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Everything posted by Amulek

  1. I don't think it's actually possible to fail. There are only like three questions throughout the training, with only two options to choose from. I'm not sure what happens if you pick the obviously wrong answer (e.g., sure, the more kids in the tent the better), but the way it's layed out I assume you get the exact same explanatory text - only with an 'incorrect' rather than a 'correct' indicator.
  2. Not sure what the official guidance will be, but I suspect that if someone refuses to take the training then they very well could possibly be released.
  3. So, good news: I totally passed. It's presented kind of like one of those online learning modules you might have taken before, where you have to listen to the information before you can proceed to the next page. There's a transcript you can pull up and read along with as well, which I appreciated. Overall, I think it is a very good primer on protecting children. Some highlights: As a leader of youth, you can avoid compromising situations by not having extended, one-on-one conversations with a youth or child and by using group communication where possible. Involve and inform parents or guardians regularly, especially when you are concerned about their child. Here are some types of child abuse you should be aware of and help prevent. [brief details provided for each - me] Sexual Physical Neglect Emotional Teen Dating Violence Anyone who knows or has cause to believe that a child has been or is a victim of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse has a solemn responsibility to do something that can ensure protection for the child. If you are a bishop or stake president in the United States or Canada, you should contact the abuse help line about every situation in which a person may have been abused or neglected. In other areas, bishops who learn of possible abuse should contact their stake presidents, who will seek guidance from the area office. If you are NOT a bishop or stake president and you learn of abuse, you should immediately contact legal authorities. Also contact your bishop for counsel and direction. Take all reports of inappropriate behavior seriously and assume they happened. Remain calm, and keep communication open. Do not blame the child, question whether the abuse really happened, or suggest that the abuse somehow was his or her fault. Reassure the child of your love and confidence and that you will take appropriate steps to protect him or her. When abuse occurs, the immediate responsibility of Church leaders is to help those who have been abused and to protect vulnerable persons from future abuse. Leaders should be aware of additional behavior that is inappropriate or unacceptable. In some instances, this behavior may rise to the level of abuse. [brief details provided for each - me] Grooming Discipline Coercion Harassment Bullying Hazing Teasing If you are aware of inappropriate or unacceptable behavior that is happening, you should immediately act to stop it. All-in-all, I thought it was really well done. And since pretty much everyone will probably end up taking it at some point, it will really help to raise the level of awareness among the general membership.
  4. Pretty much everyone has to take it. The official communication states the following (link😞 Renewed every three years.
  5. Very cool. It appears that the website is already online: link. It's only in English at the moment and shouldn't take longer than about 30 minutes. If I get around to it on my lunch hour today, I'll report back with additional thoughts.
  6. After reading the Deseret News article, it appears I was mistaken. It does indeed sound like he sent the message to friends / family, and someone forwarded it to the Deseret News. They contacted him about it, and he confirmed that he is the one who wrote it. No idea if he requested they not publish anything about it, but just wanted to revise my original thoughts without simply editing them out of my previous post.
  7. I guess it depends on how one reads the article. I read it as meaning that he mistakenly used the wrong audience selection when he published his post and ended up posting it as a Public message rather than posting it as a message which was only accessible to his Friends (or custom) list. That is how the public media outlets were able to pick up the story - because it was on his public Facebook page, not necessarily because it was a private message that someone passed on to the media. So, if you were a newspaper outlet, and someone posted a public statement in a public forum, would you even bother to contact them about it in the first place? I tend to think not. You would treat it like any other public social media statement from any other public / limited-public figure. I agree.
  8. Whether or not they sought is permission is secondary to the underlying question: did they need to obtain his permission in the first place? And the answer to that question is invariably "no." For a limited-public figure like Ed Smart, a newspaper wouldn't need his permission to report on his public statements. And despite what one may want or intend, comments made in a public forum - Facebook specifically, or the internet, more broadly - are open for public use, criticism, discussion, etc.
  9. If he posted it on the internet then he outed himself. Sorry, but this is like Internet 101: nothing you post online is ever truly private. This is especially true for any social media platform. The only kind of privacy on social media is perceived privacy, because ultimately you have absolutely zero control over what others can / will see.
  10. While I think there are some practical reasons for why you wouldn't want to have co-ed presidencies (not that I think that's what you were suggesting), I don't know of any doctrinal reason why the Sunday School Presidency couldn't be comprised of three women rather than three men - though, as has been pointed out, the current policy is that it be run by priesthood holders. My suspicion is that a good part of the reason why it is organized the way it is derives from tradition. Sunday School began as kind of a grass roots thing that just sort of caught on. It's popularity was, at the beginning, largely driven by congregations in Utah adopting Brother Ballantyne's model - he had been a former Sunday School teacher in another church prior to his conversion. From the get-go, the program was organized and largely run by men, so when it came time to form it into an official auxiliary and bring it under correlation, it was probably natural to just leave it as a priesthood responsibility. The priesthood has a responsibility for teaching, in general, so it kind of makes sense that it be organized this way, but I wouldn't lose my testimony or anything if a revelation ever generated a change on that front.
  11. If your phone officially supports it (e.g., Samsung, Pixel, and a few others) then there is dedicated hardware / software to keep battery drain to a minimum; we're talking somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.5% per hour, which is essentially nothing for such a useful feature. If you have an iPhone or some other Android manufacturer who doesn't support it natively, then you'll have to make use of a third-party app to do it, though it will be a bit more costly (say, around 5% / hour) but still pretty tolerable if you aren't a power user. Come on Scott. Try it, you'll like it. Just once won't hurt.
  12. But the marginal convenience of not having to pull something out of your pocket and press a button (does your phone really not have an 'always on' display? I thought that was common now) only applies when you are in a situation where (1) your phone is in your pocket and (2) you don't have ready access to some other method of telling time. Maybe I'm an outlier here, but I spend most of my day in an office environment. I set my cell phone (with its always on display) beside me on my desk. It sits right next to my physical office phone, which also displays the time, but I rarely need to look at either of them because my computer shows the time in my taskbar, and my email/calendar app sends me notifications whenever I need to be in a meeting - where, admittedly, cell phones are discouraged, but which always take place in a conference room which (you guessed it) has a clock. When I'm not at work, I'm usually at home (clocks easily visible in pretty much every room) or driving somewhere in my car (clock in the heads up display). When I'm actually inside a store or at a restaurant there usually isn't a clock handy, so those are times where a wristwatch could be marginally better than my phone, but most of the time that isn't the case. Don't get me wrong, I can thing of situations where watches are useful. However, I don't happen to find myself in those situations very often, and I think lots of people - especially those of the younger generation - tend to be of a similar mindset with respect to their utility. They clearly offer some benefit - just not so much of a benefit that you can't get by without one just fine.
  13. It's not that they aren't convenient at all - it's that they are only marginally more convenient than something I'm carrying around with me already. And, even then, it's only marginally more convenient for that one, very specific thing. It's like one of those as-seen-on TV cooking gadgets. I mean, sure, if your family consumes an insane number of bananas then maybe it's convenient to have a banana slicer laying around the house, but for everyone else a knife seems to get the job done just fine. Because nothing builds self esteem like wearing an expensive, outdated, impractical piece of technology on your arm every day.
  14. Sure. I'm just saying that the main utility that a watch - or any other timepiece, for that matter - provides, and the reason you would wear or carry it on your person, is so that you always have access to the time. However, with the prevalence of smartphones now, most people already have a device that is capable of providing that same function (and then some) on their person at all times, so wearing a watch of any sort is largely redundant - especially if we're talking about regular, uni-tasking watches and not 'smart' watches. Pulling your phone out of your pocket is the new normal though, and for a lot of people I bet it's a practice that happens far more often that what is needed to check the time. I suspect most people who are used to wearing watches will eventually transition to more modern, smart-wearable options which are all digital anyway. Which is fine by me, so long as I don't have to help with tech support.
  15. I agree. Taking the sacrament should be like a cross between a game of Operation and tournament chess. Per the former, you must take only the intended piece without disturbing any other piece. But you must remember to also comport yourself to the latter where the touch-move rule is in effect, so if you deliberately touch a piece of bread or cup of water then you must take that piece. Also, you should be able to do all of this without taking too long.
  16. We have a friend who can't stand this either. Her solution: sit on the front row so she has the opportunity to take the sacrament before the trays ever reach any of the little minions.
  17. So, admittedly, that post was a tad hyperbolic. And it isn't something I would ever actually complain about to a leader. However, it is one of those things that, once you hear, you can't seem to un-hear any longer. Sort of like how, when my wife and I were first married, we moved into an apartment building which was next to three sets of train tracks. I had honestly never heard a single train whistle in Provo the entire time I had attended BYU up to that point, but after being in our apartment for a bit we both developed what we referred to as 'super-sonic train hearing.' Suddenly, we could hear trains everywhere - even at great distances - including on campus. It wasn't so much that our hearing had actually changed obviously, but our brains had just developed a sensitivity to picking out the sound of a train whistle among the white noise. So maybe that's just me with watches now. Hopefully, you are all able to live your lives in peace and tranquility - completely oblivious to the occasional watch-wearer. Because if you start to hear them in the future, I will have made the world a worse place by mentioning / calling attention to it. They do seem to be going the way of the dodo. Their primary utility has been replaced by a far more capable device that is now widely carried everywhere. There are still some Luddites who refuse to get on the cellphone bandwagon here and there, but for the most part I suspect those who continue to wear watches largely do so out of habit or, for lack of a better term, fashion sense. Or perhaps they were/are a collector - that certainly used to be more of a thing, though I'm sure it persists. Regardless, as I said before, I think it's something that will resolve itself with time.
  18. You probably didn't read through the thread (not that I blame you), but in this particular situation the deceased wasn't a member but all of the surviving relatives are members of the church, and they would like to have the ordinance performed. That's my general feeling as well.
  19. This is ultimately what I ended up doing. I tracked down the Bishop who presides over the geographical area where the deceased family member lived and explained the situation to him. He was very gracious and offered the use of the church's facilities for any of the family's needs. He said that dedicating the grave was totally fine and that he had done done the same previously for both of his non-member parents when they passed away. So, as much as my inner-Pharisee is interested in knowing if there is some obscure, official guidance one way or the other, spirit-of-the-law Amulek is content to rely on the counsel of local keyholders and let this family finalize their funeral services in good conscience.
  20. According to Handbook 2, 20.9, "[a] person who dedicates a grave should hold the Melchizedek Priesthood and be authorized by the priesthood officer who conducts the service." In this particular situation, the person conducting the service will be a Melchizedek Priesthood holder who happens to be a member of their family but who doesn't reside in the geographical area where the deceased lived or will be interred. So, on the one hand, there is a literal reading which could interpret the instructions to mean, 'Well, so long as the priesthood member conducting the service approves, then it's a-okay' On the other hand, it seems to me that the unstated premise is that "priesthood officer" is probably meant to be understood to mean the local Bishop or someone he appoints (e.g., a counselor). In which case, you would probably want to run things by the local presiding authority in order to get approval before performing the ordinance.
  21. You would think that all those years of drumming and rock concerts would have done in my hearing. But, according to my wife, it's only the "listening" thing that I seem to struggle with...situationally. As for my cohorts, I had actually grown up always thinking I was part of Gen X, but I went to a conference the other day and learned that some modern researchers have Gen X ending in 76, so it turns out I might be a Millennial after all. Which is a bit funny, because the guy giving the lecture said that there is a split among Millennials: those who grew up, went to school, got married, and basically did everything their parents said they should do vs. those who are living at home and sneaking extra snacks off the gas card that Mom is still paying for. He also said that the group most critical of Millennials is actually other Millennials. So, I may have found my home after all.
  22. For leaders? I've seen more than a few bow ties, but not sported by bishopric members. Yeah, I think the unwritten rule is that it's perhaps considered to be too casual / not serious enough for one in authority. Though I've never seen a bishop wear one, I doubt it would bother me personally - though, if it were me, I would opt for a bolo tie instead. Hadn't heard about this one. More of a personal pet peeve. It isn't so severe that I would ever actually complain about it to someone in real life. Here on the internet though, I can handle waxing hyperbolic now and then - so long as it remains good-natured.
  23. From the app or from the web? I sometimes have to re-download Handbook 1 in the gospel library app, but it's pretty consistently available online - except, of course, when it's not.
  24. Unless you are Native American or come from some other culture, long hair on men is generally frowned upon - especially for those in leadership positions. Also, there seems to be some sort of unwritten rule against bow ties. That may just be a fashion preference thing though. When my sister was serving on Temple Square she distinctly remembered Elder Scott sporting a bow tie from time to time, but he was one of the very few; and, even then, it was something of a rarity. And you know what isn't an unwritten rule but should be: removing mechanical watches prior to setting people apart, giving blessings, etc. Seriously, I understand that Old Man Jacobs needs to know what time it is and, due to his age, he needs a gigantic watch to accomplish that task, but for those of us under his hands it just sounds like Big Ben is clicking away incessantly the entire time he is participating in the ordination. It's really a distraction. Now, this is one that may naturally resolve itself over time as Boomers start to age out of callings since they seem to be the ones most likely to wear large, mechanical watches. But, in the meantime, please remove those blasted contraptions.
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