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smac97

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About smac97

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    Creates Beasts Of The Earth

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    My name is Spencer Macdonald

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  1. I'm mostly reporting. Yes. Yes. But bishop's interviews aren't really implicated here. And yet I think bishops are becoming less willing to meet with youth. Because of despicable things said about them by people like Sam Young. I think there will always be some who betray our trust. The question is whether the Church is ennabling such misconduct. The Church's current policies regarding two-deep leadership could perhaps need further attention. And perhaps the youth of the Church should receive some instruction about it, so that they understand and anticipate the need for two-deep leadership (except for one-on-one interviews with the bishop). Perhaps the ministering program needs to be adjusted. I dunno. Statistically, sexual abuse is far more likely to be committed by a family member (such as a father), and yet nobody bats an eye at a father being left alone with his children. But we are increasingly seeing a perception of men, a presumption that they are sexual predators. I find that deeply troubling. So yeah, I'm torn, too. Thanks, -Smac
  2. smac97

    LGBTQ+ Question

    I'm not sure I'm making an argument. What "tone?" Where have I disparaged transgendered people? That is no doubt a factor, and in many ways is a very regrettable one. However, I understand there are other factors as well. A big problem is that transgendered people ("Group A") are asking - or demanding - that other people ("Group B") alter their (Group B's) behavior to conform to their (Group A's) gender dysphoria. It's a form of control over me that I do not like and cannot accept. My thinking along these lines is reflected in this exchange between Ben Shapiro and a college student (video here). I do not believe that gender is malleable. Nor is age. Nor is species. I'm glad we agree on that. I believe the gender of the spirit is the same as the gender of the body. Agreed. This is why I don't really spend much time theorizing about exceptions to the rule, like people with ambiguous genitalia. But when it comes to gender dysphoria, that's a separate issue. Agreed. God knows. That depends, I suppose, on whether the doctor was correct is identifying (I reject the verb "assigning") gender. I'm not sure what "got it wrong" means here. Do you mean subjectively (gender dysphoria) or objectively? Again, not sure what "a doctor goofed" means here. I don't carry that assumption. In my view, the problem with many of the arguments about transgenderism is the assumption that gender is a social construct. A malleable thing. I don't think it is. I can appreciate that. I'm not sure going along with someon's gender dysphoria is helpful, either. I have not done any of that. I don't want anyone to commit suicide. I'm not persuaded that your assessment is completely accurate. Thanks, -Smac
  3. Yes, that has been my experience/observation as well. Yep. Thanks, -Smac
  4. smac97

    LGBTQ+ Question

    You could apply that sort of reductionism to just about anything. "In comparison with halting her eternal progression, her periodic infidelity to her husband is pretty minor." "In comparison with halting his eternal progression, his occasional physical abuse of his children is pretty minor." "In comparison with halting his eternal progression, his frequent use of cocaine and meth is pretty minor." And so on. Obedience and repentance are important precepts in the Church. I have wondered that. I think we probably disagree on why. Okay. I think it's safe to say, though, that gender reassignment surgery has more effects on a person's life than just being "a collection of scars." That's my point. I am not applying any special meaning. I mean it like I mean it for any other couple. Any other heterosexual couple? The vagueness here, given the context, is problematic. Yes. That can happen. A person can engage in serious conduct that may impair his/her ability to obtain membership in the Church. "Pre-re-birth actions?" What does that mean? I suspect not. Gender reassignment surgery is, I think, uniquely problematic. Thanks, -Smac
  5. smac97

    Hype for April 2019 Conference

    How would the finances of the Church be handled? Who would receive the tithes? Who would have access to the Church's money? Who would get to decide how the money would be spent and invested? Who would own the Church's assets? The temples and church buildings? The land holdings? The business interests? The intellectual property rights? How would the Church operate in terms of promulgating doctrine and teaching materials? How would the Church administer the programs of the Church? The missionary program? Family history work? Welfare? Deseret Industries? I'm sort of flummoxed at his suggestion. It seems very naive and facile. I would have expected more sense from Mr. Waterman. Where has he published his proposals? Thanks, -Smac
  6. And two-deep leadership rules should be observed during such incidents. The only exception, really, is formal bishop's interviews in the bishop's office. The chaperone waits outside. That's about the only time one-on-one situations should exist. And even then the content of the discussions should be very circumspect. I don't think it's appropriate. Apart from the very limited circumstances above, two-deep leadership should be observed with youth. Pretty much always. Not in my ward. I've never seen that in 13 years (and four bishops). So on the one had, you say that a one-on-one trip with the bishop to get a milkshake "isn't an unusual or scandalous event." But then you turn around and say that "the expectation for the tyouth that it's ok to be alone with the bishop" is something that "shouldn't be [ok]." Apart from the very limited circumstances above, two-deep leadership should be observed. Thanks, -Smac
  7. Not necessarily. The bishop in this story went way off the grid in terms of time, place and manner of communications with youth. It appears that none of the abuse happened while the bishop was conducting interviews in his office. Thanks, -Smac
  8. smac97

    LGBTQ+ Question

    Yes. It's a pretty fundamental alteration. I think gender reassignment surgery is a lot more than "a collection of scars." Have you ever wondered why the suicide rate for post-gender-reassignment-surgery people is so astronomically high? (See, e.g., here, here, here, here). As for being sealed to "someone they love," I'm not sure what you mean here. In the Church's paradigm, gender is not a malleable thing. Moreover, "{g}ender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." In what way? Thanks, -Smac
  9. smac97

    LGBTQ+ Question

    What is it about their physical body that would interfere with their eternal salvation? I don't understand your question. Could you elaborate? Thanks, -Smac
  10. See here: https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/12/13/former-mormon-bishop/ https://kjzz.com/news/local/former-lds-church-bishop-charged-with-sex-abuse-lewdness https://fox13now.com/2018/12/13/lds-bishop-charged-with-sex-abuse-removed-from-position-in-church/ A few thoughts: 1. If these allegations are true, this is extremely disturbing and disgusting stuff, and I hope the perp is punished to the fullest extent possible. 2. The bishop apparently took one victim out to get milkshakes, and inappropriate conduct occurred during that time. In other words, the bishop was not chaperoned. 3. In another instance involving another victim, the bishop locked himself and the victim in a car and insisted on having an inappropriate discussion. Again, the bishop was not chaperoned. 4. In another instance, the bishop visited the victim in his (the victim's) home (entering unannounced, even), and engaged in inappropriate conduct while there. Again, the bishop was not chaperoned. 5. The bishop was apparently still functioning as a bishop. The Church released him immediately upon learning about the allegations, and also "took steps to notify authorities and supported their investigation." In sum, it looks like the bishop was acting way out of bounds for most or all of the misconduct. Inappropriate touching. Inappropriate visits. Not accompanied or chaperoned. Thanks, -Smac
  11. smac97

    That Deadpool Poster

    Wow. I actually agree wholeheartedly with Jana Riess: Dear Mormons, just get over yourselves with this “Deadpool” protest Thanks, -Smac
  12. smac97

    LGBTQ+ Question

    I think more like the individual underwent gender reassignment surgery prior to being baptized, or while genuinely unaware of the Church's position on such surgery. That sort of thing. I could see such a person being able to go through the temple. But I don't think a sealing would be allowed. That would be up to the First Presidency, I think. The individual circumstances would be taken into account, yes. No, I don't think that would be a factor. Gender dysphoria is a real thing, but the problem would be gender reassignment surgery, or otherwise passingone one's self off as being female when he is biologically male, or male when she is biologically female. Not sure what this means. Thanks, -Smac
  13. smac97

    LGBTQ+ Question

    Whew! Thanks. I suspect TRs can be available in some limited circumstances, but not a sealing. Thanks, -Smac
  14. smac97

    LGBTQ+ Question

    Ah. Deceit, then. That's your recommendation? For seeking admission to the House of the Lord? For a sacred ordinance? -Smac
  15. Again, nobody is arguing against the legality of same-sex marriage. You keep pushing the advocacy angle. I'm not. Entering into a same-sex marriage alone is a form of apostasy. That's not true. The Church wants everyone in the Church. But membership is conditioned on making and keeping covenants, on obedience to the commandments of God. Yes. But whether a disciplinary council is necessary is left to the discretion of the local leaders. Yes. I would assume 6.7.3 would still apply. I'll leave that to those in authority. Right. They were babes in the woods. I don't know. I think the number of such cases is vanishingly small, so I've never given it much thought. Plus I lack stewardship and authority over such matters, so I don't feel it deserves much thought. I don't think my argument is emotional. If there is an emotional component, it's fairly de minimis. Meh. You're just mindreading. I've said nothing about my "emotional need to sustain, obey." I've made no argument predicated on such contrivances. Yep. "I think most hurt comes from the perceived callousness of leaders in addressing this issue." "You and the c hurch are welcome to hold your opinion about how appropriate the discrimination is. No one can stop you. But neither can you stop the disgust and betrayal people feel because of that discrimination." "JS seems to be saying that we should not trammel on people for their beliefs." "So the church is willing to trammel a child and refuse baptism because he might someday err in doctrine." "The church does not want gay (SSM) members of the church." These are intended to provoke an emotional response, not a reasoned one. I agree. But your constant refrains about the Church "trammeling" children, and comparable rhetoric, are appeals to emotion. Nothing but. I'm not doing that. Hence the implied "Russell M. Nelson went rogue and/or lied" notion. I get it. And even more emotion-based arguments from you. I'm not speaking based on an "emotional need." I'm speaking based on the public remarks made by Pres. Nelson nearly three years ago. Here it is again (emphasis added): I also infer that the entirety of the First Presidency was on board. Not from emotion, but because of this: I think that's a safe assumption. Much safer than the implied "Russell M. Nelson went rogue and/or lied" relied upon by some. I sense a bit of special pleading going on here. What's next? Notarized signatures from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve? Sworn deposition testimony? How far down the field can the goalposts be pushed? Pres. Nelson's remarks above were given while he was acting formally in his capacity as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve. During an official Church function. Being broadcast to the entire world. Pres. Nelson's public remarks are sufficient for me. Thanks, -Smac
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