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the narrator

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  1. Huh? Until recently, young adult manuals still discouraged interracial dating. Interracial marriage was illegal in Utah until the 1960s. Hardly on the progressive end here.
  2. I know plenty of LDSaints who buy into them as well. In fact, I think it's a safe bet that most general church leaders buy into a lot of the claims that Dan critiques--particularly when it comes to scripture origins and exegesis.
  3. The executive director of the Cobb Institute, who produced that video, is my friend Richard Livingston. He used to be pretty involved in the Mormon philosophy and theology scene, but I don't think is active LDS anymore. He's obviously pretty big into process thought, and so whenever we get together we end up talking late into the night about why my Wittgensteinian self sees it as mostly non-sense.
  4. You beat me to the Field of Dreams explanation. I think it's a combination of that and the belief that if members were able to participate in the temple more often that they would be less likely to leave.
  5. Nearly every friend I have had in the past 20 years who were active during our friendship no longer participates. In fact, I can only think of a few close friends from the past couple decades who still do. At least 5 elders quorum presidents I have had from that period no longer attend. (Funny story: the last EQP I had (9 years ago) basically initiated the events that led to me no longer participating by complaining to our bishop about me. A few months ago I got a message from him out of the blue, wherein he told me that he had made the decision to leave the Church and apologized to me for what he had done. "Looking back I realize you were just trying to help us become better, but I was too full of myself to see that." Now he's apparently creating a website for people to share their testimonies about leaving, or something like that.) In the past couple months a few of my cousins told me they and their spouses no longer go. In addition, I know several people who were once very active and believing who now only attend because of their employment (Church or BYU). This, of course, is all anecdotal and may say more about me and the types of persons I like to associate with (except for those EQPs, obviously). For pretty much all of my friends it wasn't access to information or history issues that led to them no longer attending, but rather that the Church did almost nothing for them. They found it boring, uninspiring, harmful at times, etc., and they dropped any sense that Church leaders had any particular moral authority over them. If Church history had any role, it was just that the dissolution of simplistic and official narratives meant they no longer felt bound to keep going.
  6. Please forgive me if I am breaking any rules here by sharing this. Authors Cheryl Bruno and Nick Literski are currently doing an AMA on the r/mormon subreddit. Thought some of you may find it interesting. If ya'll want, one or both of them may be interested in doing a separate AMA for the board. Anyways, here's the link:
  7. This has run it's course for me, so I'm bowing out.
  8. This is going to side track, but the question per fetuses isn't about whether one is human but rather whether a fetus is a person--and I would argue that how persons use the term "person" never applies to unborn fetuses except in abortion debates where (like notions of gendered premortal spirits) the claim is shouted but never actually explained. (If a person were in a burning fertility clinic and only able to choose between saving an adult woman or a tray of a hundred embryos, nobody (besides some religious crazies) would think it better to save the embryos over the adult woman.)
  9. Well Jesus was apparently also a clone of God and did not inherit any of his mother's genes--else surely Jesus and the Father wouldn't look identical. So maybe the spirit "form" of Jesus already had a DNA-produced body to mimic. Things get more complicated though when some thought is put to it. What exactly did the Brother of Jared "see"? If I "see" something, it is because photons of light reflecting off physical object entering my eyes at various wavelengths stimulate different rods and cones in my retina that send signals through my optic nerve that my brains then interprets and reconstructs into mental images. Is it your opinion that light also reflects off of spirit bodies, or is it possible that "seeing" a spirit body does not involve light at all and instead exists as a mental image--such as when I close my eyes and "see" my children by imagining them jumping on a trampoline? Such "seeing" would better fit within Joseph Smith's 19th century views of there being things that can only be seen with one's spiritual or mind's eyes. If so, then maybe most visionary experiences are not seeing spiritual things for supposed shapes but rather mental/spiritual creations that enable us to interact with what would otherwise be "nothing." I find NDEs to be worthless--though maybe I shouldn't since they are a great way to earn $$$.
  10. Okay, so you did say that unembodied non-biological spirits are gendered. Good to know I wasn't confused. I am not saying that gender is biology alone. I'm saying that neither you nor anybody else here has offered one little bit of info as to what it means for a premortal spirit to be gendered--other than just shouting aloud and saying they are or comparing gender to a mere platonic state, which I find silly and nonsensical.
  11. Latter-day Saintism goes full in on the correspondence though. This is why so many here are stubbornly demanding that premortal spirits possess some sort of platonic gender.
  12. The shape of our bodies is determined by our genetics, including how many legs, hands, and feet you have. Our bodily development in utero isn't determined by our cells conforming to some spirit blueprint. It is based on cellular growth guided by our chromosomes. This same process is what determines our sex. The same goes for dogs, cats, tuna, sequoias , dandelions, fungi, tubeworms, ants, frogs, mice, elephants, zebras, pigs, bees, mites, whales, etc. Repeating something over and over again doesn't provide it with sense.
  13. I'm not sure if you are agreeing with me or critiquing me. If Wittgenstein were to approach this question, he would argue that the religious meaning and use of "sex" and "gender" are not the same as the biological/social use--their uses are in two different language games. (As DZ Phillips might say, "It makes religious sense to say 'God's eyes are watching me," but not to ask 'What color are God's eyes"--unless you're a Mormon.") For Wittgenstein, religious talk of gendered premortal spirits would not be talk of actual metaphysical (or for Mormons supermaterial pseudometaphysical) states but as religious allegory or myth whose meaning is for religious instruction. Though, of course, Wittgenstein would likely see the same problem for claims of an actual premortal existence, of which nothing can be said and should be passed over in silence.
  14. I assume you accept that various physical attributes--such as hair and eye color, facial structure, body shape, etc--that you gain at birth because of DNA from your parents continue with your resurrected state. (And I guess one could suppose that a person's post-mortal spirit retains some aspects of the physical characteristics they attained through conception and birth--though I have no idea what it means for an unembodied spirit to have colored eyes or hair or a particular body build.) On the other hand, I assume you agree that it does not make sense for a premortal spirit to have physical attributes that have not yet been determined by the very particular chromosomal pairings that occur during a person's conception. If my assumptions are correct, then it would seem the same would apply with sex, which is also determined by a person's chromosomal pairings during conception, which antedate a person's spiritual creation by, I guess, billions of years.
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