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rchorse

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About rchorse

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    Member: Moves Upon the Waters

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  1. Just FYI, there's a little down arrow on the left side of the quote box that lets you collapse the quote (see the yellow area below). It makes scrolling through those long quotes much less tiresome.
  2. While I think this is true to some extent, I think most church leaders get worked up over it because the Lord has defined it as serious sin. It's typically not in the same league as overeating or Word of Wisdom issues. Of course, there are varying degrees of seriousness on a spectrum, with some transgressions being very minor. But having seen firsthand the devastating damage sexual sin can cause, I have a hard time sharing the currently popular world view that it's "just sex." Based on what I read in the scriptures, I don't believe the Lord sees it as "just sex", either.
  3. I haven't read every post, so maybe this has been mentioned, but the problem with the idea of not asking more detailed questions is that not everyone understands the words chastity, fornication and adultery the same way. Some people confess to fornication and it turns out it was just kissing with tongue or something. Other people say they went a little too far, but didn't break the law of chastity. When you clarify, it turns out they did everything except intercourse. It sounds nice to just ask "do you live the law of chastity?" and leave it at that, but the reality is that with youth and young adults and even some older adults, many will answer yes when they are completely unworthy and many worthy people will answer no, just based on a misunderstanding of basic terms like chastity, fornication, and adultery. What I found worked best was to ask what happened, but at the same time say, "Please do not give an explicit or graphic play-by-play description. I just need a general idea of what went on."
  4. Here in Europe, the cost is about 420 € if you're not in one of the participating stakes. Each participating stake covers a portion of the cost for participants, so that the youth or parents only have to pay 90 € out of pocket. That's about $105-$110 per youth. I assume the model is similar elsewhere, so I think it is probably significantly cheaper than EFY for the youth and their families.
  5. AfD so far hasn't managed to get any real power, but they're growing in popularity, which is concerning. The church is growing, albeit slowly. Most of the converts tend to be refugees and immigrants, but a good chunk of converts are regular Germans, as well. People do have a hard time understanding why we don't drink alcohol.
  6. I live in southern Germany. Nehor's assessment is on point. Racism is very much alive in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Not to mention that there is also no separation of church and state in Germany. The government collects a church tax if you're a member of a main denomination (Catholic or Evangelical, typically). Refugees and immigrants are viewed in much the same way as they are in Trump country. As an immigrant myself (American), I have experienced some of this, although to a much lesser extent because I'm white. Divorce rates are lower because people just don't care much about getting married in the first place. Businesses are closed on Sunday and holidays, not out of a sense of religious devotion, but because people don't want to work on those days and Germans are very resistant to changing the way things have always been done. Churches are very empty on Sundays, while the lakes and recreational areas are packed full. On the other hand, Germany does do much better in taking care of the poor. Every country in the world has things they do well and things they do poorly. Ideally, we would all just try to learn from each other and make the world a better place. But unfortunately, most people are more interested demonstrating their superiority and their own side winning than actually learning and improving.
  7. I see a couple problems with the idea of multiple Heavenly Fathers (or Mothers for that matter). We could not all be literal spirit brothers and sisters. We would be at best half- brothers/sisters, cousins, or even 5th or 6th or 8th cousins. Jesus would not be the first born of all spirit children and would only be a spiritual "Elder Brother" to some of the inhabitants of the earth. There would be multiple first-born children, at least spiritually speaking. I've seen nothing in the scriptures or the words of the prophets or anywhere else to make me think that there's more than one Father, at least as far as this earth goes. Besides, I've heard that once you get past the first 1,000 spiritual children, it doesn't get any harder after that. 😉
  8. I don't see anything wrong with what Elder Ballard was quoted as saying. The bolded part of the OP ( Church leaders don’t know where these practices began ) is not a direct quote based on the quotation marks. I'd be interested in what he actually said, rather than the journalist's summary. My mission was definitely big on the invitation to baptism by the second discussion, no exceptions. But my mission was off the rails in a lot of ways: baptizing someone every week was a "rule", pressure tactics were definitely encouraged, and baptismal success was equated with worthiness / righteousness. I don't think any of that came from the apostles, though. I'm pretty sure it all came from one particularly aggressive seventy in the area presidency at the time. None of my friends who were out at the same time had a similar experience.
  9. I was referring more to conditional friendship and love based on whether they come back to church or not. I think it's extremely counter-productive when people think the only reason you want to talk to or spend time with them is to have another conversion/reactivation notch in your belt. Sincere love doesn't drop someone if they don't want to hear about the church. I agree that we shouldn't be ashamed of or afraid to talk about the gospel. Especially when, as is often the case, it is the best solution to someone's problems.
  10. In my experience, those who cry the most loudly that no one ever tried to reach out or visit or rescue them were always those we had tried the hardest to help. As bishop, I would often hear that someone had complained to his/her neighbor/home/visiting teacher that no one ever came by or cared or offered to help. That was typically from people that we as a bishopric had visited fairly recently and had either not even let us in the door or told us that they wanted no contact. While some people definitely do slip through the cracks, and some leaders / members don't reach out the way they should, I'm inclined to take most of these types of stories with more than a grain of salt. That said, though, I agree that the best approach for everyone is to love them without any ulterior motives of reactivation, etc.
  11. Perhaps it's so that people listen to the Spirit about what to discuss with the bishop rather than relying on a list. The Spirit has led me at least a few times to discuss minor sins with my bishop that I definitely would not have had I had access to this list. These discussions were very helpful to me in the repentance process and in avoiding the sins in the future, but would not have occurred had I known they weren't on "the list".
  12. A little of both: 1 Nephi 22:26 26 And because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth.
  13. I hold onto the beliefs that I have tested and found to bring happiness and personal growth. So far, the doctrines and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a very good track record in my life. On the other hand, I have let go of the belief that leaders in the church are perfect or infallible, as well as the belief that I can do it all or be perfect in this life. I have also let go of the belief that there is one unavoidable conclusion either way about the truth claims of the church, the Book of Mormon, church history, etc. I think there's enough evidence for any reasonable person to conclude that the church is what it claims to be or that it's a fraud. For me, it comes down to what the Spirit has revealed and what makes me a better and happier person. The decision to believe and the confirmations of the Spirit have made me a better and happier person.
  14. Feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness don't come from God. Nobody is a perfect parent, and whether children stay in the church or not is dependent on so many factors (especially the child's agency) that it can't be attributed to just one thing. I know many great parents who did everything right, but still had some or most of their children leave the church. I don't agree with the line of thinking that if the parents do everything right, the children will always stay faithful. If that were true, then we'd have to ask what God did wrong to lose 1/3 of his children in the pre-earth life. All that matters is that we do our best. Only we and God know if we have done that or not.
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