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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, DBMormon said:

Ouch. I have only used one username account (though I did change the username early on from my real name to dbmormon)  CFR for me being steve j

We brought in 29k two years ago.  We brought in 31k last year.  We 30k in Mormon Discussion Inc's account and i personally spent about 5k each of those years to pay for costs that any entity of this type would re-imburse.  the entity follows all the rules laid out for a 501-c3.  Any other questions?   

Can you actually counter my argument here laid out or has a stupor of thought given you permission to dismiss me?

Go back a page when you posted under "Steve J."  So you brought in $60k the last two years, you have $30k in an account, and spent $5k.  What did you do with the missing $25k?  And you paid for stuff personally then got reimbursed?  Sounds like you are co-mingling funds....

Yes, I can counter every single argument you raised.  Jim did a good job, but it fell short on a couple of points--namely, the Book of Abraham and the 2015 policy.  But the fact that you turn to mocking a person's beliefs before you actually engage them in a material way is enough to show you are not objective and that you do not have any real desire to know the truthfulness of the church's claims.  That's why you set up straw man upon straw man.  You want to run your little podcast to build up your Potemkin kingdom.

For example, you keep turning to Elder Cook's statement that he knows the Lord's voice and face.  You say that's unhealthy--but that conclusion only makes sense if you first conclude that the inference is false.  Except, it's not an inference.  Elder Cook has made bolder statements than that.  Same as Elder Packard, President McKay, and many others.  Look at Elder Eyring's recent twitter statement two days ago: "I add my testimony to the witness shared by President Russell M. Nelson. I am a witness of the Resurrection of the Lord as surely as if I had been there in the evening with the two disciples in the house on Emmaus road."  He could not be any more blatant!  He completely qualified his type of witness!  The disciples met, saw, and spoke to Jesus.

The fact that Jim can't believe these men interact with Jesus doesn't mitigate what they have actually said.  These gentlemen have made very blatant statements that they know the Lord in a person to person way, seen him and heard him, manner.  So the conversation is no longer about what is "healthy."  It's about whether you are going to call highly qualified and esteemed men of integrity -- liars.  I want to hear you say it.  Because unless they are liars, and I do not believe they are, this is no longer about what is "healthy" (whatever that means).  This is about whether they are actually apostles of Jesus Christ and whether or not you're going to follow their counsel--however enlightened or "behind" they are with your superior intellectualism.

Do you think that the apostles are lying about their witness?

Edited by PacMan
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8 minutes ago, DBMormon said:

if the believer is unwilling or unable to qualify  and quantify what they get right versus what they get wrong and it is admitted that in the moment it is impossible to discern when they are right and when they are wrong (history makes this demonstrably messy) then again it is unreliable.

I completely agree.  On a similar note I have repeated challenged people who believe that spiritual experiences can tell them objective facts about history to show me any evidence where that is actually possible.  I've never seen it, yet people still have faith that spiritual experiences can tell them objective things about the past or future.  This topic frequently comes up with respect to BoM historicity discussions, but it really applies to a lot of things.  My conviction is that spiritual/religious experience is real and powerful, but that it is also personal and subjective, and there isn't anything supernatural happening.  Until someone can show me convincing evidence otherwise, I think the burden of proof is on the person making the claim.  

Lastly, I don't personally think religions need to hold on to superstitious thinking.  I think there is great value in metaphor and story.  I think religions can stand on the ideas of inspirational metaphor, personal subjective spiritual experience, and that those elements have value and meaning in life, but don't also need to carry the baggage of supernatural thinking.  

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3 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Go back a page when you posted under "Steve J."  So you brought in $60k the last two years, you have $30k in an account, and spent $5k.  What did you do with the missing $25k?  And you paid for stuff personally then got reimbursed?  Sounds like you are co-mingling funds....

Calm and Steve J already corrected the question a few posts ago, go back and read them.  

Also, please stop making this about Bill or the finances of his podcast.   Of course it is his prerogative to answer your questions, but I think this is a distraction from the thread.  Please stop this, I'm asking nicely again so that we can focus on the topic of this thread and not side track into Bill's podcast finances or personal attacks on Bill's character.  Pretty please with sugar on top!  

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Go back a page when you posted under "Steve J."  So you brought in $60k the last two years, you have $30k in an account, and spent $5k.  What did you do with the missing $25k?  And you paid for stuff personally then got reimbursed?  Sounds like you are co-mingling funds....

Yes, I can counter every single argument you raised.  Jim did a good job, but it fell short on a couple of points--namely, the Book of Abraham and the 2015 policy.  But the fact that you turn to mocking a person's beliefs before you actually engage them in a material way is enough to show you are not objective and that you do not have any real desire to know the truthfulness of the church's claims.  That's why you set up straw man upon straw man.  You want to run your little podcast to build up your Potemkin kingdom.

For example, you keep turning to Elder Cook's statement that he knows the Lord's voice and face.  You say that's unhealthy--but that conclusion only makes sense if you first conclude that the inference is false.  Except, it's not an inference.  Elder Cook has made bolder statements than that.  Same as Elder Packard, President McKay, and many others.  Look at Elder Eyring's recent twitter statement two days ago: "I add my testimony to the witness shared by President Russell M. Nelson. I am a witness of the Resurrection of the Lord as surely as if I had been there in the evening with the two disciples in the house on Emmaus road."  He could not be any more blatant!  He completely qualified his type of witness!  The disciples met, saw, and spoke to Jesus.

The fact that Jim can't believe these men interact with Jesus doesn't mitigate what they have actually said.  These gentlemen have made very blatant statements that they know the Lord in a person to person way, seen him and heard him, manner.  So the conversation is no longer about what is "healthy."  It's about whether you are going to call highly qualified and esteemed men of integrity -- liars.  I want to hear you say it.  Because unless they are liars, and I do not believe they are, this is no longer about what is "healthy" (whatever that means).  This is about whether they are actually apostles of Jesus Christ and whether or not you're going to follow their counsel--however enlightened or "behind" they are with your superior intellectualism.

Do you think that the apostles are lying about their witness?

He did not post as me. I copied and pasted what he posted somewhere else, and he then verified that the 7th part of the podcast was coming out the next day. (which was today or yesterday... my days are jumbled) DB is not Steve J.  Apologies to DB and whoever thought that was DB for the confusion. 

Edited by Steve J
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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Go back a page when you posted under "Steve J."  So you brought in $60k the last two years, you have $30k in an account, and spent $5k.  What did you do with the missing $25k?  And you paid for stuff personally then got reimbursed?  Sounds like you are co-mingling funds....

Maybe start another thread if you want to go off topic here?  You are also making this very personal which isn't right to do, IMO.

What specifically do you want to discuss regarding what was stated in the podcasts?  You're jumping all over the place here and you're very hard to follow or have any discussion with.

Edited by ALarson
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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Maybe start another thread if you want to go off topic here?

What specifically do you want to discuss regarding what was stated in the podcasts?  You're jumping all over the place here!

"Knees" and "hands" are in his tagline.  I think it's pretty fair territory to question his motives and use of charitable funds.  Particularly since he has a problem with how the church uses its funds.  In any event, I've given him plenty to answer from his podcasts.  Still waiting for a response...

Edited by PacMan
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4 minutes ago, PacMan said:

"Knees" and "hands" are in his tagline.  I think it's pretty fair territory to question his motives and use of charitable funds.  

You mean this?

"Strengthening Feeble Knees and Lifting Hands that Hang Down"

 

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8 minutes ago, PacMan said:

"Knees" and "hands" are in his tagline.  I think it's pretty fair territory to question his motives and use of charitable funds.  Particularly since he has a problem with how the church uses its funds.  In any event, I've given him plenty to answer from his podcasts.  Still waiting for a response...

I'm waiting on your response to please stop the personal attacks and to quit the line of questioning that isn't relevant to this thread.  Still waiting... 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I'm waiting on your response to please stop the personal attacks and to quit the line of questioning that isn't relevant to this thread.  Still waiting... 

My response is, go away.  Challenging his failure to respond to an online message board so that he can drive traffic to his podcast is completely appropriate.  He's not answering my questions because he wants me on his program.  He needs content to drive his donations.  That's why I'm not going on his program.  And that's why he's not going to answer my questions (and because I thought he was not honest with Jim).  It's all about $$.  And based on his response, he's got $25k that he hasn't accounted for.  That's not a personal attack.  That an "Oops!"

Edited by PacMan

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1 minute ago, PacMan said:

My response is, go away.  Challenging his failure to respond to an online message board so that he can drive traffic to his podcast is completely appropriate.  He's not answering my questions because he wants me on his program.  He needs content to drive his donations.  That's why I'm not going on his program.  And that's why he's not going to answer my questions.  It's all about $$.  And based on his response, he's got $25k that he hasn't accounted for.  Oops!

Knock off the personal attacks on Bill, and now on HFT. Telling someone to "go away" is childish and rude. Grow up.

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2 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Knock off the personal attacks on Bill, and now on HFT. Telling someone to "go away" is childish and rude. Grow up.

Apparently, you all have a different definition of "personal attacks" than I do.  I'm not interested in getting into a nag fest.  I'm challenging Bill's motives, his logic, and his statement on his podcast.  I don't understand how that's a "personal attack."  And I don't understand how it's inappropriate.  Calling Bill an idiot (which I did not do) is a personal attack.  Demonstrating that Bill is an idiot, is not.  In fact, that was Jim's very point -- which Bill agreed with -- as it relates to Jeremy Runnells in the 7th podcast.

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1 hour ago, DBMormon said:

if you can not demonstrate why centenial parks spiritual answers are less reliable than LDS answers then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable.  


If President Nelson can arrive at the Nov 2015 policy being revelation and Jim Bennett can not get to that space then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If Mormon Prophets can 180 disagree with each other on race doctrines, adam-god, nov 2015 policy, age of the earth, birth control, what causes homosexuality, etc.... then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If some sincere people pray and are told there is a god and others get no answer at all then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If some people get an answer that Mormonism is true and others arrive at it is not or some other faith is then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

 

If a group of scientists gathered in November of 1903 and reviewed all of the dozens/hundreds of fatalities in the history of the world caused by those who were trying to fly, then they would easily come to the conclusion that the idea of flight is as you say ..... 'unreliable' (or impossible or deadly). This is not because flight is impossible for man-kind, but instead that those who had previously tried to fly failed to follow the correct principles required for a successful flight. 

 

Revelation also requires following certain correct principles and if you don't you may not get the revelation you are seeking. For example, your idea above that if Mormon Prophets can 180 disagree with each other then this negates revelation seems disingenuous. I think you have enough background in the gospel to know that some things are given by revelation but a lot is opinion based upon study and is not revelation. This is called 'line upon line, precept upon precept,'  growing 'grace for grace,' 'studying it out in your mind when you thought I'd just give it to you,' etc. Just like principles of flight require lift & thrust, revelation requires abiding by principles and study and building opinion (which is sometimes proven wrong as you study further) is one of these.

 

25 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Easy, you determine the rules to the experiment and setup proper controls.  But there is a potential flaw in any experiment if you assume that results from the experiment are limited to only certain outcomes. 

Is Mormonism really willing to say that every human who tries Moroni's promise and doesn't come away from that experience believing that the BoM is true, that they must have incorrectly approached the experiment?  Is Mormonism that confident in its truthfulness that you'll cast judgement on millions of people who come away from their interactions with Mormonism and aren't converted?  Sounds awfully prideful to me.  

 

There is nothing prideful in saying that an honest seeker of truth who follows the correct principles of revelation will know the Book of Mormon is true. This is no more prideful than saying that those who use correct principles to fly will do so and those who use incorrect principles might die. Some times fact isn't prideful, it's true.

I suspect that many of those who previously were faithful members of the church and are now trying to tear it down had received revelation and then stopped applying the principles of revelation correctly (these principles include seeking God's will with a willingness to do it even if it is counter to our political philosophies, putting aside pride and practicing humility, being worthy and free from sin, etc.).

The reason I believe in revelation is I receive the still small voice guiding me daily in the things I should and should not do. Nothing major, just small things every day. This is also known as 'conscience' and is given to all via the light of Christ, but works under the principles expressed above (humility, lack of sin) and can be dampened or stomped out if not living the right principles.

Also, as a side note, I personally believe (this is my belief, not revelation - see above) that God has ordained many to not find the Book of Mormon or have a chance to learn of its truth in this life, because he sees the end from the beginning and has instituted work for the dead for this reason (see D&C 49:8). Instead, they are living righteous lives in other religions and are having regular guidance via the light of Christ and spiritual experiences. Just because The Church of Jesus Christ has the fullness of the gospel, it doesn't negate other's religious experiences. Nor does others having religious connection and guidance from God negate the Church of Jesus Christ having the fullness of the gospel.

(note: since it seems to be a pre-requisite to state if you have listened to the podcast in order to post in this thread, I will say I have not. I was sincerely interested in doing so at the start of this thread but after having Bill Reed come on here and proclaim that his conversation with Jim Bennett proved the Mormon church wrong, I lost interest. It sure seems like a bait and switch tactic that he interviewed one honest person who expressed honest opinions and now Bill is coming on this thread to say this proves wrong an entire religion. As someone recently said in these posts: "Sounds awfully prideful to me.")

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41 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Look at Elder Eyring's recent twitter statement two days ago: "I add my testimony to the witness shared by President Russell M. Nelson. I am a witness of the Resurrection of the Lord as surely as if I had been there in the evening with the two disciples in the house on Emmaus road."  He could not be any more blatant!  He completely qualified his type of witness!  The disciples met, saw, and spoke to Jesus.

He said the same kind of thing at a temple dedication a few years ago.  I turned to my husband to doublecheck he had heard the same thing I had.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Apparently, you all have a different definition of "personal attacks" than I do.  I'm not interested in getting into a nag fest.  I'm challenging Bill's motives, his logic, and his statement on his podcast.  I don't understand how that's a "personal attack."  And I don't understand how it's inappropriate.  Calling Bill an idiot (which I did not do) is a personal attack.  Demonstrating that Bill is an idiot, is not.  In fact, that was Jim's very point -- which Bill agreed with -- as it relates to Jeremy Runnells in the 7th podcast.

HappyJack is the thread starter, so his definition takes precedence according to board practice.  You need to start a new thread if you want to discuss those things if he has asked you to stop according to how mods have ruled in the past (I am less sure about current rulings as there seems to be some variation from before, but this could have been due to mods not being available when I reported something for a few days).

Edited by Calm
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2 minutes ago, Calm said:

He said the same kind of thing at a temple dedication a few years ago.  I turned to my husband to doublecheck he had heard the same thing I had.

"as surely as if" leaves some wiggle room. The apostles should come right out and say they have seen Jesus, rather than hint at it in ways that leave some plausible deniability.  I know the pythagorean theorem works as surely as if I had been there when Pythagoras first wrote it down :) 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

"as surely as if" leaves some wiggle room. The apostles should come right out and say they have seen Jesus, rather than hint at it in ways that leave some plausible deniability.  I know the pythagorean theorem works as surely as if I had been there when Pythagoras first wrote it down :) 

My memory of the temple comment was no "as if".  It was astonishing to me in its clarity.  Unfortunately I didn't write it down.

I do not know why they don't come out and say "I have seen Christ" in ways no one could interpret any other way in very public forums.  Perhaps it is so as not to close doors given some critics would likely latch on to such comments as shock tactics to turn people off from listening in the same way the teaching we are all literally God's spirit children is transformed into "did you know Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers!!!"  Their mission is not only to witness of Christ, but to bring people to him.  Perhaps God has inspired/directed them to take a softer approach than witnesses in the past given our current culture.

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38 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

"as surely as if" leaves some wiggle room. The apostles should come right out and say they have seen Jesus, rather than hint at it in ways that leave some plausible deniability.  I know the pythagorean theorem works as surely as if I had been there when Pythagoras first wrote it down :) 

The "surely as if" was not about the occurrence itself, but "surely as if" he was on the road to Emmaus, himself.  He is definitely paralleling his experience with another well-known experience that leaves no wiggle room.

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29 minutes ago, PacMan said:

The "surely as if" was not about the occurrence itself, but "surely as if" he was on the road to Emmaus, himself.  He is definitely paralleling his experience with another well-known experience that leaves no wiggle room.

How about:

I am a witness of the resurrected Jesus Christ because I have seen Him. I have conversed with Him. I have touched His hands and feet.

 

That would be no wiggle room. The visitations of Jesus, Mary, angels, and saints in Catholicism are not couched in such soft terms. Those receiving the visits come right out and say it clearly and directly, not referencing some past event, but describing the current event that happened and then giving the teachings received during the visitation.

It's not a very good witness who doesn't say what they are witnessing.

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3 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

How about:

I am a witness of the resurrected Jesus Christ because I have seen Him. I have conversed with Him. I have touched His hands and feet.

 

That would be no wiggle room. The visitations of Jesus, Mary, angels, and saints in Catholicism are not couched in such soft terms. Those receiving the visits come right out and say it clearly and directly, not referencing some past event, but describing the current event that happened and then giving the teachings received during the visitation.

It's not a very good witness who doesn't say what they are witnessing.

Going back to the New Testament, Christ repeatedly forbade speaking of certain miracles and events.  I don't know why, but he did it.  Elder Eyring testifies by referring to a well-known event, without talking about the specifics of his own experience.  In fact, this is exactly what Jesus did in witnessing of himself.  He didn't say, "I am King of the Jews."  He spoke indirectly: "Thou sayest it."  Luke 23:2.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, PacMan said:

Go back a page when you posted under "Steve J."  So you brought in $60k the last two years, you have $30k in an account, and spent $5k.  What did you do with the missing $25k?  And you paid for stuff personally then got reimbursed?  Sounds like you are co-mingling funds....

Yes, I can counter every single argument you raised.  Jim did a good job, but it fell short on a couple of points--namely, the Book of Abraham and the 2015 policy.  But the fact that you turn to mocking a person's beliefs before you actually engage them in a material way is enough to show you are not objective and that you do not have any real desire to know the truthfulness of the church's claims.  That's why you set up straw man upon straw man.  You want to run your little podcast to build up your Potemkin kingdom.

For example, you keep turning to Elder Cook's statement that he knows the Lord's voice and face.  You say that's unhealthy--but that conclusion only makes sense if you first conclude that the inference is false.  Except, it's not an inference.  Elder Cook has made bolder statements than that.  Same as Elder Packard, President McKay, and many others.  Look at Elder Eyring's recent twitter statement two days ago: "I add my testimony to the witness shared by President Russell M. Nelson. I am a witness of the Resurrection of the Lord as surely as if I had been there in the evening with the two disciples in the house on Emmaus road."  He could not be any more blatant!  He completely qualified his type of witness!  The disciples met, saw, and spoke to Jesus.

The fact that Jim can't believe these men interact with Jesus doesn't mitigate what they have actually said.  These gentlemen have made very blatant statements that they know the Lord in a person to person way, seen him and heard him, manner.  So the conversation is no longer about what is "healthy."  It's about whether you are going to call highly qualified and esteemed men of integrity -- liars.  I want to hear you say it.  Because unless they are liars, and I do not believe they are, this is no longer about what is "healthy" (whatever that means).  This is about whether they are actually apostles of Jesus Christ and whether or not you're going to follow their counsel--however enlightened or "behind" they are with your superior intellectualism.

Do you think that the apostles are lying about their witness?

You either are going to have to change your tone or I simply will ignore you.  the 5K each year are normal expenses that I am personally involved with that are normal to be reimbursed for.  Entry into sunstone, travel for a fireside, dinner with a listener talking about their faith crisis.  The podcast has costs.  Suffice to say running a podcasts costs more than most people can guess.  Site that stores your site, url names, subscription app that handles your donations, paypal fees, costs for equipment, airfare, meals, hotels, website IT help, tax prep, etc.... etc...  etc....  

people want to say I make a living off the podcast.  BS.  I work a 6 day a week 50 hour a week job as a pawnbroker managing one of my employers 4 stores.    I drive a nissan versa (stick shift base model, no upgrades), have a mortgage on a $200,000 home (needs a roof and landscaping and a 20 year old hot water tank and furnace).  My wife works full time  (teller at a bank) and together we make less than $100k a year.  Are we poor.  No.  Do I take a salary from the podcast?  no

either be respectful or know this will be my last response to you.  FairMormon and others (blake ostler for example) likes to claim i make a living off the podcast.  such is a narrative they need to diminish what I do.  It is deceiving of them and dishonest at its core.  

Edited by DBMormon

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7 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Going back to the New Testament, Christ repeatedly forbade speaking of certain miracles and events.  I don't know why, but he did it.  Elder Eyring testifies by referring to a well-known event, without talking about the specifics of his own experience.  In fact, this is exactly what Jesus did in witnessing of himself.  He didn't say, "I am King of the Jews."  He spoke indirectly: "Thou sayest it."  Luke 23:2.

I'm just saying that if you want specific and direct testimony of visitations of Christ after His death and resurrection, the Catholic Church has much more than the LDS church does. I guess we're doing a better job testifying that He still lives and visits His flock today :P . And as I said, we've also got Mary, and angels, and saints, and miracles galore. The heavens are still open to us ;) 

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2 hours ago, Steve J said:

He did not post as me. I copied and pasted what he posted somewhere else, and he then verified that the 7th part of the podcast was coming out the next day. (which was today or yesterday... my days are jumbled) DB is not Steve J.  Apologies to DB and whoever thought that was DB for the confusion. 

You can tell it has been awhile since the thread started given your first posts in the thread were hardly to be mistaken as a Bill Reel sock puppet.  :)

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/71610-bill-reel-vs-jim-bennett/?do=findComment&comment=1209889268

 

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1 hour ago, PacMan said:

Apparently, you all have a different definition of "personal attacks" than I do.  I'm not interested in getting into a nag fest.  I'm challenging Bill's motives, his logic, and his statement on his podcast.  I don't understand how that's a "personal attack."  And I don't understand how it's inappropriate.  Calling Bill an idiot (which I did not do) is a personal attack.  Demonstrating that Bill is an idiot, is not.  In fact, that was Jim's very point -- which Bill agreed with -- as it relates to Jeremy Runnells in the 7th podcast.

you haven't challenged my logic successfully once yet.  making the point personal rather than the content of the OP is against board rules.  

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

The heavens are still open to us ;) 

I think this is key, as long as 'us' is everyone. In Latter-day Saint belief, the purpose of prophets is to bring ordinary men and women into the presence of God so that they can 'see and hear and know of these things for themselves'. I'm a personal witness that the heavens are still open. I don't need the prophets to tell me that secondhand.*

-----

* Though it can be instructive when it happens. I quote here a post from 18 months ago:

Quote

I attended one [a leadership training meeting] with our area president last year right after October General Conference. In it he relayed an experience from the end of their training in SLC. It was conducted by the Twelve, but Pres Eyring was there representing the First Presidency. He was asked if there was anything he wanted to share, and he said yes. He then stood up and told the assembled General Authorities that during the training, he had 'overheard' a conversation between the Father and the Son, and he then shared the contents of that with them, and our area president shared it with us.

 

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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1 minute ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I think this is key, as long as 'us' is everyone. In Latter-day Saint belief, the purpose of prophets is to bring ordinary men and women into the presence of God so that they can 'see and hear and know of these things for themselves'. I'm a personal witness that the heavens are still open. I don't need the prophets to tell me that secondhand.

I agree 100% (though I'd just use different terminology as a Catholic).

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      There's a lot of good stuff in this podcast to chew on. I recommend it.
      http://www.mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2016/06/premium-patrick-mason-planted/
       
    • By Maestrophil
      Hi all.  
      This weekend, my wife's visiting teaching companion asked to be released as a VT.  My wife reached out to her and said she hoped everything was OK, and that she loved VT with her.  She got a text back reciprocating those sentiments, but not much more information.  Then Sunday morning, this same site was released from her other ward calling from the pulpit.  Then the bishop asked if he could seek with us after the block.
      When we met with him after in his office, he confided with us that this site and her husband had recently discovered and read the CES letter.  They told the bishop they wanted to be released from their callings and needed to take a break from church.  He asked if they were still willing to read the scriptures and pray, and they said after all that they have "discovered" the don't feel like they can.  He hen asked them if they would be willing to talk to other members.  That is when out bishop thought of my wife and I.  He knew that with my experiences with my family leaving the church in a very antagonistic way with me that I had read the CES letter and chosen to maintain my faith and my membership.  He asked us to go and see this couple and talk to them.  
      We relied we would love to show them we love them and that we don't judge them for struggling with these things.  I also informed the bishop that I would not want to get into trying to give a point by point rebuttal to the couple, and that my experience is that most people who talk like they are talking have already made a choice on what they believe about the letter and are not looking for answers.  The bishop has not read the letter and asked me if I thought he should.  I told him that it probably would not serve him well to read it, and that his advice to be proactive spiritually is probably good advice coming from a bishop.
      My appeal to you all is - help me understand how you would approach this "assignment".  What would you do, and avoid doing?  How do you even begin such a conversation?  How do we avoid getting into a legalistic feeling debate about the letter, while still eating them know we know of it's contents and have resolved the dissonance for ourselves?
      I want to serve this couple well, and welcome your input!
       
      Thanks!
      MP
    • By rockpond
      In an interview with Gina Colvin on the A Thoughtful Faith podcast, Greg Prince discusses *this* Mormon moment.  Here's a link to the podcast page.  It's a great podcast -- worth the listen regardless of your opinion on the issues.
      “I don’t know the way forward yet.  I think that it’s going to be a combination of people at the top exercising their inspiration and the people at the bottom exercising their inspiration as well and somehow coming to a comfortable interface in the middle that takes advantage of both sources.” ~~Greg Prince
      He talks about the new policy.  Church growth, activity, and the future.
      He asked an interesting question:  What happens when today's 25 year old eventually becomes a Stake President?
      Also, he's currently writing a book on the Church and LGBT issues.  Should be a fascinating read.
       
    • By HappyJackWagon
      Bill Reel was recently interviewed on Mormon Stories about FAIR erasing him from their history. It's a fascinating discussion where they talk about the state of apologetics in general and Bill's personal experience with FAIR and other apologists like Brian Hales who kindly told Bill "I hope your podcast dies." I'm curious if anyone else listened and has any thoughts about the state of FAIR and apologetics in general or about Bill's experience in specific.
      http://mormonstories.org/bill-reel-discusses-his-falling-out-with-fair-and-his-faithful-dissent-with-lds-policy/
    • By Robert F. Smith
      TheSkepticChristian has asked me to post this new topic based on the extensive debunking by FAIRMORMON at http://debunking-cesletter.com/ of the ever-changing "Letter to a CES Director."
       
      TheSkepticChristian finds that that letter "is full of bad arguments and patternicity," and calls particular attention to what the FAIRMORMON debunking says at the end:

      "By academic standards, The CES Letter is inadequate. It makes numerous non-peer reviewed claims that ignore what the actual peer-reviewed literature has said on these matters. Due to their biases and incomplete representations of the topics they address, such publications are often classified as spin or propaganda by scholars" 
       
      Does FAIRMORMON do an adequate job in this case, or do you find it lacking in some way?
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