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  2. A new video from Tim Ballard announcing that in the coming days there are going to be videos of women testifying that they participated with Ballard in “couples ruses” that proved to be a successful tactic in helping to rescue many trafficked children. If these video taped testimonies are indeed published, they are likely going to, at very least, partially mute the accusations by the other anonymous women who are claiming that Ballard used the “couples ruses” as a pretext to sexually abuse them https://fb.watch/ngAD3dgRtg/
  3. My guess is some is and some ain't.
  4. Today
  5. The Latter, yes. There cam be differences of opinion on what is unknowable and taken on faith 😏
  6. Yesterday
  7. Danggit ! I did it again, sorry !! Gotta run now will fix later
  8. This is kind of radically simplistic, but I think it will help you visualize how "reality" is more about how the human mind sees things than it is about what is "really out there". Truth becomes a best guess our minds paste together
  9. I did request the raw data, so I'll see if they come through with it, and report back.
  10. Hi @mfbukowski, please direct your reply to @Teancum -- this makes it looks like I said what he said, which I did not say, and excludes what I did say. What does Rorty say about descriptions of the world that are accidental creations? This is what he said, and then what I said: Posted 1 hour ago
  11. Error- should be addressed to @Teancum Quick answer. The "realities" of heaven are "unknowable". Period. End of story. Who cares about what is in principle unknowable? How do you WANT it to be? Alma 32: What is SWEET to you? (We See now in a dark MIRROR reflecting our own self back at us but THEN, after death, we will see face to face ie: "accurately".) What then is the view of heaven that is PRAGMATICALLY best for mankind? What's the best hypothesis that DOES WHAT WE NEED to reap the benefits of the belief?? Peace about death, a desire to become better, what "path of happiness" works for us? Nobody can "know" scientifically, observibly, the answer BECAUSE IT IS NOT A SCIENTIFIC QUESTION. Alma tells us it is what BELIEF is the sweetest, the church says which path leads to happiness? What subjectively gives YOU peace and happiness? What EXPERIENCES have you had? What IS that conscience thing? What "evidence" do we have? What is our purpose in WANTING to know? Peace about death? The best moral life or us now while alive? The question becomes " what is the best paradigm " FOR ME based on every experience I have lived Ultimately it becomes what is the best paradigm for all mankind that will prosper the human race? Note that these are psychological interpretations of experience we have, and are as "real" as color is, knowing right from wrong, how NOT to end up dead on the street selling drugs etc. I have had religious experiences that allow me to say I KNOW - FOR ME, that God is as real as you are, and what HE wants my life to be like. This is not science but it IS empirical observation. Look up James on " Radical Empiricism". https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/james/ Biggie: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/james/#EssaRadiEmpi1912 https://www.religion-online.org/article/empirical-theology-a-revisable-tradition/#:~:text=An empirical theologian interprets the,is made plausible or revised.
  12. Hi JAHS, May I ask you a few questions? I've done my best to read and understand that thread you started, and I sincerely want to understand your perspective. Eleven years ago, you asked the following question: "When people accuse the Church of using sacred tithing money to fund things like the building of the City Creek mall, the obvious answer is of course that tithing money is not used; rather money from the for-profit arm of the church is used that was obtained through business investments over the years. "But then of course critics ask the next question; "Where do you think the church got the money to buy the businesses in the first place?" :And they conclude that It must have started with tithing money donated by early church members. So in an indirect way the City Creek mall was made possible by sacred tithing money donated by members 150 years ago; money that is supposed to be dedicated to building God's church and helping the poor; not for building shopping malls. How does one respond to this?" We know more about Church finances now than we did then, and I was wondering what you now thought of this. I'll ask some questions and give you my impressions of what you were thinking. I ask that you provide any clarification about what your thoughts at the time were, and how you interpreted other Saints in those conversations. Do you now agree with the critics that "in an indirect way the City Creek mall was made possible by sacred tithing money donated by members"? [I would presume that you now agree that the critics were right about this; every year, several hundreds of millions of dollars of tithing are collected that are never used for the 4-fold mission of the Church. This excess money is used to purchase stocks, bonds, real estate, and for other commercial endeavors. This has resulted in the Church accumulating many tens of billions of dollars, and that is the source of funding for the mall.] When President Hinckley assured us that tithing money would not be used, did he qualify that at all? Did he say tithing money wouldn't be used directly, but that it would be used indirectly? [As I understand what you said, using tithing money indirectly is still using tithing money. Hinckley said without qualification that tithing money would not be used, and that implies it wouldn't be used, neither directly nor indirectly. That is how the majority of Saints interpreted him at the time.] Did you presume that when Hinckley said tithing money wouldn't be used, he meant it wouldn't be used directly or indirectly? Why would it be wrong to use tithing money directly to fund this? If it is wrong to use tithing money directly to fund this, is it equally wrong to use tithing money indirectly? [I think at the time, the majority of members interpreted his comment without qualification. Not using tithing money meant not using it, neither directly nor indirectly. If for some unstated reason it is wrong to use tithing money directly, it is equally wrong to use it indirectly.] With 20-20 hindsight, what is your answer to the question, "how does one respond to this?" [I believe the best apologetic response would be along the lines of this: the critics are right; in an indirect way, the City Creek mall was in fact made possible by sacred tithing money donated by members. Maintaining and enhancing the value of the property around the Salt Lake City temple is a valid use of the Church's resources. With 20-20 hindsight, it is unfortunate that President Hinckley didn't qualify his assurance that "tithing money would not be used," because indirectly, it was used. And that is okay.] Russell McGregor said "I am confident that the City Creek Mall's pedigree would trace back, not to the tithing paid in St George after President Snow's famous "Windows of Heaven" talk, but to the original Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution." Kim Pearson said, "Believe me, the Church has very sophisticated accounting systems and employees to make sure it complies with all laws. If the statement was made that no tithing funds were used, I am confident that is the case." In the full context of everything they said and in the full context of those conversations, when these folks said they were confident that "no tithing funds were used," do you think they meant "tithing funds wouldn't be used directly, but probably were used indirectly," or did they mean, "I'm confident that they weren't used directly or indirectly, and that instead the funds came from legacy Church-owned businesses that were not originally capitalized with tithing revenue." [I think the opinions of Russell and Kim are are representative of the majority of believing members who weighted in on these threads. They believed that when Hinckley said "tithing money would not be used" he purposefully said it without qualification, meaning tithing money wouldn't be used directly and tithing money wouldn't be used indirectly. They also believed that the Church had massive wealth from legacy businesses that were never originally capitalized with tithing. Putting all of that together, they inferred that the money came from these legacy businesses, not from tithing, neither directly nor indirectly.] I've spent a lot of time trying to understand what you and what other Latter-day Saints believed about this. Rather than being thanked for trying to understand you, I've been accused of maliciously trying to put words in your mouth. So please, provide any clarity you can about what you were thinking 11 years ago when you started that thread. I really want to understand. Thanks.
  13. You used the term, "revival-like atmosphere." If you are talking about this Christian revival - Wikipedia (or revivalism), something like this Retrenchment (churchofjesuschrist.org) happens periodically within the Church. If you are talking about personal revival, that does happen in many Church/chapel-based group settings that foster both personal and group quickening by the Holy Ghost (sacrament meeting, temple worship, councils, etc.). It can also happen anywhere, anytime, according to the individual's needs and the Lord's will. It can be obvious or subtle, of short or long-term duration, etc. The same if you are talking about group revival. I don't think BYU has mirrored anything like your article. I take this to be the product of what I listed in paragraph 2. What do you believe inspired and activated the students at the other colleges? Something like what I listed in paragraphs 1 or 2? What do you see as the differences between a "led" revival, a "spontaneous" revival" and a "led spontaneous" revival (the term you used)?
  14. I don’t think “self conscience” is a correct term. “Self-conscious[ness],” “conscience” and “consciousness” are. What approach that does not involve your mental states would result in your perception of a heaven with three degrees of glory (i.e., absent your mind and the way you use it, what approach creates one -- either a mind or a heaven -- for you)? None.
  15. Though I intentionally have avoided tax law related to tax exempt organizations I do know some about this area of the tax law as my firm has numerous clients that are impacted by the tax law in this arena. I would agree entirely with the article. I imagine those in my firm who deal more in this area would agree as well. The major issue really is that most critics, myself included, have the opinion that The Church of Jesus Christ ought to spend more of it billions amassed to relieve human suffering. But it is not mandated by tax law to do so, nor do I recall arguing as such. Though I am not sure about the money EPA give (loaned?) to the mall and insurance company. That seems to fall into a for profit endeavor. But I would need more detail to conclude that it might be in the arena of Unrelated Business Income and there is a tax on that for tax exempt entities. Can funds that were accumulated under the exemption purpose then be contributed to a for profit entity? I think the answer is yes. Those can be corporations or LLC owned by the exempt entity. In that case Unrelated Business Income would not apply so long as the two for profit entities are paying tax on profits. Unrelated Business Income Tax is only imposed when the exempt entity is earning income that is not related to its state exempt purpose. Exempt entities are allowed to own for profit entitles so long as those entities and their activities are separate from the tax exempt entity and they pay the proper tax.
  16. Just downloaded the book.
  17. Right I have never considered interest earned on my tithing donations as part of my tithing donation. I am not even sure that everything members gave to the Church 150 years ago to get it started was considered Tithing. I suppose some of it was. Many members may have simply donated their time and money but did not consider it tithing. Once the tithing leaves my hands it no longer belongs to me, and really it never did in the first place; it was always God's. Although the mall may have been built using interest earned by the tithing, that interest was not my money and therefore no longer my concern. Lastly I have faith in our church leaders that they will use the money wisely for the benefit of the Church, the health of the neighboring community, and the people living in the community.
  18. Choir music in other churches is awesome…. Lds….. zzzzzzzzzzzzz or sounds like a funeral
  19. Mine too! Except when our stake, years ago, hosted the Calvery Baptist Choir for a Christmas program with several wards participating. Before it began the stake president said it's okay if we clap during it in the chapel and cultural hall. During the prayer there were many "amens" by the Baptist guests during it and that was kind of sweet (later that night for nightly prayer my younger son said "amen" during it and we got a kick out of it). And then the singing began, and during one of the Baptist's choir's singing they sang, "Go, Tell It on the Mountain". It was a surreal experience with everyone standing up and clapping especially when seeing the SP and Bishops swaying and clapping while singing. I felt something shoot through me, not sure what it was but I had never felt that before as I stood singing for joy the words of that song. So sometimes it's possibly needed I guess, for those like me that tends to keep a lot inside.
  20. Based on what I understand from William James, as a noted, if it pragmatically works for you then it is true for you. And if pragmatically what works for me, is also true, even if it differs from your truth dramatically. However, the hang up I have with this is it is a pragmatic approach for here and now. It does not seem to me that this approach means that there really is a heaven with three degrees of glory. Make sense? Thoughts? Do you mean a testimony of Mormonism? Or a testimony/witness/spiritual experience/spiritual awakening of something that works for them? Personally I think the little voice is simply our own self conscience that speaks to us.
  21. Not sure if this is the same guy that RFM interviewed or not:
  22. In your opinion. I get that it is not always ideal. But when applied to the labyrinth of difficult topics and issues one needs to juggle when it comes to Mormonism I think Occam's razor is a pretty good tool.
  23. Well, since this thread is about Huntsman's lawsuit, and since the entirety of Huntsman's lawsuit turns on whether "tithing" means A) "tithing" as I have been explaining, or B) "tithing" plus income from investments. It is obviously and manifestly the right question. I think you have steered yourself up a blind alley with your advocacy of Huntsman's untenable position, and are now trying to backtrack by saying "Hey, this issue really isn't about 'tithing' after all." Thanks, -Smac
  24. Yes, you were. And are. And in doing so you are mischaracterizing and misrepresenting the Latter-day Saints. What on earth are you doing here? Since when is the phrase "tithing funds" understood as being "the non-profit sacred funds with the interest they generated"? Why do you keep trying to foist this onto the Latter-day Saints? What stunt are you trying to pull here? None of this supports the proposition that "tithing" or "tithing funds" includes monies that are not originating as "tithes," that is, from a member's voluntary donation of a tenth of his income to the Church. For example, Kim states: "This includes tithing, fast offering, missionary, perpetual education fund and humanitarian fund." He is plainly not, as you seem to want to claim, conflating "tithing" with other sources of income ("fast offering, missionary, perpetual education fund and humanitarian fund"). Kim further states: "Members can and do make specific donations to the Church through gifts, wills and estates." Again, Kim differentiated these contributions from "tithing," contrary to your increasingly weird attempt to claim that "tithing" includes these other forms of income. Kim further states: "This non for profit entity does keep some reserve funds that are invested in very conservative investments but would only sustain the operations of the non for profit entity for a very short period of time. The non for profit entity of the Church really does operate on the donations of members." Again, Kim is differentiating "reserve funds that are invested" from the Church's other forms of income, noting that "the Church really does operate on" the latter - tithes, fast offerings, donations to the missionary, perpetual education and humanitarian programs - as opposed to the former ("reserve funds that are invested"). Kim further states: "The second entity controlled by the Church is a for profit entity that pays taxes like any other for profit business entity. ... These are the source of funds used to finance City Creek. No donations from Church members were used to finance City Creek." Again, Kim is differentiating the Church's income from its for-profit endeavors from "tithing" and other charitable donations from the members. I found this part of Kim's comments interesting: "Most of the time money was borrowed to start these businesses and the Church was the only entity large enough to secure the loans. I am sure that it is very possible that some donations were made back then that were used to pay some of the loans back but it would have been very limited." If I am understanding him correctly, Kim is rebutting the generalized "Hey, all of the Church's money originates from tithes, so it's all 'tithing' in some sense"-style of reasoning. He is saying that virtually all of the money used to start the Church's for-profit entities - the source of the monies used to fund City Creek - "was borrowed." So this bolster's Huntsman's and your tortured re-definition of "tithing" . . . how, exactly? Thanks, -Smac
  25. That's your problem right there. If you want to understand what the apologists were saying, you need to read what they said in context; not merely skim. The problem arises when you presume to tell us what "apologists" are saying, but never actually get around to quoting them. Your readers are therefore forced to take your highly-biased-against-the-Church-and-its-members say-so characterization of what the "apologists" are saying and thinking, or else slog through old posts and try to decipher whom you are quoting, and when, and about what, and so on. I think a pretty important part of the context is the first three words of the OP: "When people accuse..." And also the next paragraph: "But then of course critics ask..." And the next paragraph: "And they conclude..." JAHS was not stating the position of the Latter-day Saints. He was stating the position of its detractors and opponents. People like you. JAHS then concludes his statement of the position of the Church's opponents this way: "...that It must have started with tithing money donated by early church members. So in an indirect way the City Creek mall was made possible by sacred tithing money donated by members 150 years ago; money that is supposed to be dedicated to building God's church and helping the poor; not for building shopping malls. How does one respond to this?" JAHS's comments sought input on how to respond to critics' characterization of the Church's use of its funds. What "a critic" thinks is neither here nor there. The lawsuit is not about how critics choose to characterize tithing. Nor is it about how the general membership construes the meaning of "tithing" (which, I think is very different from Huntsman's - and your - absurdly broad and ad hoc and contrived interpretation of the term). The lawsuit is, instead, about A) What did Pres. Hinckley mean in April 2003 by this statement: "But I wish to give the entire Church the assurance that tithing funds have not and will not be used to acquire this property. Nor will they be used in developing it for commercial purposes. Funds for this have come and will come from those commercial entities owned by the Church. These resources, together with the earnings of invested reserve funds, will accommodate this program." B) What did Bishop Burton mean in October 2003 by this statement: "None of this money comes from the tithing of our faithful members. That is not how we use tithing funds.” C) What did the Church mean in December 2006 by this statement published in the Ensign: "No tithing funds will be used in the redevelopment." D) What did the Church mean in May 2007 by this statement published in the Deseret News: "Money for the project is not coming from LDS Church members’ tithing donations." E) What did the Church mean in October 2012 by this statement by Keith McMullin (then head of the Church-affiliated Deseret Management Corporation) published in the Salt Lake Tribune: "McMullin said not one penny of tithing goes to the Church’s for-profit endeavors. Specifically, the church has said no tithing went toward City Creek Center." F) What did Paul Huntsman understand from these statements, ("Huntsman alleged that the Church committed fraud through the five statements detailed above, which Huntsman alleges falsely 'represented that tithing money was not used to finance commercial projects.' ... Huntsman’s claim reflected his understanding that tithing funds and earnings on invested tithing funds are 'two sides of the same financial coin,' such that proceeds from invested tithing reserves constitute 'tithing funds.'"). You are now trying to bolster Huntsman's absurd characterization of the Church's statement by suggesting that "apologists" construed them in much the same way Huntsman did, namely, by conflating "tithing" with other forms of Church income. Your problem is that you aren't actually quoting these "apologists," and are instead presuming to speak for them, to characterize their statements rather than quote them. I think that is problematic given how egregiously you seem to be misrepresenting these "apologists" and their understanding of the meaning of "tithing." Again, you are not quoting "apologists," and are instead telling us what they said and thought. This is why I took the time yesterday to actually go through the two threads, skim to the ones that actually reference "tithing" and its variants, and then provided links and verbatim quotes to what Latter-day Saints (who, it seems, you universally characterize as "apologists") actually said in those threads. And what they said was overwhelmingly and manifestly at odds with your (and Huntsman's) tortured re-definition of "tithing." You haven't provided any references. At this point I'm content to let the readers review my post (here) and contrast it to your various posts and decide for themselves which of us is more accurately stating the position of the Latter-day Saints. Right back atcha. Look at the context. JAHS was asking about commentary from the Church's opponents, commentary which conflates "tithing" with other forms of Church income. It is the critics who are doing that, not the Latter-day Saints. Huntsman is doing this because that the is only way his lawsuit - which has on very shaky legal ground from its inception - can be maintained. Also think about why Pahoran also said this: No, it's just truthful. Of all the Latter-day Saints in the world you could quote in an attempted bolstering of Huntsman's stupid re-invention of the word "tithing," you are pointing to . . . Russell McGregor? Seriously? Thanks, -Smac
  26. I can’t stand the intensity of emotion at revivally youth events. I hated it when I was a kid as well. It all just looks like spiritual manipulation to me. My spiritual come to Jesus moment are always quiet. I recognize this is not the same for everybody.
  27. Relatedly, I seem to recall a recorded talk I watched in the MTC of a leader criticizing Billy Graham style harvest events as he thought it trivialized salvation. Can’t seem to find a record of it so I may be misremembering. Not sure if anyone else remembers a similar talk.
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