can't afford it either. But the banks want the fees, and the people want the initially low cost money. You are right that when the market collapsed in 2008 and people lost their homes, the banks were bailed out. Corruption. The Affordable Care Act promised lower premiums and you can keep your doctor. You could no longer buy catrastrophic insurance at a low price with high deductible. You were required to accept a better policy than you could afford, and the government would pay the premium you couldn't afford. I like having the government subsidize a family member's premium. The hook is set. I don't want to go back to paying my own premium, since health care is now a right. I will accept the subsidy. I don't want to go back to the old way, do I? And if I don't, my character is impacted. Now what do we do about the impact taking premiums from our neighbor has on our character? Who benefits from higher premiums and coverage? Insurance companies, doctors and congressional fund raisers. It's all potentially corrupt, in my opinion. Education-- We subsidize education with non dischargible student loans. The cost of education inflates. Who engineers this? Who does it benefit, the student?? Or the university? The university. The book publishers. The congressional fund raisers, etc. As harsh and inefficient as the invisible hand of the market is, I believe it is more charitable and kind in the long run than free money that destroys my incentive to work, be creative, exercise faith in God, etc. Many do need a financial backstop that some get from their families. In the Church of Jesus Christ, we help the downcast with micro loans, the perpetual education fund, etc. Where there is a will, or just a desire, there is a way. Are there people who need government assistance? Of course. My point is that the youth of today have incentives to take on a mountain of debt for an uncertain future. Who benefits? The students? Not in many cases. Their pain comes when the loan is due. The real winners are the social engineers paid by the lenders who have full recourse for their ill gotten gains. The congressional fundraisers also benefit. It's all corruption. What is morally reprehensible is compromising the character of our younger generation by minimizing the actual cost those free things will have on their future families and the country at large. Do many, who have no financial power, need help? Yes. Can they make it without that help? Maybe. Maybe not. It will probably be difficult, even harsh. But that experience will strengthen their spiritual muscles. Their families may learn to take the hard road and stay together, investing in long term joy and personal accomplishment. I understand your point on the importance of compassion. I'm not convinced it is compassionate to lift all people out of their stressful circumstances when the power is in them to do much for themselves.
  9. Meerkat

    Stirred up with Hatred

    Yes, some need help to make it. But NOT half the population. Accept a little stress in life. Pray to God for an idea, if there aren't any well paying jobs around. That's the way it used to be. It's those who come up with an idea that create jobs. I'm less than most, in my opinion. Yet, when no one was hiring, God gave me ideas that provided for my family and created jobs for about forty people over the years. When we rely on government (reaching into our neighbor's pocket for tax money earned by his or her life energy,) we don't need faith. We don't need God. We weaken ourselves and our country when we take things rather than earning them, in my opinion. Buying votes has put us in an awful pickle. At present, we have an alternative to free education for all, which is Student Loans. One of our granddaughters just married in the Seattle Temple. Her father has years to go on his twenty year old student loans. Why? Low interest loans drove up the cost of education far beyond inflation. It's a crime what we have done to address supposed inequities. Under the guise of affordable housing, we gave liars loans (mortgages,) to people without verified savings or income. We gave "Option Arm" loans to sub prime borrowers with payments based on 1 or 2 percent interest, when the actual rate was 6 to 8 percent and amortizing negatively. Hence, the Real Estate crash of 2008-10. We should be requiring budgeting and entrepreneurship in our high schools-- not social engineering our children to expect the government to give them free stuff that they haven't earned, when they could have. We, through the Great Society, incentivized the breakup of the family and created a welfare state to get votes. Redistributing income is not the way to build character and self reliance. Teaching how to start and build a business is. Are there inequities? Of course. Do the top 1% receive too much tax advantaged income? It's hard to argue against that. Before we criticize them, look at the convoluted tax structure we set up when we tried to limit executive compensation, and the wealthy, creatively, took their pay in stock. That was the unintended consequence of social engineering. Your points seem logical on their face. But drilling down, I see them differently. I enjoy your comments and sense of humor. They are thought provoking, which is great for a dialogue board like this. But I don't believe criticizing some in academia is scapegoating. There is something deeper going on, in my opinion.
  10. Meerkat

    Stirred up with Hatred

    Charles R. Kesler calls it "America's Cold Civil War." There is a movement here in Washington State to divide the state East and West. The new Eastern Washington state would be called "Liberty." The reason is that Eastern Washington values are not represented fairly due to the huge liberal Western Washington voting block. The risk is that a hot civil war could result. Same thing in California. The country is polarizing because each side gets our news from one biased source-- Fox News, CNN or Facebook. At this point, is there any substitute for prayer and diligent hard work? I don't think so.
  11. Meerkat

    Stirred up with Hatred

    Yes. We need to make a conscious effort to enjoy each other. Not every thought needs to be shared. Many opinions won't change, no matter what the rebuttal. So why not ask some questions, and give our loved ones the chance to share what is important to them? We have two children on the opposite side of the aisle from us. They know our opinions from a lifetime of listening to us preach. Now, we listen with interest to them. Why? Because we love them. Beyond this Thanksgiving dinner-- beyond the politics, and beyond this veil of tears they are what we want to hold close more than anything.
  12. Meerkat

    Stirred up with Hatred

    And it's a shame. There are many people of good will on all sides. We should try to understand rather than talk past each other. With Thanksgiving coming up, it's good to remember and cut each other slack when we disagree. Mom was liberal out of a compassionate heart. My brothers and me are more conservative, for the same reason in my opinion. It wasn't until after Mom died that I realized we were unnecessarily strident in our views. We missed a wonderful opportunity to better understand the heart and mind of a true liberal who loved people and had great sympathy for the poor and unfortunate. She volunteered regularly as a post natal care nurse for unwed Mothers, after she retired as a public health nurse. I wish I could sit across the table from her this Thanksgiving. She was one of the greatest blessings in my life.
  13. Meerkat

    Anniversary of the “The Policy”

    Yet you still attend. Why? I would guess that, even though you don't like the prospect of not baptizing your grandchildren until they are eighteen, God has told you this is His church in a way you can't deny. Therefore, we put up with hard things and fallible humans in leadership positions because the Lord sustains them and we should too. Plus, they may know something we don't know. The Lord may actually have His reasons for not baptizing children who, for the most part, would not be supported by their parents in Church activity. It may be they would become an additional weight and concern for active families who are already stretched thin. The Elect will hear His voice and respond to the baptism invitation when they are 18 or older, in my opinion.
  14. Meerkat

    Stirred up with Hatred

    As you say, "There is a timely lesson here." It was probably similar to families today: "Do your chores. Pick up your toys. Don't fight. Be polite. Listen to your Mother. Obey your Dad. Eat your vegetables. You are a child of God. Tone it down. Choose your friends wisely. Stay away from pot. It will make you paranoid. Think positive. Exercise faith. You can do great things. By the way, we forgot the brass plates back in Jerusalem. Go back and get them from a king who will want to take your stuff and kill you," etc. To which they replied: "The world has changed. You just don't get it. Things were different when you were a kid. We've got more important things to do than listen to you. Your generation is too materialistic. You don't care about the poor or disadvantaged. We do. We will take from the rich and give to the poor, which includes us. You have way too much confidence in a god you can't see. You are the cause of all our problems. Don't talk to us. We aren't interested in anything you have to say." "12 And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them." 1 Nephi 2:12
  15. Meerkat

    Youtube Apologetics -- Faith vs Works

    I like your perspective. There is nothing condescending or judgmental in the question. Honestly, I am probably trying to earn heaven by trying to become heavenly. There is effort. By consciously trying to do the will of God (working at it,) I sin less. As I learn it's not enough to not kill, I can't even think about it, or be angry with my brother. With practice, godly behavior becomes easier and easier. There is no shame in adding faith to our effort, or work to our faith if the goal is to become heavenly. That's what I call win/win. If I am pointed toward heaven and doing what I can, the Grace of Christ carries me there from whichever milepost to which I have progressed (with God's help.) Do I consider my works as filthy rags compared to the Savior's perfection? Of course. Through Christ, I can improve and become perfected and worthy to live in God's kingdom. That's how I see it.