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All communication depends upon a level of shared understanding and commonly accepted assumptions. If the communication is verbal, then much of the shared understanding and commonly accepted assumptions has to do with the meanings of words, their semantic ranges and how context influences those meanings. For example, when in the context of a Temple Recommend interview, the interviewer uses such words as "Testimony," "Saviour," "Word of Wisdom," "Law of Chastity" and suchlike, it is mutually understood that these terms take on specifically Mormon meanings, and that short "yes" or "no" answers convey the same information to the hearer as they do to the speaker.
If a person is not familiar with Mormon terminology, those meanings will not be obvious. But if an interviewee is indeed familiar with them, but chooses instead to interpret those terms in alternative ways without informing the interviewer, - as advocated by Mister John Dehlin, Ph.D. - then s/he has deliberately set out to deceive the interviewer, and is engaging in what I call "lexical duplicity."
None if this would be particularly controversial, were it not for the fact that there are in this forum one or two ideological friends of Mister Dr Dehlin who see nothing wrong with such behaviour, and flatly deny that any duplicity is involved.
This raises a serious question, however. If those posters cannot see any problem with such behaviour in a Temple Recommend interview, in which the overriding principle is one of uberrimae fedei, then how can they balk at such things in this forum, where caveat lector so clearly applies? How are we to know, when such a poster uses any well-known Mormon term, that they are using it in its expected Mormon sense, and not in some private sense that is kindly withheld from us, perhaps to avoid distressing us?
To embrace lexical duplicity of the Dehlin kind is to undermine, if not outright destroy, the trust without which any effective communication must fail. This is in no sense a "personal insult," but a serious problem that needs a serious resolution. If anyone tries to pretend that this is a "personal insult," then they are merely sweeping the problem under the rug.
In the video above, The University of Utah hosted noted LDS scientific (peer-reviewed-published) researcher, founder of the SARS vaccine, and biographer of David O. McKay, Gregory A. Prince. He's introduced here:
Elder Quentin L. Cook opens Black Church Leadership Summit
Mormon Newsroom YouTube bit
Transcript of Elder Cook's remarks
Highlights for me: Mentions meeting Bernice King while (both) attending the Pope (sweet); affirming LGBT rights in the society (nice); that (unlike many churches of the day) blacks (the few) and whites worshiped together in the same early Mormon Church (let's not forget that; beautiful); 'battle' and 'attack' imagery (I really challenge that, not how I see the world, but I find it fascinating that our religious, in fact human, struggle continues to be encapsulized that way); his challenge to the challenge to the colonial narrative (cool, it's time; although let's not overdo it, colonial narrative, not to mention colonialism, is alive and well and still doing damage); continued affirmation of the Church's very specific stance on religious freedom (what it means and what it looks like) (ok); reiterating the Church's persecution foundation (what?! sigh; let's DO forget that).
And this spectacular quote from the Prophet Joseph.
///A few months before he was killed by a mob in 1844, our prophet, Joseph Smith, taught that moral agency was essential for each individual: “God cannot save or damn a man only on the principle that every man acts, chooses and worships for himself; hence the importance of thrusting from us every spirit of bigotry and intolerance towards a man’s religious sentiments, that spirit which has drenched the earth with blood.” ///
My hero. (The Prophet, not Elder Cook )
Lots more in the talk . . .
Last year the Annual United Methodist convention agreed to disagree about the possibility of accepting gays in their congregations and leadership which seemed intended to quell talks of division within the church.
A new story describes how an Episcopal Bishop who was voted in to lead a Denver area region of the United Methodist Church is now subject to church discipline for violating church law by living in a SSM. It appears to me that the UMC group that voted this Bishop into leadership knew very well that it would restart the conversation and controversy of this topic within the UMC.
I find this fascinating for many reasons and feel it relates to the familiar struggle we feel within Mormonism for greater inclusion. The issue of SSM and how to welcome/accommodate/accept the LGBT community within the church community has shifted dramatically over such a short period of time that many organizations and churches are either scrambling to figure things out or clenching tightly to their traditions. Change is hard and often takes time. The UMC may not be quite ready for this shift yet and the LDS church is no where near making this kind of dramatic shift, but I'm confident that one day UMC will change. I don't know about the LDS and find myself wondering if there will eventually be a purposeful division within both churches on this issue.
I was really questioning something... Is the Mormon Church really supporting the LGBT?? The gays and lesbians aren't going to stay married or still be "in love" in the afterlife. You guys know this, right? I'm guessing this is just a way to attract more members, and it's a pretty effective way to do it. But please, we aren't seriously condoning this, are we? Must I remind you people the deadly disease epidemic these people have brought on themselves, and many other innocent individuals? Not to mention that at least a 1/3rd of the people who are gay or lesbian are only that way because of traumatic experiences of sexual abuse, which alters people's minds and bodies in extremely dysfunctional ways, including sexual confusion. The other 2/3rds is composed of people who are just born that way. So we are supporting the biproduct of sexual abuse and mental illness, we are supporting the abominable results of sexually transmitted diseases that come with it, and now the foundation of our church is finally hanging by a thread, JUST like our own prophecy said!! This is what I hate about entropy...