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Everything posted by rongo

  1. I can see that, but in my case, it isn't actually a refund, since I pay no federal withholding. It is money from the government, because I have a household of six and don't make a lot. I feel kind of bad taking the "refund," but it is definitely income to us and not getting back what was previously withheld. Ditto with the "stimulus," which just arrived today for us. It's going into savings, sans tithing. We're fortunate to have steady income until my new contract begins in late July, so we haven't been hurt by the shutdown (the economy at large sure has, though).
  2. I think there are two types of members. Those who read this and think that, because it says the underlined parts as written, a leader should simply repeat himself like an attorney worried about liability and repeat over and over, "It says in the handbook 'No one is justified in making any other statement than this.'" But what do you think personally? "Let me repeat what it says . . ." Then, there are those who know this, but also want their bishop's counsel; also want to know what he says and what he thinks. I know that many express here very little esteem for what he might think or have
  3. I don't believe it was ever in the handbook, one way or another. It's not like the Church would know tithing is from gambling, or anything else (say, a land sale). You just filled out the slip (or today, enter numbers in the field).
  4. Me, personally, yes on gift cards (value --- e.g., $5 for a $50 Target card, since there is no functional difference between $50 cash and the use of the card). If given an item as a gift, no. ETA: As I think about this, I think I've gone for simplicity. A gift card is easy to calculate; value of an item given to me is complicated. No. Not applicable. I can't remember ever sending away for a rebate check. It never seemed worth the trouble to fill out the info and wait 12 weeks for a $5 check. But, we're not big spenders, on the sorts of things that come with substantial
  5. I don't think I was going against counsel. When a member **asks** his bishop for counsel on paying tithing, I think a bishop giving that counsel is within the letter and the spirit of the handbook. They wouldn't have asked if they didn't want to know my view. I didn't go out of my way to impose my view on tithing on members who weren't seeking counsel.
  6. Yes for me, because: a) it's income, pure and simple. It's incoming money. And, it isn't an advance on my tax refund, as some have claimed. It's actually income. b) I've always preferred being simple and not trying to nickel-and-dime God by rationalizing this or that shouldn't be tithed (that lone piano key Bill Reel plunked away at, before he chose to go garden variety apostate podcaster). Since I have a W2 job (I get a check from The Man), it's always been easy to just pay on the gross and be done with it, without seeing how much I can rationalize paring my "increase" down to avoid
  7. Well, there might not be any functional difference if this announced Russia temple goes 20+ years before an actual site is announced, or ground broken. If that is the case (as it is with some current announced temples), then what was the point of announcing it? To get some oohs and aahs in Conference?
  8. Well, there might be if the DDR had arrested and deported people. Or if Putin encouraged the Church to build a temple there. Or if Eastern Orthodox churches were fomenting individual and governmental opposition to the Church. Maybe then the situations could be considered remotely similar. I spent six months of my mission in the former DDR, six years nach der Wende. We were the first missionaries to have a phone in our apartment, and were largely cut off and isolated from the rest of the mission. The outgoing branch president had been in since the Berlin Wall went up (when he was released
  9. Why didn't he intervene in the very public international news story, then, where the two missionaries were detained for weeks before being deported for holding a game night at the Church (one of the few missionary activities they are ostensibly allowed to do in Russia)? Remember the news camera crew accompanying the police for the arrest? I see absolutely no evidence that Putin sees anything to do with the Church to his advantage. At best, it is in insignificant, non-influential American entity in his country. But, no one thinks that this "at best" scenario is anything close to what he r
  10. Yeah, I've always been embarrassed by Mormons, who don't accept Catholic baptisms as valid, being upset that Catholics don't accept our baptisms as valid. Complete lack of self-awareness, right there.
  11. Looks like they lived in the mountains west of Clifton. As home schooled kids, we wouldn't have known them. I didn't know anyone who was home-schooled in the late 70s.
  12. I grew up in Weston, which was right next to Clifton (Mumford, Bundy's Oregon attorney, was from Clifton). I knew Westovers in Weston/Dayton, but they weren't anti-government activists. Then again, I was 10 when we moved.
  13. My son has a brand new sister in his district from Sweden (she arrived on March 10th, right when all the craziness hit, so she has been sequestered her whole mission so far). She was a divinity school student when she joined the Church, and has only been a member for two years. As for Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians being all the same, when my wife and I were coming back from the FAIR Conference in Frankfurt in 2009, there were two elderly couples talking in the Newark Airport. My wife asked what they were speaking, and I said it sounded like one of the Scandinavian languages. They looked
  14. I never got that feeling about Powell (creepy and slightly psychotic) Emaciated and too skinny, yes. Powell was at his best when telling parables. Remember the prodigal son one in Matthew's house? And just other aspects of acting, I think he did better than anyone. It's a tough role to please anyone. It had the best Peter, too. And the scene in the Sanhedrin, with Sir Lawrence Olivier and James Mason as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea and Athony Quinn as Caiaphas. I also like the treatment of Judas; it's sympathetic and plausible.
  15. I love Idaho (I lived there until I was ten), but up north there are definitely some anti-government types. Here was the thread a couple of years ago about the tazing at his trial. smac had posted video allegedly justifying the tazing, but I couldn't see anything justifying it. I think they were just ticked that they had lost a sure thing case, and wanted to strong arm him out the door to go to Nevada. https://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/70796-ammon-bundy-socialists-in-the-church/page/4/ I can't believe that he's free now to try to stir up more government trouble.
  16. I thought he was going to be perpetually embroiled in court since his acquittal in Oregon (where US Marshalls tazed his attorney, my childhood acquaintance Marcus Mumford, for simply asking to see the warrant, when they immediately told the judge they were taking him to be tried in Nevada). I saw that as a feather-in-the cap long-odds victory for Mumford, although the government overreached and should have pursued sure-thing lesser charges, in my opinion. They went for the home run (terrorism, conspiracy, and treason charges) in a very conservative, rural Oregon county (sympathetic to some of
  17. I think those looking for women to be given priesthood office are beating their heads against the wall. I think the boxing in lines have been drawn pretty vividly: women operate with priesthood authority in the Church and in their callings, but do not hold priesthood offices and perform priesthood ordinances (other than in a very limited sense in the temple, with other women). Office and ordinances are what those who are perpetually disappointed mean by "women and the priesthood."
  18. Phase one of the restoration was among the Gentiles --- but in the special Book of Mormon definition, these Gentiles (from predominantly northern European ancestry) are also Israel (primarily the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh). But, as the Book of Mormon and Bible testify, the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled, and there will be other phases. The ten thousands of Ephraim and the thousands of Manasseh pushed the peoples of the earth together like bulls with their horns, but I think we in the Gentile Church (Book of Mormon definition) think things will always remain that way. You re
  19. It was at street displays. Mennonites would come right up and politely but firmly discuss why we were astray (typical evangelical talking points). It was all very respectful, but they were very active in this, in multiple cities. As you point out, the Mennonites are an even bigger minority than Mormons are in Germany, and I think this is what made them strong and confident (same applies to Mormons, too --- I think we're also stronger in a lot of ways when we're an extreme minority. I think we've gotten carried away with how many million nominal members we have). Seventh-day Adventists ar
  20. A lot can change. Rapidly. That's a good point. It will come from the Jews, rather than Gentile Israel.
  21. Our all-time favorite is Jesus of Nazareth (Franco Zeffirelli). Hands-down better than anything the Church has put out, and a star-studded cast. Remember when NBC used to show it the week of Easter? That was a highlight growing up.
  22. Church is too weak in both of these places (Poland and Czech/Slovak missions were my parents last two). It hasn't stopped the Church from building temples in weak areas before (not by a long shot), but neither area can staff and patronize them. Not really. The Ukraine temple was built simply because we could, and feared that the window for ever building one would close forever.
  23. I call those "sonar pings." You either get updated addresses, or "No such person at this address," which is also good information (you go further through the checklist, but you know they aren't there). We're probably in for years of this, like with 2008, with the economic devastation from Coronavirus restrictions. Lots of multi-generational housing, and parents saying, "We'll just keep their records with us, even though they don't live with us." All's fair in love, war, and cleaning up MLS.
  24. I think it's "David vs. Goliath," but the closing chapter of a Malcolm Gladwell book juxtaposes the crusading family behind California's "Three Strikes" law (relentless legal activism for putting people away for life upon a third crime, no matter how petty) with a horrific rape/murder of a Mennonite girl in Canada. The Mennonite community's example of coming together and forgiving the perpetrator is a shining example of forgiveness as taught in the New Testament (and the Book of Mormon). I always pictured Mennonites as akin to Amish, but more modern and cosmopolitan. Man, oh man, in Germ
  25. I don't see why the Jerusalem Center, on Mt. Scopus (across a valley from the Temple Mount) couldn't be made into **the** temple at the appropriate time. Thus, I don't think the Dome of the Rock will need to be torn down, or Israeli Jews angered, by building a temple on the Temple Mount. In my book, the Jerusalem Center is "close enough." Maybe the temple site is already there.
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