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About Stargazer

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    Observing the heavens since 1951.
  • Birthday 10/03/1951

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    West Sussex, UK

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  1. Stargazer

    Video games

    A game I play, a rather old PC video game, Modern Warfare 2, does this for me. There are certain solo missions that I take a few minutes every day to try to beat my own speed records getting through them, sometimes handicapping myself by allowing myself only non-optimal weapons, or a change to non-optimal tactics. I get a real thrill when I complete one with a new personal speed record. I don't live for the game, though. That's funny, because my wife likes to watch trivia game shows on TV -- and here in the UK there are many more of them on TV than in the US. I enjoy these shows, too, but she is also into the Australian soap opera "Neighbors" and "Strictly Come Dancing" (which is like "Dancing with the Stars" in the US). I utterly cannot stand "Neighbors" and would willingly stab myself repeatedly with a needle rather than watch it. The people portrayed on this program are the worst sort of hosers who ever lived on planet earth, and the situations that come up for these people in one half hour show beggar the imagination. If I were related to or lived next to any of these people I would move out of the state or country, change my email, and leave no forwarding address. Talk about video games being time wasters. "Strictly Come Dancing" is less horrifying, and I've tried to force myself to watch it with her, but the entire time I feel like I am neglecting my duties as a professional paint-drying technician. I'm watching this couple (a celebrity and a pro dancer) going through this dance routine, and it looks to me like they've performed it pretty much flawlessly (even though it's usually as boring as watching grass growing is to me), and then the judges (professional dancers of course) make these incredibly bogus-sounding value judgments about various aspects of style and showmanship in their routine (with numeric scores) that somehow differentiates their performance from some ideal standard of perfection that I cannot relate to or even recognize. And this program is a favorite on British TV! The big newspapers even have front page articles on how the competitions between the participants are going.
  2. Stargazer

    Wayment & Givens interview

    I believe that in his first interpretation he described them as "ears". 🙂
  3. Stargazer

    Wayment & Givens interview

    I agree with you in part. But it's a good idea, perhaps, to make sure one is getting one's experiences from the correct source. The following is not specifically directed at you, The Nehor. It's to everyone... I had an experience once, when I was in Basic Training in the Army. We were out "camping" (the Army calls it "bivouacing"). I was assigned to share a tent with a member of my squad who was rather clueless and clumsy, and I was not pleased about it. It was well after sundown and had gotten very dark, and he and I were not having a good time getting the tent erected. I blamed him, and in truth he was a klutz. I had lost patience with him, and since we were also supposed to get our canteens refilled with water, this was the excuse I needed to get him out of my hair. I could put the tent up easier without his help than with it, so I asked him to take our canteens and fill them. He left. When I had gotten the tent mostly erected, I discovered that I couldn't find the second tent rope. I "looked" earnestly, but couldn't see it. It had gotten awfully dark at this point, under an overcast sky beneath plenty of trees. We didn't have, and weren't allowed to use flashlights (we were tactical). Since I couldn't see anything, I tried feeling for it, and couldn't feel it, either. I was getting rather desperate, since our Drill Sergeant was going to be coming around to inspect our work, and one did not want to have the DS ticked off at one. I suddenly felt really remorseful. Here I had been treating the other guy rather high-handedly, and now, look at what I had come to. After having been on my high horse with someone and then having the rug pulled out from under me, so to speak, I was driven to pray for help in finding the darned tent rope. Since I was on my knees already, I quietly started praying, acknowledging to the Lord that I had been a jerk, promised to fix my attitude, and would He please help me find that tent rope. When I opened my eyes and looked down I saw it right between my knees. It glowed faintly. With grateful heart I picked it up and finished putting the tent up. When my fellow soldier came back I took pains to treat him much better than I had done. Here is my take-away from the experience: God heard my prayer and either enhanced my vision just enough to see the rope, or he caused that the rope should glow slightly -- it was not bright at all. Had the rope been there the whole time? Or had it been moved miraculously to right in front of me? I have no evidence suggesting that, but... Note that these tent ropes were a yellowish color to begin with, not camouflaged. But note also that it had been dark for some time already, and definitely long enough for my eyes to adjust to their max degree of natural night vision. And I hadn't seen the rope until after the prayer. After attaching it I couldn't see it, nor had I been able to see the other tent rope in the dark. Now, let us renegotiate! I claim that God helped me find the rope, by somehow illuminating it, and might even have moved it to help me find it. Note that I have been all over this event in the 43 years since it happened, and I find it very hard to convince myself that it didn't happen, or that it didn't happen as a result of prayer. Let's hear your counter-arguments. Explain it away, please. You won't be able to convince me that God did not help me see this tent rope, but give it a try.
  4. Stargazer

    Wayment & Givens interview

    Over time I have learned to distinguish the workings of the Spirit from emotional experiences. The Spirit sometimes comes with emotion, but in my experience (which may differ from others') that is not so common. For instance, we were watching the last Harry Potter film. You know: Deathly Hallows, Part 2. The scenes near the end when Harry realizes that he is going to have to die in the process of defeating Lord Voldemort. Just before he meets Voldemort, suddenly he is faced with a vision of his parents and his relative Sirius Black and receives reassurances from them that things will be alright. Since he has a Resurrection Stone, we know that his death will be temporary, but it's a very emotionally charged moment in the story, and it always brings a tightness in the chest and tears to my eyes. This is not the Spirit. I am very much afraid that some people think that it is.
  5. Stargazer

    Wayment & Givens interview

    Don't see how. Unless one proposes that one is going or has gone insane. What other ways would there be? If the voice tells one that something is going to happen, which one really has no reason to expect to happen, and in fact didn't even ask for the information, then it happens, then what does one do? What if it happens more than once? Assume that one is a psychic? I suppose that might be a valid interpretation -- if one believed in psychics. Unfortunately, I am the wrong sex to put out a shingle for "Psychic Readings: $20".
  6. Stargazer

    Wayment & Givens interview

    I'm not so sure about that. I've been pondering this thread rather strongly tonight, and wrote a big 900 word response that I finally decided was too contentious. It led me, however, to reflect upon my own "communion with deity" as let's roll put it, and set me to wondering at it. It seems that I have been richly blessed, in comparison to some others, with personal revelatory events. My wife's late husband, she tells me, had exactly one personal revelatory experience in early adulthood, that caused him to join the church and stay active and committed in it until his death at age 70. She said he never had any others, and didn't seem to need it. It may be the case that some are just naturally more faithful, and others may need more, so they get more. Like me, perhaps.
  7. Yeah, I definitely agree with you. An expression I heard once concerning argumentation over any given point is "Is this hill worth dying for?" Very often, it isn't. In this thread there is a conversation between RevTestament and myself over a particular item of doctrine. I very much disagree with him. I was trying to figure out a way to convince him he was wrong when I read your earlier post. And what you wrote smacked me upside the head. As you put it here, is it "something necessary for salvation or sanctification"? The answer being "No", I decided to pull back and see if I could learn from him, rather than contend with him. There is another thread in this forum in which I had prepared a rather lengthy and (if I do say so myself) brilliant response. But in light of what you wrote, I decided upon a different, more mild approach. So, you have done a good deed! I thank you for your timely words, sir.
  8. Stargazer

    Wayment & Givens interview

    Hello, @hope_for_things! As for "communion with deity", as @let’s roll puts it, the nature of my communion with deity does not seem to be renegotiable to me. You know of the Apostle Paul's vision on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). You also know of the Peter's vision of taking the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10). Should they have "renegotiated" these experiences? They seem to have been mighty definitive experiences, and unmistakable. The experiences I have had are extremely straightforward, very prosaic, and came from outside myself. They really don't admit of any doubt or misidentification. If God didn't exist, if Jesus weren't the Christ, and if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were not the true Church of Jesus Christ, I shouldn't have had them. What @clarkgoble said: "To me what matters isn't just one or two experiences but a consistency allowing one to correlate communication with God to real world phenomena. That consistency and predictability is key for any interpretation." Amen to that.
  9. You'll pardon me if it seems to me that you are interpreting them according to how you think they should read. In the end, however, even if what you are saying here is true, it doesn't materially change anything. The Gospel remains the Gospel. So, I don't mind if this is how you believe it is. Not that it's any of my business what you believe. Rev, I believe some things that I understand from the scriptures which many (including probably you) would argue with me about, so I understand where you're coming from. But that which you're saying here seems to go contrary to what the Church teaches in its official publications. There is nothing therein about us having a physical body before coming to earth -- quite the contrary. On the other hand, God didn't tell Moses how the sun generates its energy, and so the concept of nuclear fusion didn't make its way into Genesis. Like Paul once said, "we see through a glass, darkly". So, live and let live!
  10. I'm happy to learn new and true things. But when you hear someone stating something as a gospel truth that which you are certain is false, what do you do? Just say "That's nice, have fun with that?" Or do you try to politely show them how they may be incorrect?
  11. No, not all spirits coming to earth are sons of the morning. That's Lucifer's title. Whether "incarnation" is a scriptural term or not, going from immortal to mortal to immortal is not a scriptural principle. Search high and low and you will not find this principle. Anywhere. I use "incarnation" because it is a single word, rather than saying "becoming clothed with a mortal body". Shorthand, if you will. At base, we are all eternal, because we were organized by the eternal being, God the Father. But until we appear on earth clothed with a body, we have no body. Once that happens, we are mortal, meaning we have the capacity for and will die -- except for those very few of us who are "translated". What I am trying to tell you is that Jehovah is of the same kind as us. You seem to think differently. I do wonder why you think Jesus had an immortal body before coming to earth. Because the Father did? What about the Holy Ghost, who is explicitly a spirit? Wouldn't he need an immortal body, too, if Jesus had to have one? The explanation you gave earlier, and of course you're entitled to your own opinion, does not, in my opinion, hold water at all.
  12. Stargazer

    Missionary work

    Well, now you know. So do I. But what about their eternal souls? I get it that you don't believe that they have eternal souls and that even those living charitable lives are not unspotted from the world -- meaning they are sinners. And as sinners they are in need of the Atonement. Yet they do not recognize this, nor do you seem to. As for religion, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27) Perhaps many secularists do their best to be all that this verse states. In fact, I do not doubt that many secularists are better than many religious types in this respect. I do not cast aspersions upon them, and it seems certain that they will be rewarded for the righteousness that they do. But it isn't enough for the fulness. These are they who will be worthy of the Terrestrial Kingdom, which is a kingdom of glory. DC 76:75-76 -- These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men. These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness. So they do just fine without religion, in the sense you mean it. I'll grant this. But they could have done so much more with it. I'm sure you disagree.
  13. I am a bit surprised you would actually consider this to be a possibility. I am certain we can know for sure that he had no more been incarnated than Jesus had been. Isaiah implies no such thing. "Son of the Morning" is more a title than a name, but even if it is a name, I don't see how it could imply a physical body. See Ether 3:9 9 And the Lord said unto him: Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; In this appearance to the Brother of Jared, Christ's spirit took on the appearance of his eventual physical body, just as it was for all of us, including Lucifer, in the Pre-existence. And what Moses and the elders saw was what the Brother of Jared saw. He had not yet been incarnated. I don't believe I've ever heard Christ being described as or named "Son of the Morning." Closest I've read is "Dayspring". But Lucifer is also "Light-bearer". A name and also a title -- but he revoked all that promise in his rebellion. To rebel against light? To deny the sun at noonday? There is no repentance from that. As for brotherhood, if my earthly brother were to do something terrible against the family it would remove him from our fellowship, but it would not stop him from being my brother. Same goes with any of my children.
  14. Stargazer

    Temple Sealing Changes

    If I were a sealer, I would like to give the advice: always listen to each other, and remember that neither one of you knows how to read minds. Only to couples being married for the first time. The others already know this, or should know it.
  15. Stargazer

    Thom Wayment's NT

    Do you know if this book is going to be available in hard cover or paperback format?