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wes

Brigham Young & The Journal Of Discourses

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I apologize if I have been uncharitable. Is having doubts about Mormonism based on troubling quotes by Mormon prophets generally considered uncharitable?

No- but having doubts about Mormonism based on selective quotes by Mormon prophets is.

You insist on condemning Young for the cherry-picked quotes from a single sermon, yet seem mulishly unwilling to look at the entire sermon, or on the rest of the man's writings.

You've steadfastly ignored all evidence which doesn't support your presuppositions and chanted hypnotically, "It's wrong", "It's a guilt trip", "Your responses only make me more skeptical."

You claim the evidence is wanting, apparently without having looked at it, and then refuse to tell us what specifically you object to.

Telling a doctor "It hurts" is useless if you won't tell him where it hurts and why.

So the question is this:

How do you teach someone who will not learn?

How do you feed someone who will not eat?

How do you quench the thirst of someone who will not drink?

How do you convince someone who steadfastly, studiously, and deliberately ignores everything he doesn't want to hear?

We can offer you living waters, but it avails you nothing if you will not drink.

You can claim we haven't answered you, but fault isn't ours if you will not hear.

This came up in your other thread.

An anti-Mormon isn't someone who doesn't know or knows incorrectly. An anti-Mormon is someone who will not be taught.

I begin to wonder if your first thread wasn't an attempt to innoculate yourself against legitimate charges.

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I apologize if I have been uncharitable. Is having doubts about Mormonism based on troubling quotes by Mormon prophets generally considered uncharitable?

No, but throwing out a line out of context out of a book you've never read designed to create a reactionary response and expecting an engaging conversation when you refuse to give details about who and what you are and obviously have no understanding of what you are talking about makes you either naive, a soporific dullard, or a troll asking 'gotcha' questions.

Call me crazy but I've met very few people (in or out of the Church) who have read the Journal of Discourses so I don't think you were seriously investigating the Church and then bought or found the JoD online and started reading it from cover to cover. So you found it and you are investigating the Church and it genuinely troubled you in which case you would think you would describe your spiritual state a little and how you're investigating so we can help you understand it but your kneejerk responses when I asked you to explain the Discourse show that you're looking to give us as little data as possible.

I therefore conclude you've culled a few inflammatory statements and ideas from the Internet and have come here to incite combat on what you perceive to be your terms while pretending to be an innocent investigator and can feign offense when we call the wolf in sheep's clothing a wolf. Prove me wrong and I'll apologize.

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Wes, I truly want to give you the benefit of the doubt. As of yet, I don't see a lot of substance to your posts.

"These answers are not very good" is not very helpful. WHY aren't they any good? What, EXACTLY, do you have an issue with in the provided answers?

You need to start getting into more specifics here and make some intelligent rebuttals.

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why do you ask?
Curiosity. It can also give insight on where you are coming from.

If you have heard or seen good things from lds members, and just want to know what it's all about, then that is one thing. But if all you've heard was anti rhetoric and are just here to confirm their statements without understanding the context, that would be another thing. There are more than these two reasons to investigate Mormonism, but these two reasons have different sources and can skew your perception either for or against.

Have you had missionaries teach you? if not why? They will teach you the basics upon which further learning is built on.

Tell me, did you stumble across that snippet of Brigham Young while you were reading the Journal of Discources? or did you get it as part of a larger package of "information"?

There have been many "wolves in sheep's clothing" that have come here on the premise that they are investigating the church, ask one question, then proceed to throw out accusations about things they have heard, but they themselves have no idea about what mormonism is about.

I am not accusing you of this, but I do want to know your angle on things.

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No, but throwing out a line out of context out of a book you've never read designed to create a reactionary response and expecting an engaging conversation when you refuse to give details about who and what you are and obviously have no understanding of what you are talking about makes you either naive, a soporific dullard, or a troll asking 'gotcha' questions.

Call me crazy but I've met very few people (in or out of the Church) who have read the Journal of Discourses so I don't think you were seriously investigating the Church and then bought or found the JoD online and started reading it from cover to cover. So you found it and you are investigating the Church and it genuinely troubled you in which case you would think you would describe your spiritual state a little and how you're investigating so we can help you understand it but your kneejerk responses when I asked you to explain the Discourse show that you're looking to give us as little data as possible.

I therefore conclude you've culled a few inflammatory statements and ideas from the Internet and have come here to incite combat on what you perceive to be your terms while pretending to be an innocent investigator and can feign offense when we call the wolf in sheep's clothing a wolf. Prove me wrong and I'll apologize.

Your response gives me more reason to doubt the legitimacy of Mormonism. It is drenched with defensiveness. The JOD has numerous troubling statements in it. It is one of MANY things I find deeply disturbing about Mormonism. Nothing you have said has been inviting in any way.

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Your response gives me more reason to doubt the legitimacy of Mormonism. It is drenched with defensiveness. The JOD has numerous troubling statements in it. It is one of MANY things I find deeply disturbing about Mormonism. Nothing you have said has been inviting in any way.

The world's tiniest violin is playing in concert with my tears. :P

We invited you to share your thoughts but you decline leading me to believe you might not have any.

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Curiosity. It can also give insight on where you are coming from.

If you have heard or seen good things from lds members, and just want to know what it's all about, then that is one thing. But if all you've heard was anti rhetoric and are just here to confirm their statements without understanding the context, that would be another thing. There are more than these two reasons to investigate Mormonism, but these two reasons have different sources and can skew your perception either for or against.

Have you had missionaries teach you? if not why? They will teach you the basics upon which further learning is built on.

Tell me, did you stumble across that snippet of Brigham Young while you were reading the Journal of Discources? or did you get it as part of a larger package of "information"?

There have been many "wolves in sheep's clothing" that have come here on the premise that they are investigating the church, ask one question, then proceed to throw out accusations about things they have heard, but they themselves have no idea about what mormonism is about.

I am not accusing you of this, but I do want to know your angle on things.

Well, Flyonthewall, I must say I am hesitant to reveal much. My experience in the past has been that Mormons put me in a certain category and write me off once I tell my story. This will probably give me away, but do you think it is possible to leave Mormonism for a legitimate reason?

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Your response gives me more reason to doubt the legitimacy of Mormonism. It is drenched with defensiveness. The JOD has numerous troubling statements in it. It is one of MANY things I find deeply disturbing about Mormonism. Nothing you have said has been inviting in any way.

Notice the numerous evasions, the refusal to answer questions, and the hypnotic repetition of the same talking points.

Wes isn't interested in learning. He's just repeating the same tired tripe.

Beeeeep... :P beeeep... ;) beeeep... :crazy:

The TEW (Troll early warning) system is now activated...

We are under a troll warning condition. A troll has been spotted in your area.

Please heed the following emergency troll baiting procedures:

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2. Report the Troll to the moderating team using the report function.

3. Prepare for Troll ejection in 3... 2... 1...

Be on the look out for angry sock puppets which sometimes follow Troll ejections.

Thank you and now back to your regular broadcast discussion...

Beeeeep... :fool: beeeep... :) beeeep... :crazy:

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My experience in the past has been that Mormons put me in a certain category and write me off once I tell my story.

Except that in this case, it's not your story that's getting you written off- it's your behavior.

This will probably give me away, but do you think it is possible to leave Mormonism for a legitimate reason?

As a matter of fact, YES.

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Except that in this case, it's not your story that's getting you written off- it's your behavior.

As a matter of fact, YES.

Really, please say more.

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Really, please say more.

Your big chance to redeem yourself with possible sympathy and you come out with.....this????? You're not even a good troll. :P

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I am curious as to the context in which this statement was made because it gives me reasonable doubt as to the legitimacy of Mormonism.

Wow, 57 posts and not a single link to the whole talk?

And why does that quote remind me of this picture?

samuraihusbandtv1.jpg

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Really, please say more.

If,

after a fair and unbiased examination of the facts and doctrine,

after earnest prayer and supplication before God,

after a humble and prayerful review of all of the evidence- in the knowledge that niether man nor the Church are perfect-

you do not believe the Church is what it claims, you should not pretend to be something you are not.

If, after applying reason, faith, and prayer to the problem, you do not have a witness and a testimony of the Gospel and the Church, you should not pretend to be something you are not.

I genuinely respect a decision made in the clear light of reason and in good conscience.

I cannot, however, abide those who use half-truths, distortions, and weasel words to undermine the testimonies of others.

That's why I can argue and vehemently disagree with Scottie (:P ) and John W and still respect them while simultaneously loathing the antics of Billy, Johnny, Richard, Hoops, and the inaptly named "revelation".

If I'm to be damned let me be damned for who and what I am and not for someone else's caricature.

I'll extend you the same courtesy, if you're willing to stand up and say who and what you are.

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Your big chance to redeem yourself with possible sympathy and you come out with.....this????? You're not even a good troll. :P

No, I don't agree.

Better an honest, straightforward question than dancing in shadow and vagaries.

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If,

after a fair and unbiased examination of the facts and doctrine,

after earnest prayer and supplication before God,

after a humble and prayerful review of all of the evidence- in the knowledge that niether man nor the Church are perfect-

you do not believe the Church is what it claims, you should not pretend to be something you are not.

If, after applying reason, faith, and prayer to the problem, you do not have a witness and a testimony of the Gospel and the Church, you should not pretend to be something you are not.

I genuinely respect a decision made in the clear light of reason and in good conscience.

I cannot, however, abide those who use half-truths, distortions, and weasel words to undermine the testimonies of others.

That's why I can argue and vehemently disagree with Scottie (:P ) and John W and still respect them while simultaneously loathing the antics of Billy, Johnny, Richard, Hoops, and the inaptly named "revelation".

If I'm to be damned let me be damned for who and what I am and not for someone else's caricature.

I'll extend you the same courtesy, if you're willing to stand up and say who and what you are.

So, you think someone should not pretend to be something they're not and I fully agree. But do you think that person is somehow deficient for leaving?

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Wes, I truly want to give you the benefit of the doubt. As of yet, I don't see a lot of substance to your posts.

"These answers are not very good" is not very helpful. WHY aren't they any good? What, EXACTLY, do you have an issue with in the provided answers?

You need to start getting into more specifics here and make some intelligent rebuttals.

No offense Wes, but even one of our biggest critics doesn't think you are doing a good job of being a real critic yet.

I love our critics. They make me think. I don't care for people who won't even look into things though (including Mormons).

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Well, Flyonthewall, I must say I am hesitant to reveal much. My experience in the past has been that Mormons put me in a certain category and write me off once I tell my story. This will probably give me away, but do you think it is possible to leave Mormonism for a legitimate reason?
That is a difficult question, because what may be a legitimate reason to you, may not be an issue for me, and vice versa. There are some already on this board that have left and still discuss issues from both sides, so you would not be the first.

It would be best to be honest with your issues and not try to hide them, because that gives an image you may not want to portray either.

You will find that many members have their faith shaken for one reason or another, or go inactive, or what have you. Some leave because of it, and others use it to strengthen their faith.

We here will not be able to make choices for you, but we can give perspectives of our own understanding that may help you with your issues, or not. The more feedback we get from you the better we will be able to address your issues directly, but if you want your issues addressed, please give more detail about why things trouble you, and why a particular response did not answer your question.

You will find that when you are open and honest about things the tone of most here will change for the better...but when there is a perception that you are hiding something, then red flags and alarms go off all over the place.

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Let's start by providing a fuller, more contexted version of the quote. (Without the CAPS added to the original version that tend to distort the context.)

A few of the men and women who go into the house of the Lord, and receive their endowments, and in the most sacred manner make covenants before the Almighty, go and violate those covenants. Do I have compassion on them? Yes, I do have mercy on them, for there is something in their, organization which they do not understand; and there are but few in this congregation who do understand it.

You say, "That man ought to die for transgressing the law of God." Let me suppose a case. Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands. But you who trifle with your covenants, be careful lest in judging you will be judged.

Every man and women has got to have clean hands and a pure heart, to execute judgment, else they had better let the matter alone.

Again, suppose the parties are not caught in their iniquity, and it passes along unnoticed, shall I have compassion on them? Yes, I will have compassion on them, for transgressions of the nature already named, or for those of any other description. If the Lord so order it that they are not caught in the act of their iniquity, it is pretty good proof that He is willing for them to live; and I say let them live and suffer in the flesh for their sins, for they will have it to do.

There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it; and the judgments of the Almighty will come, sooner or later, and every man and woman will have to atone for breaking their covenants. To what degree? Will they have to go to hell? They are in hell enough now. I do not wish them in a greater hell, when their consciences condemn them all the time. Let compassion reign in our bosoms. Try to comprehend how weak we are, how we are organized, how the spirit and the flesh are continually at war.

My take is that:

We are looking a a mystery. Brigham Young alluded to something in a hypothetical way that goes beyond LDS doctrine.

Brigham Young was making impromptu comments at the end of a conference. His words, as far as I can tell, were not prepared. As such, his remarks were sincere...but not fully considered or refined.

Obviously, he was speaking about a hypothetical situation...not announcing policy or giving instructions regarding how to act when someone is caught committing adultery.

In spinning this hypothetical situation, BY goes out of his way to point out that such behavior is NOT acceptable for several reasons -- not the least of whic is that none of us are righteous and thus do not have the right to judge and to act. In this manner, BY is applying the same standard as Jesus did when condemning and executing adulterers. Remember, Jesus approved of the stoning to death of the woman taken in the act of adultery...but warned those who would kill her that they must be without sin themselves. Obviously, she was not stoned. Jesus warned her to commit her sin no more.

BY specifically counsels that not only should we not punish those who are sinners, we are to be compassionate toward sinners of this sort because of of our own sins.

From the context of the comments, BY is speaking specifically about the obligations of those who have been endowed and made specific covenants to the Lord regarding marital fidelity. He is using such a sin as an example to show how even the most faithful violate sacred covenants.

Overall, I get the sense that when it comes to the atonement, BY believed that those who have accepted Jesus Christ, made his atonment a part of their lives AND THEN made additional temple covenants are more accountable to God. If a endowed member breaks these covenants, it is as if they have rejected the atonement of Christ and are putting their salvation on the line. It is not unlike the concept taught in the Bible.

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Clearly, BY is teaching a speculative treatise on the notion of fallen temple endowed Mormons being required in some way to suffer for our own sins -- so called blood atonement.

His comments were consistent with the sort of fiery rhetoric that typified the time and his own blunt style.

However, he was not declaring formal doctrine, nor was his statement or common interpretations of his statement ever formally adopted as cannon.

I am sure that if we had the chance to ask Brigham to explain his thoughts, we would come away with a very deeper understanding of his full intent...and the level of doctrine/speculation that was intended.

I don't know if this helps...but this is my take on the subject.

Regards,

Six

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So, you think someone should not pretend to be something they're not and I fully agree. But do you think that person is somehow deficient for leaving?

I definitely think they're lacking something- usually either a witness from the Holy Spirit or faith in him.

"Deficient" is an emotionally laden term that I don't think serves well.

As Brigham Young said, "A good man is a good man- whether in this Church or out of it."

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That is a difficult question, because what may be a legitimate reason to you, may not be an issue for me, and vice versa. There are some already on this board that have left and still discuss issues from both sides, so you would not be the first.

It would be best to be honest with your issues and not try to hide them, because that gives an image you may not want to portray either.

You will find that many members have their faith shaken for one reason or another, or go inactive, or what have you. Some leave because of it, and others use it to strengthen their faith.

We here will not be able to make choices for you, but we can give perspectives of our own understanding that may help you with your issues, or not. The more feedback we get from you the better we will be able to address your issues directly, but if you want your issues addressed, please give more detail about why things trouble you, and why a particular response did not answer your question.

You will find that when you are open and honest about things the tone of most here will change for the better...but when there is a perception that you are hiding something, then red flags and alarms go off all over the place.

My main concern has been with being labeled an "Angry, anti-, ex- mormon out to destroy the church." That's how my dad described Ann Eliza Young (Brigham Young's 19th wife) without ever even reading her autobiography Wife No. 19. I had come across it in my investigation into Mormonism as a teenager and told him it contained things I had never known about the early church. He is convinced that I have been brainwashed by anti-mormons and anti-mormon literature and refuses to have any discussion whatsoever about the problems I have with Mormonism. To give you more background, I was raised in a devout Mormon family who went to church every Sunday. I was always very inquisitive as a child and asked many questions that I never got very good answers for. This led me to be skeptical of Mormonism from the beginning. I was ordained as a deacon and have done baptisms for the dead but I stopped going to church as a teacher. I feel the church has been less than honest about its history because much of it is not pretty.

That's my story in a nutshell. Is there anything else you would like to know about me?

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[â?¦]My experience in the past has been that Mormons put me in a certain category and write me off once I tell my story. This will probably give me away, but do you think it is possible to leave Mormonism for a legitimate reason?

Wes,

I assume from the above that you have left Mormonism? If this is true, then I also assume (perhaps wrongly) that you are either seeking to solidify that you made the correct choice, or are attempting to reconcile the things which caused you to leave in order to return?

If itâ??s one of those things, I donâ??t believe this is the best place to do it (although it might not be wholly bad as a resource). Perhaps the best course of action is to start devoting some serious time to personal reflection, study, and above all, meditation. Maybe go for a walk, or camping, or (my favorite) a long drive with the radio off.

I donâ??t think anyone here will be able to help you feel completely justified in your choice to leave, only you can do that. Personally, if you feel that your lifeâ??s path does not include Mormonism (for whatever the reasons may be), then I am certainly in no position to argue with you. It is your journey, not mine, nor anyone elseâ??s.

I also donâ??t think anyone here will be able to help you reconcile all of the things that cause you to doubt Mormonism in a way that will make you comfortable with embracing it once again. If my assumptions are correct (which, admittedly the rarely are), youâ??ve got a bit of a journey ahead of you, and I wish you the best of luck in it.

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My main concern has been with being labeled an "Angry, anti-, ex- mormon out to destroy the church." That's how my dad described Ann Eliza Young (Brigham Young's 19th wife) without ever even reading her autobiography Wife No. 19. I had come across it in my investigation into Mormonism as a teenager and told him it contained things I had never known about the early church.

IIRC, and I may be mistaken, it also wasn't written by Young herself- but was largely ghost-written by prominent anti-Mormons of the time.

It is a largely fictitious and wholly sensationalist expose written specifically to outrage and distort.

He is convinced that I have been brainwashed by anti-mormons and anti-mormon literature and refuses to have any discussion whatsoever about the problems I have with Mormonism.
He's probably got more reasons than you think- not the least of which is that he may not feel adequate to the task.

You are welcome to raise your issues here.

But be warned- if you expect us to take the time to address your concerns, we expect you to pay attention and honestly consider the answers.

Merely waving your hands and saying "that's not good enough" won't cut it. If you plan to reject our answers as insufficient, you'd best be prepared to explain why they're deficient.

I'd also recommend that- as a courtesy to us- that you drop by www.fairlds.org and review the material there first. An awful lot of this stuff has already been asked and answered.

To give you more background, I was raised in a devout Mormon family who went to church every Sunday. I was always very inquisitive as a child and asked many questions that I never got very good answers for. This led me to be skeptical of Mormonism from the beginning. I was ordained as a deacon and have done baptisms for the dead but I stopped going to church as a teacher. I feel the church has been less than honest about its history because much of it is not pretty.

Let me be the first to say that you've just rolled up every anti-Mormon chestnut into a single post. It's almost literally a boiler-plate recitation that every anti-Mormon "questioner" posts.

That's not a criticism by the way- merely a statement of fact.

The "history" issue has got to be the number one canard used by critics of the Church- and if you're objective- you'll discover that it simply doesn't hold water.

The Church has never hidden it's history. All of the supposedly "embarassing" materials has been readily and publically available.

The only time the Church restricts access to historical documents is either at the request of the family, because of specific legal and privacy considerations, or because the materials themselves are fragile or in danger of being lost or damaged. Even ardent critics are given access to our archives.

Did you know that our archival practices (meaning how people get into our library vaults) are identical to those of most major Universities?

It's true that what we teach in Sunday School is the "lite" version- but there's a reason for that.

The three hours we have on Sunday are there for the teaching of the Gospel. Given the limited time available, we have to prioritize.

We are called and commissioned to teach that which will save souls and bring people closer to Christ.

Arguments about whether Brigham Young had cream corn or mashed potatoes with his pork chops on Aug 11, 1883 distract from that mission.

The Sunday School curricula is intended to teach only that which is necessary to the Gospel, not prepare people for Ultimate Professional Championship Level Trivial Pursuit.

For the most part, I have to agree with Stuess about your journey and the road ahead.

So long as you're not deliberately wasting my time and bandwidth, however, I am more than willing to discuss your concerns in a forthright and above board manner.

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My main concern has been with being labeled an "Angry, anti-, ex- mormon out to destroy the church." That's how my dad described Ann Eliza Young (Brigham Young's 19th wife) without ever even reading her autobiography Wife No. 19. I had come across it in my investigation into Mormonism as a teenager and told him it contained things I had never known about the early church. He is convinced that I have been brainwashed by anti-mormons and anti-mormon literature and refuses to have any discussion whatsoever about the problems I have with Mormonism. To give you more background, I was raised in a devout Mormon family who went to church every Sunday. I was always very inquisitive as a child and asked many questions that I never got very good answers for. This led me to be skeptical of Mormonism from the beginning. I was ordained as a deacon and have done baptisms for the dead but I stopped going to church as a teacher. I feel the church has been less than honest about its history because much of it is not pretty.

That's my story in a nutshell. Is there anything else you would like to know about me?

While it is true that much of the early church history is questionable at best, where do you think it would be appropriate to teach about the disturbing parts? I don't really see a place in the 3 hour Sunday block to teach about the problems. Should home teachers bring a lesson once a month about something disturbing?

I'd love to hear your suggestion.

Personally, I would love to see firesides explicitly designed to address some of these issues. I know Consig was involved in one last year and, iirc, it was a success.

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I'd also recommend that- as a courtesy to us- that you drop by www.fairlds.org and review the material there first. An awful lot of this stuff has already been asked and answered.

Sorry...pet peeve of mine. It has been addressed, which is a far cry from being answered.

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Wow, 57 posts and not a single link to the whole talk?

And why does that quote remind me of this picture?

93094_samuraihusband_122_13lo.jpg

Jeez how lazy are people these days? I provided a link in the first page. Others provided the JD url. Several times.

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