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most incredible missionary story

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13 hours ago, hagoth7 said:

I take it that you and Scott know each other well, and that you're more familiar with DB than I am. So you may have the more accurate bead on things here. But I lack that vantage point.

So for now, I simply opt to take the OP at face value, that the credibility of the entire newspaper was being called into question. If so, *that* ain't cool.

DB?

I agree with this and would like to hear more from DB too.  I can see that Scott shouldn't have to fact check a story told in a speech he's reporting on.  However, I do believe Scott thinks it's the truth or he wouldn't have related the story again (and didn't necessarily have to repeat it in detail and with quotes, etc.).  That's the part that DB shouldn't question, IMO.  

Was Scott assigned to cover this speech or did he choose to as an opinion piece?  Either way, I doubt he'd repeat something he didn't trust to be true.  

 

Edited by JulieM

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11 hours ago, omni said:

I don't doubt the main components of the story actually happened.  With 75,000 missionaries meeting thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people each year, one should expect some incredible coincidences / miracles such as this to occur.

What I find unbelievable is that stories such as these are so rare that it made the Deseret News (and making the rounds on social media).  With God leading and guiding his missionaries why don't we hear about these miraculous stories all the time?

I can think of a number just from my mission and those serving at the time srounds me. I think it's a mix of whether we decide to share them or not and who hears them. And then if who hears them decides to use it as a lesson example for church. And then if that happens to catch traction. Fact is most miracle stories just aren't seen.

 By DB's reaction I was expecting something really crazy out there. But this to me is beautiful but not even close to surprising. It's the God I've come to know and believe in: one who does as much as He can to bring us home. 

 

 

with luv,

BD 

Edited by BlueDreams

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So...there's more evidence this story happened than there is for actual Nephites existing. Cool story, Elder Holland. Cool story. ;) 

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14 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

The LDS Church News is a biased sourced, so one would expect it to take Elder Holland's word at face value.  Please don't misunderstand me; when I say it is biased, I'm saying it is supporting the LDS church.  I'm not saying it is bad.  There is nothing wrong with it since it is an official publication of the LDS church.  In fact, at the end of the article, there is this disclaimer:

L'Osservatore Romano is the official newspaper of The Vatican, and you can be sure that it is biased towards the Catholic Church.  But that's ok, too, because it is in the same category as the LDS Church News.

So, from my point-of-view, the OP is rather silly.

 

ETA: I notice that the Oxford comma is missing in that disclaimer... Scott, ignore the silliness of the OP and weigh in on your thoughts on the Oxford comma.  Is it against the LDS Church News style guide?  I'm a big fan of that comma... ;)

 

The Associated Press Style Book, which, we follow in general, forbids the use of the Oxford comma. I agree with you, but I'm afraid that after decades of adhering to the strictures of AP style, my "muscle memory" is such that I almost never use it. 

To those who don't know what we're talking about: This refers to the convention of including a comma after the penultimate item in a series as opposed to not doing so. 

Thus, the Oxford comma is in this sentence: Three of our children have had measles, mumps, and chicken pox. 

It is not used in this sentence: Three of our children have had measles, mumps and chicken pox. 

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16 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Hey, Scott's picture is at the end of that article. Nice to see you, Scott :)

 

I think I would look better were I not so heavy. But the photo is only a few years old and, I'm afraid, quite accurate. I plan to update it once I have lost a significant degree of weight. I invite you to check back in a few years. 

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This has been an interesting thread, and there have been some good insights posted. But I'm determined to follow Juliann's advice to not engage with DB. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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9 hours ago, strappinglad said:

I would like to ask this of Sidney Rigdon , or for that matter Oliver Cowdrey , even though he did eventually return to the flock in Utah. Hey , even Peter was a bit shaky at first despite all the miracles he witnessed. The natural man can sure get in the way sometimes.

Unfortunately, Oliver never made it to Utah.  He did get rebaptized by Brigham at Winter Quarters, but he died of pneumonia before he could make the trek.

It is understandable that some would want confirmation of powerful stories -- in light of the whoppers told by Elder Paul Dunne, and in light of the very damaging falsehoods spread by Rolling Stone magazine.  People in high places do tell fibs, even when it is not to their advantage sometimes.  Perhaps something pathological about it.

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The Associated Press Style Book, which, we follow in general, forbids the use of the Oxford comma. I agree with you, but I'm afraid that after decades of adhering to the strictures of AP style, my "muscle memory" is such that I almost never use it. 

To those who don't know what we're talking about: This refers to the convention of including a comma after the penultimate item in a series as opposed to not doing so. 

Thus, the Oxford comma is in this sentence: Three of our children have had measles, mumps, and chicken pox. 

It is not used in this sentence: Three of our children have had measles, mumps and chicken pox. 

Perhaps you saw in the news a few months ago that a court case was won because the lack of the Oxford comma in the law made it ambiguous. Here's the NPR story:

The Oxford Comma: Great For Listing, Pontificating, And Winning Court Cases

Quote

The milk and cream company based in Portland, Maine, likely never appreciated the serial comma — also known as an Oxford comma — so much as it did Monday, when the lack of that little curved stroke cost the company an appeals court ruling that centered on overtime rules for drivers.

Specifically, the ruling in favor of Oakhurst delivery drivers came down to Maine state law, which dictates that the following activities are not subject to overtime protections:

"The canning, processing, preserving,
freezing, drying, marketing, storing,
packing for shipment or distribution of:
(1) Agricultural produce;
(2) Meat and fish products; and
(3) Perishable foods."

The trouble rests with "or." The presence of that tiny conjunction without a comma as a companion makes for some muddled meanings: Is "packing for shipment or distribution" exempt from overtime regulations? Or are both "packing for shipment" and "distribution" exempt?

These aren't idle questions for the five delivery drivers who sued Oakhurst, because as Quartz notes, "the drivers do distribute, but do not pack, the perishable food." In other words, one interpretation of the law's list would make the drivers eligible for overtime pay; the other would mean they won't get those extra dollars for extra time on the job.

 

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31 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Unfortunately, Oliver never made it to Utah.  He did get rebaptized by Brigham at Winter Quarters, but he died of pneumonia before he could make the trek.

 

I stand corrected. The flock was moving to Utah and Oliver didn't catch up. Wiki says Oliver was re-baptized by Orson Hyde. True?

Edited by strappinglad

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22 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

I stand corrected. The flock was moving to Utah and Oliver didn't catch up. Wiki says Oliver was re-baptized by Orson Hyde. True?

Yes. 

Before heading west, he went to Richmond, Mo., to visit his brother-in-law and fellow witness David Whitmer. That's where he died 

I saw the graves of both in Richmond just last month. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

This has been an interesting thread, and there have been some good insights posted. But I'm determined to follow Juliann's advice to not engage with DB. 

If that is what you want to do (or not do).  You have every right to defend yourself here, but are under no obligation to do so, of course.  I don't know what your history is with DB (or if you even have one or have interacted with him in the past) and you may not want to put in the time or energy to engage.  However, I wouldn't not defend myself just because someone else advised me not to and I'd make that choice myself (which you may have already done on your own).  

ETA:

I don't mean to infer that you even have anything to defend here as I believe you wrote an honest story regarding Elder Holland's speech.  But, you have every right to address anything directed at you in the OP, just to clarify.

Edited by ALarson

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3 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

So...there's more evidence this story happened than there is for actual Nephites existing....

...famous last words before being trampled by a herd of curelom.  B:)

(Joshing you here Honor. Would not wish harm upon you.)

Edited by hagoth7

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12 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Any posters here who used to be hard-core Mormon (TBM, whatever that means), went on a mission, had experiences like this, but aren't really Mormon anymore?

I'd be interested in hearing how they would interpret those experiences now.

I often have wondered the same thing about Laman and Lemuel in the BoM.  I also think of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris (the 3 witnesses).  All 3 of them left the church at some point, and only 2 of them returned. How could they leave after experiencing what they experienced?  While they never denied their experiences, it is all too easy to find reasons to leave.  Others do forget or rationalize their experiences away.

I then think of my own experiences.  I too experienced a miraculous conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ and have witnessed other miraculous conversions on my mission.  Remarkable and unforgettable experiences.  Yet, at moments of weakness and doubt, I have caught myself questioning "is this all real?"  It is remarkable to me just how delicate the spirit is, and how quickly we can be deceived by the cunning of the adversary when we take our eyes off of the mark.  Which is why one of the most powerful injunctions of all scriptures is to "remember".  That is why I am careful to keep a prayer journal that I write in after prayer/meditation.  In low moments, I turn to my journal and am edified as I remember.  As I take the sacrament each week, I am filled in remembrance of the blood of Christ and promise to "always remember Him".  

I think that remembering is more than half the battle.  It seems that with each day that passes, we enter a new vail of forgetfulness, and unless we actively work to remember and retain the spirit with us through new experiences, forgetfulness takes over, the spirit is withdrawn, and our heart is wiped clean of all spiritual impressions.  We are then left to rationalize our experiences away as moments of "confirmation bias" or "delusional hallucinations", or other such rationalizations that I have heard. 

Edited by pogi

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19 hours ago, DBMormon said:

http://www.mormonlight.org/2017/06/30/elder-holland-shares-one-incredible-missionary-stories-time/

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865683974/The-divine-companionship-includes-the-Holy-Ghost-in-missionary-work-Elder-Holland-says.html
....
I find the story as told in the deseret news to be unbelievable and would like to verify this story being based in a factual account.  How do I do that?  


This is not the first time this story has been told, so I have to believe it is the truth and actually happened (with a few differences in the details when told).  

Here is where Kim B. Clark related it:  

"Before I go I want to tell an amazing story we were told at the devotional last night by Kim. B Clark of The Seventy. He said there was this man who grew up in Idaho Falls in a faithful Mormon family, who ran away from home when he was 14 and went down a dark path of life. He joined the Hell's angels and got heavily into drugs and alcohol. Oune day he was passed out in the front yard of the home the Hell's Angels have in L.A California (a place to dry out if you are too wasted to drive), and some Mormon missionaries came walking up their street. He started mocking them, because he used to be Mormon and thought these elders were so naive. They had two dogs in the yard that were trained to attack and kill anyone who tried to come into the yard, so he wasn't too worried about them trying to preach to him when they walked by. But then when they got to the end of the street, they talked for a minute and turned around and came back to the Hell's Angels house. The dogs started growling and acting like they were going to attack. But as soon as the Elders stepped foot on their sidewalk, the dogs walked away and laid down and went to sleep. Then one of the elders came up to the wasted man from Idaho, and said, "What's up?" The man said, “Oh, nothing,” and then the elder asked, "Where are you from?" and he said "Idaho Falls." Then the elder said, "No way! Me too! Do you happen to know the So-and-sos?" And then the wasted man said, "Yeah, they're my parents." Then the elder said something that changed both of their lives. "They're my parents, too."

It was the Hell's Angel's younger brother, all grown up and called to serve a mission in California. The elder said to his older brother he never knew what happened to him, but that he knows that God sent him there to bring him home. He ended up helping his brother turn his life around, go back to church, find Jesus again, move back home to Idaho, and reconnect with their parents. He ended up getting married in the temple five years later. The Hell's Angel ended up being in the Stake Presidency (local church leadership) with Kim B. Clark, which is where he learned the story from." http://hermanaalisonknight.blogspot.com/2015/11/one-month-down-17-to-go.html
 

And. here is where Elder Holland told the story another time:

In our many discussions at the seminar, Elder Holland shared an account, not too dissimilar from that of the prodigal son we read about in Luke 15.  He told of a man that was born and raised in Southern Idaho, who had grown up in the Church, and had all the blessings of the gospel laid before him.  In his late teens he decided he wanted his inheritance, of which there was none, jumped on his motorcycle, and moved to the Big Apple to find a more thrilling and better life.  Never to think of family and home again, he was done with what he was taught to be true.  Upon arriving in New York City, he began to sow a lifestyle of immorality, drug abuse, tattoos, and worldliness beyond reproach.  While not necessarily happy, he supposed it was better than anything better he could be doing, so he sank deeper and deeper into a pit.  

One morning he woke up and decided he'd had enough of New York and that he'd make a new start on the sunny beaches of Southern California.  He rode his motorcycle on the long journey and intentionally drove as far away as he could from his small town in Idaho.  Along the way he hooked up with a new motorcycle gang, and upon arriving in California, continued the party lifestyle, added more tattoos, and distanced himself further and further from who he had once been.  

A few years went by and he made his home in a shabby part of town, guarded by his two Rottweilers, up to no good.  One day a pair of Mormon missionaries were walking past his house, and as trained, the two vicious dogs leapt from the front porch and raced towards the sidewalk, only being held back by long chains around their neck and a fence that surrounded the yard.  The dogs came barking, with teeth baring, saliva flying, and eager to keep all away.  As wise missionaries, they of course avoided this particular house, no need to risk life and limb on trying to get into this door.  

As they walked down street, some thirty yards down the road now, the senior companion looked at the junior and said, "we have to go back to that house."  The junior companion, thinking his senior companion was absolutely insane, reluctantly followed his companion back towards certain death.  As they approached the fence, the Rottweilers sprang from the porch and went into their usual attack mode.  This time however, instead of trying to break the chains that held them back, they came to the fences edge, turned around, and went back and sat on the porch.  

Seeing the dogs retreat, the emboldened elders passed through the gate, walked up to the porch, and knocked on the front door.  The now heavily tattooed, twenty years older, and worn down by life man, opened the door and stared down the two missionaries.  Unfazed by the image of the man in front of them, the elders began with the message they had come prepared to share and before they could get much out, he asked them where they were from.  The junior companion said he was from a town in Utah, and the senior companion said he was from a small town in Southern Idaho.  Surprised that this Idaho missionary was from the same part of the world he was from, he asked the missionary the name of the town, and was even more surprised to hear they were from the same town!  Now interested, the man asked if the missionary knew about such and such a man from this small town.  The missionary responded that he did know him.  The man then said, "that is my father", and then the elder smiled and said, "he is my father too."

Elder Holland then went on to tell us that he's kept track of this man.  He's now returned to Southern Idaho, tattoos and all, married, and soon to be sealed in the temple.  His point in telling us this story was to remind us as mission presidents that God, not only knows his children, but he continues to watch over them.  He stated, "Imagine what the transfer board in heaven must look like and what it must have taken to get this young elder, at this time in his life, to a place where he could rescue his brother.  Imagine the prayers that came from his parents, who for years, had never given up hope.  Imagine the inspiration that must have come to a mission president who knew where to assign a missionary to this particular area.  Imagine what had to occur for the Spirit to prompt this senior companion to heed a prompting and return to an undesirable task." http://www.texashoustonsouthmission.com/weekly-presidents-pen/2016/4/25/presidents-pen-4-25-16

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"It is remarkable to me just how delicate the spirit is.."

I wouldn't say "the spirit", but "our spirits".  It becomes clear why they are delicate when we realize this and that as with all other aspects of ourselves, our ego is heavily involved.

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1 hour ago, hagoth7 said:

...famous last words before being trampled by a herd of curelom.  B:)

(Joshing you here Honor. Would not wish harm upon you.)

Since cureloms are imaginary anyway, I'm picturing it like being in the middle of a puppy pile. So my pleasure!

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Yes. 

Before heading west, he went to Richmond, Mo., to visit his brother-in-law and fellow witness David Whitmer. That's where he died 

I saw the graves of both in Richmond just last month. 

Thanks for the first-hand report, Scott.  You know, if you hadn't testified to seeing them with your own two eyes, some people on this thread might have been prone to doubt you.  Would you be willing to sign a sworn, notarized affidavit? <_< 

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44 minutes ago, JulieM said:


This is not the first time this story has been told, so I have to believe it is the truth and actually happened (with a few differences in the details when told).  

Here is where Kim B. Clark related it ...

I dunno, Julie. :unknw::unsure: 

If we're not gonna trust an Apostle, why should we trust a lowly Seventy? <_< 

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It seems to me there are many, many bona fide news reports that protect identities, allow anonymity, etc. under professional standards. So I think this OP is about the motivation behind hiring a private investigator, or conducting a journalistic investigation to verify the story of a man coming back into the fold.

How would the public be served, and where is the virtue, in unmasking the identities of  those whose privacy and anonymity are being protected in this article? Is there really a demand for such information under these circumstances?

Edited by CV75

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

"It is remarkable to me just how delicate the spirit is.."

I wouldn't say "the spirit", but "our spirits".  It becomes clear why they are delicate when we realize this and that as with all other aspects of ourselves, our ego is heavily involved.

Very true about our egos.  The spirit doesn't like to stick around long once our ego shows up to play.  That is what I meant by "the spirit" is delicate or sensitive.  I think it is sensitive to sin, to ego/pride, etc. and will not dwell for long in unholy temples.  If or eyes are not continually fixed on the glory of God, then we can easily fall into a state of spiritual forgetfulness as the spirit retreats.  Daily scripture study, prayer, and repentance (as needed) are important elements of sustaining spiritual remembrance.   

Oxford comma included for misererenobis. 

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8 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The Associated Press Style Book, which, we follow in general, forbids the use of the Oxford comma. I agree with you, but I'm afraid that after decades of adhering to the strictures of AP style, my "muscle memory" is such that I almost never use it. 

To those who don't know what we're talking about: This refers to the convention of including a comma after the penultimate item in a series as opposed to not doing so. 

Thus, the Oxford comma is in this sentence: Three of our children have had measles, mumps, and chicken pox. 

It is not used in this sentence: Three of our children have had measles, mumps and chicken pox. 

Strange that the people who are least likely to employ the Oxford Comma are well-educated Brits.  I am so accustomed to using the serial Oxford comma that I never even think about it.

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6 hours ago, strappinglad said:

I stand corrected. The flock was moving to Utah and Oliver didn't catch up. Wiki says Oliver was re-baptized by Orson Hyde. True?

Probably true.  I was winging it, and also stand corrected.

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22 hours ago, omni said:

I don't doubt the main components of the story actually happened.  With 75,000 missionaries meeting thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people each year, one should expect some incredible coincidences / miracles such as this to occur.

What I find unbelievable is that stories such as these are so rare that it made the Deseret News (and making the rounds on social media).  With God leading and guiding his missionaries why don't we hear about these miraculous stories all the time?

I can tell you why this one made the Deseret News (or, more precisely, the LDS Church News). It is because Elder Holland made the story part of a talk that I was on assignment to report. I would have reported the talk whether or not the story had been part of it. 

Some experienced news writers might complain that I "buried the lead," as it is known in the profession, by putting the story at the end of the summary, just as Elder Holland put it at the end of his talk. I did this because I sensed Elder Holland's concern, confirmed later in personal communication, that the story would upstage and overshadow the rest of the talk. 

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8 hours ago, ALarson said:

If that is what you want to do (or not do).  You have every right to defend yourself here, but are under no obligation to do so, of course.  I don't know what your history is with DB (or if you even have one or have interacted with him in the past) and you may not want to put in the time or energy to engage.  However, I wouldn't not defend myself just because someone else advised me not to and I'd make that choice myself (which you may have already done on your own).  

ETA:

I don't mean to infer that you even have anything to defend here as I believe you wrote an honest story regarding Elder Holland's speech.  But, you have every right to address anything directed at you in the OP, just to clarify.

Thank you. 

Im heeding Juliann's advice not out of obligation but because it is wise. 

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