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About esodije

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  1. That seems even stranger to me, frankly, in that it’s disorienting to life-long members like me. There are more than a fair number of reasons to wonder if this is the same church I grew up in; personally, I don’t need more such reasons. I found out recently that the Spanish male initiatory ordinances were revised again after changes were made in 2010 that resulted in a much more literal rendering from English. The new revisions return to much more “Spanish” grammatical constructions, which normally I’d applaud—except that the fact that there have been periodic changes only adds to hispanohablante members’ confusion. There was a marked drop-off in Spanish-language initiatories in our temple in 2010, and I can’t see how another round of changes will do anything but aggravate the situation. Imagine what it must be like to have to wonder from one temple visit to the next what will have changed.
  2. We’ve owned “Mormon” and “LDS” for so long that it seems futile to abandon them at this late date. I understand the sentiment but not the imperative. How many people don’t let our missionaries in because they think we worship some guy named Mormon and not Jesus Christ? Will it really help to self-identify with nomenclature that not only doesn’t abbreviate well—probably by design—but doesn’t set us apart from other religious societies? I’ll go along, but....
  3. I think this is a good time to bring up the effect that sweeping, rapid policy/doctrinal change had on the Community of Christ. The CofC goes on, but in a dissipated, almost moribund state. The time may well come when the LDS Church ordains women, performs same-sex temple sealings, and disavows the historicity of the Book of Mormon; however, regardless of the personal feelings of the rank-and-file at that stage, don’t expect the church to last more than a couple more decades if that happens. The 1978 policy change concerning blacks and the priesthood was welcome and long overdue—as perhaps were the recent changes to temple ordinances vis-a-vis women—but when you start changing things that are inarguably and foundationally doctrinal in nature, rubble will result that can’t simply be swept under the rug.
  4. Oddly enough, I had a similar experience. I received letters one day from my brother and my mother. I read my brother’s letter first, in which he’d written, “Dad’s doing okay considering all he’s been through,” without elaborating. Luckily, my mother’s letter did explain what had happened to my father. (He had had gall-bladder surgery, during which the doctor had sewn in a shunt with cat-gut stitches. In the follow-up visit, the doctor yarded on the shunt, expecting it to come right out...only it didn’t. Apparently the pain was so intense that it caused my father to have a mild heart attack. Just the sort of thing one wants to learn while in the mission field.)
  5. Having served my mission in South America in 1979-80, I obviously didn’t have texting or inexpensive phone calls. I can say, however, that regular “live” communication with my family would only have made me miserable. (When I was at BYU, I never went home at Thanksgiving, because I still had three weeks left in the semester and didn’t want the distraction.) What would have helped on my mission, however, was a sync-up between how long it took a letter to reach me from the U.S. (4-5 days) and how long it took my letters to get to the U.S. (10-14 days, typically). It was frustrating for me to be responding to letters my parents had written me the previous week when they were responding to letters I’d written them three weeks before.
  6. I won’t go that far, but there’s a reason why so much “Wonder Bread” is served up in Conference now. “Controversy” these days usually doesn’t go much beyond reaffirming a belief that binary gender, man-woman marriage, and nuclear families were ordained of God.
  7. I was taught to take the sacrament with my right hand when I was a child. What I often wonder is when and where it became gospel that one has to be wearing a white shirt and tie to administer the sacrament. I don’t think I even owned a white shirt when I was a young man in the 70s, and I rarely wore a tie to church until I was about 17. For years I resented the implication that I had been disrespectful or irreverent as an AP holder when I’d passed or blessed the sacrament tieless in a colored shirt. Even now I regard the custom as pharisiacal and excessively prescriptive.
  8. We’d be in a world of rhetorical hurt if we put more than a tiny bit of stock in very many 19th Century conference talks.There are good reasons not to canonize the Journal of Discourses, and for current-day GAs not to quote from it.
  9. Dehlin will have to find a way to make his content more interesting, as everything he’s done in recent years sounds like a broken record. What he’s gotten out of it is epitomized by his benefactors’ having funded his PhD, as he self-identifies as “Doctor” at every turn now. (It certainly makes him sound more authoritative ... well, sort of.) I guess there are worse career paths than to.be the Jerald Tanner of the cyber age, but it’s still sort of a boutique job niche.
  10. So the BYU police concluded that the sister missionary whom Bishop said he asked to bare her breasts was Denson? Not only do you have to take Bishop’s statement at face value, but you have to look past the fact that Denson denied being the sister missionary who supposedly received that request. (You’ll recall that she told Bishop, in the December 2017 recording, that she had no chest to speak of at age 21.) I don’t think the BYU police report is any more conclusive than the confessions Bishop made directly to Denson.
  11. I don’t think this is the case, as any claim based on what the church knew or didn’t know before the alleged MTC attack would be time-barred. As I read the court’s ruling on the defendants’ motion to dismiss, the only surviving count was the convoluted one about the church’s supposed ongoing fraud concerning an investigation into Bishop’s actions and subsequent disciplinary proceedings. That suggests to me that the only events at issue, as far as the church’s potential liability is concerned, date to 2010 and thereafter. And that will be an extremely difficult case to prove (and to extrapolate damages from), especially since the standard of proof in fraud cases is “clear and convincing evidence,” not “preponderance of the evidence.”
  12. In case you haven’t noticed, it doesn’t take much digging these days to get into someone’s dirty laundry, what with online “services” like MyLife and others. I strongly suspect the “dirt” the church had on Denson came exclusively from the same kind of search that either you or I could pay a few dollars for. It’s axiomatic in litigation that a plaintiff throws open his/her life to close examination; in that light, I’d say the church has shown a lot of restraint so far in this matter, probably for PR reasons.
  13. I guess I’m not ready to concede that the assault actually happened, despite Bishop’s having “confessed” to being a perv of sorts. I’ve had too many interactions with delusional and/or senile people not to take everything with a grain of salt; moreover, having gone through the MTC a few years before the alleged events (and knowing the layout and routine), I still believe Denson’s story to be quite implausible. I said to myself when the December 2017 audio surfaced that the real proof would lie in there being a succession of accusers (a la Bill Cosby) or solid corroborating evidence. I guess there are one or two other accusers about whom little has come out, and there are a few points of corroboration (Denson apparently knew details about Bishop’s sexual proclivities; her MTC teacher remembered her being called out of class, though not by whom; and an ex-MTC employee stated that the downstairs room existed, at least at some point in time after Bishop was MTC president); however, that’s pretty thin gruel.
  14. It’s been a long time since I sat through one of Dr. John’s interviews, but this one seems particularly pointless. The local church leaders won’t physically ban a doty 85-year-old alleged sexual abuser from attending church meetings? And they even let him serve in a non-calling like the Sunday School presidency? The horror!
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