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rchorse

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About rchorse

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  1. This argument seems to ignore 2 Nephi 2:22-23, "And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin." (bold mine) Lehi at least, seems to believe that Adam and Eve were not capable of procreation prior to the Fall. From a purely mathematical standpoint, I don't see how polygamy can be anything other than an exception to a general rule of monogamous marriages in the Celestial Kingdom. I don't buy into the rationale that women are inherently so much better than men that there won't be enough men to go around in heaven. I think marriage is meant to be monogamous, but God has at times made exceptions. All the scriptures I'm aware of support this view, statements from some prophets and general authorities notwithstanding.
  2. Without having all the facts and the stewardship to use them, I can't say definitively what is or is not appropriate in a particular case. What I can say is that it says in the handbook that consumer debt should not be paid with fast offering funds. It also says that large expenditures should be approved by the stake president and/or presidency of the seventy, depending on the amount. If it gets approved, then I don't see a problem. I can see minor home repairs for the elderly/disabled or something similar being appropriate at times. Regarding your example of the lawn, and a member not wanting to draw attention to their efforts, I don't really it should go through the fast offering fund. If a member wants to give a large amount to a family in need, there's certainly nothing wrong with that, or even with the bishop facilitating it. But the money shouldn't go through the fast offering fund. The member could easily give a cashier's check or money order to the bishop, who could then use that to pay for the supplies. An even better solution would be for the bishop and/or ward council to work together with the member to get everything organized, and then the donor could pay the supplier directly. The end goal is not for the bishop to swoop in and make it all better, but rather for the bishop to use the resources of the church to make it possible for the member to solve his/her own problems.
  3. Those cases would all still be pretty questionable uses of fast offering funds, in my opinion. I was bishop of a ward with a ton of welfare needs. We were always counseled at the stake and regional level not to pay mortgage payments or for home repairs / home improvements. Paying the rent or a mortgage for a month or two is one thing. Paying it for 6 months, a year, or more is just the bishop avoiding the unpleasant task of saying no and truly helping a family become self reliant. Fast offering funds are sacred, and I can not even imagine using the widow's mite to pay off a credit card or put in a yard. In my experience, it's far easier to write a check than to truly help someone. But writing a check isn't always helping. It's often just enabling bad financial behavior. As it states in the handbook, church welfare is there to preserve life, not lifestyle. Member donations would be a different story, as members can do whatever they like with their money.
  4. It's interesting that all the checks are from Davis County, Utah. Hopefully, that says more about the identity/location of the leaker than the nature of the checks. Otherwise, it sounds like the stake presidents and bishops in Davis County need some training. As mfbukowski said, these are really pretty egregious violations of church policy. I can't even imagine the blowback from my stake president had I authorized paying $9k to put in someone's lawn with Fast Offering funds as a bishop. It's pretty hard to see any legitimate reason for that one.
  5. I don't think there's any duty, per se, for those who haven't made covenants to avoid discussing temple attire publicly. Having said that, though, if you know that such discussion is likely to be offensive to those who hold the attire sacred, I find it in poor taste and discourteous to go ahead anyway.
  6. Critics of the church use fear at times, as well, to try to manipulate believers. Fear of being labeled a bigot or closed-minded. Fear of missing out on things. Fear of being repressed or controlled. Fear of all this being wasted effort, because it's not true anyway. Fear of societal shame and ridicule. Fear of being deceived or lied to. And in some extreme cases, fear of loss of employment or invasion of privacy. I'll admit that the church has sometimes used fear, but the critics also need to get off their high horses and recognize that they, as a group, have done the same.
  7. Is there another church headquarters or another metro area anywhere in the world as densely populated with Mormons as Utah? Arizona and Idaho have a lot of Mormons but don't really rival Utah. The problem with the rationale that most members live outside Utah is that the membership is so scattered, especially outside the U.S., that there's not the critical mass necessary for a lot of things. That said, as has been noted earlier on this thread, a similar development is proceeding in Philadelphia, although on a smaller scale.
  8. Bishops' memories are no different than anyone else's. They remember some things and forget others. I think if most had a choice, though, they would choose to forget the details of confessions.
  9. It definitely helps, but in my experience is not always enough. Some of my worst bouts of depression have been when i was doing the best at living the gospel. I knew mentally i was living right and should be happy, but just couldn't make myself really believe it. Medication helped me greatly. While I believe a lot of problems can be solved by living the gospel, it's not a guarantee against hardship, including mental illness.
  10. So many Mormons are on meds because we don't self medicate with alcohol and other drugs as much as those of other faiths. It really is that simple.
  11. It's best to keep in mind that you're only getting one side of the story. When I was a bishop, I had several experiences where the story a member was spreading was very different from what actually happened. But the bishop is not allowed to tell his side due to confidentiality issues. In one instance, specifically, I'm sure many outside the situation would have considered my actions to be insensitive and inappropriate, but it's what the Spirit was telling me to do. I, too, felt uncomfortable with what I felt prompted to do (didn't sleep for a couple days), but it turned out to be instrumental later in helping a member come back into activity. As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, I'm familiar with mental illness. But some use mental illness as a justification for all kinds of bad behavior that really has nothing to do with the illness. I have no idea who's right or wrong in this specific case, but it would be better to refrain from judging all parties rather than to assume the worst of the bishop.
  12. I'm really not a big fan of adding any rules beyond what's in the Handbooks. Do we really need more rules to follow? I'm more in favor of teaching, encouraging, persuading, and leading by example.
  13. Electronic devices are a fact of life and will continue to be so. Rather than banning them, it makes more sense to me to teach proper usage, especially with the youth. What are the youth going to do at church when they leave home and have full freedom to have an electronic device? If they haven't been taught by parents and church leaders how to use them properly, I suspect they'll present much more of a problem than if they are taught how to use them correctly. Having taught youth both before and after smartphones became commonplace, I see no more of a problem with attention now than before. The only difference is that instead of passing notes and punching each other, they're on their phones. I do see a positive difference now, though, in that they can't refuse to look up scriptures with the excuse that they don't have any. Same with other church publications.
  14. I don't get this. Every legal immigrant is already registered with the government, regardless of religious affiliation, and I can't see illegal immigrants bothering to register. I don't really understand what this would accomplish. That said, I agree that a religion-based registry is a threat to religious freedom and unconstitutional.
  15. Note that the policy you're quoting specifies video recordings. It doesn't say anything about audio recordings, which are very common for funerals in the chapel.