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Everything posted by Vanguard

  1. Good post. But is this more an issue with a belief in God or an issue with the particular LDS belief? It's nice to define the parameters of the debate. In other words, it seems silly to be discussing whether the Polynesians are of Lamanite descent (or some such) with someone who thinks God is a fabrication. As an aside, my folks came to pick me up in Brazil too (back in '87!). I hope your trip was as wonderful as it was for my own parents. : )
  2. One of my MTC district companions and I snuck out the night before to have dinner with my parents who had driven up from CA to see me off. We were shuttled the next day to the airport where I was able to spend a bit more time with my folks before leaving for Sao Paulo. My dad slipped me $50 bucks in case I needed to 'bargain' my way through the international gate in Brazil. What memories. I would not trade them for the world. : )
  3. Well said - this is what I am trying to get at. And yes, it goes without saying that ttribe and others get to characterize how they feel in such circumstances. And of course there are examples of members behaving awfully when around those who were formerly active. What no one gets to do, however, is to characterize motivations of others based solely on whether the member 'ducked and ran for cover' when the former member was in close proximity.
  4. I wouldn't want others telling me what my experience is either. I do get to suggest possibilities for viewing the experience differently though. The problem as I see it is that your characterization (and frequently that of others) rarely acknowledges (your quoted post is the exception) the possibility there could be other dynamics in play that have nothing to do with 'turning one's nose up' or some such. I have had encounters with friends who were former members - encounters that had I known how aggressively antagonistic they would be, I would have turned around and gone the other way myself. Or course, when and if that happens, we can easily see how the experience becomes easy fodder for the former member to caste myself or any other member in a negative light for the former member's own purposes. If leaving the gospel were not hard enough, managing intimate relations with those who remain in the faith can be fraught with highly charged, difficult, and hurt feelings on both sides of the aisle. Not jumping to cynical conclusions about the motivation of either party would be a worthwhile charge for everyone to pursue.
  5. Come on, ttribe. You know as well as I do that there could be myriad reasons behind why someone might reverse course when faced with a potentially awkward exchange. Many of these reasons have absolutely nothing to do with how many former members on the board characterize such situations but rather the individuals are simply afraid of what could be a highly uncomfortable or even charged exchange - an exchange they would rather not have. And yes, as you seem so certain about, they could be avoiding you because they are all lily-livered, scalawags who are fare-weathered friends. Good grief. For what it's worth, as often as I find myself wholly at odds with your posts (though not always!), I would not turn and walk away from you. ; )
  6. All very well said. : ) These are great questions. For myself, I am no longer interested in entertaining conversations about how we will all look 'great' in the hereafter - you know, "Will I have a full head of hair?, Will my teeth be like Donny Osmond's?, Will I be the perfect height?, and so on. I don't believe we even know what we're talking about in that regard. IMO this also goes for relational dynamics. I know we're told I can be with my spouse though I don't know in what capacity. All I have are my 'mortal world ideas' about what that might look like and I think these are lacking quite a bit. I'd rather allow the mystery of what an existence with my Father-in-Heaven might be all the while accepting I will have some type of relationship with loved ones that I can not even imagine in this mortality.
  7. Your scenario speaks to my issue with the message - if you pray fervently and with a sincere heart, your Heavenly Father will protect you. For the longest time I have come to believe this should not be the message or, at least, not the message to the exclusion of other extremely important messages. My belief is that He will intervene when He sees fit (with our without fervent prayer) and He won't intervene many times when we would argue He should. That's the deal. The primary purpose of prayer should not be to insure safety & happiness but rather an effort to understand our God's will in all things. This is indeed a bitter pill to take though a pill we must. My issue with your argument, however, is one of magnitude. Though we would all agree the horrors of sexual & physical crimes against children at the hands of those who we trust are at the top of the list, they are certainly not the only horrific examples of abuse and pain. Where do we stop with the expectation that God should intervene? What about disease and hunger in our children? What about emotional abuse? What about disease and hunger in adults? And on and on the list goes... Before we know it, we've flipped the entire plan of Salvation on its head and created something wholly different.
  8. Below is a post from Tacenda on another thread that I believe if is to pursued should be done on this thread. The following (italics added) - "I'll stick with this one. https://www.cfbjs.com/our-blog/2020/december/how-might-i-be-charged-with-indecent-exposure-/ exposing their private parts; engaging in sexual conduct or masturbation; or engaging in conduct that to an ordinary observer would appear to be sexual conduct or masturbation." ____________________________ This leaves quite a wide margin for tastes in what one wears! Are you sure this is your standard for a youth dance conducted in one of our chapels? Interestingly, your link excludes a woman's breasts as being a 'private part' and therefore not something considered against the indecent exposure laws (and not something you would consider beyond the pale?). Of course, we can all imagine myriad examples of 'attire immodesty' from both our young men & women that would make us blanche at the prospect of having these styles at a dance or at church for that matter - styles that have nothing to do with your aforementioned standard you claim to be sticking with. I don't understand why we haven't dedicated more bandwidth to how we address these issues. Instead, the vast majority of the posts simply complain about others' efforts at enforcing standards we disagree with, without any real, practical direction on what the new standard should be beyond your suggestion that as long as our youth are not exposing their private parts or engaging in behavior that looks like sexual conduct! Yikes! The fact is someone will be tasked with being on the front lines of enforcing something (who knows what that is now!?). What should be the direction for them? Or will we forever sit back in our armchairs and complain with platitudes about their decisions? : (
  9. But are you saying there should be no standard? Or is there a time when women "endowed with larger chests" can help it?
  10. Thanks for the clarification but could you still answer my questions?
  11. Though I don't mean to pick you out singularly, I do believe you and many others are guilty of this. Your comment "And if a student was a man and I was teaching and he was showing the lower half, too low, I might not like that either" prompts my question - But are you yourself struggling with notions of modesty you expect others to follow and that perhaps you should take a look at? And your later comment "So I really don't know since I wasn't in the classroom how bad (italics added) it was". How bad what was? Are you suggesting a standard that you haven't shared? And if so, please share this standard with the board. And that's mainly my point - it seems far too many find great ease in criticizing those who suggest a standard though they themselves fall far short of explaining where this different standard should be - that is, unless those who are critical are suggesting there should not be a standard? In that event, I don't see how we'll ever come to an agreement. In order to best insure a productive exchange here, many times we must first plot out the extremes. Is there someone who would argue there should be no standard?
  12. Are they including those unions where the man or woman entered into the union not having revealed their inclinations? If so, this would skew the data and conversation away from what I thought we were taking about - that is, what happens when a couple enters marriage where one of the partners has come out to the other and still they decide to make a go of it. It stands to reason if one of the partners kept it a secret from the other (hoping s/he could 'cure's themself in a hetero-union) that these divorce stats would be higher. I think we all already knew this though. What of those who were entirely open from the get-go?
  13. Was I raised with two loving same-sex parents? Was I taught that one of these parents would bring into this life siblings that I would develop an indelible bond to for the rest of my life? Did I love and respect my grandparents for creating my own parents? Did I witness my cousins and other friends also coming into this life from other same-sex households - aunts & uncles who I also loved and respected? Did I develop a conviction about wanting to bring children into this world in the same manner? Was I taught that my God endorsed this nuclear family arrangement? And more importantly, was this something I also fervently believed? Who knows what I would do? Even if these afore-mentioned scenarios were the case, I seriously question whether I could follow through with it. Knowing myself as I do, however, I wonder if by not following the same pattern would I spend the rest of my life questioning whether I had sacrificed something even greater... I respect all who have to make such difficult decisions. I also respect those (i.e., the young couple and others) who dare to explore arrangements that still fall within the parameters our Father-in-Heaven has given despite the fact that so much of their natural sexual inclination leads them in a different direction.
  14. That's not how I took his comments. IMO acknowledging there may be 'fluidity' in another's sexual orientation does not necessarily equate with an endorsement of whatever actions that person may or may not take as a result.
  15. This is more the finest example of what happens when orthodox (to put it lightly) religion wholesale takes over a country's political realm. To couch your reaction as "sometimes I hate religion" doesn't do the situation justice and misses the point. It's not even on the same continuum as the LDS religion's influence. And if you think these rules (as you illustrated) are horrific examples of what the Taliban is instituting and mandating then I say you need to get out more. Living under this type of religious dictatorship for even a few months would have you lamenting issues far greater than uniform expectations at school. The earlier comments suggesting that women are far better off (though not an excuse for bad behavior here) in the western world is a colossal understatement.
  16. But this cannot be strictly about what conclusion a judge renders. Should s/he render a decision that counters the Church's stance, I can accept it and still believe the decision is wrong though reasonable. It in no way affects how I feel about the Church, however, considering that I believe their own position is reasonable on a moral level. Are you able to agree to the same should the courts decide in favor of the Church? Or will you still claim they are morally at fault? Your answer would speak volumes...
  17. And that's my point. Some who disagree with you cannot admit that your position is imminently reasonable without losing their leverage. For myself, I can understand their reasoning though it doesn't make the difference in my final conclusion.
  18. Rather than accepting that reasonable minds can disagree (how long have we been bantering over this?!), many who accuse the church of deceit (or worse!) appear to have a vested interest in holding the line that indeed the church was deceptive. The argument that tithing funds were not used seems entirely reasonable to me. Even if through the courts it is decided that the church was in the wrong, I would still not fault them for this. Of course, I suspect in the eyes of many accusers, a guilty verdict would affirm what they've always believed (openly or secretively) that the church fraudulently manages tithing funds at their own will and pleasure. Good grief. : (
  19. I hadn't listened to it either. What a beautiful address - better than I thought it would be. : )
  20. Of course an adolescent wanting keys for the weekend is not the same things as an individual wanting to be with the person they love for his life and beyond - I never suggested otherwise. Avoiding unnecessary hurt is always advisable but many times such is the trade of dealing in analogies/metaphors - there are those who will miss the point and perseverate on an incidental element far from that which is relevant in the comparison. The Bible is replete with such analogies many of which trigger hurt feelings from numerous groups. In those cases, we would counsel those afflicted parties to not read so literally into every element of the analogy but to focus on the relevant point being made. IMO, there is considerable similarity with what has been exchanged in this thread and the analogous example I provided - that is, one party has a capital demand and is frustrated the entity empowered to grant that command isn't budging. The frustrated party continues to harbor considerable resentment at how the empowered entity explains/expresses themselves even if the new tangential/stylistic grievance gets them no closer to their ultimate desire. Full stop. That's the similarity - no more no less. Again, had Elder Holland not used the metaphor or focused on the valedictorian the advocate LGBT community would be no closer to their ultimate goal. Proper use of metaphors was never the capital demand and doesn't advance the goals of the aggrieved community.
  21. Just a pause to remember the 12 service men & women who lost their lives today in Afghanistan at the hands of a suicide bomber. : ( Though we can differ on many things on this board, I think we can all agree the travesty this is. God bless their families and our fracturing America.
  22. Agreed. Again, it is ultimately about the fact that thus far it does not appear the church's position on gay marriage is going to change. How can the brethren do anything that would make the advocate LGBT community happy to be at BYU and in the church if these individuals are not able to marry in the eyes of the church? It puts all of this into perspective. Yes, perhaps Elder Holland used a not-so-great metaphor, and yes, here we are several pages into robust disagreement on it, and yet no one acknowledges it would not make one bit of difference had he used a more politically-correct metaphor. LGBT advocacy will continue unabated against the church until the brethren change policy - bottom line. In the mean time we can continue round and round on these types of offenses as if it made a difference. It reminds me of the almost proverbial exchange between parent and adolescent where the adolescent is enraged about not getting the keys to the car for the wknd so s/he spends bandwidth arguing with parent about how they must not love him, don't trust him, and how in-artfully the parent makes the case about why the adolescent can't have the keys. In other words, the argument will take on myriad different forms, will shape-shift, but despite the parents' efforts to find any common ground, it will not stop until the keys are given over - bottom line.
  23. I'm good with disappointed. Some of your commentary though seems to delve more into disgust. As for my comment on concessions, I guess we'll have to disagree. I don't believe the church interfaces with the LGBT community the same way it did 40-50 years ago. Shift has happened. The church has evolved. I consider this concession.
  24. I understand your point which is why I probably would not use such metaphors. I have long thought it would be better not to 'go there' in that way and for many reasons we would probably agree on. Regardless, scripture in the Bible, BoM, and restored gospel narrative are replete with militaristic references/metaphors/analogies. We teach our youth these things and even sing about them. To be astounded that a reference would be used in this way strikes me as disingenuous especially coming from someone with your religious background. It's fair game to have an issue with it, but to single Elder Holland out as not being compassionate or juvenile because he did so is quite the reach and especially considering everything else he said about the LGBT community in his talk. Ill-phrased? Perhaps. But anything more than that is a bridge too far... As far as your commentary about the LGBT community running as far away from BYU as possible, if said community is looking to continue pressing the issue, demonstrating, and even denigrating the church for holding this stance, then indeed perhaps they should look elsewhere. In spite of whatever concessions the church seeks to make on behalf of the LGBT community, it will certainly fall short of the capital demand to honor homosexual unions in the same way as heterosexual.
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