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President Nelson and "Getting our own planet."

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17 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Pope Francis said if Martians came to earth we'd preach to them and baptize them :) 

I agree with Pope Francis!

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18 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Yes, that makes sense, especially when we consider the Saints. They are in heaven, unified with God, which is why we ask their intercession -- they are right there (metaphorically speaking) with Him. So when they put it a good word for us, they are participating in His work.

I have a somewhat chaotic set of feelings regarding this sainthood thing.

On the one hand, it seems nifty keen to have various celestial beings who have some kind of stewardship or patronage over such things as places and professions.  I recall from my service in the US Army that the patron saint of artillerymen is Saint Barbara!  The US military has a special order called the Order of Saint Barbara, and you don't need to be Catholic to be a member of it, apparently.

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17 hours ago, Maidservant said:

D & C 19:6 Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment

We receive what we lived--that's all.  We will have made it for ourselves.  We can have help from the Savior to overcome what we cannot overcome by ourselves, but we have to let that in.  As soon as one of those spirits--I don't know, stops whimpering and says, "What a great day this is!  I'm alive!  I can smile at the next spirit over and make her day too!" then their outer darkness is over.  Over.

To clarify section 19 was written long before the revelations that suggest a tiered heaven.  To harmonize this earlier revelation with latter ones, it seems most logical to conclude that those mentioned in section 19, in the binary heavenly world, is speaking about those who pass beyond the judgment of whether they go to outer darkness or not.  These are only those who will inherit a kingdom, as the latter revelations would suggest.  Just to clarify.  I'm not sure what you're trying to say.  

The 19th century theology, I believe, would suggest, those who inherit a lesser world would have to suffer for a season.  Which seems like an added terrible belief system, on top of all those who would have been better to have never been born, or better to have served satan for eternity.  

 

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32 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

I have a somewhat chaotic set of feelings regarding this sainthood thing.

On the one hand, it seems nifty keen to have various celestial beings who have some kind of stewardship or patronage over such things as places and professions.  I recall from my service in the US Army that the patron saint of artillerymen is Saint Barbara!  The US military has a special order called the Order of Saint Barbara, and you don't need to be Catholic to be a member of it, apparently.

Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital was funded by comedian, singer and actor Danny Thomas. Jude is the patron saint of travelers, the closest Thomas could find for a patron saint for entertainers. Thomas vowed he would erect a monument to Saint Jude. The hospital is that monument. 

I find that story very moving. 

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19 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

In that case, any Christian church will work, right?

Umm. No. In fact I explicitly listed what the difference was: authority and higher ordinances. But if authority doesn't matter then it's hard not to arrive at the conclusion that any church with ordinances would do. And if ordinances don't matter then, yeah, it's hard not to say any church would do. 

19 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I'm glad I amuse you :) 

BTW - just reread my comments you were responding to and I was overly harsh and sarcastic. Normally I'm careful about that but I have a baby who has been in a full body cast since the end of August and who frequently doesn't sleep well leading to sleep deprivation for me. Not an excuse but I do apologize.

19 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

The point is, prophets have added "dressing" on top of the basics which makes Mormonism unique. If we have the foundational info that "God can save us and we can return to him" and prophets add "dressing" to help motivate us, yet they don't agree on that dressing and in some cases flat out call it heresy, then I have to wonder about the value of prophets and the distinctions that make Mormonism unique.

As I said I think what makes Mormonism unique is the authority claim as well as what it claims is necessary for salvation and further exaltation. While extra light and knowledge definitely is also a characteristic of Mormonism I don't think that's the important part. I'd further say that even if the further doctrine was what makes us unique it doesn't logically follow that we must have all knowledge about such things nor that prophets can't have their own personal views about what hasn't yet been revealed. It's that latter part I don't think you've made a strong case for - especially given the explicit Mormon doctrine that there's much left to be revealed. Not just the well known article of faith but the very idea of the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon which has teachings on many things that won't be revealed until just prior the Second Coming. So the very claim you're making is very much opposed to standard Mormon doctrine on such information.

The bigger point though is that unlike Creedal Christianity which often made doctrines key, Mormonism is very much more into orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy. That's not to deny certain orthodoxical elements but it's practice that matters most sociologically. (I'm not sure if you're making an argument about what you think the Church *is* or what you think we *should be* given certain common assumptions)

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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19 hours ago, Anijen said:

Edited to say; I am reminded of the saying if we do not repent then we will suffer even as Christ suffered. Bluebell, do you think that this LDS theology is similar to the Catholic version of purgatory? And MiserereNobis if you read this,what do you think?

Thanks in advance to the both of you.

It might be similar.  Does repentance keep someone out of purgatory, in the Catholic view @MiserereNobis?

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6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

I agree with Pope Francis!

They may be coming to preach and baptize us.

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3 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

They may be coming to preach and baptize us.

I shall counter-preach, then!

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6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

I shall counter-preach, then!

What if they are the City of Enoch?

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6 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

What if they are the City of Enoch?

Well, that put's a bit of a different spin on it, then.

Edited by Stargazer
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21 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Umm. No. In fact I explicitly listed what the difference was: authority and higher ordinances. But if authority doesn't matter then it's hard not to arrive at the conclusion that any church with ordinances would do. And if ordinances don't matter then, yeah, it's hard not to say any church would do. 

BTW - just reread my comments you were responding to and I was overly harsh and sarcastic. Normally I'm careful about that but I have a baby who has been in a full body cast since the end of August and who frequently doesn't sleep well leading to sleep deprivation for me. Not an excuse but I do apologize.

As I said I think what makes Mormonism unique is the authority claim as well as what it claims is necessary for salvation and further exaltation. While extra light and knowledge definitely is also a characteristic of Mormonism I don't think that's the important part. I'd further say that even if the further doctrine was what makes us unique it doesn't logically follow that we must have all knowledge about such things nor that prophets can't have their own personal views about what hasn't yet been revealed. It's that latter part I don't think you've made a strong case for - especially given the explicit Mormon doctrine that there's much left to be revealed. Not just the well known article of faith but the very idea of the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon which has teachings on many things that won't be revealed until just prior the Second Coming. So the very claim you're making is very much opposed to standard Mormon doctrine on such information.

The bigger point though is that unlike Creedal Christianity which often made doctrines key, Mormonism is very much more into orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy. That's not to deny certain orthodoxical elements but it's practice that matters most sociologically. (I'm not sure if you're making an argument about what you think the Church *is* or what you think we *should be* given certain common assumptions)

 

Wow. Sorry to hear that. I hope recovery is going well, but that sounds miserable. BTW- no hard feelings. You are respectful. Your jab made me smile, which is why I jabbed back :) 

The thing that has me confused, is how can we claim such certainty in some instances and then claim total ignorance in so many others. You mentioned what was most basic. God loves us and he can save us. Great. You also say that beyond this prophets have added "dressing" which seems to be little more than speculation as they try to fill some of the theological gaps; Statements about pre-mortal or post-mortal worlds etc.of which we do not and probably cannot understand. Yet prophets have taught the "dressing" as doctrine.

My question is this. How do you know what is or isn't "dressing"?

You mention "authority and higher ordinances" as something that differentiates the church from others, but how do you know that those teachings aren't another example of "dressing"?

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

The thing that has me confused, is how can we claim such certainty in some instances and then claim total ignorance in so many others. You mentioned what was most basic. God loves us and he can save us. Great. You also say that beyond this prophets have added "dressing" which seems to be little more than speculation as they try to fill some of the theological gaps; Statements about pre-mortal or post-mortal worlds etc.of which we do not and probably cannot understand. Yet prophets have taught the "dressing" as doctrine. My question is this. How do you know what is or isn't "dressing"?

Well maybe dressing isn't the best choice of word since I often think the dressing is useful for motivation and understanding of why we do what we do. However my point basically is that God intentionally keeps us in the dark about most things. Now one can go the route of the author of Job and say we're completely in the dark and it's wrong to even try to figure out the mysterious ways of God. I don't buy that and neither did Joseph Smith. Joseph saw God as inherently knowable. However it's a path of coming to know him and much of that path comes on a personal level not a public level. More things will be revealed publicly, but when they do I'd personally expect that the second coming is just around the corner.

To me the issue isn't what is or isn't dressing ultimately but what God has or hasn't clearly revealed. That seems reasonably knowable. More or less what you've been saying is that God ought be revealing a lot more and if he hasn't then we should be distrustful of God. In other words it's not really an epistemological argument of what we know but an argument about what God should be like.

There are only two real counterarguments there. The first is the burden of proof argument. That is you have to explain why God would reveal such things (and why he hasn't if you're not an atheist). It's not on me to explain God, merely decide what is or isn't a fact in this scenario. The second counterargument is related to the Mormon theodicy. That is Mormons have a partial (not complete) explanation for why there is evil and it turns out it resolves in broad strokes why we have limited knowledge from God. That is this life is intended to be lived in terms of experiencing evil and doing so in ignorance. This is necessary for our development so we can understand risk and other such things. Now the weakness of this theodicy is that while it explains ignorance and evil, it doesn't explain why this particular level of evil and ignorance is necessary. So I suspect it wouldn't be ultimately satisfying to you if you're asking why a prophet doesn't answer questions people may see as troubling about cosmology. On the other hand it seems completely demonstrable that God hasn't answered such things.

1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

You mention "authority and higher ordinances" as something that differentiates the church from others, but how do you know that those teachings aren't another example of "dressing"?

Well this is more back into the epistemological area. I think there the question of personal revelation obviously dominates. But I'd also note that prophets have revelations saying these are important as well. No church outside of restoration ones even think the higher ordinances are a thing. Joseph taught they were key and claimed many revelations about them. Now you can of course ask about the details of the ordinances and I think there we have lots of non-essential aspects. But I believe the ordinances and authority are important because Joseph and all the other prophets said they were and because God has confirmed this for me.

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57 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Well maybe dressing isn't the best choice of word since I often think the dressing is useful for motivation and understanding of why we do what we do. However my point basically is that God intentionally keeps us in the dark about most things. Now one can go the route of the author of Job and say we're completely in the dark and it's wrong to even try to figure out the mysterious ways of God. I don't buy that and neither did Joseph Smith. Joseph saw God as inherently knowable. However it's a path of coming to know him and much of that path comes on a personal level not a public level. More things will be revealed publicly, but when they do I'd personally expect that the second coming is just around the corner.

To me the issue isn't what is or isn't dressing ultimately but what God has or hasn't clearly revealed. That seems reasonably knowable. More or less what you've been saying is that God ought be revealing a lot more and if he hasn't then we should be distrustful of God. In other words it's not really an epistemological argument of what we know but an argument about what God should be like.

There are only two real counterarguments there. The first is the burden of proof argument. That is you have to explain why God would reveal such things (and why he hasn't if you're not an atheist). It's not on me to explain God, merely decide what is or isn't a fact in this scenario. The second counterargument is related to the Mormon theodicy. That is Mormons have a partial (not complete) explanation for why there is evil and it turns out it resolves in broad strokes why we have limited knowledge from God. That is this life is intended to be lived in terms of experiencing evil and doing so in ignorance. This is necessary for our development so we can understand risk and other such things. Now the weakness of this theodicy is that while it explains ignorance and evil, it doesn't explain why this particular level of evil and ignorance is necessary. So I suspect it wouldn't be ultimately satisfying to you if you're asking why a prophet doesn't answer questions people may see as troubling about cosmology. On the other hand it seems completely demonstrable that God hasn't answered such things.

Well this is more back into the epistemological area. I think there the question of personal revelation obviously dominates. But I'd also note that prophets have revelations saying these are important as well. No church outside of restoration ones even think the higher ordinances are a thing. Joseph taught they were key and claimed many revelations about them. Now you can of course ask about the details of the ordinances and I think there we have lots of non-essential aspects. But I believe the ordinances and authority are important because Joseph and all the other prophets said they were and because God has confirmed this for me.

Yes, but how do you know which revelations are "clear"? If a prophet speaks it? No, that doesn't really work. If it persists and isn't corrected within 100 years? That doesn't necessarily work either. I'm simply trying to point out that 1) I agree with you that there is much that isn't knowable and 2) juxtaposing that with what we think IS knowable based upon what past prophets have taught. We can declare some things dressing and other things essential, but the process for receiving those things is essentially the same. Just because we think it is knowable and clearly taught, doesn't mean it isn't dressing/speculation. I think this should lead us (the church) towards a more humble position regarding its truth claims and firm statements about God's will. Prophets will do the best they can based but they are still not perfect/reliable in sharing the secrets of God. I'm suggesting that what we think is essential in differentiating us from other Christians may also be well-intended speculation and dressing.

If we see through a glass darkly which limits what we know of God and exaltation, yet at other times claim to see with crystal clear precision, it makes me wonder how we can be so confident in the declarations of absolute, crystal clear truth.

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21 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Yes, but how do you know which revelations are "clear"? If a prophet speaks it? No, that doesn't really work. If it persists and isn't corrected within 100 years? That doesn't necessarily work either.

Typically how they're presented. I don't think there's much confusion between say a section in the D&C and a conference talk. Now one can problematize this. So say D&C 131 is made up of fragmentary notes and may have lots of errors. A conference talk can be seen as key and highly influential, much like most take Joseph's King Follet Discourse or Sermon in the Grove as revealing revelatory material even if they aren't revelation. But even there we can  question parts, like the bit about the resurrection of children.

What I think you want is simple clear criteria. I don't think there is that. There's a certain degree of ambiguity and debate. Some things are easier to debate than others. And there's always the trump of new revelation overturning what people thought was revelation. You can reduce risk of being wrong, but that risk will always be present, given Mormon conceptions of revelation.

This shouldn't be seen as problematic though IMO. After all the best way of knowing we have is science and even there pretty fervently held and seemingly sure theories have been overturned. If science is, epistemologically speaking, not sure, why should we expect revelation to be better?

26 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I'm simply trying to point out that 1) I agree with you that there is much that isn't knowable and 2) juxtaposing that with what we think IS knowable based upon what past prophets have taught. We can declare some things dressing and other things essential, but the process for receiving those things is essentially the same.

I definitely agree with you here. What is or isn't essential for our progress seems a very different question from the epistemological questions.

26 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Just because we think it is knowable and clearly taught, doesn't mean it isn't dressing/speculation. I think this should lead us (the church) towards a more humble position regarding its truth claims and firm statements about God's will.

This is where you lose me. If epistemology and significance of belief for our development aren't related then why does this lead to questioning truth claims. (I'm not sure humility is the right word - but I confess I'm not sure what in practice you mean by that) After all I'm extremely sure that I'm typing on a keyboard right now. If someone told me I wasn't I really question them. However my typing on this keyboard seems rather irrelevant for the path of my salvation. I am very sure God exists, but I'm probably far less sure than I am about this keyboard. That doesn't mean I should treat my belief in God as if I don't really believe him.

But maybe you should explain what you mean by humility here in terms of practice. I assume you mean people should be more skeptical, but it seems to me skepticism should rest upon the reasons for a belief not how important the belief is. So if a GA says something other GAs haven't, can't point to a revelation, the belief isn't accepted by all GAs then I think there's good reasons to believe it's their belief even if they may hold it strongly. But not all GA statements are like that. More significantly my own knowledge has to play into this. So if someone says say evolution is false, I'm going to ask why they think that and what on earth they mean by evolution because I'm aware of the arguments for evolution.

So unless you can break out reasons, I'm not sure we get very far. Now of course that gets tricky because often we don't know the reasons for our belief. (This ends up being a big deal in some epistemology positions) You probably have the phenomena of taking a test, having the answer come to you, but being unable to explain or remember the details of getting that answer, yet being confident it is the right answer. Now often those are correct. Occasionally they aren't. But steps like that are often key foundations in any knowledge claim since we typically can't remember the details of an argument for a position we believe.

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38 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Typically how they're presented. I don't think there's much confusion between say a section in the D&C and a conference talk. Now one can problematize this. So say D&C 131 is made up of fragmentary notes and may have lots of errors. A conference talk can be seen as key and highly influential, much like most take Joseph's King Follet Discourse or Sermon in the Grove as revealing revelatory material even if they aren't revelation. But even there we can  question parts, like the bit about the resurrection of children.

What I think you want is simple clear criteria. I don't think there is that. There's a certain degree of ambiguity and debate. Some things are easier to debate than others. And there's always the trump of new revelation overturning what people thought was revelation. You can reduce risk of being wrong, but that risk will always be present, given Mormon conceptions of revelation.

This shouldn't be seen as problematic though IMO. After all the best way of knowing we have is science and even there pretty fervently held and seemingly sure theories have been overturned. If science is, epistemologically speaking, not sure, why should we expect revelation to be better?

I definitely agree with you here. What is or isn't essential for our progress seems a very different question from the epistemological questions.

This is where you lose me. If epistemology and significance of belief for our development aren't related then why does this lead to questioning truth claims. (I'm not sure humility is the right word - but I confess I'm not sure what in practice you mean by that) After all I'm extremely sure that I'm typing on a keyboard right now. If someone told me I wasn't I really question them. However my typing on this keyboard seems rather irrelevant for the path of my salvation. I am very sure God exists, but I'm probably far less sure than I am about this keyboard. That doesn't mean I should treat my belief in God as if I don't really believe him.

But maybe you should explain what you mean by humility here in terms of practice. I assume you mean people should be more skeptical, but it seems to me skepticism should rest upon the reasons for a belief not how important the belief is. So if a GA says something other GAs haven't, can't point to a revelation, the belief isn't accepted by all GAs then I think there's good reasons to believe it's their belief even if they may hold it strongly. But not all GA statements are like that. More significantly my own knowledge has to play into this. So if someone says say evolution is false, I'm going to ask why they think that and what on earth they mean by evolution because I'm aware of the arguments for evolution.

So unless you can break out reasons, I'm not sure we get very far. Now of course that gets tricky because often we don't know the reasons for our belief. (This ends up being a big deal in some epistemology positions) You probably have the phenomena of taking a test, having the answer come to you, but being unable to explain or remember the details of getting that answer, yet being confident it is the right answer. Now often those are correct. Occasionally they aren't. But steps like that are often key foundations in any knowledge claim since we typically can't remember the details of an argument for a position we believe.

Fair enough.

But if you recognize that prophets are sometimes wrong and teach things as doctrine, that aren't necessarily vital or even correct, and if you recognize that not everything prophets and apostles teach is absolute truth, do you hold open the possibility that some revealed truth that you consider essential (like authority and ordinances) may also be well-intentioned dressing that isn't God's absolute will?

I agree that the issue of doctrine is tricky because various definitions/qualifications have been given in the past. Things that have been declared as "doctrine" are later declared to NOT be doctrine, or worse, a heresy. IMO this is why it's essential to be humble about what we think we know, because we've been wrong so many times before. We can have beliefs. I've got no problem with beliefs. But declaring beliefs as absolute truth puts way too much faith in 1) the person declaring it (prophets/apostles) and 2) Us (how we interpret and understand what has been said). If 1 prophet misunderstands God's will but declares it as absolute, and then practices, policies, and theology are built around that incorrect understanding, we end up in a place where blacks are banned from the temple and priesthood for over 100 years. It's a game of telephone with no one really understanding why the ban was first enacted and the belief that God must speak deliberately enough for that incorrect ban to be lifted.

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56 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

But if you recognize that prophets are sometimes wrong and teach things as doctrine, that aren't necessarily vital or even correct, and if you recognize that not everything prophets and apostles teach is absolute truth, do you hold open the possibility that some revealed truth that you consider essential (like authority and ordinances) may also be well-intentioned dressing that isn't God's absolute will?

Sure. I'm a fallibilist. If you mean by humility people should be fallibilists then I'm all with you. If you mean by humility that people shouldn't act as if it were true, then I disagree. I think there are beliefs we're sure about and beliefs we hold in a far more tentative fashion. I think that surety matters. But I also think we could be wrong about anything.

56 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

We can have beliefs. I've got no problem with beliefs. But declaring beliefs as absolute truth puts way too much faith in 1) the person declaring it (prophets/apostles) and 2) Us (how we interpret and understand what has been said). If 1 prophet misunderstands God's will but declares it as absolute, and then practices, policies, and theology are built around that incorrect understanding, we end up in a place where blacks are banned from the temple and priesthood for over 100 years. It's a game of telephone with no one really understanding why the ban was first enacted and the belief that God must speak deliberately enough for that incorrect ban to be lifted.

Again this is where you lose me. Potentially we could be wrong about anything. Even mathematics. Yet if you ask me if I am confident in arithmetic I am. And indeed I have to act like I am.

I think the problem you're gesturing at is that someone else's confidence doesn't entail my knowledge. And that definitely is true. You have to try and figure out why they believe, confirm as much as possible, and get rough estimates of probability for the rest. That said, if we've trust in people for good reason, we're probably justified in trusting them even if occasionally they are mistaken. The second thing I think you're gesturing at is the relationship between knowledge (epistemology or justifications) and ethics (how we should act). There I think we have to balance things out in a more tricky fashion. It's the old "catch me if I fall" test. How well do you trust the person who is going to catch you? But that's just part of the question. Why you're falling matters. If it's for a stupid employee training meeting it's different if I'm on top of a burning building about to jump. So when I act, it matters both how confident I am but also what the risk in not acting vs. acting is. Action though is tied up with a mixture of many beliefs. I'm not sure questions of action can be reduced to questions of a few beliefs.

Edited by clarkgoble
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On 12/4/2018 at 8:41 PM, bluebell said:

If you think it’s semantics and irrelevant then that’s fine. I greatly disagree though. 

Greatly. 

Please don’t accuse me of being disingenuous when describing my personal beliefs because they don’t match your personal ideas of what is or isn’t relevant. 

Bluebell,

I wanted to apologize to you. It was not my intend to accuse you of being disingenuous or dishonest. I have read many of your posts over the years and have found you to be a genuine and sincere person who seems to have compassion and empathy for all, even those you disagree with you. I am sorry I became strident with you.

Blessings to you.

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22 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Bluebell,

I wanted to apologize to you. It was not my intend to accuse you of being disingenuous or dishonest. I have read many of your posts over the years and have found you to be a genuine and sincere person who seems to have compassion and empathy for all, even those you disagree with you. I am sorry I became strident with you.

Blessings to you.

Thanks Teancum.  I really appreciate that.  I'm glad that you continue to post here, even though I know it's probably hard sometimes.

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