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Posts posted by rongo

  1. 1 hour ago, Calm said:

    I have heard this from those who don’t see the original intelligence as a being, but rather the sentient building blocks of the spirits that are pulled together by God and become a spirit and that is the beginning of us as individuals (so we are really just spirit and body in terms of person rather than intelligence, spirit, and body).  So the personality that is a son of perdition is not starting over, but the bits of intelligence (that perhaps have enough sentience to desire to progress) have the chance to become something more than they are still.

    However, I don’t know if everyone who speculates this for any reason believes in the above.

    I find it to be an intriguing thought. It seems to have more purpose than eternity in outer darkness, and it would explain how there is never a lack of "qualified" tempters under Brigham Young's view that every world has its own savior and tempter (adversaries are essential to the plan, that which has been done in other worlds).

    "Evil" intelligence is evil and uncreated, but I would like to think that there is at least a possibility that that "cycle" can be broken. 

    It's also interesting to me from the point of view of comparative religion, kernels of truth everywhere, etc. Akin to Christian atonement and human sacrifice (warped application and understanding of the true principle of the need for atonement). Reincarnation and transmigration of souls are found in belief systems, ancient and modern, and I don't think they arose out of thin air. 

  2. 27 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

    That's true.

    However, I've witnessed enough healing blessings "promising" a certain result that doesn't happen, that I can't really take those promises seriously. I believe that the individual promising has good intentions and wants the promise to be true, but alas, I suspect it's more of a 50/50 proposition. Again, it reduces the value of any religious promise. I think people use that word to sound sure, and confident, and authoritative, but I find it to be very rare that the person actually has the authority that God will do what is promised. Of course the caveat of "the Lords will be done" just in case things don't work out. As you can tell, my experiences have led me to become very skeptical

    Not disputing anything you've said here. I have found that, as then Elder Oaks taught, people get the blessing God has for them, despite wording. My own personal experience leans heavily towards miraculous and efficacious healing --- so much so, that my wife and children have rock solid belief in this. We have every expectation that prophesied healing will come to pass from our life experience. Still, it's also not good if what is prophesied repeatedly doesn't come to pass (in spades). I have an outlier extreme example where I blessed a young woman with recovery, and she died the next day. Her non-member parents and brother who were present, and the nurse attending her at the time did not react how one would expect with that (the nurse wanted to know what church we were from after). I thought that the family would have been hurt, angry, and skeptical, but they didn't react that way. 

    President Packer told us as a stake conference that far too many men "play it safe" in blessings and avoid prophesying or saying anything monumental, preferring bland, generic, safe blessings. He told us to prophesy, and leave it up to God to back it up. There's no denying, though, that giving blessings is an awe-inspiring, awesome, and awful responsibility, and each time you walk the razor's edge. Past success is no guarantee in the present, and I think it's just as "scary" for an apostle as it is for a layman --- again, despite even decades of experience. It's humbling, and every time is potentially different --- sometimes, you feel powerful "back of the Ensign" inspiration. Other times, you feel nothing. 

    I'm grateful that in my own experience, it is much, much higher than a 50/50 proposition. But, I accept others' experiences that are quite different at face value, and some have not had a good experience track record at all. I think that I would rather be at the one end of the pole than the other (faith and expectation over skepticism and a feeling that it doesn't really have an effect). 

  3. 10 hours ago, Calm said:

    Then you believe that people should be identified by their sexual behaviour and not by how they self identify?

    Yes. If they claim to identify as one thing, but live through their actions as something completely different, then what use is the "identifying," actually? It serves a different purpose altogether.

    I'm with Erica Anderson, a transgender psychologist who is concerned about the explosion of "identifying" teens over the last several years. It's trendy to "identify," and convenient that you don't even have to "do" the things that the group you "identify" with does. You get the benefits of "identifying" while having to do it. Like an honorary doctorate! 


    “I think it’s gone too far,” Anderson said. “For a while, we were all happy that society was becoming more accepting and more families than ever were embracing children that were gender variant. Now it’s got to the point where there are kids presenting at clinics whose parents say, ‘This just doesn’t make sense.’”

    Anderson believes some gender-confused kids are “falling under the influence of their peers and social media,” adding that “some clinicians are failing to subject minors to rigorous mental health evaluations before recommending hormones or surgeries.”

    “What happens when the perfect storm — of social isolation, exponentially increased consumption of social media, the popularity of alternative identities — affects the actual development of individual kids?” Anderson said. “We’re sailing in uncharted seas.”

    “Giving over to hormones on demand will result in many more cases of poor outcomes and many more disappointed kids and parents who somehow came to believe that giving kids hormones would cure their other psychological problems,” the trans psychologist continued. “It won’t.”[/quote]


    Anderson has been sounding the alarm on the issue since at least 2018, when the trans psychologist bluntly admitted identifying as trans had become “trendy.”

    “A fair number of kids are getting into it because it’s trendy. I think in our haste to be supportive, we’re missing that element.”[/quote]

  4. 2 hours ago, Calm said:

    Rongo, if someone fantasizes about the opposite sex while ummm…enjoying themselves, can they be homosexual? 

    If a self-identifying gay man fantasizes about women while masturbating? Yes, I would say his claim to being gay is suspect. Why wouldn't he fantasize about men? If fantasizing about both men and women float his boat, then he could choose to only foster/nurture the attraction to women. It wouldn't be an imperative of nature he was born with and can't do anything about. 

    2 hours ago, Calm said:

    If a man engages in sex with another man by choice, are they heterosexual?  

    No, that sounds like textbook homosexual to me. ;) 

    2 hours ago, Calm said:

    If a woman gets pregnant through sex, can she be a lesbian?

    Not any more. ;) At minimum, she is "bi." This happened to a student of mine. Had a girlfriend, holding hands and kissing in the hall. Confessed to being pregnant in her baptismal interview (the district leader had some heavy lifting in that interview). She is a mother of three today, and doesn't identify as gay at all. 

    I think this is what will happen with the lion's share of those caught in the wave of "identifying as gay" right now. Most aren't, really, and they will tire of the fad (or will abandon the fad as it peters out). 


    I know that the reaction scrambles to, "Well, people can be bi," or, "it's a spectrum. No two people's sexuality is the same." Sure, but if one happens to be truly "bi" (actually and equally attracted to both) and is a striving Saint, then it is certainly possible to successfully repress the "forbidden" attraction and only foster/nurture the "accepted" attraction. I know another mother of three (not the same one) who confessed to me that she is attracted to women, too. It isn't part of her life; her husband and three children are. Yes, "bi" exists, but I think it's a lot less prevalent than people claim. 


  5. 11 minutes ago, filovirus said:

    So, for next weeks "Come Follow Me" lesson, it looks at the ten commandments. I was reading a little bit further regarding the covenant that the people of Israel were making. It spoke a lot about selling of a daughter for wife, and that this could end up in a plural marriage. It also talked about slavery, and after 7 years they are to go free. It also mentions that the owner of a slave could beat the slave, but not to death. Such a different world.

    Does anybody know what slavery was like to the early Hebrews? I am not up on my bible culture history. Was it similar to the type of slavery that black people went through up until 150 years ago?

    Slaves were set free during the year of jubilee (every 50 years). Debts were also erased, and land reverted back to the original family who owned it. 

  6. 1 minute ago, MustardSeed said:

    I took an "Are You Gay" "quiz" online last month.  Let me be clear - I like MEN.  I find women very beautiful but I've never felt a pull to be emotionally intimate with a woman ever.  Never mind sexual intimacy, which for me follows emotional intimacy and only with men.  

    The so called quiz told me I am 30% bisexual.  Its nonsense - and I know that - but how in the world would a pre teen know that?

     No, no, you've got it all wrong. How do you know you aren't "truly on the spectrum?" :D

  7. 4 minutes ago, pogi said:

    What numbers are you going off of?  CFR please. 

    Here are several:





    6 minutes ago, pogi said:

    The only way we can know how many people are LGBTQ is by asking them.  It is subjective. 

    Or by them openly telling people about it, openly identifying with the gay groups at school, etc. 

    7 minutes ago, pogi said:

    You keep bringing up "biology", what do you mean by that?  Again, is there an objective biological marker for gayness or something?  What are you getting at here?  

    What I mean is that they aren't really "on the spectrum;" they are glomming onto this social trend for various reasons. Many decide they aren't later, or that they are somewhere else "on the spectrum." I've had "out" students get pregnant. Most of these students, in my observation, are mimicking media and social media trends, or are trying to fit in with an instant friend group. 

    9 minutes ago, pogi said:

    Do you think it is possible that 20% of your students truly are on the spectrum that might cause them to identify as something other than purely "straight"?  That doesn't seem like an unreasonable number to me. 

    What does "truly" mean? That they identify: sure. That they really are? No, nowhere close to 1 out of 5 people in reality. 

  8. Just now, Scott Lloyd said:

    From the quote I cited earlier:

    “Central to God’s plan, the doctrine of marriage between a man and woman is an integral teaching of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and will not change.”

    I draw your attention to the use of the word integral. I believe it to be well chosen. It implies that to remove or disavow this teaching would do violence to the doctrinal integrity of the Church (violence which, I argue, would be fatal). By contrast, the changes you continually complain about are not doctrinally integral — at least not to the extent that the teaching about marriage between a man and a woman is doctrinally integral. (Integral and integrity have the same root.)

    That can be a moving target with future administrations and cohorts of leaders, though. If it is determined down the road that such changes are not integral --- would not do violence to the doctrinal integrity of the Church --- then such changes may possibly be made. 

    The disavowal of explanations for the priesthood ban is an example of this. Many of those who made them or gave full-throated endorsements or defenses of them certainly regarded them as "integral" --- with the disavowal of them "doing violence to the doctrinal integrity of the Church." That many today disagree with this doesn't change the fact that it required a pooh-poohing of these concerns. Paul Reeve's disavowal was simply accepted without any explanation of what we should make of the past and current explanations then. 

  9. 15 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

    This is sobering and sad. Why would greater acceptance bring more depression? I do know my lgbtq friends do mostly struggle with depression. I had hoped leaving the church and living openly would help but it has not been a cure all for many I know. 

    I think it's because it isn't lack of acceptance that causes the depression in many of these kids --- it's the Venn diagram overlap between gender/orientation confusion and mental health issues (not caused by bullying or lack of acceptance). 

    For many of these kids (my experience bears out these stats that 1 out of 5 teens identify as non-straight --- which is eye-popping, and definitely out of whack with biology or historical numbers), the fact that they are pretending to be or trying to be something they actually aren't causes tons of mental stress and anguish. 

    ETA: In my experience, kids who start experimenting with the gay identity spectrum (almost overwhelmingly girls, which is interesting. I wonder what the explanation for that is? Why not more boys?) are themselves depression/anxiety prone before that. There are also things like studies showing that the teen pregnancy rate for gay-identifying girls is off-the-charts higher than it is for straight girls. Which shows me that there is a lot more going on than "born this way, just being true to who I am --- oh, I'm also doing things with boys, so I must be somewhere else on the spectrum than all to one side." This confusion is certain to cause at least some mental stress and anguish. 

  10. 16 minutes ago, telnetd said:

    Based on that, how is Jesus the first spirit child of heavenly parents?

    First formed (by combining spirit matter with uncreated and eternal intelligence). In one sense, we are all eternal (no beginning and no end, because of intelligence). In another sense, we really have a beginning when we are created (organized). 

    With the veil of forgetfulness, birth on earth into mortality can also be seen as a beginning, even though from a wider perspective we existed before. 

  11. 7 hours ago, SkyRock said:

    I have experienced suicidal thoughts for almost 40 years.   Occasionally I have had a nearly overwhelming impulse, and I only didn't follow through at the time because I didn't think I would succeed.   

    A couple years ago I was having the thought "you should kill yourself" come in 100 times a day.   These days it is once a week or less.   It has been about 7 years since I had an extremely strong impulse.   I have never attempted it.

    Prayer and mindfulness meditation help a lot.

    These thoughts do not come to me by my choice.   They do come when I am overwhelmed by life, so it seems.  

    I will never judge anyone who attempts or succeeds at suicide.   I have had too many days where I struggled to make it to the next day.

    Did you feel like doing it, or was it just the impulse? I ask, because I had a sister in a former ward (prominent, and her husband was very prominent) who had lived with voices constantly telling her to kill herself for decades. She told me that she didn't feel like doing it, though --- just that the voices were very real. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia and the prescribed medication made the voices go away completely --- but with (to her) even worse side effects. She chose/chooses to live with the voices because she wants to "remain herself" (she didn't feel like herself at all on the medication). She's not a threat to herself or her family or anyone else, but it is exhausting dealing with the voices. She was adamant that she recognizes that she doesn't feel suicidal or depressed --- she just hears voices that she knows aren't real (but are audibly indistinguishable from real voices). 

    I can't imagine living with that **coupled with** suicidal feelings. 

  12. On 4/9/2022 at 12:07 PM, Calm said:

    I was surprised. I thought they were planning on discontinuing all the pageants except maybe Nauvoo, but I guess they aren’t. 

    I think the purely Christ-centered ones may stay, but Restoration ones, like Palmyra or the Man Who Knew, are discontinued. :( 

    ETA: As per Okrahomer's link, what I posted is inaccurate (British Mission, Nauvoo are still on). Still, I think there are reasons why the purely Book of Mormon or Witnesses ones are being done away with. 

  13. 7 minutes ago, bluebell said:

    But do the promises work with our doctrine?

    According to the promises, sons of perdition won’t exist. 

    Brigham Young, who is the source for some of the promises, believed that sons of perdition have their intelligence stripped from their spirit matter, and start all over again. So, it worked within our doctrine as he understood it. 

    I see it as akin to the Second Anointing. Neither are absolute --- people can't be saved against their will, and they can't be saved when they're still evil, regardless of what ordinances have been performed. But, the teachings offer a tremendous amount of hope --- especially through the lens of "eternal" eternal progression (progression between kingdoms and within kingdoms). 

  14. 17 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

    I attended a funeral on Saturday for a young person who had committed suicide. 

    I think it's great that Elder Holland addressed the issue head on. The message has to be that suicide isn't the answer, whether details of the afterlife are known or not.

    Yes, that is what the message has to be. No one wants to "twist the knife" for grieving and scared families, but I think the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction out of consideration (i.e., that they will be fine and on the same footing as those who don't commit suicide). There is just as little known about that as there is about the alternative (they will be damned forever). 

    Like murder, abortion, out-of-wedlock births, etc. suicide interferes with the plan of salvation ideal. The actual mental state of mind, degree of accountability, etc. will be factored in in judgment, but I think it's safe to say that not all suicides are un-accountable. The number of social factors feeding into suicide trends seems to be increasing.

    I found Malcolm Gladwell's discussion of suicide contagion in his book The Tipping Point to be fascinating. Here is a very brief discussion in a blog about that part of the book (starting with the Micronesia suicide epidemic):


    All of the factors wreaking havoc with young people today are "memes" (Richard Dawkins definition) --- they are socially contagious. I think the proliferation of mental health maladies is among these, and frighteningly, LDS families seem in increasingly more cases unable to protect their children from these. Doctrine (understood and lived), priesthood power, and Church culture (family and ward) **should** prepare and protect against it, but in many cases, falls short. :( 

  15. This is a tough one for me, because I believe (and take at their word) the teachings of the prophets on this (what Orson F. Whitney references when he says "Joseph Smith taught no more comforting doctrine . . ."). But, justice can't be robbed, and there is a strong sense of injustice if sealings "save" the wayward who have no interest or desire. 

    Because I believe in progression between and within kingdoms, this is somewhat taken care of, because it leaves room for the sealing power to "search out" after the wayward, while also requiring them to "pay the uttermost farthing" and "suffer, even as" Jesus before that is realized. 

    My code name in my raw notes for the Journal of Discourses index I put together for myself for this topic is my mother-in-law's name. She held firmly to this teaching, and when were married, my wife was in the minority of the eight children who were active in the Church or even on a trajectory to be active. Her mother stayed in an unhappy marriage because of firm faith in this teaching, and endured decades of unhappiness. After she passed away from cancer about ten years ago, all of her siblings who had strayed have come back --- often in miraculous ways. One, by one. I joked with her --- but it wasn't a joke, really. I believe that is actually a large part of what is behind this --- that her mother has been systematically working with her children from beyond the veil and "getting them back." I think there is great power and truth behind the promises, even while believing that people can't be saved against their will. 

    In the coming years, I think more and more people are going to be clinging to these promises, as most families are being infected with apostasy and bad choices, despite many people's efforts to do everything they can to avert this. 

  16. 15 minutes ago, Amulek said:

    When I followed the link the headline currently reads, "How Latter-day Saints help others is baked into every ward congregation."

    I couldn't find any instance of the phrase "Latter-day Saint Church" on the page. Maybe it has been changed?


    I figured it would be changed. Still, interesting that it made it "to print" in the first place. 

    Still has the redundant "ward congregation." :) 

  17. 58 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

    But isn't "Latter-day Saint" acceptable usage? I mean, I don't know why it would be any better than "Mormon" but I thought that was approved.

    What was approved (but with bad logic, in my opinion) was "Latter-day Saints" to refer to members. As some have explained it, this is because it is part of the full name of the Church, while Mormon isn't part of the name at all. But, the rationale behind this has never been explained by Church leaders. "LDS" is anathema.

    I think it's clear that President Nelson's intent is to stamp out use of Mormon over time, to stamp out negative associations people have with that. 

  18. 51 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

    But isn't "Latter-day Saint" acceptable usage? I mean, I don't know why it would be any better than "Mormon" but I thought that was approved.

    Not as the name of the Church --- in the same way that Mormon Church is not the name of the Church. I would think that "Latter-day Saint Church" is a "victory for Satan" under the same logic that "Mormon Church" is. For the record, I have never called the Church either --- neither before President Nelson's emphasis, nor after. I've either used the full name of the Church, or "the Church," depending on context and audience. 

    I still do use "Mormons" for "members," and terms like "Mormonism" or Mormon as an adjective (just not with church). 

    I am really surprised to see the Deseret News actually call the Church "the Latter-day Saints Church." I think this shows that even those most supportive of the emphasis don't follow it 100%. We've even had visiting 70s refer to Mormons, and then smile self-deprecatingly when they realize this. 

  19. Isn't "the Latter-day Saint Church" as bad as "Mormon Church?" And from Tad Walch in the Deseret News?


    Granted, the copy editors probably wrote the headline, not Walch, but I'm stunned to see a headline like this. I mean, if the Deseret News slips like this, is it realistic to expect members not to?

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