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Everything posted by rongo

  1. And what, spit it out when they weren't looking? What other multiple ways, besides swallowing it (and I guess spitting it out when they weren't looking)? That's why the broiled fish and honeycomb are powerful testimonies of the resurrection. They can eat, just like we can, even though they don't need to. What do you think about celestial polygamy? Would attraction just be tuned to however many wives a man has?
  2. What purpose does it serve here? What purpose does being able to eat serve for resurrected beings, and yet they can. Even though they don't have to, though. They still retain the abilities from mortality. As resurrected celestial beings, we will be able to control our thoughts in a way that we can't now. I think that gender being an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose doesn't mean that attraction is excluded so as to only be possible for our spouse(s). There's also the prospect of eternal polygamy, too . . .
  3. I don't believe that it is. I think the binary male/female setting is both biologically and historically mega-dominant, no matter what recent academics in gender studies programs argue. It also makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint that gender isn't as malleable and fluid as is currently in vogue to argue.
  4. Yeah, I don't see that as compatible with "gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose" (Proclamation). I know that more progressive members over the years have tried to parse that into a narrow definition of "gender," but I think it's clear what the "original intent" and interpretation of that was and is, among those not trying to separate it from sex and orientation: 1) all people have an eternal gender (pre-existence, here, and in the hereafter) that corresponds to mortal biological sex 2) this includes "default setting" (form fits function) orientation associated with that gender. It's a continuation of the pre-existence, but with the physical body of the second estate. It also will be perpetuated after the resurrection. 2a) There are biological anomalies, such as hermaphroditism or other genetic defects that make this unclear or ambiguous in mortality (chosen trials or experiences, in my view), but these are rare. They are akin to other developmental defects that will be made right in the resurrection. Attempts to portray the hereafter as asexual strike me as being embarrassed about how LDS corporealism strikes outsiders ("celestial sex," etc.). There is no reason why, given our doctrines about "that which has been done in other worlds" and how life on earth is similar to the preexistence (and how "that same sociality will exist" in the hereafter), to become neoplatonic about it. This anthropomorphism is one of the things that makes Mormonism unique and attractive to the elect, in my view, and I think we shed our peculiarities to not be seen as weird at our own peril.
  5. Often, a lot of the judgment people feel coming from the Church/Church members is in their heads. That is, they feel judged, stared at, thought less of, etc., even when those they feel are doing it are not doing it. This happens a lot with people who are apprehensive about standing out in church meetings. Many of the young people leaving the Church have family who are doing everything they can to retain and maintain normal relations, not make it awkward or hostile, etc., but this is only perceived by them as being very different. I think a lot of this has to do with self-consciousness, dissonance, and sometimes even conscience.
  6. That is an interesting question. I'm a department chair in the foreign language department at my school, and our ASL teacher is deaf and LDS. My brother-in-law served an ASL mission in Philadelphia, and he's been a well of information about deaf culture. We have an amazing deaf woman in our ward who taught an ASL class before we moved out of the ward (we're now back in that ward two years later). Based on my interactions with active, LDS deaf people, I think most of them believe they will be cured of deafness in the hereafter. But, the larger deaf community is actually generally hostile to the hearing community, and as you said, many among them see those who get cochlear implants or who try to be able to hear as "traitors." They don't see themselves as needing to be fixed. When Gallaudet University put in a hearing president who was fluent in ASL, he was removed after violent protests. It is an interesting question to ask active LDS deaf people --- whether they believe they will be deaf in the resurrection. I wonder what those who believe they will be think of passages describing Jesus healing the deaf?
  7. I agree that sexual attraction is only a part of overall identity. And like you said earlier, it's not even one of the most important ones. My son's MTC teacher, who came out on Facebook in defense of Elder Holland after his talk, described his identity as being a son, husband, father, brother, and priesthood holder --- not wanting to focus on "gay" as an identity. I think those gay members who are going to "make it" in the Church can't see "gay" as their overarching, primary identity. That's the $64,000 question. I think all of the factors that we face in life, including orientation, stem from our development in the preexistence and what we personally need to experience, overcome, improve, and change. Some of these factors have inherent "degree of difficulty," and I believe that will be factored into the final judgment as well. Part of this, I believe, involves a pre-existence choice to have to face these challenges (i.e., personal choice, not random chance or even God's unilateral decision). I don't personally believe homosexuality tendencies existed in the preexistence, and I don't believe it will continue after resurrection (I think the tendencies are still there in the spirit world awaiting judgment and resurrection, though). While I don't recommend straight marriage and family raising as a means of "curing" homosexuality, I don't think he made a mistake, and I don't think he lived a lie. Thanks for your thoughts and insights!
  8. It's great to have you here, @Esrom! I'm also interested in your opinion on whether or not you think you will be gay in the resurrection. A secondary question (but probably more important, as far as long-term Church activity and loyalty) is: do you want to not be gay in the resurrection? The gay members I know who are making it work (are active and loyal/supportive of Church doctrine and practice) don't want to be gay, and don't want to be gay in the hereafter. HappyJack's questions made me wonder if that describes you, too. Obviously, the atonement is amazing, and there is a lot we don't know, but I'm just curious about your opinion, and your preferences. Thanks!
  9. Families with their heads in the sand (unequipped to even begin to talk about CES letter type concerns) certainly exist, but that doesn't describe these particular families. Close relationships between parents and children, exposure and enjoyment in deep gospel and Church history discussions, etc. The parents are hurt that the children didn't reach out for help or even to talk while it was festering, and they weren't heads in the sand, oblivious type of families. There are believers who will hum with their fingers in their ears with these sorts of things, of course. They knew they weren't going to just be told to stay in the boat, read, pray, and hold on. I agree about the second part --- in this wave, in my corner of the vineyard, they have made their decision, and they only want affirmation and not only acceptance from their families, they want them to come with them and are upset when they don't want to. Everyone agrees with this in theory (again, I liked that the very inactive in-laws were telling them to pump the brakes and chill out for a while), but they act almost consumed and obsessed with rushing to sever the ties with the Church. It's interesting --- on the one hand, they don't want any preaching or attempts to help them, as you said. But on the other, they are upset that their families aren't seeing things the same way. One couple I don't know as well as others I have in mind is the son of our bishop in our old ward. He and his wife and two little kids moved into the ward. He was the last of eight kids, all strong and active. My parents told us (we were housesitting for them) that they had told their parents they had left the Church and didn't want to talk about it. The poor elderly couple were devastated. I don't know the particulars. I think everyone agrees that people who leave don't believe any more. They are not acting at all like their concerns have been resolved with the break-up. If anything, they seem plagued with cognitive dissonance, and are going through a lot of unrest.
  10. Doesn't surprise me. It's the apparent "out of the blue" nature that is surprising, although from their end, it wasn't as sudden as it looks to us. They just spring it "out of the blue," and it's the first family and friends have heard of it. From what I'm seeing, part of the sudden "out of the blue reveal" announcement is to stifle discussion or attempts to talk about it. They want space and distance for now (but don't want to be "ostracized" or "shunned," either). It's a tightrope for parents, siblings, and friends, because they just got rocked by the nuclear bomb, but can't really address it, given the terms laid down, but need to be inclusive and empathetic, and not be perceived as "faking it." It's hard, because the young people are watching like a hawk for pretexts to be offended. One of the mothers who called us told her daughter and son-in-law that they still love them and their children, of course, and this doesn't change that, but they need to see it from their perspective. Their sky just fell, and they are being asked (demanded) to not act strained or forced --- but also not to talk with them about their issues at all. They want/need to know "why," and what happened, but they don't want any discussion. Interestingly, the son-in-law's very inactive parents strongly advised them not to remove their names, but to have a cooling off period so they knew it wasn't a rash, emotional decision they might regret that is not easily undone. Very wise advice for a number of situations. I've just been seeing it in many unrelated instances all at once, so it has that "Sear's Call Center" feel of a hot trend right now to me. Different from the struggle we've had at losing, retaining, and keeping youth and young adults --- this is young families. And in many cases, the proverbial "child I would have least expected it of." Often, the parents are hurt that they never came to them with concerns, and in many cases, there was a solid and strong positive relationship. To be honest, I think many of these young couples don't want the help, and don't want their concerns to be resolved --- they just are waiting until they feel ready to "pull the trigger" on the exit.
  11. Of course! You are also among the more stimulating posters here, even when we don't agree. He does indeed know our hearts, and the higher law of our thoughts and desires (as taught in the Sermon on the Mount and to the Nephites) was instituted by Christ. But, I don't believe that God judges thoughts and desires either until the thought actually happens. That is, I don't think it's like the Precogs on Minority Report, knowing people will commit very specific crimes at very specific times because He knows their hearts. Neither. I believe the keys are still there. I obviously am not a fan of the "disavowal" of certain things (which are also not claimed to be revelation, but rather, anonymous essays outsourced and ghost-written by scholars) for PR/PC reasons, but as I've noted many times before (and which chagrins those who want the Church to be more assertive about it), I think it's significant that room has clearly been left for people to continue believing what was formerly taught. I think that's intentional, and I think it shows the needle the Brethren are trying to thread as Church members mirror the polarization in society at large. I don't believe that God commanded the Church to jettison previously known truths. Where this has the appearance of happening, I think it fits within God not remote-controlling His leaders and leaving them room to exercise their agency (this fits within your deism model). Obviously, if they go too far, God would step in and correct it (I'm with @JLHPROF in believing this will happen at some point with temple items that have been removed, for example). I do think that the general decline in the Church is the real-time fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles being fulfilled, and the sunset of the Gentile phase of the Restoration (northern European dominated) and the rise of Judah and the remnant of Lehi (as foretold in the Book of Mormon). I think the measures that are being implemented that frustrate Boomers like me (honorary --- I'm only 46) that are meant to stop the bleeding among GenZ and Millennials won't ultimately succeed in doing that, and we could have held firm with "traditional explanations" (ultimately the same result, either way). But, I don't think God is angry with His leaders for following their own lights in these efforts. No, I can't. I also don't think God's communications to His children (LDS and not) are as hopelessly not understood (from God's end) or perceived (from our end) as that. I think it's a symptom of the specific currents we're swimming against in modern society (including in the Church). I do agree that how some members explain it (in trying to solve "problem of evil" challenges) paint God this way, but I don't think it's how He is or how He has to be. I think it's more of a problem on our end.
  12. Someone who voluntarily leaves the Church, or openly attacks the Church while remaining a member (my definition). Eternal consequences for those who remain in a state of apostasy up to judgment. From the Baptist perspective, I would definitely say yes. From the LDS perspective, they have seen the light. From the LDS perspective, I would definitely say yes. From the Baptist perspective, they have seen the light. This is trickier. I know Baptists who would say yes, but it depends on how ecumenical within Protestantism they are. For many Protestants, most Protestant branches are fine, but JW, LDS, 7DA, and Roman Catholic are not. Sure. They left, and became agnostic/atheistic after leaving. I don't think getting all Christians to agree on anything is realistic.
  13. All really good points about factors affecting the young adult generations. The highlighted portion saddens me. Our family has definitely seen the hand of God intervening. Thinking about the other thread, I think that believing in a deist God would tend to not be a bottomless well of commitment, enthusiasm, etc. for the gospel and the Church. I'm also seeing mixed marriages (not being equally yoked) as being a big risk factor. It is incredibly hard to shoulder all of the spiritual burden with no help, and eventually, things give.
  14. It is absolutely a social contagion phenomenon. They aren't happening in a vacuum. While there are of course different reasons, I am seeing some patterns (they don't hold true for everyone). One of them is wives who have been shouldering all of the burden (deadbeat lump of a husband, breadwinning [must provide], full burden of spiritual leadership in the home, stress with kids, etc.) which makes them vulnerable to the garden variety reasons for leaving. There concerns are real, but it's almost like it's easier for the Church to be a fraud and the truth claims not true, because then the spiritual load they are carrying is lessened. Some have told their parents, when they finally tell them, that their lives haven't turned out how they thought or wanted them too. There is plenty of the drifting away among the young (it's epidemic), but that isn't what I'm seeing. That's been with us for a while. This is solid young families who abruptly, seemingly out of the blue, announce they are gone and don't want any attempts to convince them otherwise.
  15. I met my wife at the Sears call center in Provo, Utah (East Bay, actually). We fielded calls about problems with Sears appliances, and scheduled repair work. While one could get the impression from our job that Kenmore products were terrible (every time a call came through, it involved problems), we realized that 100% of the calls we took were problems. People didn't call to tell us that they were having no problems, that everything was working well, etc. Aware of this (that anecdotal evidence and experience does not represent the reality of the overall picture), my wife and I have noticed an increasing and intensifying increase in apostasy among young adults in their 20s and 30s. This general trend has long been discussed and worried about among youth (e.g., anecdotal experience in our stakes, mission age change to "stop the bleeding," keep 'em active programs post mission and in institutes, Church magazine focus and articles, etc.), but what we're seeing is rapid, "bombshell," seemingly out of nowhere announcements from young married couples with children that they are leaving the Church or that they want to (this doesn't come "out of nowhere," but it's the first anyone knows about it). We've been called and asked advice from friends about their children (sometimes in other states), and in many cases, these apostasies are among "the cream of the crop" (youth we knew well). By the time of the "bombshell" announcements, they neither want nor are open to help, discussion, question-answering, etc. Is anyone else noticing this? I know that in certain quarters, the response to this is, "Well, no duh. The Church is false, you could drive a truck through the holes in the truth claims, they're just seeing the light about how false everything is and becoming enlightened, etc." Obviously, I disagree with this, but I do agree that the way the Church has handled some things over decades is a contributing factor.
  16. In my case, I believe in limited omniscience and limited omnipotence, not TULIP absolute omniscience and omnipotence. I also favor the Skousen eternal intelligences explanation for the why of the plan of salvation (and why it couldn't be any other way, and is what has always been done before, worlds without end). For me, then, it's not enough for God to "know the heart" of each person and have that be enough. That's like law enforcement in Minority Report punishing criminals for crimes they haven't committed, but are going to commit. With the source of God's power being the honor the eternal intelligences have for Him (and absolute faith He would never do anything unjust), judging people for having a "black heart" without them doing any "black-hearted" things would be cause for complaints about unjustness. I don't personally believe God would put a person in a position to commit atrocities so that they could repent (say, a bishop who will abuse children). Perish the thought! It is extremely sad. I've been thinking about suffering in general over the millennia --- not just modern sex crimes. It's mind-boggling how some of our brothers and sisters who kept their first estate act when the veil of forgetfulness is upon them in mortality. That could only be shown to everyone (including themselves) on the mortal stage, with the veil. I don't think any one of them would believe it if they were told that in the pre-existence. I think we've known more about the pre-existence in the past, but we as an institutional church have jettisoned some of it in favor of ignorance and ambiguity for PR/PC reasons --- while trying to keep a lot of it to believe that we are Warriors "held in reserve," saved for Saturday. I also don't think He has made it challenging to understand Him --- I think modern sensibilities and philosophical trends make past explanations and philosophies harder for people to accept --- and not because the old explanations are dumb and the new ones are more enlightened and rational. Satan knows what he's doing, and is effective at trying to sandbag as many people in this time as possible. Unbelief and skepticism are the default setting in our day, and that informs age old problems like the problem of evil.
  17. God sometimes does interfere with others' agency (cf. many stories), but then He often doesn't when we want Him to, so the question centers around, as it always does, why does He intervene in XYZ case but not in ABC case. The only answer that satisfies me is that the pre-existence is the key to almost everything. We know very little about the pre-existence, and it's clear to me that the unfairness and injustice we experience on earth throughout history has to be able to be explained in terms of either a) what we lack and need to gain on earth, b) what we accomplished there and don't need here (e.g., people who are not accountable on earth and are heirs of the celestial kingdom from birth), or c) in some cases people who have enough "celestial capital," for lack of a better term, being sacrificed in order to provide necessary testing or opportunities for a). I think the atrocity examples fit under this. I fully admit that if one of my children had something horrific happen to them because of others' agency and God didn't intervene, that wouldn't be as easy to accept as it is as a hypothetical. At all. But, the answer would be the same. The "test proctor," deist, or Analytics' Special Forces God scenarios aren't satisfying or reasonable to me. --- As a slight sidetrack to this, the modern Church has tried/is trying to decouple itself from the preexistence only when it comes to race (for PR and PC reasons), but never with the other factors in life (e.g., era, geography, family assignment, circumstances, opportunities, BIC, etc.). I see the preexistence as heavily affecting absolutely everything --- without it, it is very hard to make any sense of the "problem of evil" type questions. I think we all (all 85 billion or however many people who have lived) have a tailored "my turn on earth," and suffering and God selectively intervening or not intervening with atrocities is part of His active role to ensure that we all have exactly what we need. Certain people might need to be able to "fill the measure" of their agency so that they can't claim in judgment that they weren't able to exercise it. Others, as stories teach, are able to have their agency thwarted. In moving His chess pieces, God may look to certain people He can use in the overall picture, and to us they are horrific victims. In the eternal view, though, their trials are a very small section of their eternal existence and experience. Doesn't make it any easier on any of us when we are in mortality. In a crude analogy, military leaders sometimes need to knowingly sacrifice soldiers/manpower to achieve a larger objective. In those cases where God chooses not to intervene, knowing everything and all factors, He may choose to allow great suffering and horrible injustice in part because the victims' progression won't be thwarted by it (He can turn to them for that role). --- A less macabre side of the coin are the interventions that save or reform wayward people (e.g., Alma the Younger and the sons of Helaman). Many parents have prayed and pleaded for God's intervention with their wayward children, but God doesn't send angels or intervene dramatically for everyone. To the parents, their children are just as important as Alma the Younger, so it can be hard when some people seem to "get the golden ticket" and others don't. There are myriads of factors at play: some we can guess at (potential to respond well to the intervention, etc.), and others we can't even fathom. Non-universal intervention can be just as hard to accept in these cases as it can for atrocity scenarios.
  18. Kind of, in my view. Especially with social media if they are ghost-written or translated. Less so with memorized portions of talks. The Brethren's social media accounts have such sparse traffic, that it's kind of a moot point.
  19. It isn't always just the trivial things that are problematic. A stake conference speaker might speak about miraculous intervention in a car accident (I wouldn't call that trivial), but there are families listening who lost loved ones in car accidents that God didn't intervene in. Or miraculous healings (real, known and confirmed ones), but there are times when God doesn't heal people whom people are desperately praying for and administering to. I wouldn't call that trivial, either. The real question (unanswerable, really) is why God intervened here but not there. Like I said, I think it's the hardest problem. I think the best that can be done is to acknowledge head on that it is a problem; that the problem exists, and that the explanations are probably not going to be satisfactory to people who's shelves broke over it. And then to testify of known and experienced instances (hopefully not car keys, snow cones, or avoided traffic tickets) where God unmistakably intervened. The unanswerable question of why here but not there, while not hunky dory, is a better question than "does God intervene at all? Is He really even there?", which is where people can end up. As far as file leader discernment, I personally have experienced God telling me unmistakably that specific things are wrong with specific people, and that I need to directly address it --- and it was from God; I had no way of consciously or subconsciously knowing. It was direct revelation. So, I don't have shaken faith about the possibility of miraculous intervention. But, this doesn't happen all the time or on demand --- or even always when it's needed. That's the difficult question. Why here and now, but not there and then? This is even harder when there is something horrific that it seems God should have intervened with or made His will known. Did you ever see the Richard Dutcher movie "Brigham City?" I really liked it (I know many who didn't). The serial killer at the end gloats that one of his victims "was praying pretty hard there at the end, too" before he did terrible things to her. While I think that most people intellectually understand that God doesn't automatically and instantly intervene, and that "the problem of evil" exists and has a purpose, it's hard when it directly and personally impacts us --- or when the non-intervention is for something really horrible.
  20. I've mentioned before that I've often been asked to meet with people with CES letter concerns, and the like. (True) leader atrocity stories are, in my view, the single hardest concern to address, because there really is not much that can be said. At the extreme end are known stories where a leader sexually abused people while in office. Even if this was a "David" fall after being called, it raises questions that have no good answer (along the lines of "problem of evil" questions --- why does God intervene in some cases, but not this one? Why no revelation to a file leader that this is going on? I know from personal experience that this is possible and happens, but it is also not automatic). It's hard to know where the breakdown is --- lack of discernment, God having a larger purpose that is inscrutable to us, etc., but it really seems from our mortal understanding like He should intervene sometimes when He does not. I've never found a good way to address this when it is a major problem for people.
  21. Can he converse, or did he memorize a talk portion for his talk in Lima? Can he conduct a Q&A when visiting somewhere? There is a big difference between the two. I don't believe that he could carry on an extended conversation or conduct a Q&A in Mandarin, either, despite how much his studying Mandarin has been touted. Some of the Brethren have known prodiciency (Elder Anderson and French, Elder Uchtdorf and German (and maybe still Russian?), Elder Renlund and Swedish, etc.) I agree that even if and when the Brethren are conversant, they aren't the actual ones posting to their social media accounts. I'm sure COB staffers do it for them.
  22. I believe they have staffers who do this. The First Presidency Twitter accounts are used very sporadically, and the content is always generic staffer-style stuff.
  23. Also, I don't think the thousand year periods are measured with a stopwatch. They are general time periods that are (I believe), accurate, but not precise.
  24. Yeah, I don't understand why Denver Snuffer is highlighted in the headline. From this, it doesn't appear that he or his movement has "canonized Q conspiracy theories," nor does it appear that he has a definite connection to this Phil Davis. It looks like baseless journalistic sensationalism. Click bait.
  25. That was my thought as well. I would never seek for a vaccine exemption, and certainly not a letter from the Church or a local leader to that effect, but there is plenty in LDS teachings and overall Gedankengut that would support one's firmly held beliefs or subjective feelings (e.g., "I really feel strongly like I should/shouldn't . . .). The new handbook addition on the Church's policy on vaccinations even ends by saying it is ultimately up to individual conscience. And it is, of course, when all is said and done, and that certainly applies to personal belief, even when it is at odds with the Church's overall orientation on things like vaccines (but not when it clearly is contra-orthodoxy). California being California, they have done an end run around personal belief by codifying that you must demonstrate a certified, codified historical belief for your church. Ironically, this was one of the main reasons the Brethren had Richard Wilkins write the Proclamation on the Family in the mid 1990s (to begin to establish such a codified historical belief, in writing, on moral issues). Starting with Hawaii, and then California and many other places around the world, the Brethren needed to be able to point to (now nearly 30 year-old written declaration) historical precedent. It's no surprise at all that the Church wants neither itself nor its representatives to be embroiled in things like this, so people in California seeking some writ from local leaders are out of luck. We live in such lawless times, that laws, regulations, and decrees from both parties when in power are simply ignored, so this sort of thing comes down to "state roulette" as far as enforcement. Instead of executive order, the president chose to have this be an OSHA regulation, so it will be interesting to see what happens with this in the courts. It will probably face the same fate as the eviction moratorium that was enforced by the CDC (this isn't the first time the Biden administration has tried enforcement through federal agencies rather than laws or executive orders).
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