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      Users, It has come to our attention that the contact us feature on the site is broken.  Please do not use this feature to contact board admins.  Please go through normal channels.  If you are ignored there then assume your request was denied. Also if you try to email us that email address is pretty much ignored.  Also don't contact us to complain, ask for favors, donations, or any other thing that you may think would annoy us.  Nemesis


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Stargazer last won the day on December 28 2015

Stargazer had the most liked content!

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About Stargazer

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

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    Olympia, Washington, USA
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    Computers (software development), Ham radio (callsign WA7MC), astronomy, science and technology, religion, history, and so on.

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  1. From the information in the OP, I'm pretty sure I know who this talk show host is, and I think it is at least possible that his children were excluded not only because they are LDS, but also because of who their father is. I shan't say who I think it is, because to mention his name here sometimes launches controversies. As it does in other places.
  2. By the same token, Islam can only exist because Mohammed was a Prophet of God. And for a similar reason: after Mohammed the armies of Islam had the courage to conquer all of North Africa and into Spain, and all of the near east and eastern Europe up to Vienna. And this, by the way, was against the Christians, because all of North Africa and the remnants of the Roman Empire were all Christian, and this proves that Islam is superior to Christianity. So what the Koran has so many stories which contradict the Bible? The New Testament has so many stories (and teachings) which contradict the Old Testament! I'll bet you eat unclean animals, even though the Bible and the Koran expressly forbid it, you heretic. Jim, your arguments are pathetic. By your logic, the LDS Church can only exist because Joseph Smith died as a martyr. And after he died, the missionaries became bold in preaching because of Joseph's sealing of his testimony with his blood.
  3. It is not often that I run into statements that so thoroughly place carts before horses. And this is the particular instance: The biggest support for the existence of the church is the resurrection of Christ. What on earth is that supposed to mean? To start with, I'm not disputing the existence of the church. Any more than I am disputing the fact that the sky is blue during the daytime, leaving aside unusual meteorological phenomena. But let's pretend for a moment that your tortured statement actually makes sense. Put in other words, you're saying that the existence of the church depends upon the actuality of Christ's resurrection. So let's take it home: prove that Christ was resurrected. Where's the evidence for this? Is there any archaeological evidence that Christ was resurrected after he was crucified? I'll answer the question: NO. None whatsoever. I happen to believe that he was resurrected, but my conviction doesn't come via archaeological evidence -- a good thing, since there is none. So, since Christ's resurrection cannot be proven, the existence of the church (by your statement above) is called into question. Which is absurd, since presumably the church does exist. I'd still like to know what you mean by "the church", however. I think I've lost count on how many there are -- and here I am assuming that by "church" you mean Christian churches: Roman Catholic, Coptic, Methodist, Baptist, Congregational, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Science, Eastern Orthodox, Worldwide Church of God, Church of England, and so on. I'm also assuming you wouldn't add the LDS church to the list, but I'm not sure why not. But if you still insist upon your turned-on-its-head statement, I have another one for you, with exactly as much validity: The biggest support for the existence of the Caliphate is the visit of Gabriel to Muhammed and the revelation of the Quran. And there's plenty of archaeological evidence to support the Quran, too. So is the Quran revealed by God, or not? Is Muhammed a Prophet of God (the last one BTW), or not? And let's not forget Buddhism! The biggest support for Buddhism is the Enlightenment of Gautama Siddhartha. So shave your head, and report to the Potala Palace: the Dalai Lama is looking for a few good men. I've already said this, but you appear to have missed it. Archaeology proves nothing more than that some non-supernatural historical events as described in the Bible have actually happened. The miracle of the loaves and fishes: no archaeological evidence exists for this. The raising of Lazarus from the dead: no evidence. The plague of Frogs in Exodus: no evidence. The turning of water into wine: no evidence. The resurrection: no evidence. All these things did happen, but don't look for worldly proof of them, because you won't find any. Sure there's plenty of ruins that can be mapped to locations mentioned in the Bible, and there is some evidence for the actual existence of some persons mentioned in the Bible. Jesus seems to be entirely historical, as is David and some other kings of Israel and Judea. Pontius Pilate, too. But none of this proves that any supernatural thing that is reported in the Bible actually occurred. You can believe it, as I do, but the only proof of it comes through the Spirit of God. And since I have received through the Spirit the knowledge that these things are true, well then, I believe them. And here's a statement that makes absolutely no sense: Believing in the Bible is not 100% faith in believing what cannot be seen or deduced. I'm very sorry, but I cannot parse any firm meaning from this sentence. Perhaps you can explain it?
  4. Well now, what makes you think one doesn't have to pray about the Bible? You just assume it's the word of God because others think so, and the book itself claims it? What evidence do you have that the Bible is the word of God? Archaeology? Sorry, just because Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible, and there are other correlations in geography and history, that isn't evidence for God, let alone the divinity of Jesus Christ. It's clear that Jesus was a historical figure, but even that isn't evidence that Jesus was the Son of God. You can't prove that Jesus was resurrected, and you can't prove any other miracle recounted in the Bible. It's fine if you want to believe in the divinity of the Bible as a matter of faith, but you don't know that it's true. I got news for you, relying upon archaeology for proof could lead you to the conclusion that there is only one god, Allah, and Mohammed is his Prophet. There's just as much archaeological evidence for the Koran as there is for the Bible. Now, I've posted this fact in this forum before, but I don't have time to search it down and re-post it here, but I did not know the Bible was the word of God until I got a testimony of the Book of Mormon. That's because the Book of Mormon testifies of the divinity of the Bible. And having obtained a spiritual reveal of the BoM's veracity as the Word of God, one is compelled to accept the Bible likewise. To put it in mathematical terms, if A = B and B = C, then A = C. If you destroy my testimony of the Book of Mormon, then I lose the Bible as a divine document. And vice versa.
  5. I would have thought that using scare quotes or putting words in someone's mouth was beneath you. Evidently, I was wrong. It wasn't I that used the term "so called" in reference to any duly appointed federal judge. So, can you quote the anti-Muslim intentions "clearly contained in the executive orders"? I'll help you out here: #1 - PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES #2 - PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES #1 does not contain the words Islam or Muslim. And the only mention of religion occurs in a section which provides an exception "to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality." #2 does not contain the word Muslim, and only mentions the word Islam where it refers to the judicial stay given to the first executive order, in connection to the quoted passage above, where it says: "Executive Order 13769 [#1] did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion. That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities -- whoever they are and wherever they reside -- to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances." The only other reference to religion in #2 is where the order mentions "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)". The basis for the judge's decision on the second EO was not found within the executive order, but within Trump's overblown campaign rhetoric. I am not a lawyer, but last time I checked, campaign promises or blustering statements of candidates for public office were not codified law or regulations subject to judicial review. The Hawaiian judge, as I said, based his decision upon emotion not upon facts or the law. If you disagree with that, then you're certainly entitled to your opinion.
  6. Funny story: I'm a computer programmer and at a job we had another rather odd fellow programmer who told of once being asked in an interview to tell something about himself, and he came up with a very wild story, that was true. He lived in Seattle, but for a time worked in a town across the Puget Sound, for which he had to take the ferry to get there. On good weather days he walked to the ferry terminal and on the other side took a bus to his place of work. On bad weather days he took his car. One day, when the weather was so-so, he drove his car, but during the ferry trip forgot about the car, and took the bus from the ferry to the job. A couple of hours later he got a frantic call from his wife, who had been contacted about the abandoned car sitting on the ferry, and the search effort then going on for his presumed dead or drowning body floating in the Sound. Needless to say, the authorities were very upset with him about this! And of course he did NOT get the job he was interviewing for. Not sure if it was because of his story. As I said, he was a rather odd fellow in a number of respects -- a free-floating spirit and actually quite guileless. He was a Jewish guy married to a Chinese Buddhist, and at his first son's bris the rabbi asked him what name the boy was to get, and he said "Christopher", which gave the rabbi quite a start! And yes, he loved to tell these stories about himself.
  7. God is not just supposed to be about saving mankind, he IS about saving mankind. But he cannot save where man refuses the gift. And whining about how horrible we have it in these days, after others gave their lives and suffered horribly for the truth, mostly without whining about their lot, is still whining. I'm getting impatient. Sorry.
  8. Yep! Because they didn't! Leaving the true church cannot possibly be legitimate. Of course, if you don't believe the church is true, then I guess one might think that one's reasons are legitimate. But the earth isn't flat because one believes that it is. The earth is what it is. The church is Christ's church and it is true. Even if every member leaves it, thinking that they have legitimate reasons to do so, they're still wrong.
  9. I'd hate to be in your ward. Sounds like Backbite City. As far as I can tell, I was never in a ward like that.
  10. I'm "enjoying" my current isolation from church, being in the position that I am no longer on the radar of my ward of over 30 years, even though I'm physically within its boundaries, and out of the physical boundaries of my new ward. In explanation, my new ward is in England, but I'm in the US waiting for my UK "green card" (they don't call it that, tho) to be approved so I can go back indefinitely. So my current ward knows I'm "away" and my wife attends church without me, and my old ward is happy to see me show up occasionally, but doesn't "officially" know that I am here. So if I don't attend church one week (last Sunday I was in my brother's ward in the Portland, OR, area), I don't get a call from my home teacher asking if I'm OK. By the time I get back to the UK they might have forgotten me! I'm in Limbo, and it's fine, actually. My church attendance seems to be here at MDDB mostly, at the moment. Actually getting a lot out of what you all are posting here! Win-win! I do have to say that when I suddenly started showing up in my old ward, the bishop's second counselor asked me if I wanted a calling while I was waiting to go back to the UK I got quite tickled about that. I told him "Sure!" He was just joking however. I'm pretty sure.
  11. I can vouch for that!!!
  12. The no-longer-believing ones here are special cases -- if they hadn't fallen away because of perceived and unsolved problems of one sort or another in the Church, then they wouldn't be posting here because they wouldn't even care enough to bother posting on a Church-related message board. This place is NOT a scientifically-selected sample. It has a terrific selection bias -- on both sides. It's the ones who don't post here that are in the majority, and I'd be surprised if the majority of inactive LDS are inactive because they don't have much interest in religion in general, not because they got a nasty surprise at some point that couldn't be resolved. Heck, I know some members in my old ward who have strong testimonies of the Gospel and the Church, and aside from church attendance they are loyal and believing members, but who stay home because some bishop or other member offended them. My own brother was one of those, and stayed away for a decade and a half until his atheist, dry-Mormon wife told him he needed to reactivate!
  13. Out of 7 children I have attempted to help raise in the Gospel, none of them is an active member as adults. Absolutely none of them became inactive because of these historical difficulties. In fact, only one of them ever found out about these uncomfortable topics (head in hat, teenaged brides of Joseph Smith, etc), and he only did so many years after leaving the church. He left the Church to follow his wife's faith, and he apparently needed to have a club with which to beat me, concerning his leaving the Church. He certainly didn't leave for that reason. All of the others left because of the pull of the world: smoking; drinking; premarital sex; dislike going to church; and so on. I realize that this is my personal story, and others will be different, but all my kids left the Church because of the pull of the world. Darned few of the children of other members I have know who have left, whose reasons I have known about, have left over historical challenges. Actually none of them. This is why I think that most people who go inactive are just unconvinced of the Gospel, or have never had, or have lost interest in it. And I've seen a number of these come back after many years of inactivity -- for various reasons. Part of the problem in reactivating these folks is that they are largely apathetic with respect to the Church, and have better things to do and concern themselves with.
  14. Yeah, but I've heard complaints about endless sacrament meeting talks about the WoW for example (from my kids), when in fact the WoW only came up in talks a couple of times per year. Thing is, I was paying attention, and many times they were not, and then suddenly it was "The Word of Wisdom AGAIN!?!?". I'm not saying that you're wrong about the manuals needing more variety and updating, but even if the lesson itself has different text and offers different examples and cases, there are those who will not be pleased to have that subject covered again -- every darned year, for pity's sake! Perhaps not your oldest daughter. She might have been more perceptive.