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Everything posted by rongo

  1. I don't get why people are acting like the Gospel Topics Essay is groundbreaking. There was a series of articles in the 1985 and 1986 Ensigns discussing the First Vision accounts (including good ones from Milton Backman), which did as well or even better than the GT Essay. They were almost forty years ago! https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1985/01/joseph-smiths-recitals-of-the-first-vision?lang=eng
  2. Excellent book. I like all of Malcolm Gladwell's books.
  3. I don't think he was reading a text. I think he saw text in his mind, but that it wasn't "faxed" to him verbatim (i.e., that he put the images and thoughts into the English at his command). I believe that the Spirit helped him commit superhuman feats of memory (i.e., with the Isaiah and other KJV material), and that his immersion in the KJV Bible after the First Vision and Moroni's visit informed and complemented his local rural upstate New York syntax.
  4. Not if He allows it, but doesn't create it. Why would allowing evil lead to a theodicy problem? Only if one assumes that allowing evil is evil.
  5. I think it's interesting that Satan and his followers use satanic darkness (even spilling into the physical; Joseph Smith couldn't breathe) when people are on the cusp of something monumental on the covenant path. Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove, Abraham making his covenant (Genesis 15; "an horror of great darkness fell upon him"), Moses in Moses 1, Hugh B. Brown the day before his call as an apostle, etc. Clearly, God allows this testing, but all of them were the opposite of "inviting it in."
  6. Yes, my dad saw it; he was one of the elders she called to come quickly (they tied the cabinets shut and they came untied and kept slamming. As you can imagine, this freaked everyone out). Poltergeists or not, they obeyed the mission president's MP command to stop and depart.
  7. PM me their contact info, and I'll give it to her. Thank you!
  8. Except the mission president, his wife, etc. weren't giving him power. One wouldn't normally think that that would be "allowed" to happen in the mission home, but it did. They responded immediately to the casting out. I still have full confidence that my home and family are protected, but sometimes that isn't the case. But if something were to happen along those lines, I have no fear that the priesthood wouldn't be effective. It's just odd when they sometimes do what one wouldn't think they are allowed to do.
  9. A friend in our current ward who is struggling with the Pathway labyrinth asked my wife if she would be her mentor. They are supposed to find their own from among those who have been through it! She said, of course, but I haven't done Pathway for years, and haven't been at BYUI-online for over a year. I'll help with what I can. The mentors don't have any special hotline or anything. They're just former Pathway students. My wife said that her sister's last mentor didn't know anything and couldn't help with her questions. And there's no way to get a better one, other than by asking aro
  10. Yes, and how the angel/handshake test in D&C works (as I believe it does) if they can manipulate matter at times. My dad and other missionaries had a terrifying experience in the late 1960s. The mission president's wife called the office missionaries in a panic. When they got to the mission home, the cabinets and doors were opening and shutting, over and over. They tied some shut and blocked others, but the string and obstacles were untied and moved before their eyes, and the slamming continued. The mission president came in and cast out the devils with the authority of the priesthoo
  11. I've never understood how Satan and those who were cast out with him can manipulate matter (they not having bodies), but they can. There is certainly power there, so being cast out didn't strip them of all power.
  12. It has such potential to be a very good thing, and the customer service aspect, the very meager degree offerings, etc. are atrocious. It is extremely affordable, and you can get a degree if all you need is a degree, any degree, but sheesh. Why not make this a flagship program and lift up the world? When I was a bishop, most people wanted to get a teaching degree/certificate. There were some RNs who wanted their RN to BSN, and some who wanted IT or business, but most actually wanted to become teachers. The Pathway people at the "rah, rah" firesides, when asked, said that Pathway/BYUI had n
  13. Update on Pathway Connect: My wife's sister called her last night. She is doing Pathway, but the offerings and program have changed since my wife did it. She has conflicting information on what is required, what is not, what will transfer (in her case, to Ensign College --- formerly LDS Business College). She doesn't really want the offered certificates (a new thing, where certificates, which are like a "minor-lite") and has questions about them. The whole Pathway/BYUI system has changed to where you can't even call and talk to an inexperienced and unknowledgeable BYUI student any m
  14. I wonder if there are languages without the "filler" words. "Like" and "you know" also drive me nuts. I would like to be able to do a stenographer transcript for kids sometimes and show them that if you white out their filler words, they have little to say. German has "also," which can mean several things (none of which are English "also"), but it's sometimes a filler word like our "um." Some missionaries develop a bad habit and overuse it because they hear it so much. Imagine English-learners intentionally inserting "uh" or "um" all the time. German also has a "de-intensifier,"
  15. I have to be careful about pressing people, Socrates-like, by following up with, "But why, though." What I like about Skousen's explanation is that it is the only attempted and available explanation (and a good one, in my view). All others simply conclude with, "Because that's just how it is." But why, though. I agree about omnipotence. I like B. H. Roberts' explanation in The Truth, The Way, The Life. God can do anything that can be done, but not even He can have a valley without two mountains on the side.
  16. I don't have a lot of first or second-hand experience with the faculty experience in Germany, but this is interesting: https://www.quora.com/What-do-US-professors-think-about-German-universities I have heard from German professors and students that, since university students are Gymnasium students, and since German universities don't do liberal arts or general studies requirements, it is a much more direct and driven experience out of the gate. They don't waste time on the things that most freshmen take at our universities; they dive right in and begin. These articles explain r
  17. It's very interesting to think about and discuss. For those who blanche at that, as though it lessens God somehow, how else does it work, though? Why is God bound by justice, and what does it mean for Him to be bound by justice? How do they explain the scriptures that say that God's honor is His power? Or those that say that God would cease to be God if He did anything unjust. Unjust to whom? Why? I like hearing people's explanations for why God is bound by justice if He is omnipotent and omniscient, and the intelligences explanation is discounted. Why can't He do anything He wants
  18. Huh. Does anyone know anyone in the U.S. or Canada who had help from PEF? I would be fascinated to here about that!
  19. I don't think North Americans are eligible for PEF help for school, with the understanding that they will pay it back as they are able. Are they?
  20. I don't think it's possible to separate the cross, Gethsemane, the scourging, and withdrawal of the Spirit and rank them in relative weight and importance. I think they were all part and parcel of filling the cup to the brim, and all were necessary parts without which the cup would not have been full.
  21. I think things are different for God's offspring than they are for "lower" intelligences. I think lower intelligences have agency within their sphere, but we have potential to be exalted or cast out. I would say that the elements "freaking out" isn't rebellion or disobedience, but rather genuine reaction at the unjust treatment God Himself underwent. They weren't disobeying or rebelling against His will, they were giving voice to emotion at it.
  22. That's part of it. School's out now. We were doing audio exercises, so I was back and forth between the desk and around the room. Here is an "in a nutshell" synopsis: The original question for Skousen was: why did Jesus have to suffer so much? Did he have to suffer, or could the atonement have been wrought some other way? Could God have chosen to do it any other way? From the Book of Mormon, D&C, and PoGP: 1) All things consist of eternal, uncreated intelligence and spirit matter (which is a form of matter that we can't normally discern on earth). Physical creation ties spir
  23. I'll post later, if no one else has.
  24. I think the only one that explains the how and why is Skousen's. Heads explode over that, but no one (including general authorities) has ever explained the how and why, especially in light of the Book of Mormon, D&C, and PoGP.
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