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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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    Religion, science, technology, computers (especially computer programming), foreign languages!

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  1. If it was not tithing funds, then what are you saying? "Sell all our assets and give it all away in a big, impressive, showy blowout display!" Is that what you want? $1.5B handed out to the poor? "Minutiae" does not necessarily mean "tiny". It's "details".
  2. Money was scarce at certain times during our history, especially after arrival in the Salt Lake Valley. Most people were farmers, and when they harvested crops they frequently "sold" them to others by trade / barter. "Money" as such was not common, until commerce became more established. And even then it wasn't always available. So tithing was paid "in kind", meaning, if your 10 cows produced 10 calves, you gave one calf to the Church. If your chickens laid a hundred eggs, you'd give ten to the Church. If you were a blacksmith and made ten plows, you'd give one to the Church. The Church at that time had tithing offices which were there specifically to deal with donations of "in kind" items. It's not money, but "increase". If you don't have an increase, you have nothing to tithe. Now, if you are so worked up about what you think is the Church's misuse of tithing funds, then perhaps you can treat yourself as if you were excommunicated. Excommunicated members aren't permitted by the Church to pay tithing to the Church. But excommunicated members are sometimes advised that if they want to pay tithing, just save it if they desire, until they are re-admitted; then they can pay that savings into the tithing funds of the Church -- though the Church does not make that a condition of readmission. If you do this, of course you cannot claim to be a full tithepayer in an interview, because you still have control over the funds. I kind of understand where you are coming from. When I was still employed (I'm retired now) I could not make myself tithe the money that I paid in federal income tax. Because to me that was money that I had no choice about whether I would pay it, and it was, in effect, a cost of doing business, just like a business person does not count as income every cent that comes in from customers, since he has to buy goods, pay necessary fees and services and so on. His profit was his increase, and not his gross receipts. But while I "kind of" understand, I don't really. When Abram paid tithes to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:20) did he demand to see Melchizedek's account books first? Did he worry that Melchizedek might not use the money properly (i.e. as Abram saw fit)? No, he didn't. Why would that be, do you suppose? Because maybe it was his obligation to pay it, and the burden of responsibility for proper use was on Melchizedek, and with God? I'd say that is exactly the case. So my advice is to pay the tithing to those who are appointed to receive it, and leave accountability to God. Then your burden of responsibility is lifted. It's just like the burden of warning -- in Mosiah 2:27-28 we read: "Therefore, as I said unto you that I had served you, walking with a clear conscience before God, even so I at this time have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together, that I might be found blameless, and that your blood should not come upon me, when I shall stand to be judged of God of the things whereof he hath commanded me concerning you." In other words, King Benjamin has done his part in warning his people to repent, and he can no longer be held accountable for their sins. What they do with his warning is now their responsibility -- but he has absolved himself of culpability for their sins. By the same token, God requires of you that you pay tithing. So pay it, and let the fault, if there be any, fall to others. Then you are clean before God. You can argue the minutiae of such things as shopping malls if you like -- although it has been shown to my satisfaction that tithing funds were not used to finance the one that all the enemies of the Church are continually up in arms about. It's another matter if you don't believe the Church is the restored Church of Jesus Christ. In that case, maybe the best place for you is outside the Church where you will be more comfortable. You can perhaps pay your tithing to the Roman Catholics, or to the Southern Baptists, or to whoever you think is closest to whatever it is you believe. I'm not advocating you leave, understand. I'm just telling you that if you have as serious a problem with the LDS church as you seem to, you really need to get straight about that before you start worrying yourself over the comparatively minor matter of how badly you think the Church is using donated funds.
  3. I might like to die in Hawaii! Does that count?
  4. Are either of you associated with it in any kind of management role? Or know who is? l checked up on the domain a bit further, and it turns out that it is not expired, but it appears that it did expire, and was renewed shortly afterwards. When you navigate to it, the page currently shows a standard "parked domain", which is normal for an expired domain that has not yet been restored to full functioning. Here is the Whois information for the domain: Note the current expiration date, 2020-03-05, and that the domain was updated on 2019-03-08. That suggests that they let the domain expire, but when it was noticed, probably on 8 March, they renewed it. But what happens to expired domains is that the name servers get switched to a default pair of servers which then show the site to be "parked". Which is what is the status currently. Note the Name Servers above. I am a little bemused over the fact that BMAF is using the same domain registrar that I do, Dotster.com. Anyway, simply renewing the domain after it expires is not enough. They have to also edit the domain record to restore the identity of the correct Name Servers -- which is how the Internet knows where to get the site's information. It usually takes 24-48 hours for the Name Server update to propagate throughout the world domain name system. I work with this kind of thing as part of my business (as a publisher), so I know a little bit about what needs to be done. Please, if you know who to contact at BMAF, let them know that they have one more step to take? And if it is outside their comfort zone to take care of what needs to be done, and they don't have a technical person to help, I am willing to do what is needed. It's not hard.
  5. Which domain is the one that expired? The bookofmormongeography.org domain is current, not expired until October.
  6. I just checked and the domain is not expired. If you're thinking of bookofmormongeography.org
  7. Domains don't unexpectedly expire. It's not like half-life of a radioactive element, when you can't know in advance which atoms are going to decay. So, who is the admin contact? Do you not have one?
  8. Too late! Ordered already! A used copy. Yeah, I wonder, too. šŸ™‚
  9. I'm lazy. Where does Nibley get this from? Sigh. I suppose I should buy the book...
  10. Serendipity! Like Roentgen discovering X-rays by inadvertently placing a sample of radioactive mineral upon a photographic plate. There are others. Some say that these are examples of God inspiring men and women. Some say it's pure chance. The OP probably thinks it's chance. And maybe it is. But I thank God for it, nevertheless.
  11. Such a brilliant post. As brilliant as your avatar was in battle.
  12. Thanks for pointing this out! I had quite forgotten about the passion play. Perhaps my wife and I will go there this time!
  13. I think you need to re-think this. For example: my experience of death is bitter, but death itself is not evil. And can even be a comfort. And chocolate ice cream is delicious, but it is definitely bad for my manly figure.
  14. Yes, I suppose you're correct -- I guess I've seen this before. But how did the OP get the word past the board software to be able to ask the question? Madness. To give my reply above I had to go through a lot of substitution before the board would let me post it. Frustrating.
  15. OKAY. I'll give you my answer. I'll preface my answer with this comment: the purpose of your question is unclear. Are you on a search for knowledge, or here to find fault with theism? The question of why not [the anti-bacterial substanceļ»æ] 6,000 years ago sounds a lot like an atheist (and a "Bright") come here to argue the existence of God with the benighted and beguiled theists, who are steeped in mythology and irrationality. But perhaps you really do wonder why no [anti-bacterial substanceļ»æ]. I'll admit to not being a mind-reader. So, here ya go: We're not here to enjoy a life unencumbered with problems and challenges. There is not a single instance in the scriptures of God giving humans any scientific or technological knowledge. With one exception: according to the Bible (and Latter-day scriptures as well), the only thing God gave Adam and Eve was clothing. Everything else was left for them to figure out and do for themselves. We are here to figure it out for ourselves and to act on our own initiative and choice. "What will you do today?" is the question each human is asked every day of his or her life. Why would this be? Because we are being tested. The consciousness that is each of us existed before it was placed into our physical body. We are being field-tested in a hostile environment to discover if we are capable of taking on greater responsibility. The field-test is only valid if it is done with minimal outside interference. You've heard of the "blinded experiment", I hope? As the Apostle John said: 3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3) Which is similar to what the Apostle Paul wrote: 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17) Indeed, Jesus himself made this abundantly clear in the Parable of the Talents. The following text is from the Wikipedia article on this parable: "In both Matthew and Luke, a master puts his servants in charge of his goods while he is away on a trip. Upon his return, the master assesses the stewardship of his servants. He evaluates them according to how faithful each was in making wise investments of his goods to obtain a profit. It is clear that the master sought some profit from the servantsā€™ oversight. A gain indicated faithfulness on the part of the servants. The master rewards his servants according to how each has handled his stewardship. He judges two servants as having been ā€œfaithfulā€ and gives them a positive reward. To the single unfaithful servant, who ā€œplayed it safeā€, a negative compensation is given." (cf Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-27) The "profit" in reality is the life that each of us lives. What will we do with what we have been given? If we have been profitable, meaning have we kept the commandments, repented and improved ourselves when necessary, then we will be added upon. Or in other words, made into something greater than we were before. Ultimately it matters not how long you live, only that you lived as righteously as possible, and finally, that you rely upon the personal sacrifice of the only sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ, who has paid for your sins if you have faith in Him and do the best you can to overcome your faults and errors. And because of all that, it doesn't matter that God didn't "give us" [the anti-bacterial substanceļ»æ] 6,000 years ago. It matters only that you lived well and loved your fellow man. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. (1 John 3:10-11)
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