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Everything posted by rongo

  1. I know that, but I also know that most people didn't know that. It wasn't common knowledge, and its purpose was never communicated to the Church at large. Many people found the question to be confusing, and many others assumed it was referring to people with heterodox sociopolitical views ("or agree with"). The Church could still be more transparent and clear with the most recent iteration. Especially since leaders are supposed to stick with the wording. As it is, you still have to explain a lot of the questions to people, anyway.
  2. The original question never specified that it "was originally about polygamist groups, oath-bound societies, and other break off organizations and was never intended to be about political affiliations." As written, and as asked in plain language, it (originally) asked: "Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to, or oppose, those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?" I remember it being a real mouthful to ask. I can see why many assumed this included political and philosophical currents, and wasn't just about break-off groups. The current iteration also dwells on "teachings, practices, or doctrine contrary to the Church." For many people, it isn't simply a switch that can be flipped on and off to distinguish cleanly between politics, social agendas, etc. and religious belief. There is quite a bit of Venn overlap with blurry lines there.
  3. I wouldn't think that expressing support for SSM would get one's TR denied (see: the OP of this thread), but I would think that in many wards and stakes (or at least some), SSM and LoC violations are still disciplined. The recent handbook changes do make it less likely that this will happen, but don't ban it.
  4. Isn't same sex marriage still a leader roulette issue? My understanding is that it isn't defined as de facto apostasy any more, requiring discipline, but that leaders can still choose to discipline over it (and homosexual acts). Where does it say that same sex marriage/ homosexuality is now off the table as far as discipline?
  5. The Church is fighting institutional headwinds, as even active members are increasingly accepting/rejecting bits of counsel or policy, and even doctrine, cafeteria-style. Coffee and tea products comes to mind, marijuana, tithing, many social issues,etc. Obviously, this impacts Church statements, which strive to placate everyone and offend no one (and in the process not really satisfy anyone, either).
  6. I had Courtney Leishman for a coaching class at BYU. He coached the women's basketball team, and had been an assistant coach under Frank Arnold (Danny Ainge, Greg Kite, Fred Roberts, etc.). He told us about a recruiting trip he made in Texas. He was stunned to see the teams meet at half-court and have a joint prayer before a game. "Aren't you afraid of the ACLU?" he asked his host. "We're Southern Baptists," the man replied. "We don't give a damn about the ACLU." Sometimes the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light (Luke 16:8). We Mormons haven't cornered the market on moral courage or wisdom.
  7. My dad and I were playing baseball on the McClintock High School baseball field (it might have been Marcos de Niza, instead) on a Saturday when I was a teenager. Adult men were playing soccer on a field adjacent to the baseball field. Suddenly, all of the men playing dropped as one during the game and began praying, facing Mecca. It was actually a really cool thing to see.
  8. My lawyer will be in touch with your lawyer.
  9. Nowhere has the Church said that it opposes abortion because it defines conception as when the spirit enters the body. The Church can and does oppose abortion on moral grounds for other reasons --- even if the spirit hypothetically hasn't entered the body yet.
  10. They didn't cross the finish line of birth. That is a milepost that triggers the need for sealing.
  11. Oh, your question is why we don't seal them, as we do children who died before age 8. Again, I think it's because these children reached their 2nd estate (they made it to mortality). Stillbirths, miscarriages, etc. haven't yet --- or, if they did (if that counts as "my time on earth"), they will be sealed to families later (Millennium).
  12. As to the why, I think it has to do with the symbolism of birth involving water, blood, and spirit. Not having gone through birth in entering into mortality, they are a) either heirs of the celestial kingdom already, or b) will enter mortality at another time. Moses 6:59-60: "Inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten . . . For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified."
  13. Handbook, 38.7.3 "Temple ordinances are not needed or performed for children who die before birth. This does not deny the possibility that these children may be part of the family in the eternities. Parents are encouraged to trust the Lord and seek His comfort."
  14. Oh, tongue-in-cheek. Got it! 👍
  15. I've had very good experiences with funerals as church services (under the auspices of the Church), and have presided over many from very inactive members with mostly or all non-member family and friends. As many have discussed here, I don't think it's the time or place to force feed the old 2nd discussion, but I do think it's an excellent opportunity to briefly testify about the reality of the physical resurrection. We will see him/her again, in a body free from pain and problems. Brevity is usually better than long-windedness, and the important thing to leave attendees with is that God loves the person, He loves us, and He will make things all right. The after funeral meal is usually a really good healing and calming event, sometimes more so than the service itself. We had a man who died from anesthesia complications in routine gall bladder surgery a day shy of his 50th birthday (he never woke up, and had no obvious contraindications. It was a medical mystery, and "just one of those things"). He was a convert. His mother and sister flew in from Iowa, and were devastated because of the suddenness. At the graveside, I felt strongly to have his mother say what was on her heart, and that she should say the prayer. It was obviously not a dedication of the grave under priesthood authority, but it was clear to me that it was what his sister and mother needed for closure and peace. As a non-essential ordinance, it's not the end of the world if a grave isn't dedicated. It's a "nice to have" ordinance, but we aren't going to do the by proxy in the temple. Sometimes, it is necessary for the bishop to override what the family wants in order to keep the service within the range of decorum. My mother-in-law wanted an unorthodox service, with over 20 songs and a multitude of speakers that would have stretched it for hours. My wife's father and some of her siblings were angry with the bishop for scaling it way down, because this was "against the wishes of the deceased," but it was a far, far better service because of it --- and I think those who were upset acknowledged that. A tough one was letting people know that they couldn't video record a funeral in the chapel, but that line has been blurred big time with streaming services over the last several years. Same with streaming a baptism --- it's not too much of a stretch to recording a baptism on a phone.
  16. Big brow? I've met people who have brows every bit as big as a Neanderthal, or who have a similar build. How do you know they were stupid? Serious question. What are you basing that on? "Because they look different than us?"
  17. Sure, but all that for "we don't know?" More satisfying to me are attempts to actually place them in the big picture. Even if I disagree, it's not just a long "we don't know, and it doesn't matter."
  18. 1) The evidence is shrouded in the past, and fraught with interpretation (and sometimes agenda). 2) Technology wasn't ubiquitous. In fact, there were advantages to preventing competitors from having it. Those advantages still exist today, in fact.
  19. They could interbreed with fecund offspring. They had culture, religion, art, and technology. Yes, the genetic differences are trivial to me when it comes to whether or not Neanderthal is man. They were genetically similar enough to reproduce. Not even foxes and Pomeranians can do that, and they look similar enough (if cut off the Pom's lion mane).
  20. I like Nibley, but I agree about his "Before Adam." I feel like a lot of Mormons glom on to his "Before Adam" without giving it much thought. "Until Adam comes onto the stage with a book, there is no play," sounds nice, but it's really a diversion. What do we do with pre-Adamites, then? "Doesn't matter --- they aren't our people. Our people don't start until Adam." Did God kick out a pre-Adamite spirit so Adam's could be placed in its body? "There is no play before Adam." I like Nibley, but "Before Adam" is all over the map (he hits out at evolution in the same essay). (quoting Professor Pilbeam on the Olduvai finds) "Our knowledge of the fossil record is sparse, and heavily skewed towards representation of jaws and teeth" (Before Adam, p. 56) "And Professor Jelinek informs us that 'the entire excavated area of occupation surfaces all over the world is well under the size of a modern football field" (ibid) "At Olduvai, 80% of the material comes from a band of strata representing only 4% of the time-span of occupation" (ibid) (Pilbeam): "It is a paradoxical problem that the hominids are one of the poorest represented of the fossil mammal groups, relative to their apparent past diversity" (ibid, p. 57) (Nibley): "This is a reminder that those who study the origin of man begin with the final answers. The ultimate questions that can only be answered after all the returns are in are the very questions with which Lyell, Hutton, and Darwin began their explorations. Our thrilling detective drama begins by telling us who did it and then expects us to wait with bated breath while the detective brings in the evidence . . . Well, if we grant [the axiomatic assumptions], we already have the answer to the big questions. We already know the final score." (ibid) --- There is a lot more of this, but that's all I'm in the mood to hand-type right now . "Before Adam" is a bit of a head-scratcher, because Nibley spends most of his effort muddying the waters of evolutionists, but then he also acknowledges the existence of pre-Adamites before dismissing them as irrelevant because nothing matters before Adam comes onto the "stage." Which sounds glib, but it doesn't actually address the issue of these pre-Adamites, and how to reconcile this with things in the PoGP that can't just be waved away. "Before Adam" is also directly opposed to other things he compiled and wrote, such as "Evolution: A Convenient Fiction." It's a head-scratcher of a talk (he gave it in April 1980). https://nibley.lib.byu.edu/1900/01/01/evolution-a-convenient-fiction/
  21. For me, personally, yes --- but not for others. It isn't something that the Church, institutionally, takes a creedal stance on (in spades. The Church today is loathe to really take a stance on anything controversial, without caveats and wiggle room). Very much agree. I find the desire to discount Neanderthals in this thread (for example) to be interesting, but not surprising. As you say, if they successfully reproduced with humans (if their offspring had offspring --- and if there is Neanderthal DNA today, then that is the case), then that disposes of the "they weren't our species" argument. That's the definition of species kids learn in school (can reproduce and issue reproducible offspring). Horses and donkeys yield mules, but mules are sterile because their parents are different species. Ditto for a wild fox/Pomeranian cross a family in Chicago I hometaught had. The fact that Neanderthals reproduced with man and that there is some Neanderthal DNA today proves that they were related species. Which is why I consider him to be man. For those who believe the Book of Moses isn't just allegorical, Adam had sophisticated writing (Book of Remembrance) and speech (Adamic) from the very beginning. According to both the Bible and the Book of Moses, music technology and metallurgy go back to the very beginning, not a lengthy process of social evolution (Tubal-Cain and Jubal).
  22. Mostly my conservative Mormon beliefs. I'm pretty literal with most things in scripture. I think man-like remains were people, and ape-like remains were forms of apes. It's interesting to me how few actual remains there are (especially intact skeletons), upon which this is conjectured. It seems like every new find is a new species (everyone wants a name for himself), and almost always it's a knuckle bone or a tooth. When you look at the wide range of skeletons today and imagine them being buried for a few thousand years, in fragments, how would they be classified thousands of years in the future. What about the Elephant Man, or the kid in that Cher movie Mask? Modern day pygmies vs. Massai cattlemen? New species and branches, all of them. As far as your question about what makes someone human, I would say culture. Writing and speech. Technology. Rituals and customs. Things like that.
  23. For the record, Mike, although it seems that most want to tiptoe using "Before Adam" logic (i.e., only Adam and Eve and after matter, anything that came before is irrelevant, etc.), I believe that Adam and Eve were the first people. I believe that remains from the Neander Valley, etc. came after Adam and Eve. So, yes,in my view they will receive their ordinances.
  24. You don't have to reach back to Neanderthal, Cro Magnon, Denisovan, etc. for this "dilemma." Modern man during historic times (say, 4000 years ago) is in the exact same boat. For zillions of people, there is going to have to be revelation (direct, via angels, etc.) to do their temple work, because there isn't going to be any other way to know the names and other unique information for individuals. For those who believe that these people are all known to God, and that He will give us what is needed to do this (during the Millennium), this doesn't present a problem
  25. I don't think you dedicate a grave if you aren't buried in a grave. One of the drawbacks to cremation? 🤷‍♀️
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