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california boy

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Everything posted by california boy

  1. Someone made the statement recently "If you can eat what you produce, then it is not art." Hard to make the case that a plain pink and blue cake with no writing on it is a work of art. Is every cake made a piece of art? Can a piece of bubble gum become a work of art if the person chewing it is LGBT?
  2. Sounds like you have figured out a way to make the Church work for you. That is something I couldn't really figure out how to do for myself. I no longer believe the Church's claims of revelation. Without that, it is hard to believe in the claims of being something other than like minded people who worship God in their own unique way. If it works for them, then more power to them. Most of my children are still in the Church. I support them and their families on that path. It doesn't have to be true in order for it to be good for some people.
  3. I think you just said what I was trying to say better than me. The biggest blind spot of this whole revelation claim seems to be about social issues which the Church has always lagged behind on. It is still those issues that the Church, without even any claim of revelation seems to want to double down on STILL. Remember when Elder Nelson claimed such a revelation concerning calling gays apostates and refusing to baptize their underaged children? There were some on this board who used that as PROOF that anti gay policies came from God... until it was reversed and now they are silent on those revelation claims. They still cling to the idea that current LGBT policies are God's will and those policies have noting to do with personal opinions of current Church leaders. Taking prophetic pronouncements with a grain of salt does help, but I don't think there are many active believing TBM feel they can take that path. It is to central core to the claims of the Church.
  4. I certainly identify with your experiences in the Church growing up. I always felt the need to do everything perfectly and anything short of that was a huge failure. The mantra that constantly went through my mind was a statement by Marion G. Romney who said something like Magnifying the priesthood is doing more that anyone except the Lord expects or requires. Knowing I was gay since I was 12 made this goal the only thing I could possibly do to please God. It also mean that no matter what I did, I could never please God. While I did try to magnify every calling I received from the time I was a deacon to the time I left the Church, always trying to do more than was required of me, I knew it would never be enough and that in the end, there would never be a Celestial Kingdom for me. There is no path to the Celestial Kingdom without being straight. What changed is that I finally became ok with that. It really wasn't until after I left the Church that I could see all the blind spots in what the Church teaches and the many flaws in what it teaches. I think a lot of those flaws have come to the surface for a lot of members since I left the Church. You have to either figure out a way around those flaws even when such work-arounds make little sense, or you begin to loose faith in the whole institution. I began to understand that while I believe the Church is run by good men trying the best they can to do the will of God, the claims of revelation, which is really the only reason to hold on to that belief, start to be revealed as not actually what I was taught about prophets and revelation. There are no visits from Christ in the holy of holies. The Church is run by gut instinct. Sometimes Church leaders are right and sometimes they are not. To infinitely connect my belief and understanding of God to that kind of "revelation" was pretty tenuous at best. My path lead to a different place than yours. It is a challenge to navigate whatever path we follow back to God. I wish you the best.
  5. Yes. Companies buy email lists from all kinds of sources. They also cross pollinate, trading their list for a similar list held by a similar company. And there are companies out there that will sell you a mailing list for just about any nitch group. I haven't received the email, but I have never listened to or subscribed to any of those type of sites.
  6. While some do trust Church leaders and are willing to not question their decisions, everyone is willing to blindly follow Church leaders. As has been pointed out countless times in this thread, that is not the issue. I don't think anyone feels church leaders are getting rich nor doubting the professionalism of its advisors. They are questioning the direction where the wealth of the Church is going. As I said in my reply last time, I don't think discussing all stocks, business and land holdings of the Church is necessary. The fact that you put this in tells me that you really aren't listening to my concerns. You just don't think someone investigating the Church shouldn't be told about 100 billion dollar rainy day fund. Why couldn't an honest statement be made about where the money they are donating to is going. Something like adding, tithing funds are used to support ongoing activities of the Church, such as building and maintaining temples and meetinghouses, carrying the gospel to all the world, conducting temple and family history work, and many other worldwide activities. The Church also invests heavily in a rainy day financial portfolio with money not used to maintain it's ecclesiastic needs. Why? Because they see a role of helping the poor, sick, unhoused and unfortunate as being an important part of the mission of the Church? I am sure there are a lot of members that feel similar to you. But your feelings are not held universally and to assume that anyone who doesn't share your same view must be on the way out is troubling.
  7. I guess I am talking more about people who are considering joining the Church. I know investigators are all taught about tithing. Should they be informed about what tithing dollars are used for as part of that discussion? I remember giving those discussions as a missionary and telling people that the money was used to build and maintain buildings and help the poor. It turns our, there was more to it than that. Do you think most members know where their tithing dollars are going? Or do you think it is none of their business to know where their tithing dollars are going. Just blindly give to Church leaders? Is it the Church leaders church to run it however they want to without any accountability to the members? I am not talking about financial statements. I am talking more generally, like the Church telling them it has a 100 billion dollar stock portfolio and substantial land and business ventures. When they pay their tithing, part of it will go to increase that rainy day fund. I agree that it is not important to someone who is not a member paying into the system which is why I don't really care. It is more a morality question. If there is one lesson the Church should have learned by now, hiding its history and important facts about the Church doesn't always work out well if you want to keep members. Perhaps it is not important to you, but to some, it may very well be extremely important. No one likes feeling like they have been deceived and not told the whole story. Is it impossible for you to see how this could possible be a problem for some recent converts and members?
  8. Sorry to hear it is so rough for you. All that late night noise can not only be aggravating, but, like you are experiencing, depriving you of sleep. Believe it or not, San Francisco goes to bed early. Most of the city shuts down at 10. You can't find a restaurant open after the theater. That is so radically different from Europe where restaurants don't even open before 8pm.
  9. Of course. I get that concept. I guess when I was active in the Church, I freely gave both in tithing and other money demands the Church made. I had the attitude of what better place to make a donation than to an organization that has so little overhead in terms of running the organization since the vast amount is done by volunteers. If I had known so much of the money was just going to a stock portfolio, I probably would have lonely paid tithing because I felt covenanted to do so. Hence, being more transparent about what all donations going to the Church seems like a necessary part of their obligation to those who donate. I realize that a lot of members don't care at all, but it should be an informed decision.
  10. Totally agree. And I have no idea how universal this is within the younger generation. Since housing in the Bay Area is so astronomically high, I think many have given up on the idea of owning a home. That in itself changes how you look at life and what your needs are.
  11. So sorry you are experiencing that. My life is filled with happy people. I have to say that one of the huge benefits of Covid is that it has completely changed my neighborhood. It started out by banging pots and pans at 7 every night in support of the front line workers. We could also hear a group a block away banging as well. We got to know each other. I now know most of our neighbors. I know their dogs, and children, even the ones that are grown up. My neighbor two doors down is doing some remodeling and asked my opinion on paint colors because they know of my artistic background. We have get togethers regularly. Each election we gather the neighborhood and go over the endless ballot initiates and candidates. This all happened by banging some pots together. And this is just one of many groups that are in my life. I will give you one more of many. My partner and I got involved in the Senior Center that had a ceramics program. After many years of not doing ceramics, I started throwing pots there. No one else knew how to use the wheel. So I started teaching people how to do it that were in their 70's and 80's. The group grew. More people got involved, until now, there is a waiting list because the space can't hold everyone. The joy of creating something out of mud is magical. My favorite student is Judy, a 94 year young woman that has lived an extraordinary life. Maybe you are looking in the wrong places.
  12. I actually think it is the younger generation that seems to be teaching us. They are not so judgmental and narrow minded about how a person chooses to live their lives. They accept that people can find happiness and joy and spirituality on many paths. Focusing their own efforts on how they live their lives rather than how others live theirs. They also seem to be much less interested in acquiring things. They spend their money on experiences rather than possessions. It took me many years to learn that lesson. I now delight in how simple I can keep my life and spend more time enjoying my passions. Years ago, I started incorporating the mantra often said by Brigham Young. Work less. Wear less. Spend less. This younger generation seems to have figured that out much earlier than I did.
  13. My dad used to send me scriptures to read and tell me I was going to hell. What was funny is that most of the scriptures he would tell me to read, I knew by heart and could quote them back to him. I am still gay. I still feel very connected to God. I feel His love for me. And I know I am on the path that He intends me to follow. Just like my father, I know you think there is only one way back to God and it is through a Church that claims some kind of special connection to God, just like many other churches claim. I am glad that path works for you, but obviously it also seems to be turning you into a judgmental jerk spewing things you really have no idea what you are talking about. The fact that you are a product of that Church and it's teachings bothers me much more than how much wealth the Church amasses. I stand by what I say. I don't have a problem with the Church amassing huge fortunes if that is what it wants to do. I just believe it should be honest and upfront about this goal so that people can make informed decisions about how they feel about the Church and whether they want their money and time going to an organization that has that as it's goal. Seems reasonable to me. Let the sunshine in.
  14. I have been on this site since February 2009. That is just about 14 years. I have NEVER feigned anything. What I write is how I feel. If anything, I sometimes am too blunt. YOU are so out of line here and are breaking the board rules. Nor are you entitled to sit in judgement over me and tell ME what I believe. Oh so there has been a revelation given on how God is going to finance the Second Coming. I am very interested in just what has been revealed. Please provide the link the this revelation. Yeah CFR! Oh so now I am bound in chains in hell. You are reminding me about everything I dislike about the Church. YOU are not responsible for my salvation, nor are you qualified to pronounce any judgement on me. If what you have learned in all YOUR years in the Church is that you have some kind of responsibility to go around judging others, it is you that have not been paying attention. I can assure you, and tell you with complete honesty, I am NOT feigning offense here. I am more than offended, I am pissed.
  15. Sorry, but you are absolutely judging me wrongly. You, nor anyone else knows the plans of God and how He will fulfill those plans. He is not reliant on what man does to fulfil His mission. I don't know how the millennium will be set up or financed. Neither do you. What I do know is that what man does is puny and unimportant compared to the power of God. God is not relying on the stock market in order to bring about His will. He is more interested in bringing people back to him than earthly wealth. That I know. That is the lesson I learned from my devotion to God. To say my beliefs are an act is insulting and wrongly judgmental.
  16. Well I personally am not seeing a directive to accumulate billions of dollars, but hey, that is ok. If those scriptures comfort you and other members that the Church is doing the right thing and fulfilling the goals of the Church, then I am glad.
  17. I will keep your judgement of me in mind. I did only spend the first 50 years of my life in the church, serving in a bishopric, on high council, taught seminary for 6 years, taught gospel doctrine, young mens president for years, to name just a few of the things I experienced. But to be honest, the judgement of others, like you, has made me draw further away from wanting to be a part of the Church any longer. That and the many things I have learned being away from the Church as I learned to rely on God more rather than any man. I am sure you have my life figured out, but I plan to stick with the path that I feel inspired to live.
  18. There are countless scriptures where God provided just what His people needed that were miraculous. Providing Mana for example, or seagulls, or fish and loaves of bread. God just made it appear. So whether New Jerusalem is established before or after the beginning of the Second Coming is irrelevant. If resources were needed to accomplish God's work, he could provide. If you are going to rely on Scripture to justify the Church's wealth, I would ask you the same question. Where in the Scriptures does it say that His church needs to sock away billions in order for His work to go forth to pay for the Second Coming. Where is the revelation like the one Joseph got to store wheat for 7 years of famine so that all could be prepared. Why is secrecy needed this time?
  19. I have to say, I never ever thought that Christ would need money for anything to accomplish His goals. Just never occurred to me. What I did think is that if Christ, or the Church for that matter, needed money for any critical reason, couldn't Christ just tell Church leaders where vast gold reserves are at? Or couldn't he cause the gold to rise to the surface? If not gold, than whatever was needed to accomplish His goals. This whole idea that Christ is relying on the Church as a financial backer of His second coming is a new concept for me to think about. I actually, like others, can't see how a stock portfolio will help when the second coming starts. I don't see it as a peaceful transition. And well, the market never responds to uncertainty well. Look how much the market has dropped just based on inflation and fear of recession. Those worries about corporate survival seem pretty trivial compared to what is prophesied about the second coming. I personally don't really care about the amount of wealth the Church has and continues to build up. I just wish they were a bit more honest about it and let people decide for themselves if they want to be a member of a Church who is focused on a stock portfolio rather than humanitarian goals. Maybe full disclosure before baptism is needed? Let people know what they are getting into?
  20. Taking things down a notch means sending your kid to reform school or juvenile detention??? You are basically saying that you are relinquishing the ability to influence your child and turning that over to kids that are in reform school? I can't see this turning out with a positive result.
  21. Someone once told me that when you pick up a stick, you also pick up the other end. I have thought about this a lot, especially when raising my children. May I suggest a different approach for you to consider? Rather than lectures and chastisements, punishment and restrictions, consider talking to the child. Remind them that we only have one life here on earth. And what we do with that life is all their choice, not yours, not the bishops, not anyone else but them. So just what stick are they picking up when they want to do drugs. Where does that stick lead to? Do they want a life of addiction and dependency and loneliness? Ask them where a life of drug dependency will lead them and ask them if that is the life they want for themselves. Or do they want a life of freedom, love and happiness, nurturing relationships and family. Every one of those kids that started using heavy drugs never thought they would be addicts either. But that is where life lead them when they picked up that stick. I also think you have to be completely honest with them. There are drugs, and then there are drugs. All drugs don't lead to the same path. Some like marijuana are not physically addicting. Some like meth can get you totally hooked with just one or two times. The choice is really theirs and the life they want to lead. When they realize that it is their choice rather than you just telling them not to do drugs or you will kick them out and they are on their own, I have found that they make the choice for the right reason. This concept, of course, is true with all of these issues. Where will sex lead to. What life options could possibly be cut off forever? I think you get the idea.
  22. If anyone is thinking about punishing their children by kicking them out of their homes, or forcing them to attend and stay in the Church, I think it would be very helpful to read the comments on the post you linked to. Punishment and conditional love rarely works. I just buried my father this week who was 100 when he died. Even though he severed his relationship with me for years, and then finally realized that I was never going to be straight like the rest of his children and finally accepted that, I honestly never recovered from that experience. I still feel like I am not in the family even though I can now attend family gatherings. The scars are just too deep to ever trust anyone's love again. The decision you are making is far more serious than you think it is. Think carefully if you ever want your child to really trust your love for them ever again.
  23. Sorry, but I don't think you really understand the difference of editing a piece of art to fit your agenda and creating an entirely new piece of art based on a previous work done. No one is going to confuse West Side Story with Romeo and Juliet. But taking the wings of of angles and presenting it as work done by the same artist when in fact, it no longer is what he painted is ENTIRELY different. Andy Warhol's iconic Campbell's Soup cans series is creating something entirely new that had never been done before. It is not just a can of soup. If that was all there was behind those paintings, they would not be selling for millions of dollars. Completely different than clipping angles off of wings and giving the impression that the painting is a work of art by whoever did the original. Same with a collage. When someone does a collage, they are creating a completely different work of art. It is clear that what they create is not done by the original artist that might have created the images used. As far as sampling music, there are very clear rules one must follow when sampling music. If I recall correctly, you can sample only like 5 seconds from another artists work. If you sample more than that, they have to both get credit for being one of the song writers and be paid. Maybe what. you don't also understand, is that the person who wrote the music controls the music. If multiple artists record the same song, each of them have to pay the writer of the music. Each of those artists also has to get permission from who wrote the music before they can use the music commercially. They are then doing vocals that are always different. Not the same at all as editing a piece of art. It is apples and oranges and are not handles or thought of as being comparable. I have never heard of any other religion taking a masterpiece, modifying it to fit their religious beliefs and then passing it off as if that is how the original artist painted the image. I guess I would be less concerned if the Church noted in the caption all the changes they made to the painting. Here is a painting by Carl Bloch but we clipped the angle wings and added clothing so naked shoulders wouldn't show. Hey I am ok with that kind of disclaimer. But to represent the work and not note the modifications is really dishonest. The painting has been changed. It should be noted what was changed at the very least. It really should never happen. I find it a dishonest representation of the actual painting and changing the intent of what the artist intended to suit it's own agenda.
  24. Interesting. So you would be ok with the Seventh Day Adventist taking an iconic painting of Joseph Smith in the grove talking with God the Father and Jesus Christ, painting out God the Father and replacing Joseph Smith with Ellen G. White, founder of their religion who also claimed to have over 2,000 visions from God. I can't honestly believe how some members think this kind of thing is ok. Are you just so used to letting the Church do whatever it wants and think your job is to go along with it no matter how dishonest and deceptive it is? The Church is actively distorting someone else's religious beliefs. They are distorting the very reason the artist did the painting to literally impose it's own beliefs on what that person created. And for what reason? Because they couldn't be bothered to find a competent artist to express the message they want to express. All I can say is, I don't want to hear one more complaint about the CES letter distorting the Church's teachings to fit someone else's agenda when the Church as an institution itself commits the same kinds of distortion of religious beliefs of others. You can't condemn one and be ok with the other.
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