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Women, Men, and Priesthood

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On 8/12/2019 at 7:19 PM, Hamba Tuhan said:

I call shenanigans on this outrageous claim. Which sex is understood to be more 'spiritually inclined' is culturally determined and can be observed to shift over time ... just like any other social construct.

Women are not more spiritually inclined, they have "distinctive spiritual gifts". 

"It takes both men who respect women and their distinctive spiritual gifts and women who respect the priesthood keys held by men to invite the full blessings of heaven in any endeavor in the Church. "  https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/youth/article/men-and-women-in-the-work-of-the-lord?lang=eng

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20 minutes ago, blueglass said:

Women are not more spiritually inclined, they have "distinctive spiritual gifts". 

"It takes both men who respect women and their distinctive spiritual gifts and women who respect the priesthood keys held by men to invite the full blessings of heaven in any endeavor in the Church. "  https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/youth/article/men-and-women-in-the-work-of-the-lord?lang=eng

But don't men have "distinctive spiritual gifts" as well?  One of the teachings of the church is that spiritual gifts are given to everyone, male and female? Are there spiritual gifts that only women are given?

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What do you think of this? Is it true the church is holding back on doing anything about it? https://www.sltrib.com/podcasts/mormonland/

LDS women are fighting for the ERA. The church is no longer fighting against it. | Episode 94

ERA.Forty years ago, those three initials set off strong conversations and sparked national headlines. The Equal Rights Amendment — the proposed constitutional measure guaranteeing equal legal rights regardless of sex — fell short of ratification among the states.Now, it’s back, and, by some counts, needs just one more state to reach ratification and become the law of the land.So where does the church — which vehemently fought the ERA for years — stand on it today? It isn’t saying. When asked earlier this year by The Salt Lake Tribune, the institution declined to comment.Some advocates say church leaders have told them the faith is now neutral on the issue, emboldening their push for ratification. Anissa Rasheta, a national organizer for Mormons for ERA who is pushing for ratification in her home state of Arizona, discusses the measure — the need for it, the status of the fight and the reception it is getting from today’s Latter-day Saints, young and old, male and female, leaders and laypersons.Listen here.

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7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

What do you think of this? Is it true the church is holding back on doing anything about it? https://www.sltrib.com/podcasts/mormonland/

LDS women are fighting for the ERA. The church is no longer fighting against it. | Episode 94

ERA.Forty years ago, those three initials set off strong conversations and sparked national headlines. The Equal Rights Amendment — the proposed constitutional measure guaranteeing equal legal rights regardless of sex — fell short of ratification among the states.Now, it’s back, and, by some counts, needs just one more state to reach ratification and become the law of the land.So where does the church — which vehemently fought the ERA for years — stand on it today? It isn’t saying. When asked earlier this year by The Salt Lake Tribune, the institution declined to comment.Some advocates say church leaders have told them the faith is now neutral on the issue, emboldening their push for ratification. Anissa Rasheta, a national organizer for Mormons for ERA who is pushing for ratification in her home state of Arizona, discusses the measure — the need for it, the status of the fight and the reception it is getting from today’s Latter-day Saints, young and old, male and female, leaders and laypersons.Listen here.

Yes, it appears to be true that the church is now neutral on the issue.  The church wasn't against men and women having equal rights.  They were against some of the consequences that they believed would following the passing of the ERA.  A lot of the problems that the church worried about happening when the ERA was first being argued about have either already happened though (and there's no use trying to prevent them anymore) or aren't really relevant any longer.  

Our culture today is a lot different than it was in the 1980s so it would make sense if the church no longer believes the consequences for the passage of the ERA are the same today as they were decades ago.

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5 hours ago, bluebell said:

I copied the church's handbook guidelines on how callings are to be extended.  They do no agree with you that, in regards to callings, "there needs to be consideration of the father's stewardship."  And there is no reason that anyone needs to die off so that progress can be made.  Change to be more inline with our Heavenly Father's will is possible, and even expected and required, for all of us, no matter our age. :) 

Nice sentiments...totally agreeable.... and I was about to post the same handbook quote. This father-presiding-thing has been done to death here. As a bishop, the wife was always included and the husband was consulted in callings. Best of both worlds; however, I would like to be privy to any other instructions that are not always readily available.

I stick to respecting the father’s stewardship to preside, otherwise it becomes meaningless. As a father, I expect this kind of respect. I understand that the Church needs to adapt to the zeitgeist, but maybe the adaptations are because we can’t live a higher law. Not all progress is, well, progress. For example, I do not believe that two breadwinners is the optimal situation for kids if it impacts their daily care. 

Who knows?  Which is why I probably will never again be in a position to extend callings. You are free to disagree. 

I’ll make another comment which has to do with passing on and passing the torch, but I won’t discuss the comment any further.  I’ve thought long and hard about this. When a covenant is changed, which it was, I don’t know if the change is retroactive. We are meticulous when it comes to wording. 

[EDITED]

Edited by Bernard Gui
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5 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Nice sentiments...totally agreeable.... and I was about to post the same handbook quote. This father-presiding-thing has been done to death here. As a bishop, the wife was always included and the husband was consulted in callings. Best of both worlds; however, I would like to be privy to any other instructions that are not always readily available. I stick to respecting the father’s stewardship to preside, otherwise it becomes meaningless. As a father, I expect this kind of respect. I understand that the Church needs to adapt to the zeitgeist, but maybe the adaptations are because we can’t live a higher law. For example, I do not think that two breadwinners is the optimal situation for kids if it impacts their daily care. Who knows?  Which is why I probably will never again be in a position to extend callings. You are free to disagree. 

I’ll make another comment, but I won’t discuss the comment any further. I’ve thought long and hard about this. When a covenant is changed, I don’t know that the change is retroactive. 

It's hard to be persuaded by the 'the church secretly agrees with me' argument, but I respect your thoughts on the subject.  I personally don't believe that the husband needs be consulted about his wife's callings, with her not needing to be consulted about his, or his presiding in the family is meaningless.  

As to your last comment (which I'm fine if you don't want to discuss but in case anyone else wants to), it's an interesting idea.  Should we believe that those who have gone through the temple in the last 8 months are under different covenants than those of us who went through before, or are the newly worded covenants what the old covenants always meant, just clarified so that it's less easy to misunderstand them?  Somethings to consider.

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On 8/12/2019 at 11:02 PM, The Nehor said:

I have never heard of this happening in our ward. For time intensive callings we interview them both. Ideally you go to the home as this gives a better feel for where the family is.

I have been in three wards over the past thirty years (yes, I am old, and I live in Utah County).  All the callings the my wife has received, and this includes Relief Society President, YW president, and multiple teaching callings, have started out with a phone call to me asking if it would be okay if they called my wife to such and such calling.  As a husband and partner, this really offends me, and it greatly offends my my wife, who is a professor of technology at a mayor university. This is not the 18th century and we are not living in the Victoria era.  If the church has a hope of  stopping the hemorrhaging of members, particularity the millennials, then it needs to stop this antiquated practice.

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11 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

One would hope there is a modicum of communication that makes it equitable and productive

My point was it takes more than a modicum to really assess needs, it takes being there doing it on a consistent basis. Neither parent is likely to have the ability to truly assess the needs of the other unless they are constantly together or one is obsessive in tracking what the other does.  

Perhaps in the past where kids and mothers mainly stayed home without having much of a schedule to meet, but these days with school and after school activities, church activities, doctors or other special needs appointments and treatments, the stuff going on in the homes brought from the outside in through tech like TV and the internet, socialism complications with friends who have complicated lives as well....it is not often a simple easy appraisal system that can be shared with an after dinner talk or an exchange of calendars. Add in complications of work if both parents work, the need to trust the other to assess and handle and just pass on the most important aspects and hopefully some of the fun stuff becomes rather important so that the time together can be shared doing new things rather than just rehearsing what has been happening when Dad was not there. 

Edited by Calm

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1 hour ago, sunstoned said:

I have been in three wards over the past thirty years (yes, I am old, and I live in Utah County).  All the callings the my wife has received, and this includes Relief Society President, YW president, and multiple teaching callings, have started out with a phone call to me asking if it would be okay if they called my wife to such and such calling.  As a husband and partner, this really offends me, and it greatly offends my my wife, who is a professor of technology at a mayor university. This is not the 18th century and we are not living in the Victoria era.  If the church has a hope of  stopping the hemorrhaging of members, particularity the millennials, then it needs to stop this antiquated practice.

I am trying to figure out where you disagreed with me and then I realized I communicated badly. When I say interview both I mean that a member of the Bishopric interviews both together at the same time, preferably in their home, when there is a time intensive calling. This gives them the chance to accept or not as a unit which I believe is good and healthy.

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On 8/12/2019 at 1:39 PM, Nofear said:

Sis. Ulrich gave a wonderful talk at the Fair Mormon Conference.
https://www.fairmormon.org/conference/august-2019/women-men-and-priesthood-power

I agree with her doctrine and perspective, but, I know that there will be objections by some who say her perspective is ... incomplete. Some examples (not exhaustive):

  • a woman has no say in where she serves --  even when a sister gives a recommendation, a man (e.g. bishop) has the final say
  • callings for men have the same restrictions, but a man might become a bishop or stake president or such, a women never will, breaking the symmetry
  • the Church has seemingly arbitrary delineations in who serves where (e.g. ward clerk and the more recent Ward Temple and Family History Leader being only a Melchizedek priesthood holder)
  • women participate in Church councils and such but they are pretty much always outnumbered by men
  • etc. (There are those on the board who would add to the list ... you are welcome and encouraged to do so!)

I am not interested in casual dismissal of the complaints. Rather, I am looking for perspectives that would allow one who struggles with those kind of criticisms room to breathe in a way that is suggested by the quote below. I have my own ways of phrasing/viewing/responding but I'd like to hear how others might respond.

"Though argument does not create conviction, lack of it destroys belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows the ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish." -- Austin Farrer

Nofear, would you please add the tag FairMormon Conference 2019 to make this talk easier to find and for me to track overtime what talks have been posted and what we are still missing.  I am trying to be a bit more effective this year.

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13 hours ago, bluebell said:

Yes, it appears to be true that the church is now neutral on the issue.  The church wasn't against men and women having equal rights.  They were against some of the consequences that they believed would following the passing of the ERA.  A lot of the problems that the church worried about happening when the ERA was first being argued about have either already happened though (and there's no use trying to prevent them anymore) or aren't really relevant any longer.  

Our culture today is a lot different than it was in the 1980s so it would make sense if the church no longer believes the consequences for the passage of the ERA are the same today as they were decades ago.

On the other hand, the Equality Act has raised concerns.

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/church-expresses-support-fairness-for-all-approach?cid=email-IN_053019_news1

skipping down to the paragraph about the EA:

Quote

The Equality Act now before Congress is not balanced and does not meet the standard of fairness for all. While providing extremely broad protections for LGBT rights, the Equality Act provides no protections for religious freedom. It would instead repeal long-standing religious rights under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, threaten religious employment standards, devastate religious education, defund numerous religious charities and impose secular standards on religious activities and properties. The Church joins other religious organizations that also strongly oppose the Equality Act as unbalanced, fundamentally unfair and a path to further conflict.

The Church calls upon members of Congress to pass legislation that vigorously protects religious freedom while also protecting basic civil rights for LGBT persons. It is time for wise policymakers to end this destructive conflict and protect the rights of all Americans.

 

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7 hours ago, sunstoned said:

I have been in three wards over the past thirty years (yes, I am old, and I live in Utah County).  All the callings the my wife has received, and this includes Relief Society President, YW president, and multiple teaching callings, have started out with a phone call to me asking if it would be okay if they called my wife to such and such calling.  As a husband and partner, this really offends me, and it greatly offends my my wife, who is a professor of technology at a mayor university. This is not the 18th century and we are not living in the Victoria era.  If the church has a hope of  stopping the hemorrhaging of members, particularity the millennials, then it needs to stop this antiquated practice.

I wouldn't hold my breath.  Priesthood protocol is pretty firm on these issues.

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44 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I wouldn't hold my breath.  Priesthood protocol is pretty firm on these issues.

Where is this protocol taught?

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

Nofear, would you please add the tag FairMormon Conference 2019 to make this talk easier to find and for me to track overtime what talks have been posted and what we are still missing.  I am trying to be a bit more effective this year.

Happily, but the process for modifying tags for a subject after the editing option expires eludes me.

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I'm reading her book now.  It's enlightening and fascinating.

 

 

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I cannot rationalize the current structure. I think I understand its basis, and that stems from the church's foundations and the New and Everlasting Covenant, where men are to be ready to take more than one wife. The structure is male-centered.

There is a way to correct the assymetry without ordaining women to the priesthood: simply appoint a woman to every position that lacks symmetry. Have a female President of the church serve with the President, a female counselor serving with each counselor, a female apostle serving alongside each of the apostles, etc... 

Of course I do not see such an action taking place anytime soon, but I do think movement toward more female representation might help mitigate some assymmetry and its deleterious impact on the body of the Saints.

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40 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I cannot rationalize the current structure. I think I understand its basis, and that stems from the church's foundations and the New and Everlasting Covenant, where men are to be ready to take more than one wife. The structure is male-centered.

There is a way to correct the assymetry without ordaining women to the priesthood: simply appoint a woman to every position that lacks symmetry. Have a female President of the church serve with the President, a female counselor serving with each counselor, a female apostle serving alongside each of the apostles, etc... 

Of course I do not see such an action taking place anytime soon, but I do think movement toward more female representation might help mitigate some assymmetry and its deleterious impact on the body of the Saints.

Nice to see you again Meadowchik!

I think that there is room for improvement.  Very much so.  But I'm not sure if symmetry is necessary to fix the problem.  I don't necessarily think that inequality (what I think of as assymmetry) is the same as inequity.    

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48 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I cannot rationalize the current structure.

Could you rationalize the ancient structure?  Of the Quorum of the Twelve that Jesus called?  All men?

48 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I think I understand its basis, and that stems from the church's foundations and the New and Everlasting Covenant, where men are to be ready to take more than one wife. The structure is male-centered.

Could you clarify what you mean here?  "The structure is male-centered?"  I'm not sure what that means.

Polygamy put tremendous burdens on both men and women who practiced it. 

48 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

There is a way to correct the assymetry without ordaining women to the priesthood: simply appoint a woman to every position that lacks symmetry. Have a female President of the church serve with the President, a female counselor serving with each counselor, a female apostle serving alongside each of the apostles, etc... 

Who would do this appointing?  And for what reason(s)?

Thanks,

-Smac

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12 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Nice to see you again Meadowchik!

I think that there is room for improvement.  Very much so.  But I'm not sure if symmetry is necessary to fix the problem.  I don't necessarily think that inequality (what I think of as assymmetry) is the same as inequity.    

Nice to see you, too, Bluebell!

So, all symmetry does is correct the assymmetry. It won't correct inequality or inequity, either, but it might help.

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8 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Could you rationalize the ancient structure?  Of the Quorum of the Twelve that Jesus called?  All men?

Could you clarify what you mean here?  "The structure is male-centered?"  I'm not sure what that means.

Polygamy put tremendous burdens on both men and women who practiced it. 

Who would do this appointing?  And for what reason(s)?

Thanks,

-Smac

There were female apostles and prophets. I'm not sure that our cloudy view of history gives us enough information to understand the ancient structures.

Of course the only person who can legitimately change the church structure is the person with legal authority to do it, or atleast sign off on it, President Nelson.

As I already said, the reason to make leadership symmetrical would be to mitigate the harm done by assymmetry.

So SMAC, what don't you understand about a patriarchal structure being male-centered?

 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Nice to see you, too, Bluebell!

So, all symmetry does is correct the assymmetry. It won't correct inequality or inequity, either, but it might help.

How do you reconcile your call for "symmetry" with 1 Corinthians 12?

Quote

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the ahead to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be amore feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

It seems that in the Lord's plan for us, "asymmetry" is a feature, not a bug.

Also, how would you reconcile your proposal for "co-presidents" with D&C 132:7 ("{T}here is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred...")?

Also, would you propose that a man would be appointed as co-president with the ward Relief Society President?  A male co-president in the YW presidency?

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

There were female apostles

I don't think so.  As you said, ours is a "cloudy view of history."

Quote

and prophets.

All members of the Church are, or can be, "prophets."

Quote

I'm not sure that our cloudy view of history gives us enough information to understand the ancient structures.

Well, let's work with what we've got.  It seems like your proposal contravenes the principles set forth in 1 Corinthians 12.  You are calling for "{gender-based} symmetry," but again, how do you rationalize the ancient structure?  Of the Quorum of the Twelve that Jesus called?  All men?  Was such obvious asymmetry wrong?

Quote

Of course the only person who can legitimately change the church structure is the person with legal authority to do it, or atleast sign off on it, President Nelson.

Well, not quite.  The only person who can legitimately change the church structure is Jesus Christ, who would provide such instruction to his Presiding High Priest, President Nelson.

Do you agree with that?

Quote

As I already said, the reason to make leadership symmetrical would be to mitigate the harm done by assymmetry.

And as I said, asymmetry appears to be an integral part of the Lord's plan.  See 1 Corinthians 12.

Quote

So SMAC, what don't you understand about a patriarchal structure being male-centered?

These terms are not self-explanatory.  I don't know what you mean by "patriarchal structure."  Or "male-centered."

In 2 Nephi 26:33, we are told that Jesus Christ "doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile."

In Moroni 8:17, we are told that we are "all alike and partakers of salvation."

But you seem to be suggesting that God views women as less than men, such that the Gospel is "male-centered."  I don't understand or agree with that sentiment, hence my request for clarification.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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1 hour ago, Meadowchik said:

I cannot rationalize the current structure. I think I understand its basis, and that stems from the church's foundations and the New and Everlasting Covenant, where men are to be ready to take more than one wife. The structure is male-centered.

I find I agree with Valerie Hudson Cassler a fair bit. http://squaretwo.org/Sq2ArticleCasslerPolygamy.html

Her position (and mine) is that polygamy is A) not something that will practiced long term in the eternities but that, for reasons explained in the article, B) the historical practice had the hand of God in it. Granted this is not a majority opinion among orthodox LDS believers (who reject premise A) and accept B)). Nor, is her position a majority view among not-quite-as-orthodox LDS believers who accept premise A) but reject premise B) as a man-made mistake. But, this isn't an example of something I share with those who are struggling.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

How do you reconcile your call for "symmetry" with 1 Corinthians 12?

 

As I said to Bluebell, symmetry would not create equality or equity. However, it could help with the addressment of them, and might in fact help the church better avail itself of the diversity of gifts of the members.

Edited by Meadowchik

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21 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Also, how would you reconcile your proposal for "co-presidents" with D&C 132:7 ("{T}here is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred...")?

Also, would you propose that a man would be appointed as co-president with the ward Relief Society President?  A male co-president in the YW presidency?

Thanks,

-Smac

For the first point, it wouldn't be the fist time for the plan to be revised.

Second, I think the meaning of symmetry is obvious enough here to surmise that, were there a female co-president over the Young Men, there would me a male co-president over the Young Women, but having neither would also be symmetrical.

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