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Everything posted by smac97

  1. That seems like an odd proposal. If you are you PD is subject to government records requests laws, then that complaints should not he contingent on some sort of mediated agreement.
  2. Too late to repent: There are plenty of scriptures warning us against procrastinating the day of repentance. The opportunity to repent is not infinite. "For some damn reason?" It's not like throwing darts at a board while blindfolded, Stem. Salvation is not a random thing. It is a choice. The Lord suffers in the same way. A person who rejects the Savior's Atonement must suffer for his own sins, yes. I encourage you to give this matter some further thought. God's judgment is not arbitrary. It's not random. It is both infinitely just and, if one is willing, infinitely merciful. Thanks, -Smac
  3. But by then it may be too late. I am curious how you account for D&C 19: And D&C 76: Plenty of further references about the Telestial Kingdom here. I can't really imagine it, either. But it apparently will happen. "And now, it came to pass that after Abinadi had spoken these words he stretched forth his hand and said: The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; when every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just." (Mosiah 16:1) "O the pain, and the anguish of my soul for the loss of the slain of my people! For I, Nephi, have seen it, and it well nigh consumeth me before the presence of the Lord; but I must cry unto my God: Thy ways are just." (2 Nephi 26:7) Moreover, just as I cannot presently fully grasp the justice of God, nor can I presently grasp His mercy. That is one of the great comforting truths I have found in the Restored Gospel. Thanks, -Smac
  4. We are dealing with quoting and reporting first hand reports..... No, we are not. We are dealing with anonymously-sourced second-hand reports. We have John Dehlin saying what others are saying. Each and every word and syllable coming from John Dehlin is hearsay. Second-hand information. I tend to want more precision when talking about things like "first hand" versus "second hand" accounts. Generally speaking, there is a big difference between the testimony of a percipient witness (like the victim in Tennessee) compared to hearsay testimony from a non-percipient witness (like Dehlin). We have him arrested, based on what is likely probable cause. And we have public statements from the vic. Again, this is anonymously-sourced hearsay. Gossip. That's all. No. We have anonymously-sourced hearsay statements. Who are these eyewitnesses? Where are their statements? What did they see? What did they personally experience? Where? When? That we have "numerous" anonymously-sourced hearsay statements (through the same biased and financially-incentivized source: John Dehlin) does nothing to bolster the inherent weakness of these purported statements. Meanwhile, I think it would be better for us to not jump to conclusions, nor rush to judgment. Perhaps we should hold them in abeyance, then. Neither rely upon them nor reject them out-of-hand. Let's wait and see what, if anything, is forthcoming. Or better yet, perhaps this story is not really worth a whole lot of attention. I can't help but feel badly for his family members and friends, who are all likely feeling humiliated at this public spectacle. And the only reason it's getting airtime is because John Dehlin is using it to make the Church look bad. To embarrass us. I'm not inclined to continue following him down this rabbit trail. Thanks, -Smac
  5. Um, how do you know this? What "issues?" It looks like you are relying 100% on anonymously-sourced hearsay gossip provided by John Dehlin. Is that correct? This part is a quite different. The witness to the misconduct is not anonymous. We have verbatim quotes from her, her own words. Photographs (of Murdock at the mall, so nominally corroborative). Law enforcement is involved. An arrest was made, thus indicating the existence of probable cause. None of this can be said about Dehlin's anonymously-sourced hearsay. He doesn't have to be lying. Gloss and embellishment and exaggeration can do all sorts of things to distort the factual picture. Moreover, his "sources" could be lying, or glossing/embellishing/exaggerating. I think the whole McKenna Denson fiasco is illustrative of the need for people to step back and be cautious, to avoid uncritical and credulous and knee-jerk acceptance of allegations like these. Thanks, -Smac
  6. Except that these statements aren't "first hand." Dehlin has provided only hearsay. Worse, he has only provided anonymous hearsay. ... That's why I asked if this could be documented: My point remains, though: We aren't dealing with "first hand accounts of this guy." We are instead dealing with hearsay-within-hearsay. From anonymous sources. Filtered through the anything-but-objective and I'm-only-pursuing-this-story-because-I-can-use-it-to-make-the-Church-look-bad and I-have-personal-biases-and-financial-incentives-to-senstionalize-the-"evidence" John Dehlin. Thanks, -Smac
  7. Except that these statements aren't "first hand." Dehlin has provided only hearsay. Worse, he has only provided anonymous hearsay. Who are "all of these" members, neighbors, coworkers, etc.? How do you know that they are Murdock's neighbors, coworkers, etc.? How many of them are there? How do we gauge their credibility? What have they claimed? What slant/gloss has Dehlin added purveying their hearsay? This seems like a rush to judgment. Perhaps rather then feel obligated to accept or "disregard," we should take a step back and wait for better, more competent evidence? (And that assumes this story is even worth the attention it's getting.) Thanks, -Smac
  8. Right. I'm sure it keeps him up at night. For pete's sake, he makes his living off publishing stories/podcasts that disparage other people. Not too high, it seems. All he is doing is peddling hearsay. Gossip. How does he know they are first-hand (percipient) witnesses? How does he gauge their credibility? They competency? What sort of factual foundation did he lay? What evidence substantiates or corroborates their claims? Did he review this evidence? Does he have it? Has anyone else seen it? He seems to be relying completely on the say-so of people he doesn't know. He's taking their say-so as the Gospel Truth. And we're supposed to take his word about their word. Hearsay within hearsay (and perhaps not even that). This is a "super high bar?" Again, how does he know this? Have they provided evidence of having "worked directly with" Murdock? Has he seen it? Has anyone else? Meh. How does he know they are "actual victims?" All he has is their say-so, and all we have is his say-so of their (anonymous) say-so. Who are these people? What are their names? Where do they live? How did they "corroborate" each other? What sort of questions did Dehlin ask? Did he ask leading questions? Loaded questions? And if he really did "cast a pretty wide net," then how careful was he in scrutinizing what he "caught?" And there's always a chance of Dehlin misleading us. That's rather than problem with hearsay evidence, particularly gossipy hearsay-within-hearsay stuff like what Dehlin is selling. Right. He's publishing gossip about a story that has no significance at all, except that it damages the reputation of the church from which he was excommunicated. He has a financial interest in drumming up controversies about the Church. And an obvious and pervasive and significant bias. His podcasts are overflowing with him and his interviewees meting out accusations and vitriol against the Church and its leaders (and often its members as well). Somehow I think one more unsusbstantiated screed designed to disparage the Church will not keep him up at night. And he has no training in any of this. He's not in law enforcement. He's not an attorney. He's not a news reporter or a private investigator. He has no licensure or other set of ethics or guidelines by which he has "investigated" this story. He's not telling us who these people are, or giving us any verifiable information about them. We just have to take his word as to their credibility. And he really isn't in a position to say much of anything about their credibility. Did he meet these people? Or just talk with them via email/phone/online? Sounds like he's done nothing close to "due diligence." He's just peddling gossip. That's all. I would not be surprised if Mr. Murdock ends up having a checkered past. If he really did what he is accused of in Tennessee, then that was probably not his first rodeo. People don't go from pure-as-the-driven-snow to pervy-mall-guy in a moment. But Dehlin has provided essentially nothing in terms of competent, probative evidence on this issue. As an attorney, I often see pro se litigants (people who are involved in a lawsuit, but defend themselves rather than hire an attorney) get frustrated at the procedural and evidentiary rules that the courts use to vet and admit and consider evidence. These rules are very complex and in-depth, and for good reason. For our legal system to work effectively and fairly, evidence needs to be relevant, material, competent, probative, and admissible. And even when evidence is filtered through these rules, the courts still sometime end up getting the facts wrong. These safeguards are not foolproof, but they are nevertheless important. Mr. Dehlin hasn't used these safeguards, or anything even close to approximating them. All he has done is peddle gossip and hearsay from what he claims to be anonymous sources. And he has done so for no reason except that this story makes the Church look bad. That's his job. That's his revenue stream. That's his bias. Mr. Murdock may well be guilty of serious misconduct, both present and past. But Dehlin has not provided any meaningful, probative evidence. At present, and broadly speaking, the Presumption of Innocence should carry the day (at least as to his past). Credulous acceptance of unsubstantiated, gossipy hearsay is not healthy, for us as individuals or as a society. Thanks, -Smac
  9. As you like. I apologize for giving offense. Thanks, -Smac
  10. Okay. I'll listen. Huh? Where did I say that? Um, no. It's not cynicism. If you think I misconstrued your intent, just say so. Thanks, -Smac
  11. It's not really about you. It's about your question. You are obviously conversant with the Church and its members, yet you still presumed to ask Latter-day Saints a question that begins with "So, is God incapable of..." I cannot believe such a question is posed in good faith. The remainder pertained to a very difficult and sensitive issue. Again, I just don't see good faith there. Your question came across as deliberately offensive, inflammatory, and provocative. So I decline to address it. Thanks, -Smac
  12. If I thought this question was posed in good faith, I would address it. But I don't, so I won't. Thanks, -Smac
  13. So . . . infallibility? Is that what you calling for? And/or faulting the leaders of the Church for lacking it? Again, you seem to be alluding to an expectation of infallibility. Thanks, -Smac
  14. I think serious pre-existing transgressions can be evidence that some callings might not be fully made through revelation. Thanks, -Smac
  15. Callings are supposed to be inspired. But I think you are correct. Practically speaking, sometimes they are not. I expect much of our leaders, but I haven't tied my testimony to any person except the Savior. At least, I hope I haven't. "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." (2 Nephi 4:34). I construe this verse in a eschatalogical sense. Thanks, -smac
  16. Whatever. It's an important point. For me, anyway. Huh? And yet I did. I can't really speak to that. But that's not all I said: So yes, there's a presumption of good faith, and a benefit of the doubt. That benefit of the doubt is a rebuttable one. But there is also a duty "to analyze and {evaluate} and determine for ourselves the inspiration of our leaders." "So if a leader in the Church says something that I feel may be problematic, I feel obligated to test it. To think about it. To study it. To discuss it with those whom I find trustworthy. To weight it against the Standard Works. And most of all, to pray about it. " You are stripping my remarks of most of their substance. I invite you to reconsider them. That is my assumptions are rebuttable. Surely not. You disagree with the proposition that we should "analyze and {evaluate} and determine for ourselves the inspiration of our leaders"? You "stand ... against" the proposition that "f a leader in the Church says something that I feel may be problematic, I feel obligated to test it. To think about it. To study it. To discuss it with those whom I find trustworthy. To weigh it against the Standard Works. And most of all, to pray about it"? "If." Thanks, -Smac
  17. I don't know that I would go that far. But I do claim to have given these matters a lot of study and thought. I don't really accept "gay" as a noun. It's not an intrinsic state of being. So let's say "If you were sexually attracted to members of your own gender..." I really doubt I would receive such counsel. I have expressed my thought process here: Hope this helps. See above. Elder Corbridge's remarks from earlier this year also help: Does God exist? Is He the father of our spirits? Did He craft the Plan of Salvation? Did He send His Son to be our Savior and Redeemer? Is the Restored Gospel what it claims to be? I really want to get the answers to these questions right. Thanks, -Smac
  18. I am curious as to your perspective on Judas. Do you fault Jesus for calling him to be an apostle? Thanks, -Smac
  19. The meme wasn't about the Church appropriating secular authority. And it doesn't. Thanks, -Smac
  20. Agreed. The OP, though, asks if a tacit expectation of infallibility is nevertheless in play in (some) faith crises. I'm not sure that's correct. I think such an expectation can and does exist, though tacitly. I think some who leave, perhaps even many, also "act as though the prophet is infallible." There’s an old saying: “Catholics say the pope is infallible but don’t really believe it; Mormons say the prophet is fallible but don’t really believe it.” Not quite. You had said: "Disagreeing with Nelson that it's God's will to not use the nickname Mormon is not criticizing Nelson at all." I responded: "That's a bit more of a judgment call." You then asked for clarification: "Why? I had you agreeing. But on this there's some question? Curious why you think so." I started to clarify, but ended up making a somewhat different point (the one above). No. Please re-read what I said here: This approach is very, very different from the one you are attributing to me. Again, no. Publicly or privately? You seem to have fundamentally misunderstood my position. That may be partially my fault, and if so, I apologize. I am clarifying now. As a general proposition, yes. Yes. No, I don't think so. I reject the notion that abstaining from public criticism of the leaders of the Church is tantamount to attributing infallibility to them. That is a huge leap in logic and reasoning, one I have not made, and one which I reject. Again, I'm not willing to publicly air my disagreements with my wife, either. That doesn't mean I believe she is infallible. To not publicly oppose, yes. Meh. Nobody is saying that. You're just making that up. Not so. More or less. Not sure about this characterization. Yes. That depends, I suppose, on how one thinks the prophetic mantle works. Perhaps an illustration can help: God also knew that His people would live in an era where substance abuse is rampant. And yet the Word of Wisdom says nothing about marijuana, or cocaine, or meth, or heroin, or GHB, and so on. Why weren't any of these things mentioned in the Bible or Book of Mormon? Or why haven't we received a canonized revelation about these substances? The answer, I think, may be understood by applying the principles explained by Elder Bednar in two books, "Increase in Learning" and "Act in Doctrine." This article summarizes things this way: Here's a graphic that goes along with the above article: To further illustrate here is an excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism entry on "Doctrine": For me, I think the Word of Wisdom is "doctrine." The "principles" we glean from the Word of Wisdom pertain to healthy living, abstaining from certain specified things (coffee, tea, tobacco), and so on. The "application" of the Word of Wisdom will proscribe things like heroin and cocaine, because using such substances cannot be squared with either the "principles" or the "doctrine" arising from the Word of Wisdom. Is pornography specifically prohibited in scripture? No, but using it cannot be squared with the Law of Chastity (any more than using heroin can be squared with the Word of Wisdom). Plus it has been specifically and emphatically and repeatedly condemned by modern prophets and apostles. So the "application" of the Law of Chastity to the viewing of pornography is fairly clear-cut, even though we're speaking of principally of "application" (of a "principle" gleaned from a "doctrine"). As pertaining to the issue of homosexual conduct and/or same-sex marriage, I think there are "doctrines" in play, such as the Law of Chastity and various concepts pertaining to the nature and purpose of marriage. From these we can/should/must glean "principles," and then develop appropriate "applications." So how should we apply these principles to homosexual conduct and/or same-sex marriage? If a Latter-day Saint, acting with sincerity and in good faith, with a desire to discern and understand and submit to the will of God, studies the scriptures and the messages of modern prophets and apostles, I think he/she will be able to develop "applications" based on "principles" gleaned from "doctrine." And when this process is complete, I think such a person will find himself/herself standing with the Brethren on this issue, and also understand the "applications" and "principles" they have developed and implemented to those within their stewardship (which is to say, the entirety of the Church). I previously wrote: I wrote that 2.5 years ago, in early 2016. That the Brethren have changed their "Application" of "Principles" derived from "Doctrine" doesn't really change much for me. Wrong, IMO. Joseph Smith said (emphasis added): Also, see 1 Corinthians 13 (emphases added): And, more recently, D&C 1 (emphases added): When things seem to go sideways in terms of my perspective on the Church, these items often come to mind. They remind me of a few things: 1. God is perfect. That is axiomatic. So I cannot attribute error or malice arbitrariness or other character defects to Him (such as "that's the kind of up and down, back and forth, wishy washy and dare I say taffy puller God is"). If there is something off, it's got to be attributable to some other part of the system. A human part (or parts). Most often the me-myself-and-I part. 2. When evaluating the words and actions of prophets and apostles, all sorts of things in play here. Context matters. A lot. Historical context. Social/cultural context. Scriptural context. Gospel context. So does accuracy in conveyed information. So do my personal life experiences, as well as the importance of properly characterizing those experiences as finite, blinkered, and not altogether accurate (rather than definitive, perfected and utterly, pristinely correct). It is likely that they know a lot of things that I don't. And, of course, it's possible for them to make mistakes ("in their weakness," "inasmuch as they erred," etc.). And it's also possible for them to have not erred per se, but to nevertheless change course. 3. We "see through a glass, darkly." I am reluctant to presume that my personal opinion is superior to that of the Brethren, particularly on an issue affecting the entirety of the Church. And even if I do think that I am "right" and they are "wrong," I would not say so publicly. I would instead voice my concerns in accordance with the counsel provided by Elder Oaks here. 4. Christ preached a gospel that was not going to be popular in the minds of an increasingly wicked world. He knew that. But He preached it anyway. I think He knew beforehand that His message would alienate many people, including some otherwise good and decent people. But He preached anyway. I think He did so because those who were ready for His message needed to hear it, and needed to be gathered out of the World. Perhaps this is why He said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Perhaps this is why He also said (several times, actually) : "Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words." Christ also said: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Christ also said "For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me." My dad and I were talking about these things a while back, some of which have been described as the "dark sayings of Jesus." My dad noted that some people focus on the "sweetness and light" sayings of the Savior, which is probably fine - unless that focus is exclusionary. Christ had warnings for us, after all. Such as this: "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you." And this: "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." And this: "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail." And this: "For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory." I'm really not into a binary approach to construing these things. I think Latter-day Saints need to give the Brethren some breathing room to sort these things out. A "you do one thing I dislike and I'm outta here!" approach essentially gurantees a "cascade failure" in terms of an individual's relationship to the Lord's Church (and is, I think, a manifestation of a tacit expectation of infallibility). Thanks, -Smac
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