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Posts posted by rongo

  1. About 12 years ago, I was taking attendance on the first day of school. A white kid with long hair and a smirk answered to Abdullah Collins. Sure enough, checking his ID confirmed that that was his name --- but he was quick to add that he went by Dane. Come to find out that his mom and I went to Jr. high together (she had him when she was 15). No Muslim connection at all --- she just liked the name Abdullah. I asked him about it as the year progressed. He was quite a character (in a good way), and it wasn't offensive to ask him how she chose his name. 

    Overtly religious names can have no religious tie at all.

  2. 4 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

    I knew an elders quorum president in America who had given all his offspring names beginning with 'S', including Sherem ... :o

    I also know a Kumen (he's a high priest, and a temple worker). 

  3. Pretty far removed in time from Abraham's time (and the northern Syria milieu of Elkenah, Libnah, Pharaoh, Mamackrah, et. al.). 

    Depending on the time period in Israel, it wasn't uncommon for righteous people to carry -baal names. It didn't carry the same meaning as it did for actual worshippers of Baal. Kind of like having students today named Thor or Isis --- the parents liked the names and thought they were cool. In some cases, they are even observant Christians, but naming their children nominally after Nordic or Egyptian pagan gods isn't signalling pagan or idol worship. 

  4. 4 minutes ago, Obeone said:

    A commandment that is not suspended is the higher law. Not partaking the forbidden fruit was the higher law, because it would have allowed them to have a higher level of existence, for themselves and for their posterity: a Millennium right out of the gate, just like millions of worlds have done before. They took the lesser law, and were cursed for it. Just stating the facts here. Read it for yourself.

    You are still insisting that they could have had posterity without eating the fruit. 

    Have you been through the temple? 

    How do you explain "Adam fell that man might be?" (Book of Mormon) Or, "Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil" (Eve in the Book of Moses)?

    Do you just ignore those because they go against your theory?

  5. 59 minutes ago, pogi said:

    Ha! Good point, but yes it was tongue in cheek.  My point is that they were clearly susceptible to deception.  They would have been spiritual infants and would have fallen just like the rest of us do with temptation eventually, even without the aide of conflicting commands.  As I said, only Christ is the perfect sinless being.  There is no reason to think differently.

    I'm wondering what they could have been deceived about and transgressed, even after billions of years, other than the commandment not to eat of the fruit. They were innocent and ignorant, and without any experience. Setting aside the fruit dilemma (placed in the middle of the garden), what could Satan have deceived them about and tempted them to do? They didn't even know that they were naked, and I don't think this would have dawned on them without having their eyes opened by eating the fruit. 

  6. 4 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

    Interesting, the tie in, in this article and check the meme put out by a deznat. Very possible that there were a couple there. https://www.abc4.com/news/local-news/deseret-nation-alt-right-mormon-militants-or-twitter-truth-defenders/


    Deznat is just people who make jokes and memes on Facebook. They aren't an organization, and they don't "do" things (like go to rallies). 

  7. 4 minutes ago, Obeone said:

    They could have started a family without partaking the fruit and without leaving the garden.

    How do I know this?

    Because God commanded them precisely that, and He cannot give self-contradictory commandments without ceasing to be God, which he never does. 

    This is explicitly contradicted in the temple and in the Book of Mormon. Transgressing the commandment to not eat the fruit was required in order to fulfill the commandment to have children. They could not do this without disobeying and eating the fruit.

  8. 34 minutes ago, filovirus said:

    I think Pogi and Obeone have many valid points. I will have to think a little more on the matter. Here is a question: Why would Lucifer temp Eve if it would bring about the Plan of Salvation? He knew exactly what the plan was and how it would work. My guess, he had to bring about the fall before God had a chance to fully prepare Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit. What am I not seeing? Did God foresee that Adam and Eve would transgress the law? As he is all knowing, the answer is yes. Was he keeping this knowledge from Lucifer.

    Because he could only potentially defeat Jehovah if the plan were implemented. And he wouldn't have had a crack at the billions upon billions of sprit siblings who kept their first estates if the plan weren't implemented.

    Satan's pride and hubris are limitless. He felt that he would be the one to finally defeat God, despite what had been done in other worlds. Come to think of it, why did the previous tempters implement the plan on those other worlds? They faced the same fact that by bringing about the Fall,they were actually playing an important role in the plan --- and they also chose to do it to try to win.

    Doesn't this doctrine of the eternal pattern of creation, garden, Fall by eating the fruit, etc. run counter to the notion that this was unique to earth, this time around?

  9. 8 minutes ago, pogi said:

    I don’t think that specific transgression was inevitable, but that transgression itself was inevitable - they not being half God and all… 

    I think think after a trillion years, Adam might have eventually transgressed after being commanded not to lie for example - “no Eve, that sheep skin doesn’t make you look fat…”  Or, “No Cain, I don’t know what happened to your squirrel dinner left-overs.”

    Without the Fall (and their eyes being opened), they would not have been wearing anything,even trillions of years later. Remember, the Lord made them clothing of skin after their eyes had been opened by eating the fruit (plus,death didn't enter in until the Fall). Ditto with eating squirrel meat. Neither of your (admittedly tongue in cheek) examples were possible until after the transgression/Fall.

  10. I think it's bad sign that they're so open about it --- with a name for what they're doing and everything. To me, this doesn't bode well for their return after the ostensible "experiment." 

    Many people go inactive, but it's more of a gradual, incremental slide that surprises (those who eventually come back) that they ended up there. Weeks are missed, then more weeks,but the "soft" intent isn't for it to be constant and permanent. Until it is.

    To intentionally announce "taking a break" with the intent to test the waters and experiment indicates to me that they are already most if the way to making it permanent. Time will tell.

    The sad thing is that being engaged bears self-perpetuating fruit. When people aren't feeling that, I understand not wanting to put in the time and effort. I wouldn't if it didn't bear fruit.

  11. Do people who believe that they will become Elohim (like our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother) believe that they will create worlds that Saviors will be required for? Or, do they believe that all worlds before and after Jesus will be saved through His atonement --- that Jesus is the one and only Savior, worlds without end? 

    I've never heard anyone actually discuss believing that. If they don't believe that, then there are an innumerable multitude of worlds (pre-Jesus, and post-Jesus) that won't have Jesus as their Savior. 

  12. 22 hours ago, bluebell said:

    Yes, maybe.

    It is interesting that, like Nehor said, Lucifer--after watching this scenario play out in other worlds--seemed to believe that getting them to Fall would actually cause the Plan to fail, rather than begin it. 

    It makes you wonder, what was happening in the other worlds that was different than what happened in this one?

    I don't think anything different was happening on other worlds. There seems to be a divine pattern that requires an Adam and Eve, a Fall, and a Savior. I link this to what B.H. Roberts called "eternalism" (an infinite regress of eternal intelligences being the fuel and the motor behind the eternal Plan of Salvation), but I know that some people don't like ascribing the Gods' power to intelligences' honor. These people either say "it's a mystery I can't explain," or have some other theory (though I've never heard any actual alternatives that don't end up at "it's a mystery").

    Satan often uses the truth (sans full context) or parts of the truth --- he doesn't 100% straight-up lie. "There is no other way" was a true statement, as was "ye shall be as the gods, knowing good and evil." 

    I think the pride and hubris of the Satans leads them to have absolute self-assurance that they will be the one to "pull it off," so they don't see it from the perspective of "wait a minute --- this Fall thing actually is necessary for the Plan." They're fine with that, because they are very much in the ballgame, with many innings left to play. And they bring many souls down with them, even though when they fail to get the Saviors to fail it's pretty much "game over." Other than the individual casualties. 

    19 hours ago, longview said:

    As has been stated earlier in the thread, this Earth is the only planet in which the Savior performed the Atonement.  I suppose this Earth is host to the most wicked spirits (that still kept the First Estate) and the most righteous spirits, both from the Pre-Existence.  The Atonement not only is applicable to this Earth but is very much applicable to all the other worlds (even though they did NOT have the Savior be physically born into their respective worlds).  This is probably the only difference.

    I am wondering if this Earth (with its special status of having the Savior be born into it) was held to be the last so as to allow Lucifer to complete his work of "subversion" of all other worlds before he finally was condemned in this last world.  In order for all the spirits from the pre-existence (the First Estate) to be able to participate in the Second Estate.  Which requires a Fall to be initiated.  Which is necessary for the Plan of Happiness to actually become operative.  So crucial for having mortal experiences that help them to become like Heavenly Father.

    This is very much an open question, with people like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young disagreeing with you. At minimum, Joseph Smith taught that Elohim had also been a Savior, which would throw into the mix untold worlds with someone other than Jesus performing an atonement. I think that Brigham Young's explanation that each world has its own Savior and tempter makes much more sense, and it doesn't require explanations like "imagine how much faith it would require to believe in a Savior who wasn't even on your world!" or "this earth must be the most wicked, because we actually had the Savior here" (neither of which have any scriptural or prophetic support). 

  13. 2 hours ago, Calm said:

    Which CES manual?  Last time I checked all the teachers’ Institute and seminary lesson manuals were online and they were different for each year.

    Not the subject matter ones (BoM, D&C, OT, etc.) --- something that was only available for teachers and directors within Seminaries and Institutes. This is per my stake president, who is a CES teacher himself.

  14. 7 hours ago, bluebell said:

    Did they discuss at all how a teacher or class spends time in quadrant #1 without using the other three quadrants to do it?  Like, if we removed the other three quadrants and were not allowed to do them, how would we teach just for quadrant #1?

    (I'm asking because it seems like teaching in #1 is only possible through #2-4, but your notes make it sound like leadership does not see #1 as being dependent on the other quadrants, and I'd like to understand that better).

    They acknowledged that all four quadrants are important, and that teachers should toggle between them as needed. I had the same thought as you --- how, exactly, do you teach doctrine by the Spirit without lecture, discussion, or giving info? Pictionary? Charades? Mime? Interpretive dance? :) The intent wasn't to imply that the quadrants are exclusive at the expense of the others. 

    8 hours ago, bluebell said:

    I haven't even heard this manual (TNGC) referenced in years.  Who exactly is using it at church?  Is this the manual for Teaching in the Savior's Way and I've just forgotten that's what it's called?

    My bad on the Freudian slip. The old manual was TNGC, which became "Teaching in the Savior's Way" (current one). After Sunday, it will be merged with the CES manual (formerly only for Seminaries and Institutes) and available to everyone. 

    The overarching intent seems to be not to keep the very best as a trade secret for CES, but to make our very best resources available for "home-centered/church-supported." 

  15. 15 hours ago, bsjkki said:

    After teaching RS, I came to the conclusion it was meant to be a gospel living support group. I think that is its purpose. I think Come Follow Me has shifted Sunday School to that same arena.

    The zoom meeting gave me the sense that they do **not** want Sunday School to be a Bob Newhart group therapy session. ;) 

    15 hours ago, bsjkki said:

     I enjoyed the new gospel topics essays. For others, they destroyed their faith. When in a faith crisis, it seems we don't provide a place to ask hard questions. I'm not sure how to fix that. I came here. I read the controversies and stayed. I sometimes wish there was a place to discuss harder questions in person but how would we do that? 

    It's really a case of "location roulette" when it comes to asking and discussing hard questions in person (face-to-face), which is why people interested in that seek out online forums. There is a need/demand for it, but leaders would have to be darn sure about those answering. People were really invigorated at the "ask anything" Q&A firesides I was asked to give years ago, but having that be a widespread thing done by many people in many places would be a disaster. The Brethren themselves are not good at all at answering hard questions in Q&A, in my experience; local people who are good at it are better.

    We did a fireside in France after the FAIR Conference in Germany in 2009, and the stake presidency that had set up the fireside had just been released. The new stake president was **very** nervous about what was going on (who are these people), and met with us with an interpreter before allowing the fireside to go on. He did not allow Q&A. After it was over, one lady commented to me and my wife (her name was Zarida --- I still remember that) that she wished there were more things like that. We had a man from Church Archives, Jeff Bradshaw, me, and Scott Gordon. When my ward put on a series of firesides with "ask anything" Q&A afterwards (that went long into the night), it was a real shot-in-the-arm for a lot of members, but I don't know how you could replicate that with quality control for other areas. It really depends on local variation. 

  16. 26 minutes ago, rongo said:

    [rongo: this surprised me] Stake Sunday School presidencies should also visit Relief Society classes to observe lessons --- but consult with the bishops and the RS presidents first. Don't just show up and have some random strange guy in a suit in a RS class.

    We were told that the stake Sunday School presidency should be visiting gospel doctrine, youth Sunday School, elders quorum, and Relief Society lessons in the stake. That's a lot of classes! I'm wondering what women will think about visits from "men in black?" What would men think if unknown women from the stake came to observe elders quorum meetings? 

  17. 1 hour ago, Rain said:

    It's a good idea.  I'm just not sure if I would be the right one to do that. I had a good talk with my husband about it and he wasn't sure I should do it either.  I go back and forth on it because I do think it is important to be able to talk about these kind of things.  I'm just not sure I can do it without anger if people try to convince me that God really wanted these people to die.

    I'm sure you'll hit it out of the park! Welcome to Gospel Doctrine. It's "rough and tumble, wild and wooly" (skip to 1:43 for that reference, but the whole thing is fun. I think this was edited from some sort of Scientology video?). 


  18. 2 hours ago, Steve Thompson said:

    For those interested in Ben Spackman's take on the issue of genocide in Joshua see: https://benspackman.com/2022/06/gospel-doctrine-lesson-18-joshua/#more-430.  Essentially Spackman argues that the genocide never happened.  Of course, that requires seeing parts of the books of Exodus and Joshua as non-historical.

    I think when you start pulling on the thread, it becomes most of the books as non-historical --- not parts of them. 

    If there was an invasion of Canaan by Israelite tribes, then there certainly would have been war atrocities (which are always called genocide in our day). When you hold their feet to the fire, most LDS higher critics acknowledge that they don't believe there ever were tribes of Israel --- that they are cultural mythical heroes that people already in Canaan later came to identify their descent and attachment to. But that isn't the end of the thread --- continued pulling unravels almost everything. It leads to the same place as the "the Book of Mormon can still be inspiring if the people, places, and events never existed/happened." Many people have long since made that peace with the Bible, in order to accommodate the opinions of the higher critics. :( 

  19. 5 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

    You need to read "Motel of the Mysteries." A motel from the 1980s is discovered by archaeologists in the year 4000. They excavate it like King Tut's tomb (if you know the story of that excavation, you'll notice the similarities). I was able to find a truncated version that's mainly the pictures here: https://www.plainlocal.org/userfiles/352/Classes/32796/Motel of the Mystery PDF Version.pdf

    Thanks for that! I also think about the short story "By the Waters of Babylon" (where a brave mystic defies his culture and visits the abode of the gods --- which is revealed to be an ancient New York City, along with the Great God ASHING [the W and the ton had fallen away from Washington). 

    3 hours ago, ksfisher said:

    Planet of the apes

    I thought of that. The sedimentation would take quite some time, wouldn't it? :) 

  20. 7 hours ago, Calm said:

    It sounds like this one on Sunday will be pretty standard fare. 

    In RSVPing for the zoom meeting with the general SS presidency, I was sent an agenda. It sounds like there is going to be even more of a focus on "home centered" than there is now. 


    The Sunday School

                   Focus - Home Centered Church Supported Gospel Learning

    Church Supported Gospel Learning

                   As a teacher or leader, what can you do differently to help class members improve in their home-centered Gospel learning?

    “The Role of a Teacher”

    Teaching in the Savior’s Way (read this as a Presidency)

                                                 Love those you teach

                                                 Teach by the Spirit

                                                 Teach the Doctrine

                                                 Invite Diligent Learning

                   Teacher Council Meetings

    Stake Sunday School Responsibilities

                   Church Handbook

                                  Stake SS Presidency Responsibilities – Section 6.7.1 and

                                  Sunday School – Chapter 13

                                  Teaching – Chapter 17

                                  Teacher Council Meetings – Section 17.4

                                  Annual Stake Leadership training meeting – Section 29.3.4

    Stake Sunday School Presidencies should visit wards regularly to:

    Thank the Teachers and Ward Sunday School Presidencies for their

                   remarkable service

                                  Attend Classes

                                  Attend Teacher Council Meetings

                                  Train ward SS presidencies


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