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stemelbow

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About stemelbow

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  1. stemelbow

    Linear growth in church membership

    The church hasn’t added 300,000 people to its roles since 2012–the year of the attempted missionary surge. On top of that the number is declining as we move o forward. These have been some really fascinating years—these in the past decade. I do not think the church will recover to where it was. It is likely declining in influence as more people seem to be disappearing in various parts of the world from its pews. The overall number goes up each year but there are so few, relatively speaking, of those who maintain participation that it’s hard to qualify or quantify or even justify a claim of growth.
  2. It's good to hear after all of these decades, the church has come around to the notion that families aren't quite the distraction they were afraid of. I wonder if this has something to do with the third of our missionaries are coming home early, more than anything? I guess so:
  3. stemelbow

    Pres. Nelson Op Ed

    Saying someone will be damned when they will not be, or perhaps when the consigner does not know sounds to me to be nothing more than rejoicing in someone's demise. But such feels like a silly thing to quibble about considering what's on the table to this point in this discussion.
  4. stemelbow

    Pres. Nelson Op Ed

    I see. So nelson has become nothing more than this to you: No wonder he longs for a worse time.
  5. stemelbow

    Pres. Nelson Op Ed

    What era do you imagine him longing for when he says, "Not long ago, belief in God was a given and expressions of faith the norm." The 80s? 70s? I"m not sure there would be any truth to his comments if he's talking about that time. For some reason I imagined an era that he was familiar with where religion was more of an influence on the average American. Which also happened to be an era with many of it's own problems. a time when belief in god was a given and expressions of faith the norm might not have been a better time at all. He's just wishing it was a better time, I guess. I don't think he carries much of a point here. In his 94 years he thinks belief in God is the best way to live. Yet, it doesn't appear he's ever tried non-belief in God, so how would he know. It's likely that those devastated by the fires in California, included some with belief in God and some without, or at least some with very untraditional concepts of God. It perhaps is true that any person so devasted can and has in some cases recovered, some of those could be believers or non believers. It's also true that non believers have lost family and seem to continue forward like the rest of us.
  6. Good point: He was called as a GA in 2008. So he's had a good decade at least to read up on it. It's possible I suppose--although I've failed to find a neat library helping anyone to define the extent of such literature. It's also possible he's read some before the assignment. It would be nice to see a checklist of what he's read just so I can compare what he's read to what I've read. I first picked up what would be called an anti-Mormon book, by some, a decade and a half before his calling and assignment. Many have been at this far longer than either of us. It goes on. Some of the better stuff has come out much more recently and in many forms of media, if you ask me, but over my time my biases have swayed to nearly opposite end of the spectrum it feels like.
  7. Thanks, Clark. As Always I appreciate your comments even if I disagree with them. I think as it pertains to being in the church and pushing for the Church you have the right and most workable position. I think I get you would say The HOllands' stories about going down the wrong road is more about leading us down roads that are wrong, but personally helpful. I find it an odd interpretation, even if it's a needed one in order for the story to work. YOu are playing on a sketchy foundation, as I see it. If you say God leads one down the wrong path because that person needs to learn something down that path, then we must assume God did that. For, you say, it's also possible the person mistakenly takes the inspiration/revelation as being from God when it is not. The problem is we only know it's from God if we implement and it works out. If we implement and it doesn't work out, then we assume it's from God but he must have had us learn something we needed, personally. of course the problem with this is we are left assuming that our assumption was useful, and that assumption being built on a previous assumption was a solid one as well. We're always left assuming the answer to any question before it is ever asked. But we've been down that road. I find it troublesome, you don't like how I word the problem.
  8. He's essentially saying stick to authorized sources of learning. If you go beyond that, you'll be in trouble. So if someone ever has the question of what are the authorized sources of learning, they better conclude that the Church knows best about what sources of learning are good and what are bad else such a person might be lost. It comes down to get your assumptions set and settled so when questions come you can simply ignore them assuming the answer before you look into it. I would suggest it is perhaps the best way forward for the Church, it seems to me to be exactly what Clark keeps pushing for. to preach openness of thought, or research can be helpful is precisely what would doom the Church.
  9. How would you ever know, clark? If God's direction sent you one way and you learned, how would you know if you hadn't gone the other way if you would not have learned even more? You seem to continue to see things as answered before the question is ever asked, you assume the answer, it seems to me. You seem to suggest Holland's teaching is good, God does mislead us, because he wants us to learn from going the wrong way. But if you had never gone the wrong way, how would you know the right way was not best for you all along? Or perhaps more accurately God leads people out of Church permamently, not because of anything but that the Church is not good for that person. Yes from personal experience one would have to wonder if God is involved at all. If say, your prayers lead you one way which perhaps could have been the same way taken if you hadn't prayed to begin with. It's not as if there's not direct contradiction in scriptures like wherein God will answer your question and not upbraid you. It probably should read, well God will answer you falsely sometimes because he needs you to go down the wrong road sometimes so you can learn. You won't learn it otherwise.
  10. It's bad enough hat he think research is bad, but I think there's something more troubling here. He's telling a group of young marrieds, if your spouse starts doubting, asking tough questions, and wondering about the issues that have plagued the Church in recent years, then you are a believer should not see research as an answer to your spouses troubles. What I think is the big problem there is, he seems to be advocating spouses not work through it together. I've heard enough of believing spouses ignoring the questioning spouse, speaking of him/her as if they are evil for their concerns. This advice only makes it worse. The questions brought up by the questioning spouse might very likely have nothing to do with faith at all.
  11. stemelbow

    Pres. Nelson Op Ed

    He's not really saying much. Would he suggest that those in California who are not believers in any god are any more broken than those who do believe in God? Or that those who had family die, like he recently had, are not healed in some sense, unless they believe in God? He seems intent on telling people it's better to believe in God, but he has no reason to suggest it is better. He does try and say the world used to be better because people believed in god more, but that's not really true. The world also used to be worse, with things like legally sanctioned racism and such. People don't want to go back to his hey day of the 50s because it was worse not better than today.
  12. I have to admit I"m feeling a bit floored by your "the teaching isn't very important but that the experience of learning is important" approach to this stuff. What experience is to be gained from being told research is not the answer when it may be? What is to be gained by the young boys being told that the strict use fo the right hand is important when it's not really important? I'm reminded of Elder Holland's two roads teaching--wherein God will mislead us sometimes so we can go down the wrong road. It's weird because sometimes we're supposed to pretend that the answer first given, as it comes from God, is right even if everything around us points to it being wrong, and then this new idea from Elder Holland was that God will show us it's wrong but those things around us, after he tells us its right. In like manner Oaks is saying something like the right hand only thing is important as if God himself says it is even though it's not important at all. What's important it these particular boys think God thinks its important until they realize it's not...or something.
  13. stemelbow

    Missionary work during the priesthood ban

    You’re telling me after all these years NOW it’s starting to sink in? 😁
  14. So you think Oaks really does not think the right hand teaching is important? he just said it was important but was really being sly and tricky so the kids will learn some other lesson in life? My goodness...that's a weird thought.
  15. I did. I don't know why some grand leader would want to teach something to a small subset if that teaching mattered to all. I'd agree with Teancum above when he says "I have no sympathy". They are, after all, the ones claiming to teach us things from God.
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