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How much should religion cost?

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10 hours ago, bluebell said:

This question, as it's asked in the video, presupposes that there is nothing that God wants His children to spend money on more than taking care of the physical needs of the poor.  I don't think we have any scriptures that support that assertion (and one scripture that contradicts it).

I very much believe that God does want us to take care of the poor and those in need (and probably very few of us are doing enough in that regard) but I don't believe that physical and monetary needs are the only needs that He wants met for His children.

Indeed. And if all resources were dedicated to raising the poor out of poverty, who would make the hamburgers? Who would buy the hamburgers?

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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I see the value in beautiful architecture which points our hearts to God and elevates our spirits.

I love the utilitarian nature of our chapels and the great purpose and meaning in our temples.

I'm not willing to suggest that we get rid of either.

You could look at the expense of BYU and make a similar argument as the guy in the video -- and yet I feel very blessed to have received a great education there.

I think the challenge that rests upon us as Latter-day Saints is to constantly watch ourselves and make sure that we don't let these beautiful temples, built to honor God, become Golden Calves.

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15 hours ago, rockpond said:

I think the challenge that rests upon us as Latter-day Saints is to constantly watch ourselves and make sure that we don't let these beautiful temples, built to honor God, become Golden Calves.

Doing the sacred and important work in them rather than viewing them as beautiful symbols of our faith that are admired rather than used?  Interesting point, if that is what you mean.  These temples have a purpose that is greater than their appearance.  Mosques also serve an important function in the Muslim faith.  I'd like to better understand the function of cathedrals.  They are indeed beautiful and draw one's attention to God.  Is that the main pirpose behind it?

Edited by Meerkat

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13 hours ago, Meerkat said:

Doing the sacred and important work in them rather than viewing them as beautiful symbols of our faith that are admired rather than used?  Interesting point, if that is what you mean.  These temples have a purpose that is greater than their appearance.  Mosques also serve an important function in the Muslim faith.  I'd like to better understand the function of cathedrals.  They are indeed beautiful and draw one's attention to God.  Is that the main pirpose behind it?

When I was a really young kid I remember thinking the tabernacle organ was “the gospel” since it was so prominent at conference and was on the cover of the hymn books.

I asked my mom one Sunday in the chapel before sacrament meeting started if Heaven was above us. She said yes. The chapel had recessed areas near the ceiling so I assumed heaven was there and spent a lot of time looking up there hoping an angel would stick their head out to look down on us.

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13 hours ago, Meerkat said:

I'd like to better understand the function of cathedrals.  They are indeed beautiful and draw one's attention to God.  Is that the main pirpose behind it?

Yes, beautiful churches are supposed to bring us closer to God. Catholic theology (borrowing from the Greeks) teaches that the Good, the True, and the Beautiful lead us towards God. Sometimes people forget about the Beautiful.

Imagine during the times of the building of the great gothic cathedrals -- there was no recorded music, there were no pictures/videos. You walk into a cathedral with high vaulted ceilings with beautiful statues, mosaics, paintings, stained glass windows. He hear choirs singing and/or scholas chanting. It was meant to be a sublime experience to hint at the beauty of God. It still should be, though I don't think we are as blown away by it because of our access to recorded music and pictures.

Also, just to clarify, a cathedral technically is the bishop's church, where his chair is (where the name cathedral comes from). You can have an ugly cathedral (that's the case in my diocese) and a beautiful regular church that is not a cathedral. Typically, though, the bishop's church is beautiful, hence our use of cathedral for any beautiful Catholic church.

 

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

Yes, beautiful churches are supposed to bring us closer to God. Catholic theology (borrowing from the Greeks) teaches that the Good, the True, and the Beautiful lead us towards God. Sometimes people forget about the Beautiful.

Imagine during the times of the building of the great gothic cathedrals -- there was no recorded music, there were no pictures/videos. You walk into a cathedral with high vaulted ceilings with beautiful statues, mosaics, paintings, stained glass windows. He hear choirs singing and/or scholas chanting. It was meant to be a sublime experience to hint at the beauty of God. It still should be, though I don't think we are as blown away by it because of our access to recorded music and pictures.

Also, just to clarify, a cathedral technically is the bishop's church, where his chair is (where the name cathedral comes from). You can have an ugly cathedral (that's the case in my diocese) and a beautiful regular church that is not a cathedral. Typically, though, the bishop's church is beautiful, hence our use of cathedral for any beautiful Catholic church.

 

I visited many cathedrals, all over Europe, when I lived and worked there. Being able to visit so many is something I'm eternally grateful for.  They are truly awe-inspiring, even without the choirs and scholas, filled as they are with complex symbolism within architecture, the plan of the building, sacred art, windows, and adornments.  I can only imagine what it would have been like in the medieval era, filled with priests, music, chant, songs of praise and clouds of incense around the altars - an earthly parallel to the heavenly liturgy described in John's Apocalypse, 'on earth, as it is in heaven,' just as in the ancient temple of Jerusalem.  The liturgy of our cathedrals and churches (Christian temples) preserves the purpose and worship of the ancient temple liturgy and, as such, our cathedrals and churches should be richly adorned.   Wherever there are altars, choirs and chant, incense, veil symbolism and priestly robes of glory, there the Holy of Holies and the worship of God is found.

Edited by Spammer
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I'd say about $3.50.

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9 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

It was meant to be a sublime experience to hint at the beauty of God. It still should be, though I don't think we are as blown away by it because of our access to recorded music and pictures

I've been in several of your cathedrals from Rome to London.  It was a sublime experience for me in every case, just as you said.  And I would say I was blown away by them.  The workmanship was inspiring.  I thought the craftsmen must have done their work with great love for God.  The sculptures in Rome (Michelangelos) were nearly alive.  All the art and artists communicated a beautiful testimony of Jesus Christ and His early Christian followers.  

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On 11/29/2018 at 12:09 PM, Bernard Gui said:

Indeed. And if all resources were dedicated to raising the poor out of poverty, who would make the hamburgers? Who would buy the hamburgers?

 

That an underclass is required for a functioning society is a satanic conceit.

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On 11/27/2018 at 1:53 PM, ksfisher said:

If we took all the money that has been spent on churches, temples, etc throughout time and divided it among the poor, again throughout time, it wouldn't really make a difference.

It might not make a difference to you or me, but I'm guessing it would make a difference to the poor that were helped. 

At least, I'm guessing they'd notice the difference more than God would.

I'm also wondering how anyone thinks God would think less of the Church if more money was allocated to the poor instead of the Temple fund.  Like, how would that conversation go if President Nelson cut Temple construction by 50% and gave that money directly to the poor and needy all over the world, and then he died and had to sit down for his stewardship interview with God. 

Do we really think God's going to look at his notes and be disappointed that instead of bumping the Temple count from 155 to 162, President Nelson gave a bunch of money to the poor?

Edited by cinepro

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DP

Edited by cinepro

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15 minutes ago, cinepro said:

It might not make a difference to you or me, but I'm guessing it would make a difference to the poor that were helped. 

At least, I'm guessing they'd notice the difference more than God would.

I'm also wondering how anyone thinks God would think less of the Church if more money was allocated to the poor instead of the Temple fund.  Like, how would that conversation go if President Nelson cut Temple construction by 50% and gave that money directly to the poor and needy all over the world, and then he died and had to sit down for his stewardship interview with God. 

Do we really think God's going to look at his notes and be disappointed that instead of bumping the Temple count from 155 to 162, President Nelson gave a bunch of money to the poor?

Who knows how that conversation would go.  One or the other participants in the conversation might point out that there are more people in the Spirit World who haven’t had their temple work done than there are poor people on earth.

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15 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Who knows how that conversation would go.  One or the other participants in the conversation might point out that there are more people in the Spirit World who haven’t had their temple work done than there are poor people on earth.

Can you sketch out the math on that?  How many names are currently in the queue for Temple work, and how does an increase in Temples from, say, 130 to 160 increase the rate of Temple work compared to the amount if relief that could be brought to the poor?

Can you also factor in the comparative benefit of reducing the amount of time a disembodied spirit has to wait for proxy work from the millennium to the late 2010's compared with the benefit of helping someone who is without food, shelter or clothing attain those things?

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1 hour ago, cinepro said:

It might not make a difference to you or me, but I'm guessing it would make a difference to the poor that were helped. 

At least, I'm guessing they'd notice the difference more than God would.

I'm also wondering how anyone thinks God would think less of the Church if more money was allocated to the poor instead of the Temple fund.  Like, how would that conversation go if President Nelson cut Temple construction by 50% and gave that money directly to the poor and needy all over the world, and then he died and had to sit down for his stewardship interview with God. 

Do we really think God's going to look at his notes and be disappointed that instead of bumping the Temple count from 155 to 162, President Nelson gave a bunch of money to the poor?

You know, I am not sure where the idea that it is the Church's responsibility to help all the poor everywhere came from.

Almost every scripture concerning helping the poor specifies it should be poor members, and Christ in the example with the ointment put ordinances above giving to the poor.

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9 hours ago, The Nehor said:

That an underclass is required for a functioning society is a satanic conceit.

Hence the Honduran migration.

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23 minutes ago, cinepro said:

Can you sketch out the math on that?  How many names are currently in the queue for Temple work, and how does an increase in Temples from, say, 130 to 160 increase the rate of Temple work compared to the amount if relief that could be brought to the poor?

Can you also factor in the comparative benefit of reducing the amount of time a disembodied spirit has to wait for proxy work from the millennium to the late 2010's compared with the benefit of helping someone who is without food, shelter or clothing attain those things?

Let’s say a temple can do 1,000 endowments every day (which I think is generous) and is open for ~300 days per year.  Assuming estimates are correct that 108 billion people have lived on earth, a single temple does endowments for about 0.00028% of God’s children each year.

I think temple work is for the living, not the dead.

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3 hours ago, cinepro said:

It might not make a difference to you or me, but I'm guessing it would make a difference to the poor that were helped. 

At least, I'm guessing they'd notice the difference more than God would.

I'm also wondering how anyone thinks God would think less of the Church if more money was allocated to the poor instead of the Temple fund.  Like, how would that conversation go if President Nelson cut Temple construction by 50% and gave that money directly to the poor and needy all over the world, and then he died and had to sit down for his stewardship interview with God. 

Do we really think God's going to look at his notes and be disappointed that instead of bumping the Temple count from 155 to 162, President Nelson gave a bunch of money to the poor?

So we stop building temples, which provide work and jobs, and just give the money away?  How far do you really think that money would go? 

Do you think that President Nelson just decides to build temples on his own and does not seek the council of the Savior?

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25 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Let’s say a temple can do 1,000 endowments every day (which I think is generous) and is open for ~300 days per year.  Assuming estimates are correct that 108 billion people have lived on earth, a single temple does endowments for about 0.00028% of God’s children each year.

I think temple work is for the living, not the dead.

I’m on board with the math, although I would point out that 25 to 30 percent of that 108 billion don’t need temple work because they’re already saved in the Celestial Kingdom because they died before becoming accountable or never became accountable because of mental disability.

The logic that the number of ordinances is a drop in the bucket seems to point more toward the need for more temples than fewer.  We certainly don’t subscribe to the logic that we should cut back on temporal assistance because we don’t feed all, or even most of the hungry.

it seems to me to be a matter of priorities.  We can, and should, do both, but our actions should demonstrate our understanding that the spiritual is of more benefit than the temporal.  And I say that as someone who lived a significant portion of my life in poverty (as defined by the government) and as a result was not surprised (as my children were) to see how happy children living in a landfill in Tijuana were.  They were grateful we were there to build them a two room home (they were living under a tarp), but couldn’t understand why anyone would think they were unhappy.  They had God and their family.  They, like I, were grateful for that.

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5 hours ago, rockpond said:

Let’s say a temple can do 1,000 endowments every day (which I think is generous) and is open for ~300 days per year.  Assuming estimates are correct that 108 billion people have lived on earth, a single temple does endowments for about 0.00028% of God’s children each year.

I think temple work is for the living, not the dead.

The critical number isn't how many have lived on the Earth.  The critical number is how many names we have of specific people who have lived on the Earth.  I'm sure the Church knows exactly how many people are in the queue for Temple work.  That would be an interesting number to know!

 

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5 hours ago, ksfisher said:

So we stop building temples, which provide work and jobs, and just give the money away?  How far do you really think that money would go? 

 

I'm not really equipped to answer that question.  I've personally given money to poor people and volunteered over the years, and it never occurred to me to ask how far the money was going to go.  So I guess the first thing I would need would be for you to explain how far the money would need to go before it would be worthwhile for the Church to allocate it (and how we would measure that).

It does seem odd that when it comes to tithing, we're always told not to worry about what is being done with the money (or how far it is going).  We give because it's a commandment.  But when God commands us to give to the poor and needy, suddenly we need to put on a green visor and do a cost/benefit analysis before we make any donations. 

Quote

Do you think that President Nelson just decides to build temples on his own and does not seek the council of the Savior?

I don't have enough information to make that determination.  From where I'm sitting, if President Nelson did do it "on his own" it would look exactly the same as if he had sought the "council of the Savior", so there's no way for me to tell.

 

 

Edited by cinepro

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On 11/27/2018 at 4:53 PM, ksfisher said:

The money spent by the Church on temples and church buildings is not the solution to world poverty.

 

"Teach a man how to fish" == micro loans, teach and mentor on how to run a small business, and manage money. This person then teaches family and friends.

Humanitarian assistance

We then go to our churches and temples and worship God.

Edited by cdowis
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10 hours ago, rockpond said:

 Assuming estimates are correct that 108 billion people have lived on earth

We are not responsible for those born prior to 1400 (I believe that is the cut off point).

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17 hours ago, cinepro said:

It might not make a difference to you or me, but I'm guessing it would make a difference to the poor that were helped. 

At least, I'm guessing they'd notice the difference more than God would.

I'm also wondering how anyone thinks God would think less of the Church if more money was allocated to the poor instead of the Temple fund.  Like, how would that conversation go if President Nelson cut Temple construction by 50% and gave that money directly to the poor and needy all over the world, and then he died and had to sit down for his stewardship interview with God. 

Do we really think God's going to look at his notes and be disappointed that instead of bumping the Temple count from 155 to 162, President Nelson gave a bunch of money to the poor?

This reminds me of the story about the starfish on the beach.

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11 hours ago, cinepro said:

don't have enough information to make that determination.  From where I'm sitting, if President Nelson did do it "on his own" it would look exactly the same as if he had sought the "council of the Savior", so there's no way for me to tell.

I would ask one of the two parties to verify the interaction occurred.

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19 hours ago, cinepro said:

It might not make a difference to you or me, but I'm guessing it would make a difference to the poor that were helped. 

At least, I'm guessing they'd notice the difference more than God would.

I'm also wondering how anyone thinks God would think less of the Church if more money was allocated to the poor instead of the Temple fund.  Like, how would that conversation go if President Nelson cut Temple construction by 50% and gave that money directly to the poor and needy all over the world, and then he died and had to sit down for his stewardship interview with God. 

Do we really think God's going to look at his notes and be disappointed that instead of bumping the Temple count from 155 to 162, President Nelson gave a bunch of money to the poor?

Since I believe that God authorizes each temple and command it to be built.........yes, I do think God would be annoyed. To obey is better then to sacrifice even if that sacrifice is for a good cause.

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