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I know there have been a couple threads about this already, but they were closed for unknown reasons and since this story was told in my Sunday School class yesterday I wanted to make an attempt at this subject again. Here are links to three versions of this story that were posted about before.
And here is another blog that I found with a similar account:
All four versions have differences elements to the story, but some similar threads exist. The person in my ward brought this story up as a faith promoting missionary experience. This made me think about an NPR Hidden Brain episode that I listened to recently that talked about how we perceive the phenomena of coincidence. Very interesting podcast on the subject, I recommend checking it out.
When stories like this are shared, is it a good thing for our faith community? Knowing that many more members will have family members who leave the church and never return, isn't sharing a story like this more likely to produce false hope in people, making people question whether they are righteous enough to deserve this kind of a blessing from God.
Does it do more harm than good to share stories like this, considering how rare they are? Or is false hope actually a net positive thing for people to hold on to? Thoughts?
By Five Solas
Driving back to the office after a client meeting last Thursday afternoon, listening to KCBS (public radio from Bellevue College) in the car – and I heard this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lql7USZG96E.
Mostly, I think it’s a great piece of topical pop & I wanted to make sure nobody here missed it. But we need to make it sufficiently debatable so the mods don’t punt this to “Social Hall”—so let’s have a bit of substance to get us there.
To borrow from a review by Spin Magazine—
We meet him [singer/songwriter Jens Lekman] right away on “To Know Your Mission,” Life Will See You Now’s first song. It’s 1997, and a Mormon missionary in Gothenburg encounters a teenager “who takes his headphones off and introduces himself as Jens.” The Mormon’s a stand-in for existential certainty, and Jens considers his own. He’s not sure his songs are any good; maybe he’ll be a psychiatrist, or a social worker, like his dad. “I just want to listen to people’s stories,” he realizes. The tempo speeds way up and then slows way down, like time flowing around an epiphany, which arrives in the present tense: “I’m serving you.” It’s the first time Lekman has so clearly defined the organizing ethics always hinted at in his music: that people are funny, listening to them breeds empathy, empathy breeds love, and love is the highest service to the world.
A Mormon as a stand-in for existential certainty. Anyone care to defend the sense in Lekman’s lyrics? (Hint: It sure ain’t gonna be mfbukowski.) Please, just to keep us out of Social Hall.
PS. Apologies in advance to rongo who feels “pop culture” (in which Lekman is playing a part) distracts kids and contributes to attrition from the LDS Church. But then, maybe he’s right. Or maybe his objection has already been answered. Let readers decide.
But in a world of mouths
I want to be an ear
If there's a purpose to all this
Then that's why God put me here
--Jens Lekman, 2017
I'm looking for anyone who has served a mission to fill out my survey for my high school class! Doesn't matter your gender, age, or when you did it! It is also okay if you didn't finish the mission. It's 20 questions (mostly multiple choice) and will take 5-10 minutes.
Thanks in advance!
One of the most moving of the principles taught by Jesus was his charge to his Apostles to preach the gospel throughout the land "without purse or script", looking to the flowers and birds along their path and putting their faith in the God of nature to provide their own sustenance. Was this a one time test of faith, or a principle God intends us to muster the faith to practice? I understand that in the early part of the Restoration movement, the Apostles and other Elders did practice this style of preaching, but at some point it was done away with. I believe Ogden Kraut claims to be the last missionary to have gone without purse or script, but who knows? Was there ever a directive to stop sending out missionaries without purse or script? To what extent do the Apostles today travel/preach without purse or script? I know that to our modern sensibilities, going out into the world to preach penniless seems uncomfortable, strange, and even ludicrous (something that crazed street preacher downtown who is also a rabid alcoholic might do ), but is it right to end a practice prescribed by Christ, even in our own dispensation (see D&C 24, 84) just because it is weird and "not the way the world works anymore"? Your thoughts please...
PS. I understand how different the world is now and how missionary work is changing, but I ask the question nonetheless