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Everything posted by rongo

  1. I think the religious credits aren't accepted at most universities, for one thing. But, if one had enough credits even without the religious credits, then I am unaware of any BYU classes that aren't accepted by other universities. Can anyone give any examples?
  2. To me, it depends on what is true. It doesn't default to "modern" simply because it is most recent. I don't personally believe the changes are inspired, no. And, I find the disclaimer statement at the beginning (these changes are not a change in doctrine) to be telling --- it seems to me that they are very aware that this will be a question or concern for many, hence the perceived need to preface it with "there's nothing to see here." And, I don't find the default argument "just changes in presentation, but not doctrine" to be convincing. Some things are and can be simply changes in presentation, but many changes are actual changes in what is taught (which is what doctrine is). I disagree that "in most families in the Church . . . the wife generally ends up with the final say on most issues." This is certainly true of some families, and I do think that where the husbands are shirking their duty to preside in righteousness, leaving the wives to carry the burden for church activity, family worship, etc. --- where this is the case, it is a spiritual malady that drags the families, children, and local church down (and also the meta-church, if this is enough of an issue globally). Families and the Church are "most likely" to run on all cylinders when fathers preside in righteousness, in my view. Years ago, after several sisters had expressed frustration for having to shoulder all of the burden for church and family worship, I taught a 5th Sunday lesson I called "The Men and Women of Rapa Iti" that showed slides from Thor Heyerdahl's excavation at Rapa Iti. It was an extreme example: in that culture, the women did everything, and the men lazed around and maybe fished if they were bored, and ate the poi their wives made them while they worked the fields. There were anthropological reasons for this (the island was settled by pregnant women fleeing the "short ear" genocide of the "long ears" at Rapa Nui (Easter Island), and they coddled men and boys as their most valuable possession. The Heyerdahl expedition sought to hire the men to help excavate the largest pyramid in Polynesia, and the women desperately wanted the cash that would be invaluable in trade with Tahiti. After one day of work, the men went on strike for outrageous wages, and Heyerdahl wouldn't give in. The outraged women (outraged at their husbands) left their fields and offered to work for the original offer. When it became clear to the men that there would be no poi, no work done, no sex, etc., they sued for peace and offered to work for the original offer. We discussed that it is spiritually damaging, with a ripple effect through generations, when children see only their mother leading out in prayer, study, church service and worship, living gospel principles, etc. (in some cases, encountering resistance or reluctance on the father's part). It was definitely a "repent and do better, if this applies to you" message. I am completely unconvinced that things like "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families" are outdated mistakes that need to be disavowed in light of current shifts.
  3. I don't think they really can be reconciled. I would add another option, which would be that the earlier teachings are "truer" than the recent iteration. I know there seems to be an emphasis of late that only the current teachings matter, but carried to the logical conclusion, that would just lead to "at war with Eastasia, always been at war with Eastasia, never been at war with Eurasia." And subject to change on a whim back to Eurasia when future leaders are "unleashed" and "free to follow through with things [they're] . . . . concerned about but could never do. Now that he's president, he can do those things." https://www.fox13now.com/2018/11/02/hes-been-unleashed-says-wendy-nelson-wife-of-russell-m-nelson-president-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints/ You are correct about each of these questions not really being reconcilable with the new shift. While they are coequal in all ways that matter, there is a "rubber hits the road" point where the husband presides by virtue of his priesthood authority. That's baked into the teachings, former and modern, and despite the shift in tone and emphasis.
  4. If I understand your explanation, he meant that we should identify ourselves as sons and daughters of God, not as x, y, or z as the world focuses on. Do I have that right?
  5. Serious question I wonder about: what did Elder Bednar mean when he said that there are no homosexual Church members? Did he ever clarify or explain?
  6. I don't think he's pursued the meeting, followed up, or cooperated if the Black Menaces have followed up. They are Tik Tokkers with a stated goal of making the BYU and Church community uncomfortable, and they filmed themselves disrupting his class. We would have heard (in spades) if they had met with him, or if he had requested that it be an off the record "dialogue," as they wanted. I think they would have recorded and posted it, even if they had agreed not to. Tik Tokkers need new, constant content, and The Great White Hunted would have eclipsed their "man on the street" videos. With NBC News yesterday, I definitely think we will hear from them soon, one way or another (that the meeting has or has not taken place).
  7. I don't think the meeting ever took place. If it had, I'm sure Nate Byrd and "Black Menaces" would have posted video and tried to agitate more off of their "dialogue" with Wilcox. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/black-mormons-turn-tiktok-hold-majority-white-school-accountable-race-rcna25366 In hindsight, I think Wilcox handled the disruption of his class video ambush perfectly by suggesting they schedule an appointment. That was the best thing he could have done in that moment with the camera rolling.
  8. Funny anecdote about that. I had a full endocrine exam a few years ago (lots of vials of blood drawn). When we were going over the results, the doctor seemed confused and worried. After a few minutes, I asked if something was wrong. He said, "Nothing --- except you should be dead." Your testosterone is off the charts." I deepened my voice, and joked, "Yeah, I get that a lot." Then he smiled and said he knew what had happened. The lab had listed me as a female. A female with T levels that high would have very serious health problems. For a male, my results were on the higher end, but within acceptable range. We were on the way to the temple, and the doctor also asked why we were dressed up. We told him, and he told us that he was LDS, but had been inactive for a long time. We left and encouraged him to come back. I joked that it might do wonders for his T levels.
  9. We've been told by temple presidency members that you can just show up as a walk-in without an appointment. Temple attendance is way down, and walk-ins can be accommodated as if things were normal. I think the reason why the Church doesn't just go back to normal is a "lowest common denominator" approach (members who would get very upset at the thought of the Church "not taking it seriously" any more). There are not really any government restriction or pandemic reasons to restrict numbers in temples any more --- and attendance numbers are naturally suppressed, anyway. As I said, I think another reason is that temples are very understaffed, so appointments allow them to ensure that there is enough staff to cover. Walk-ins can be approved case-by-case.
  10. I agree. It would be even more "normal" to not use a "phase" system at all. We got our emails yesterday for the Gilbert temple district, saying that we were moving to phase 4, so make an appointment . . . But, we've had speakers (including temple presidency members at stake conference) pleading with members to come back to the temple --- it's a ghost town, and very under-used. I still think the fact that the appointment system remains means that there continues to be ongoing shortages of workers. And that after a two year major disruption to being able to go to the temple, people who used to go just aren't going very much any more.
  11. Phase 4 still means that appointments are required. I'm sure that in practice, walk-ins are accepted if they can be accommodated. I wonder if there continue to be profound staffing issues --- hence the appointment system, even in big temples.
  12. Completely aside from the main topic here, I find the variation in approaches to youth dances to be fascinating. My former stake (we moved a month ago, but had been in that stake for ca. 20 years) had a lot of line/group dances (which made it easy for the shy kids and the wallflowers) and a lot of slow dances (which offered lots of opportunities to ask different people to dance, and slow dances are foolproof [deacon shuffle] ). Very few fast dances (which are intimidating for the shy kids, wallflowers, and people who feel totally self-conscious freestyling). It sounds like your stake's approach would be uncomfortable for a lot of those youth (and maybe/probably vice versa). Area roulette strikes again!
  13. I haven't been to a stake dance since 2018. As bluebell mentioned earlier: I agree that there has been a lot of water under the bridge in the last four years, and I suspect that there would be a lot less of the platonic friendship hand-holding, or friend dancing now because of the explosion of kids acting out or experimenting (kids who don't want to be misunderstood don't want to give any reason to). Kids who identify as gay very visibly do so --- they go to great lengths to cultivate the look that they are part of that group. When I used to work closely with youth in a church setting, when there were girls dancing, they were pretty clearly not gay teens seeking a romantic experience out of it. It would be a different thing today if two girls who cultivate the look and identity of the gay community were doing that, but that hasn't been my experience. Boys dancing together automatically would send that message, and it would be known to the boys and to the observers that that message was being sent.
  14. Boys dancing together in an LDS stake dance setting is blatantly flouting the social norms --- a bold, conscious step, either to test the waters/reaction, or even bolder, to proclaim and project. It's completely different from platonic, friend dancing among girls. Actually, in the explosion over the last ten years, it's much more common among girls than among boys. Our very open and obvious gay community at school (which includes many Church members --- and they are trying to be open and obvious about it) is almost exclusively girls (there are some boys). At other schools I have been at, this social phenomenon is overwhelmingly girls.
  15. cf. Elder Paul Johnson's rationale against gay-dating behavior at BYU, and apply it to counsel to Church youth. Same-sex hand-holding, kissing, etc. aren't per se violations of the law of chastity, but they do not lead towards where they need to be, and in fact lead away (whether temporarily or permanently, depending on agency). Boys dancing together in an LDS stake dance setting is blatantly flouting the social norms --- a bold, conscious step, either to test the waters/reaction, or even bolder, to proclaim and project. It's not the same level of "serious" as sex, but it's still something that should be prohibited at a stake dance setting, in my view.
  16. I agree with @JLHPROF. It isn't that there will be groping, petting, etc. with boys dancing. It's the continued normalization and social endorsement of it that youth are bombarded with. I think the Church and Church-sponsored activities and entities should continue to maintain boundaries. What used to be the analogy of a widening chasm between the world's trajectory and the Church's. This is one of the ground zeroes of this that **could** go either way, depending on whether the Church accommodates or remains where it is.
  17. Absolutely. I think this is pretty well policed. In my experience, kids are pretty well behaved at dances, and a lot of non-member youth come with friends. It's actually a "good time had by all" for everyone. My old stake (we just moved) did a lot of line or group dancing that all kids liked doing as a big group, which is good for the wallflowers and shy kids. Boys did a pretty good job of sharing the wealth and seeking out girls who don't get asked all the time for slow dances. Inappropriate dress or behavior was extremely rare.
  18. Yes. The copycat nature, impressionability, normalization and even celebration of it, and social contagion aspects of the gay-identifying epidemic among youth and among LDS youth is something that leaders should be in front of. In my experience, many of these confused youth revert back to their "default setting" once their experimentation and fad wears off. Girls dressing like boys, conspicuously growing leg hair, and identifying. Boys making a big do-do over their new identification (one of these was actually at a stake dance. He's now temple-married --- at the time, a lot of the kids said it was all for attention, and it was). I think refusing to do what we can as leaders and parents to discourage gay dating behavior is malpractice. Even when youth figure things out and the fad passes, they went through unnecessary law of chastity violations in their experiment. I think we should do what we can to teach, foster, and encourage correct principles. To me (and many others) letting boys dance as a gay dancing display crosses that line in a way that platonic friend dancing among girls doesn't. It's the same concern and rationale as the gay dating behavior at BYU.
  19. It's like inherently sexualizing hand-holding, kissing, and hugging at BYU. I wouldn't do a thing about the platonic, friend dancing of girls since time immemorial. But, I wouldn't allow boys to dance together at stake dances, and I'm confident that the Church hierarchy largely agrees with me. For now.
  20. Yes. I wouldn't allow it --- under the same rationale that the Church finally stepped in at BYU with Elder Paul Johnson's explanation for the gay dating behavior ban at BYU. I agree with you that this is something we just need to own (people are welcome as long as they don't engage in gay behavior).
  21. This gets into theodicy (problem of evil). Is God all-knowing and all-powerful? Then He had to have created people to be and do evil things. Otherwise, He isn't all-powerful or all-knowing. Mormons get around this with D&C 93 (intelligence is eternal and not created). The Book of Abraham is our central scripture containing the doctrine of grades of intelligence. When coupled with D&C 93, it gives rise to the teaching of eternal, uncreated intelligence. In the case of Satan and those who followed him, they weren't deprived based on what they will become rather than what they are. They (when coupled with spirit matter -- "things to be acted upon" [intelligence being "that which acts"]) chose open rebellion against the plan. Under Brigham Young's idea, sons of perdition have their intelligence separated from their spirit matter (or also physical matter, in the case of resurrected sons of perdition), and the intelligence starts over. But, their eternal uncreated nature being what it is, the nature will still be evil. Like I said, I like to believe that there is a chance that even these can choose otherwise. I believe in limited omniscience and progression between kingdoms, so I'm more open to this possibility than some.
  22. It's different with girls. Most boys starting out with the stake dance scene --- especially deacons or teachers --- are wallflowers, or goof off, eat refreshments, and try to ditch the dance and hide in the building or go outside. Leaders spend an inordinate amount of time and effort trying to get them to ask girls to dance. As they get older, many of the priests and some teachers do ask girls to dance. Slow dances are easier, because you can laways do the "deacon shuffle" if you have no moves (or are self-conscious). Boys dancing with boys is very unusual (like, unheard of). It would be a cultural "in your face" in a way that girls dancing with girls isn't.
  23. Didn't God knowingly give Satan "a vehicle to progress to injure someone?" Why would He knowingly do that?
  24. If this is true, it's not a churchwide policy --- it would be a local policy.
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