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About rongo

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    Places Sun, Moon & Stars In The Sky
  • Birthday 07/19/1975

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    Baseball, basketball, football (especially college); LDS Church history; the Gospel; reading

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  1. My family and I are not anti-vaxxers (we serve missions and attend school, including college, after all, so we have to have up-to-date vaccines), but we will not be getting the Covid vaccine. We all had it starting on December 21st, for one thing. My wife and the two boys at home completely lost their taste and smell, and it was fun experimenting with that. They couldn't taste or smell anything, not even cut onions. I had a bad outbreak of hives, which is a more rare possible symptom, I came to learn. My daughter had no symptoms whatsover. My wife and the boys had no symptoms other than the lo
  2. That tracks with what the Ivory Coast elder told us at the NAU institute last week (Africa-bound missionaries in February). Any news on Brazil? Currently, they're only allowing 90 day visas, and my info has it not until summer at the earliest. Our close family friend is in West Virginia waiting to go to Brazil.
  3. What do Adam-ondi-Ahman, Garden of Eden, the Restoration (including the plates in Cumorah), New Jerusalem, etc. look like without "American Exceptionalism, @2BizE? Is it possible to believe in these things without it being what you call "American Exceptionalism?" If so, how? I could be wrong, but I think 2BizE thinks the only way for this not to be "American Exceptionalism" is for one to believe that they are all made-up nonsense.
  4. When the Church budget system was overhauled in 1990, there were a series of meetings and broadcasts for then-regional representative and stake presidents. It was emphasized that there should be no monetary cost for church activity, and that time and money costs on members should be reduced in favor of the home. It was also emphasized that they knew that leaders and members would try to find ways around this, so leaders would need to stay on top of things to prevent "mission creep" and going back to the old way. One thing that struck me was the discussion about how our teachings on thrif
  5. Yes. President Widtsoe told him things like "There is a scripture in the first half of D&C that is the key to that," or "There is a scripture in the last half of the Book of Mormon that answers that," so as you mentioned, he had to really search and read with those questions in mind. I first encountered it when I was doing splits with one of my greenies, and he said they had something in the apartment that he really liked, but he didn't know who it was from. It was a typed transcript, and there were clues in it that it was Cleon Skousen. I really like the explanation of how and why,
  6. I don't think anyone has ever said that American Saints get a free pass merely by virtue of geography. In my view, those who run down (even to the point of celebrating) what they see as the decline of "American Exceptionalism" don't like the extreme focus on America in the Restoration, and they want this to be de-emphasized as quickly as possible. I think there is embarrassment on the part of some in the Church about what they perceive as the "weirdness" of things like Adam-ondi-Ahman (e.g., how Mitt Romney refused to answer when asked about Adam and Missouri. It would have been less awk
  7. The two biggest red flags for younger couples I've found are inability to have children, and divorce. A lot of people shake their fist at God over these, and becoming disaffected with the Church is one way they feel subconsciously that they can "get back" at Him (by depriving Him of their belief). It doesn't mean that everyone facing these is in danger (not by a long shot), but it is often a strong contributing factor when there is faith crisis. The pernicious effects of pornography (and I always include masturbation; we seem to always euphemize it as just porn. Porn is very rarely withou
  8. I think it's a case of misapplied causation. Many people whose faith crises become irreconcilable end up "sinning" in various visible ways, but it's not the "sinning" that was the cause of the leaving; it was the leaving that was the cause of the "sinning." There seems to be a psychological reaction by many, a subconscious (or maybe sometimes conscious) desire to visibly go back on things like the Word of Wisdom, law of chastity, etc. once they make the final break in their hearts and minds. People trying to help need to be aware of this. What we think are good answers aren't always g
  9. New Jerusalem will be in America. It's hard to have America completely decline in favor of non-America with that being the case. That is not to say that the Constitution won't die and America won't decline, big-time.
  10. My thought? In order to fully understand us and our motivations (especially concerning weakness in sinning), wouldn't He have to know what it is like to feel ashamed, embarrassed, jealous, furious, lazy, annoyed, resentful, and all the other in the long list of human emotions? These things are directly linked to a lot of the pain we feel in mortality, and I don't think He could take our sins upon Himself without also taking these things upon Him. They are the root of why we sin.
  11. I have a lot of experience with this (as a helper, not as a doubter). Listening, being empathetic, and not hitting the panic button and acting weirdly towards the doubter goes a long way towards helping people not throw the baby out with the bathwater when they are in faith crisis. That said, it's even more helpful if the helper/leader knows the issues and can intelligently discuss them. This builds confidence, at the very least, that there are reasonably intelligent and competent people out there who know the same things the doubter knows, but aren't thrown into doubt. It is very common
  12. I don't get why people are acting like the Gospel Topics Essay is groundbreaking. There was a series of articles in the 1985 and 1986 Ensigns discussing the First Vision accounts (including good ones from Milton Backman), which did as well or even better than the GT Essay. They were almost forty years ago! https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1985/01/joseph-smiths-recitals-of-the-first-vision?lang=eng
  13. Excellent book. I like all of Malcolm Gladwell's books.
  14. I don't think he was reading a text. I think he saw text in his mind, but that it wasn't "faxed" to him verbatim (i.e., that he put the images and thoughts into the English at his command). I believe that the Spirit helped him commit superhuman feats of memory (i.e., with the Isaiah and other KJV material), and that his immersion in the KJV Bible after the First Vision and Moroni's visit informed and complemented his local rural upstate New York syntax.
  15. Not if He allows it, but doesn't create it. Why would allowing evil lead to a theodicy problem? Only if one assumes that allowing evil is evil.
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