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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. And I have known strong member parents who have had children go astray, too. But I have also seen strong member parents who were relatively clueless or ineffective at raising children in the church. I am afraid that I can count myself in that number. I didn't have anyone telling me that we weren't doing a good job with them, but I could see it. I don't know if my children were those who just didn't care about religion -- perhaps that might have been part of it, I don't know. But my wife and I tried to be good examples, and our children would probably have not liked it if we had strayed ourselves.
  2. If this life were all there was, then the problem of good and evil would be paramount -- although there would be no "problem", per se. It would be just "we suffer and then we die" end of story. I wish I could find the words to explain how I understand the matter, but there is a purpose for our existence, and no suffering is so deep, or pain so great, that after the end of this life we will not rejoice in the realization of that purpose. I've been so sick that I could hardly move (back trouble), but once it was over and the pain was gone it was as if it had never happened. When my wife died back in 2015, I was "comfortably numb" (to quote Pink Floyd) and wanted myself to be done with this life, too. But in short order a marvelous woman found me and turned my life into a joy greater than my previous sadness. And while I still mourn for her with whom I had spent most of my life, the realization that we will be together again brightens any remaining feelings of loss. And I know that these are temporary. Paul the Apostle spoke truly when he said that if we have hope of Christ in this life only, we have but a forlorn hope. I feel great compassion for those who do not have the comfort of Christ for the Eternity, and see only the misery of the present. As for saying God told me so but it's too sacred to share with you, that sounds like we're saying you are unworthy, or too unwashed, but that isn't it. In fact, saying it that way perfectly illustrates the principle. Jesus told his disciples that telling the priceless story to those who are not ready for it is like casting pearls before swine. Not that such people were swine, but that they were completely unprepared for it, wouldn't understand it, and would turn the story back against the teller - to the detriment of both the teller and the hearer. I have more than once been restrained by the Spirit from telling close relatives or friends about precious experiences, not because there was something wrong with them, but because they were not ready to hear it. An example from my early post-baptism life. A few months after joining the Church I had decided that I was entitled to a vision about the Church, and I proceeded to pray to ask for one. I was just 15 years old and rather immature in more than one way, but there we are. After diligent prayer, I didn't get the vision I sought, but I "heard" a voice telling me: "You don't have enough faith, yet." The voice was not aural, and was extremely quiet ("still, small voice"), but it was real. Foolishly I told about the experience to someone whom I thought would benefit from my experience, only to have them reject what I told them ("it was just your own voice you heard" -- wishful thinking, etc). And later this person told a few others that I was now hearing voices in my head. I learned that there were matters that should only be revealed to others when the circumstances were right, and that one should rely upon the Spirit as to when it is time to do so. In the years since, I have occasionally related my experience to others, but only when I felt impressed by the Spirit to do so. Such as now. Is there some experience of mine, which, if I told you about it, would cause you re-evaluate your current position on God? Or would telling you something you're not ready for make it worse? I'm smart enough to realize that I'm not smart enough to know that of myself. I think it might sometimes be unwise to intimate to others that one has had sacred experiences that one may not relate (that in itself might possibly be a kind of casting of pearls), but if one bears testimony of what one "knows" to be true, it can sometimes be helpful to indicate that one has had experiences that back up the testimony, not merely leave the declaration to stand on its own. Best wishes to you, T!
  3. Nevermind
  4. Alma 12:9: Of course you can assume that the answer to your question to Bernard is "no", but consider the alternative. I will tell you that from time to time I have "heard" the voice of God through the spirit. But in line with the verse above I do not often find myself permitted to go into detail about such times. I will say that I am thoroughly convinced that God lives, and that He is deeply involved with our lives here, as we demonstrate to Him by our daily walk whether or not we can be trusted, in accordance with the Parable of the Talents, with His work. He gave us agency, to act for ourselves, but that agency must be exercised in ignorance and in faith, in order for the test to be true. He must permit bad things to happen to good people, because to do otherwise defeats the entire purpose of our mortality. What will you do today? This is the question that He must know the answer to.
  5. Thanks for the tip! I'll have a look!
  6. So did I. Our dreams were crushed by people without a vision.
  7. Not that it's all that important what we call something, but that's not a supernova. Or even a nova. It's a planetary nebula, so-called because it is actually viewable as a disc as opposed to a point of light. In this case it is the end stage of life of an extremely massive star, on its way to becoming a white dwarf after outgassing the bulk of its mass. NGC 6302. Of course you're right (probably) that there never as any life around it -- it was always too hot for life to develop on any planets there might have been orbiting it. And it used up its primordial hydrogen extraordinarily quickly.
  8. I had a similar experience to that mentioned in the OP, sort of. Before I left for my mission I decided I needed to read the Book of Mormon all the way through from cover to cover and pray about it. So I did. I spent a week each evening after work reading it carefully through. And finally the day came when I was done. So I knelt down and asked if it were true. Nothing. So I prayed longer, and after many minutes I still wasn't getting anything. It was time for bed, so asleep I went. Next day, I prayed about it again. Nothing. And the next, the same. I was actually getting quite peeved with the Lord! I wanted "my testimony"! And I wanted it now. A few days later I was thinking about the whole thing when suddenly it hit me: I already knew the Book of Mormon was true. I had gotten my initial testimony of it when a young man whom I had just met told me about it. I had read in the book a number of times and felt the Spirit's witness many times. In fact, during the "official" cover-to-cover read I had had the Spirit bear record to me a number of times -- but I wasn't paying close attention, because I was expecting a more revelatory experience, and for it to come at a dramatic time and place. Although in fact I didn't really know what I was supposed to get! There had been a number of occasions when the Spirit had borne record to me of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I had had actual revelatory experiences -- ones that had told me what I needed to know at the time. When the Lord said "line upon line, precept upon precept", that's what He meant. And of course, sometimes people do get those lightning strike experiences.
  9. This is kind of amusing. No of course there's no cursum honorum in the Church. A priesthood holder can go from Sunday School teacher to Stake President. If that's what the Lord wants. As for moving out and into less dense LDS areas, I didn't live in a very dense LDS area in Washington state, but it appeared that the Lord wanted me to go elsewhere, and when it was my wife's time to depart for the spirit world, He sent me a wife from Britain, and I'm in the process of taking up permanent residence there now. I moved from a town which had its own stake, and 200+ attendees at sacrament meeting, to a place where the typical ward has about 100 or less at sacrament, and the stake is spread over four or five hundred square miles. I had managed to stay in the background, so to speak, with teaching and administrative callings (like ***'t clerk) for decades. Now suddenly I'm in a priesthood leadership calling. I'm kind of out of my depth, but if that's what the Lord wants, then I will do my best to be about His business. On the other hand, to compare even a high leadership position on earth with what the Father does is like comparing a ripple in a bathtub to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It isn't that the Lord is training us for leadership in the eternities, because we can't possibly learn what we need to know here, no matter where He calls us. This is Parable of the Talents. The question in His mind is this: Will you be faithful and endure to the end? Will you take what He gives you and do the best you can? That's the question. WHATEVER IT IS, WILL YOU BE FAITHFUL? When you read in DC 76 about those who enter into the Celestial Kingdom, i.e. verses 50-70, there is no mention whatsoever of any offices or responsibilities that might qualify anyone for that kingdom.
  10. Just wait a few years, and there will be my own sci fi series. Assuming I ever finish the first volume.
  11. There's a purpose for your continuing here. Whatever it is, it isn't just for the sake of living. What'eer though art, do well thy part. Seek to serve, and live for others, while the Lord still requires it. He will release you in His own good time.
  12. I kind of think not, generally. And I am so glad that Harry Reid is no longer Senate Majority Leader -- or Minority Leader. But as long as he can answer temple recommend questions appropriately I don't see any reason to raise any red flag about his membership or his worthiness to enter the temple or hold callings. In fact, I'd defend his worthiness to do so. However, I can imagine that this would change for me for a member of any of a number of groups that advocate ugly things. Like say, KKK. I'd vote to oppose a member of the KKK who was offered for a sustaining vote. In ANY calling. I would probably have grave doubts about a CPUSA member, or a member who was involved in an actual white supremacist organization (besides the KKK).
  13. Amen! I have yet to see that film -- it was released in the US after I traveled to England, and released in England after I came back here!!! Talk about timing problems. Oh, well, I guess I can buy the video when it comes out.
  14. Well, I read the article, and I had a look at the Mormon population in each state (lds.org), but after referring to the Mormon population in each state the author failed to state why that was important. I get that the author somehow thought that the Mormon population in some swing states had some effect upon the election, but I've read the article a couple of times and I don't understand how he (she?) arrived at this conclusion. In fact, I found the article fairly obtuse. And the lds.org page is not "Mormon voter population by state". It just the number of Mormons in each state.