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Everything posted by Danzo

  1. Where I live (not Utah), Our family's records are in the local ward where we live. Our family are also have our records in a Spanish branch as out of unit members. I'm the elders quorum president, my wife is the relief society president. Our children attend sacrament meeting in a different ward that meets right before the Spanish ward meets (they don't speak Spanish) as well as Sunday school and seconds hour at that ward, then they attend sacrament meeting with the Spanish branch. During the week they attend youth activities in the local ward where we live and sometimes they will attend sacrament meeting and second hour there (makes for a long Sunday when they do). When our older youth come home from college for Christmas or summer, they will follow this schedule as well as participate in the YSA ward (sometimes their records stay at local ward sometimes at YSA depending on how long they are staying).
  2. That may be what the handbook says but that is not the practice when it come to foreign language wards. Generally anyone in the stake (or stakes if it covers multiple stakes) can ask for their records to be transferred to the unit. Foreign language units are strange creatures without definite boundaries and vague qualifications for membership. I serve in a Spanish unit. Many members of the unit don't speak Spanish and many Spanish speakers in our stake don't belong to the unit. Often there ae families that are split between their geographical unit and the Spanish unit. Coordination of Priesthood Keys between units for the same family can get interesting.
  3. Find out whether or not the foreign language unit covers your stake. They often cover more than one stake (at least in my neck of the woods). If it does, you may be able to have your records there as an out of unit member without changing your home ward membership. Our family currently has out of unit membership in a foreign language unit so I know it is possible. It is our current stake policy to have all youth and primary that attend the foreign language unit to be out of unit members of the ward where they live.
  4. The whole point of a pronoun is to be able to refer to someone or something without always using the name. If it gets to the point that using pronouns offends someone then we might as well stop using pronouns all together. It might be easier to just use the name and forget the pronoun.
  5. I am not frightened by not knowing something, what frightens me is all of the stuff that I know that happens to be wrong.
  6. A long time ago, in the eighties, Child welfare in California raided our home and took my brother away. I was twelve years old at the time but I still remember the trauma of having to hide from the police because they might take me away. Overnight the police went from friend to enemy. To this day my parents and us will not allow a police officer on duty into our house. (The rookie mistake our parents made was let one officer into the house which then allowed the officer to call the whole swarm). Fortunately for us my brother was returned after a few days, but we found out the hard way the power imbalance the police in all its forms (including Child protective services) can hold over unsuspecting citizens. As I have grown older, I have observed that what happened to our family was probably a fairly rare mistake. I see Child welfare more often than not leaving a child in an abusive relationship when the child should be removed more than taking children from innocent parents. Unfortunately child welfare services has the same problem that police departments in general have, they have a hard time recognizing and admitting to mistakes. Police officers often cover for each other and CPS is no different. The huge power these agencies hold over people needs to have checks in place.
  7. I remember during my mission in the 90s in Italy, many of the members of the church were Ex- Jehovah's Witnesses. I guess for some people membership in the Jehovah's Witnesses can be a stepping stone to finding truth.
  8. We should be careful about wishing for new laws. Because we might get what we wish for. If we look at who gets charged with gun law violations currently on the books, it isn't close, the vast majority are charged against minorities, not would be mass shooters. Unfortunately, there is no reason to assume new laws wouldn't similarly enforced. The are already so many laws on the book that pretty much everyone is guilty of something. Who gets prosecuted is more a function of the preference and prejudice of law enforcement than anything else. New laws with the same people enforcing them will just get you more of the same.
  9. Unfortunately, as a practical matter, most gun law violations are charged against minorities and POC. More laws often just give us more reasons to keep certain segments of the population incarcerated.
  10. For the best tax treatment, donate appreciated stock directly. If the stock has depreciated, sell the stock, take the capital loss and donate the cash.
  11. Uh. . . Actually, it is. When every court in the nation agrees something is constitutional then it pretty much is, by definition. Maybe someday the courts will change their minds and it will become unconstitutional, but until then, it is.
  12. People (and entities) who accumulate savings are more free and have more options in life. I am constantly having this discussion with my clients. If you have savings, you are much less dependent on your boss, your family and society as well. Someone with a large savings account will be less likely to go on public assistance and will better be able to pay for their medical expenses (not having to rely on government), can take care of themselves in their old age (not from the government). Also if your boss becomes abusive or unpleasant, you can tell him "to take this job and shove it" much more easily than someone with no savings and who lives paycheck to paycheck. Not living from paycheck to paycheck also allows you more free time to develop relationships and otherwise serve in the community or church Having wealth accumulated can also reduce the anxiety from living paycheck to paycheck and allow for the certainty to make long term plans. Having wealth accumulated also allows you to make investments in yourself, your community and your country.
  13. Having the all the judiciary agree that it is constitution is precisely what makes it constitutional.
  14. Something that I am constantly having to remind some of my clients who come up with wacky constitutional theories to avoid paying tax is that Although your legal and constitutional theories make sense to you, there are no judges or any other legal authorities that have accepted your reasoning. If you are going to have your theories accepted as law you have to persuade more people than just yourself.
  15. A few months ago, local missionaries were telling me it was against the rules for the missionaries to contact members outside the unit they were assigned to and outside the mission (for fellowship purposes, we live pretty much on the border of the mission so these people who we wanted them to contact didn't really live very far from the people they were teaching. I told the missionaries that they should follow the direction of their mission president. I then had a conversation with a counselor in the mission presidency who told me he wasn't aware of any such rule. A few days later the missionaries called and told me the mission had changed the rule and they were, in fact allowed to contact members outside the mission to assist in fellowshipping investigators.
  16. I think you are referring to a restricted contribution. The current donation page on the website contains the following language "All donations to the Church are free-will offerings and become the Church’s property. In furtherance of its overall mission, the Church may shift donations from any designated use to other uses, at its sole discretion." The makes the donations to the mission fund (fast offering fund, etc) not restricted. People who donate to the church through the normal donation process should understand this and not have a problem with funds donated being used for other purposes.
  17. The argument could be made (and was successfully made in the 1990 Supreme Court case) that money given to someone else to provide their support (food, shelter, transportation, etc) is not a charitable donation within the meaning if IRC 170. Just because I take care of my children doesn't let me take a charitable deduction for it. (Even though it feels like charity sometimes with my children). The way the church avoids this is by making the donation voluntary and the support of the missionary independent of the donations received on his or her behalf.
  18. It could be considered a transfer of funds for partial support.
  19. Doesn't the missionary receive tangible goods? Food, Shelter, transportation? The argument could be made that (especially if the money were "required") that the money paid isn't a charitable donation but just a disguised transfer of funds from parent to child (which is not normally tax deductible). In fact that was precisely the argument made in the Supreme Court case mentioned above. The parents in that case were not allowed to take a charitable deduction for their missionary,
  20. I admit, it does. However, when you get your donation statement from the church at the end of the year says "The Church provided no goods or services in consideration, in whole or in part, for the contributions detailed below but only intangible religious benefits." It looks like the church wants to have it both ways. From the way the church acts (as apposed to what the church says) its a donation and not a purchase. I get how its good to sacrifice for a mission and the church is encouraging the blessing that come from that sacrifice, but I think the church could change the wording so it doesn't look like they are trying to have it both ways.
  21. I know many people who served missions without funding them. My wife was one of them. Her parents were not members of the church (she left home when she was 13). She had no money. She left from a poor spanish branch where no one had any money. She was never billed for not making payments.
  22. If we can call a bison a buffalo, knowing that a buffalo is a different creature than a bison, and really doesn't look much like one (have you ever seen a buffalo and called it a bison by mistake?) then I think it is within the possibility that the nephites could call a tapir a horse, or a deer a horse. or something else with four legs and hoofs a horse. I I am not saying I know what really happened, for me its not important. It could be just the errors of men as the book of Mormon itself says that it has.
  23. If its a donation, no one has any obligation to pay anything. Its a free will donation. That is the way the law treats it. Even the church on its annual donation statement says that no goods or services were rendered in exchange for the money donated (including services to your missionary). No one has an obligation to pay anything. However it would seem that your view and the view of many here (perhaps encouraged by the church) is to treat the mission as a purchase with a fixed price that you (or some other volunteer) has to pay. As such, you shouldn't be billed for something someone else has paid. In that case you have a right to be upset that you were overcharged for your purchase by not having all of the payments on your purchase made by someone else reported to you. In a sense, I think the church wants to have it treated both ways, as a donation and as a purchase. Perhaps the church needs to more consistent on how they explain it.
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