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Everything posted by BlueDreams

  1. I can't say that I have. I know a couple that could likely fit that....though the ones I can think of are generally clients of mine. All of my closest friends are still definitely active. And I can only think of a handful that I know on FB who were active believers that later left period. I can't deem these as surprising or not because most of them I've had limited contact with for years. The others, it usually happened when they were pretty young (late teens, early 20's) and the circumstances don't fit this description. It wasn't sudden and only one would probably be deemed as somewhat surprising. I know plenty who've left or are not active, they just weren't overnight shifts....and weren't young families. My brother who recently left is the closest to this...he sprung it on us suddenly after pretending for months he was still "LDS" (without attending much, though) and hiding his doubts for at least a year before then...but he's barely 20 and dating a non-lds girl from a tight knit conservative non-denom family. And though the announcement was a surprise the decent was almost painfully classic. So not exactly the parameters you're painting. Of the ones I know that do fit it more, their reasons were a mix of having a conflict with what I'd personally consider a more cultural experience of church or culturally derived version of the gospel. One that I had, discussed some of the comments that she'd receive from her super conservative communities. I told her it sounded like she was in a cult (hyper-rigidity, super shaming language, very black-and-white thinking, a ton of blurring between culture and gospel, a ton of skepticism of outsiders, etc). The last straw was when they had a pregnancy scare and had to seriously consider abortion, which helped complete their decision for her to have a hysterectomy. Technically, policy wise, their reasons would fit into reasons to consider an abortion. But because that is rarely (if ever) discussed in the church, more pro-life and big-family voices are validated and stories that bolster that end-result are shared, they felt super out of step with their family and community. With luv, BD
  2. That you’re asking about a cardiologist who won’t support that decision, it should be fairly obvious why. Covid caries far more risks to the heart and cardiovascular system than the vaccine. It‘s not liability that’s a concern but her actual health and giving sound medical advice, which I assume if she’s seeing a cardiologist is already somewhat compromised. At best I would assume all that would change from most cardiologists about the vaccine is delivery, not the medical consultation. personally, with my daughter’s team of medical professionals, I’m not expecting them to be seeking out the Spirit in their recommendations for medical treatment. They’re not an ecclesiastical leader, they may not even be of my faith. It’s not their job or stewardship. What is their job is for them to direct me in medical knowledge that I likely don’t have because I haven’t been trained in said field. Our religious leaders have already given us guidance from a spiritual stance, both by example, unofficial, and official statements….all of which strongly encourage both trusting/talking to your doctors and getting vaccinated. So she could seek out a 2nd opinion from another cardiologist, but again I wouldn’t expect much difference in opinion on this. beyond that, it may be time for her to re-evaluate her decision and the information she’s used to bolster it. with luv, BD
  3. I don't think it's a perfect analogy, just sometimes the closest we have, at least when spoken from a more broad perspective. I've seen individual "good parents" act and parent in a fairly wide range. With luv, BD
  4. strangely, I think working with people on the other end of tragedy has shaped in someways my views. Pain comes in two forms for me. Stuff that’s just part of a mortal life and stuff that we implement on each other…often it’s a mix of both. Neither I good or absolutely necessary. Some of it, like the things you mentioned with abuse are a sign to me of rotting branches or long term problems that need to be addressed. The absolute necessity is in finding God during/after the struggle. I also believe more in a relational god instead of a purely interventionist orientation or deist format. It’s kinda like the authoritarian v permissive parenting style but with God. Both of those to me put us as objects to God IMHO as opposed to individuals and communities of children who need space to grow and decide what we want to become as well as reminders, guidance, and love to get us to a better place when we choose a better path. They both deeply care about and want to see us overcome and become. Relational experiences of the Divine to me often will therefore be complicated and even contradictory at times because of that balance and where we are at in the process of becoming or falling. Not just as individuals but as communities and families. I’ve moved to such a relational viewpoint of God that I also believe that part of the reason we don’t know when Christ comes again is because that coming is in part a covenant with us, and therefore we have an active role in preparing for that. In essence when we are prepared, God will come. One of the clearest examples i witnessed was with a roommate. She was struggling to come to a better place in her life in just about every aspect you could think of: direction, family, her abusive relationship, self esteem, religiously…they were all in some form of disarray. She knew it and was actively trying to make her life better, though often uncertain what that even meant. Because I was her roommate it gave me a fairly good view of how events unfurled for her. Yes, there was a lot of events that were painful and not really her fault or making. It was not an easy row. But there were obvious signs of God in many of her experiences, powerful answers, and many many people that were in her life at a crucial time. I can’t deny that God was there in droves and I also can’t deny that what she was struggling with was inherently unfair. Personally at least it better answers the biggest concerns with both views. with luv, BD
  5. I’m currently reading “anatomy of peace” which has very similar concepts to the book you bought and like. I’m liking the book so far and have also enjoyed recently “the book of forgiving” by Desmond and Mpho tutu. These are what have helped me maintain more of what is described as having a “heart at peace,” or the opposite of the “heart at war.” So I agree in the mutual communications, the grassroots convos, etc. Persuasion and understanding are always the preferred tools to change IMO. I am thinking more on that last line about policy implementation. Both the articles you give map the problem more than they do a feasible solution. Speaking to the values of others or to the “elephant” are good ideas, but need some so of practical implementation to be worthwhile. the other problem I have is with real risk. Some of the examples mentioned on this thread actually highlight the problem for me. Let’s take marriage therapy. Therapy for the vast majority of marriages are as mentioned: both coming together, learning how to let go of their war orientation and better hear each other to work together more healthily. It often takes time, but can slowly lead to change. These would also likewise fit with the parameters of the elephants mentioned. But this falls apart if there is a risk factor that is weighing the conversation between the couple. These would include abusive behaviors, affairs, chronic lying, even some severe mental health Concerns. If these aren’t being managed marital therapy isn’t just like to fail, but it may entrench the problem. This to me is like having an elephant that is actively stampeding in a neighborhood. That is not the time to slowly coax an elephant to change direction. That is when you need to yank out the tranq darts to reduce damage and then point the elephant in a better direction, once you’ve gotten them out of the village. That’s kinda where I see the discussions now. The period of gentle dialogue to slowly change can’t outweigh the real risk and cost to people’s lives and the medical system. To get vaxxed or not isn’t an equally viable choice and to stall places the individual above the health and well-being of the entire community which can easily and quickly grow to strain the whole system. (That’s not said angrily or judgmentally to said individuals at this point for me.) so to me, learning to understand one another is absolutely important, but the current risk warrants intervention and boundaries be placed. Even if that initially causes problems and even resentment in the “other side” with luv, BD
  6. Plus, The number of those actually hesitant among black populations is on par with the general public. this article talks about that, with numbers before a noted hike in vaccinations among black Americans that happened with the start of delta (the last batch of data has them as a higher percentage getting vaxxed compared to their overall population size. A lot of the lag is also tied to access issues and economic limitations. (Along with some of the usual reason found in the gen pop see here with luv, BD
  7. I was saying this more distanced than I normally would. I know I have a bias for what side I empathize with more. But this wasn't necessarily about empathy but mapping out the state of a really difficult impasse that is likely to be broader and deeper to cross than gay marriage. Think of it this way, on gay marriage the main impediments and perceived risks around the debate were on one end a sense of cultural relevance and potential loss of the meaning to marriage (ie. largely social risk). On the other a desire to define ones relationship and receive cultural recognition of said relationship as equally valid and/or to receive the legal rights afforded married couples (social and/or legal risk). For an active lds audience, the latter argument is largely in behalf of other people not themselves that they may have a fairly limited connection to. This potential risk to these groups drives the emotional intensity and though these risks are by no means small they don't match up to the current issue of the pandemic. The potential risk for the pandemic are simply bigger. It is an issue that effects basic human functions: mortality, chronic health concerns, and prolonged psychological and familial stress from chronic anxiety and limited social contacts, disrupted income and life patterns, etc are what's at risk for one side. 2 of these are often downplayed on the "other side" and the risks mentioned may focus on other aspects of prolonged psychological distress related to (and blamed on) the pandemic response, reduced business or income streams, disrupted life patterns, and a sense of infringement of civil rights in favor for systems they tend to distrust. Again these risks drive the emotional intensity we currently see( Note: I'm putting no emotional label on what the "other side" is doing per se). And these risks are generally lopsided on basic concerns....but these are still far more likely to effect us all personally and therefore pull out harder emotional hurdles towards "unity." Particularly at a time where our unity as a society in the US was already fraying and particularly when our behaviors are solid indicators of where we stand on an issue. It's more real and the consequences of this debate more direct than gay marriage. ---Longer answer below --- I note the lopsidedness not to say that one side should "win" per se...but to point out that this leaves just the experience of meeting and conversing productively hard to pull off. Let's think of the church example someone pulled up, where masked people and unmasked sit separately. It's not just their pre-judgments of the other side that's coming into effect here....it's their very real concern that being near umasked and/or unvaxxed people increases their personal risk of illness. They're not just something they judge, they're something they see as a potential threat to their health and if not theirs, someone near them or others they may come in contact with. Being near the unvaxxed or unmasked likely causes anxiety. That would become an emotional hurdle without the prolonged problem in our communities. Since it's prolonged and many on that end have dug in harder on their points, unity itself becomes a perceived risk. As in if I find unity with those who refuse to take this seriously, I must accept and become complicit in loss of life and put my family at risk for their comfort. Unity and understanding doesn't work in this scenario. And insisting on it is what likely drives many like me to anger and labeling behaviors. And my go-to personality leans to empathy, understanding, and finding points of unity. This lopsidedness also effects how people from the other end come to this. Their initial concerns have likely in their experiences or mind been reified. At first the experiences around covid were also likely limited while the potential risks surrounding work, school, and daily living were more readily felt and experienced. These experiences were validated by information streams and social groups that focused on these and reduced the effects from covid. So the fears and stress from the response to covid rarely, if ever, outweighed the threat and stress around covid itself. Their emotional intensity would be on the things that touched them most. Evidence of varying civil liberties being crossed and institutional inconsistencies became a rallying cry and each point of following rules or mandates they weren't fully sold on as necessary became an offense and a breach of rights. Because this happened multiple times in different ways with little processing time between events (a couple months or weeks is not a lot of time for people to work to see the "other side particularly when they're feeling affronted) there was more space for emotional reactivity on both ends. This feeds division, tightens assumptions on what is a "trustworthy" info source, and shrinks the already small amount of voices available to them that say otherwise. These voices also become a form of threat. Not to life, but to their assumptions about liberty and their patterns to living. Negative attributions push this further, but at this point the space for middle ground shrinks because the only appropriate conclusion for the other side is one where they break through their skepticism of institutions and growing doubts and fears about vaccines and/or masks and choose both. They have to give up "more" than the other side has to give. Some of the usual tools also won't work either. There is no live and let live ending to this. Both sides are expecting the other to cave to some degree on concerns that they hold hold as absolutes. Understanding and compassion only go so far, because at some point the other is still viewed and seen as wrong (whether or not "wrong" than follows with dehumanizing labels). Coming away from a discussion without change in viewpoint to some degree is not sufficient. Long periods of discussing and slowly changing people's minds comes at too high of a price for cost of life and spread of deaths. With luv, BD
  8. I'm not sure what fault you assume I'm assigning here. What are you picturing when you're saying this? With luv, BD
  9. it makes sense to me a little. Gay marriage doesn’t effect members equally or universally. Most of us will never go to a gay wedding…heck, most people do not have a gay direct relative they’re close to. So a lot of the debate and discussion was hypothetical, as in it didn’t have direct real world consequences for most members. It also already touched on political differences with little cross over (at first). And there were no physical markers one could point to, to indicate one’s position. It’s also easier to maintain mixed views with gay marriage, even if those who debate it are generally extremely polarized (similar to abortion) covid is the opposite…it came at a political point where we’ve never been more divided and was turned into something political rather than a state of emergency. It effects everybody’s life and is currently shifting how many people live in several facets. The biggest effects are far more grave than the worst scenarios surrounding gay marriage. There is a very visible and clear indicator where you fall on the spectrum of “belief” literally right on our faces or in our behavior. Also for one side especially, there is more a sense of physical threat and/or anxiety over safety around being near those who differ on this topic. With luv, BD
  10. When I read scripture, at least, I find a more complicated narrative than that. Idealistically, compulsion and strongly worded warnings/condemnations weren’t used. The society after Christ comes is a solid example of a people coming together, individually committing themselves to God and creating a community based on this covenant. So would be the anti-nephi-lehites at conversion with their decisions not to confront the lamanite army. Or Nephi’s people when then left their more murderous brothers. But again, these were idealistic communities, as in communities with universal or near universal agreement/compliance of what should occur. Communities where there was a plurality of beliefs or ideals, you see more of a spectrum of how correct notions or social morals are maintained. Often this is through guidance by leaders and cultural maintenance. But at times where the plurality was seen as causing an unacceptable weight to the Soviety, it included both sharp condemnations and corrections, and or more compulsive measures to protect the larger society from subsections of the community that put them at either moral or physical risk. Examples would include things like Jacob 4, korihor’s movement excusing crime, the king men during capt. moroni’s time, etc. So to me freedom from compulsion is less so a value in itself or a right. Rather it is a direct result to a more righteous people who are willing to sacrifice and participate in the better good. It’s a state and part of an aspiration not a means in itself. with luv, BD
  11. So I really got a pet peeve on how “choice” and “agency” are being used lately. We believe in the ideas, yes, but not in this new rendition of how I’ve seen it used. The choice and agency in scriptures is usually very contextualized into choose between good and evil or the path of life or of death. These parameters are set up by god. Which leaves us to choose wisely, through careful study and checking our own responses and info to be sure we’re being led by god not just our own sentiments. It’s not just the freedom to choose whatever we feel is right for us. I feel like when I hear “agency” used in this term it’s usually confused with a more cultural individualistic variation of agency, not what is actually taught in scripture. end peeve with luv, BD
  12. I will come clean and confess that I laughed a little when I watched the bit. I have a part of me that really enjoys dark humor. Dark irony, karma, people getting hurt in outrageous ways, etc will all make me laugh to some degree. The pandemic and the level of "I can't believe this is where we're at right now" has definitely moved that up a notch. I assume it's a coping mechanism (laugh or cry or get enraged....probs should choose the first option) For the record, I would have a huge problem if hospitals started to take comedians and public opinion into account of who they should treat first. with luv, BD
  13. 1.) they're still working, even if their effectiveness wares a little over time and most governments implementing a booster are doing so in part because of that and in part for a sense of trying to stay ahead of the variants. 2.) most of us would be having a very different conversation if there wasn't a solid minority of people who refuse vaccination and there was widespread vaccination across the world and children under 12 were also able to be vaccinated. It's no longer primarily the aged. It's now primarily those between the ages of 18-49. The average age has been creeping down for 2 reasons. 1) delta has more of a serious effect than alpha on younger cohorts. 2) most older cohorts are vaccinated. You can google this. It shows on varying state sites and news articles like these ones: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/young-people-make-up-biggest-group-of-newly-hospitalized-covid-19-patients https://ctmirror.org/2021/08/10/covid-hospitalizations-skew-younger-as-delta-variant-spreads-in-ct/ https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/2021/08/23/covid-19-attack-rates-by-vaccination-status-and-age/ The first one also notes this: "Experts say that initially a person’s age and underlying conditions were the biggest factors for if a person would need to be hospitalized, but now it’s vaccine status." On resistance, I can't answer pogi on this, but I'll answer for myself. I have 2 reasons to "resistance" to treatments. 1. Do you know that HIV at this point has become a pretty manageable disease that with treatment can be managed for years. If a vaccine for HIV was presented though, I would start really pushing and promoting that, particularly in at risk communities or regions with high HIV rates. Why? I would assume it would be obvious: it's better to never contract the disease than to have a regime to manage it. We currently have regimes to reduce the death rate in hospitals for covid. It's far less effective than the HIV example I gave you (meaning it leaves a lot of people still dead and/or with long term illness...like my step father who now has diabete from covid and can't smell 8 months after getting it). But it also runs into other problems like access, capacity to implement, access to earlier interventions, etc And in our current state where it's farrrr more communicable than HIV, it can quickly strain hospital staffs (yes, i saw your earlier numbers with UT....UT is not as strained as say ID and it also is still starting to stretch staff, if the nurse I talked to during a recent mild hospital stay I had is any indication...as well as plenty other medical staff saying likewise). In which case access and capacity decreases and the death rate raises from a preventable disease not just for those who have it but for those whose treatments for other ailments are delayed due to staff and bed shortages (this is happening/happened recently in several especially hit states). In no world is treatment better than vaccinating/prevention for any known disease....and that goes ESPECIALLY for viruses where our treatments usually focus managing symptoms. 2.) ivermectin is not on the list of effective treatments for covid because the research on it is not showing promise and it sure as heck shouldn't be personally administered without a prescription. With luv, BD
  14. Probably more accurate to say since/then. If infers a hypothetical. Covid is a life and death situation so it's not hypothetically concerning. I've been watching this from afar and not fully engaging with this line of debate. I get to a degree both ends of people's arguments and where they're coming from. I get the idea of promoting the best protocols and equipment. But I also live in a low mask use area where at this point I would just accept anyone doing anything to limit the spread. I would love if everyone would generally wear masks that are on the high end of effectiveness. But at this point I would also take just about any measure of protection being used on their face en masse....since any form of measure would be better than what i currently witness on the daily. I think it's similar to say nutrition. Malnutrition problems are a definite problem and ideally it would "follow the science" and the best protocols would be promoted....this is generally a diverse plant based diet with minimal meat that is more likely fish or chicken or like items minimally processed and preferrably home cooked. But that's not likely to be followed if that's all that was promoted because there's social factors that strongly reduce adherence. Likewise with masks, if it was simply a problem of best preventative treatment measures, there would be no doubt that promoting they higher quality end masks would be best. But several social circumstances present warrant, IMHO, the flexibility of promoting any properly worn somewhat effective covering. And figuring out how to dislodge people on their general anti-mask stances that keep them from using any form of protection in public spaces. With luv, BD
  15. So by this I think you mean more biological distinctions (hair color, face/body shape, skin tone, etc) as opposed to cultural/social distinctions (which is closer to ethnicity). I'd break this down to 2 parts: Will we have distinctive features from each other? This I would assume is a solid yes. I base this on the fact that nature and this earth is a reflection of God. Creation in essence reflects God's will. And creation is inherently diverse and interconnected. So I don't view being "perfected" to mean being the same in looks but rather having ourselves be made into the perfect manifestation of the light we were given. Will we place the same meaning on said distinctive features? This I would assume the answer is no. I base this on the fact that our assumptions about who we are based on what we look like aren't God's interpretation of us, but the world's. Race is literally our social interpretation on physical features that we deem important. Being mixed is an odd window into just how transient those markers are. They are contextual and based on their social assumptions around race. These can be fairly innocuous, like assuming a cultural affinity i don't have (usually varying countries/ethnicities I don't have even a remote connection to because I'm speaking spanish, my married name, or because of my spouse), assuming I would be "good" at things I'm not, or would feel a sense of connection to things that assume all "xyz" people like. Some are more limiting or uncomfortable and in the wrong context could limit my choices based on split assumptions about capacity or risk. I have watched people flip scripts in their heads to better match what they assume about me as they've gained new info about me. This meaning isn't of God...it's what we put on ourselves and others. So I can't see how those will fully stay or maintain the same significance we hold now. Culturally I don't think there is a perfect or even "more perfect" culture on this earth right now. We will all go through a transition and this will likely change both how we see ourselves but also how we see and understand others. With luv, BD
  16. What do you mean by ethnicity?
  17. I would assume obviously dry. I can't think of a time I wore a "wet" mask. Including times I've worn them for several hours. With luv, BD
  18. I meant that more of an expression of generally differing “sides” openly disagreeing with something said by church leadership. but it reminds me of another thing I’ve been learning this year: the limits of empathy/understanding. That’s one of my go-to tools when it comes to interacting with people in general. But the pandemic is another beast. you mentioned this earlier to pogi: I’ve done this with at least one of these cousins I mentioned above. When I got vaxxed, I was one of the first in my family/friends to do so. So I made a public post about it and left it open to anyone who wanted to talk to me about it to do so with no shame or judgment involved. I was desperate just to reach those around me as best I could to gently encourage vaccination. I practiced what I preached and kindly answered every concern after listening and empathizing with them. During this Said cuz wanted to dm me and talk privately. So we did, she shared her concerns, I told her mine and my experience with the vaccine as well as what I knew. She was appreciative and there was no offense or a negative experience she took from the convo. The next day she posted another critical anti-vax oriented meme. I’ve had a few vax hesitant or waiting people in my life that I had more direct contact with besides her. One was my step-mom the other was my other cousin. Both got vaxxed. What did work for them? For my step-mom, boundaries on seeing the grandbaby. As in we’ll be coming by and you can have face-to-face time with grandchild once you’re vaxxed. Same was given to all the family as a qualification to all my close relatives. (To be fair, her hesitation was more to do with a fear of needles than anything else and for other parts of my family it was just making time for it). For the other cuz, it was more info that filled in some of her questions. I’ve worked to understand my people and moreso the the issues around this general. I agree that info wars especially aren’t super effective. People will find info to back their opinion no matter what. But I’ve found empathy also has its limits in this too. It allows people to believe that my opinion is as equally valid as their’s and it’s all just a matter of perspective and differing priorities. Which isn’t true. But the other problem I’ve seen is that for many most adament or set not vaxxing is they also don’t have an off ramp to manage being wrong. Be wrong or pointing out huge gaping problems in their assertions, even when it is done without shaming language, Is often still taken as shaming or judging them or some such response that allows them to remain the victim or underdog of simply having “different conclusions” or “concerns”. Meanwhile, ironically, I’ve yet to see a post against vaccination that doesn’t throw judging language or demeaning terms to describe the vaccine and/or those insisting it’s needed. My main question at this point is how do we get people to earnestly acknowledge and accept they may be wrong? How do we really “reach” those who seem to be made of Teflon when it comes to more accurate information, accounts of covid death and suffering, kind corrections from friends or family, and religious counsel? Cuz i got nothing for those most earnestly choosing this hill to (sometime literally) die on. But it does make me think that we may have a spiritual deficit in learning how to confront that we will be wrong and gracefully take accountability and repent. with luv, BD
  19. Thanks. The cloth masks in this study still have a filtration amount that I've seen rated for most cloth masks that are more than a bandana or other shoddy single layer masks (not what I've seen sold at any store, BTW, actually sold as a face mask). Though they were manufactured in bangladesh, I don't see them as drastically different than what we have one market. The door to door is definitely different, but I would note having endorsements on what to do with a mask and varying forms of announcements on masks in the US aren't. Access in the US to both masks and info are going to differ than what one would expect or need from a bangladeshi villlage. Some of what was mentioned though with monitors in the community reminds me a lot of what happened at the height of mask wearing in the US, when mandates were more common and stores started to seriously jump on board/encourage it. there were people at the beginning of the store that would hand out masks and depending the store I went to, many workers would remind customers to wear them properly. Something similar happened when I went to CO recently to both a museum and a national park. Yes, it was not equally implemented.....some places were more adamant than others in compliance and easier to monitor for as much. But it did drastically increase how many were effectively wearing masks. Obviously there were still chin-strappers and nasal drippers running around. There were still a handful of people who chose the least effective masking (neck garters or bandanas) to wear. But there were far more wearing a relatively more effective mask consistently. Note I label anything that is a fairly solid cloth mask that generally fits properly and any form above that as "effective." With luv, BD
  20. I definitely get more from that study. For one I'm not seeing any part where it says they made masks (the closest was a line saying cloth masks could be more customizable, not that they were in this study) for them and the training was made specifically to be replicable to any country. As in it was general and simply entailed distributing/assuring access to info from the WHO and their national leaders. I also now wear a kn95 type mask in large part because of delta and my area's really low adherence to masking. I didn't for most of the pandemic. I went with cloth masks I made for reasons of both access and the ability to make sure it fit my face. I have on bought one that is actually a solid fit that I know use for quick garden excursions on smokey days (super smoke sensitive). My husband wears a surgical and is unopposed to wearing his shop respirator if needed (though his public time is super limited anyways). My daughter will likely have a cloth one for now due to her small face...since she's super young it's largely for practice right now. For many places and demographics, what masks they can have will be limited by cost (any 95 is pricier than most other options), access, and size. This study indicates that even with that, it's worth wearing what you having properly (ie covering mouth and nose and with a decent fit) than it is to do nothing. And that's extremely important for maintaining or making policies to promote public health, particularly in nations that need the most cost effective ways to reduce spread till vaccinations can be made more available. With luv, BD
  21. I think it’s a bit of incredulity on my end. Though I don’t think i‘Ve directly made the analogy, I know I’ve up scored it or at least smiled a little when I’ve seen it. It’s a little mind bending to watch people who general are more strict around prophetic counsel or at least more outwardly “in line” with what’s been said over the pulpit that are more cultural lines that have little effect outside oneself if your follow them or not. Earrings and tattoos would fall under that category. Some I know have been extremely judgy of those who don’t or at least appear like they don’t (such as some of the accounts from Al Fox on people’s reactions to her tats in the church). But with something that can literally save lives and protect others, that to me seems like a moral no-brainer, many who fell in the above camp are using messages and reasonings they’ve rarely if ever used in their life to continue going as they are. And it appears to me they’ve done so with barely a missed step. I have two cousins that fall into this category. Both have a trail of online posts that talk about medical freedom, their choice, some quasi-victim posts about how others are seeing them for not getting vaxxed, etc. They’re also both openly religious and have posted at least at points to indicate being active in the church (things like temple pics). Sometimes they have posts that intermingle their political/social stance with religious undertones. When the first Presidency statement came out and without missing a beat they reposted something from a woman who basically said she wasn’t sweating the statement and believed in her own answers. Later in the responses the said author of this post can be seen stating misinformation, several interactions talked about ivermectin as an appropriate counter to vaccines, and some general fear mongering around the vaccine as a whole ensued as reasons for their choices. Which leaves me dumbfounded and, well, incredulous. It’s not necessarily that they disagree or are moving counter to prophetic counsel. It’s that they tend not to and have likely questioned at times others who do. That they’re using mottos and trumpets to proclaim their position that they previously opposed And even sneered at. Until it’s them on that other side of the fence. It makes me question what is the “spirit” to them? Are they used to it moreso being a source of self-validation than a guidepost to deep and meaningful change? How does one get to trusting political and social talking points over one’s usual religious stances? For the record I don’t have more than one piercing and I don’t have tattoos, so your parallel on that one fell a little short for me. But I have definitely had moments of disagreement with statements or talks from prophets and apostles and general church leaders. I’m not one who believes that “follow the prophet” mean do every last tip they suggest for our lives with little questioning. What this and also the Holland talk controversy brought out of me though is questioning how I disagree. Do I take time to read it through? Do I look fully into “their side” per se on this or that concern? Why am I disagreeing, sometimes reactively…what’s my emotions behind it? And lastly being willing to step back and proverbially ask “is it I?” As in is it me that’s wrong or overextending my knowledge base and am I sure? Am I really open to the idea or potential that I could be wrong? With luv, BD
  22. I’m kinda surprised this research hasn’t made the rounds yet: https://www.poverty-action.org/study/impact-mask-distribution-and-promotion-mask-uptake-and-covid-19-bangladesh To note: it is currently pre peer-review. But the study the first (or at least one of the very few) to hit the gold standard in the medical research community. Meaning it’s a randomized trial, held in real world settings, and is large scale (~300k participants). The study focused on a few things: mask v no mask, cloth v surgical masks, and means to get adherence to proper mask wearing in lower income countries as well as how these effected social distancing. They were able to up the numbers of proper mask wearing from 14% to 43% in targeted villages. This increase (which note, isn’t even fully half the pop) showed decrease in symptomatic covid with masking. It was slight for cloth (5%) but significant for surgical (12, I believe) it supports the basic idea that mask is better than nothing, and better threaded masking (like surgical ones) are better overall. With luv, BD
  23. So my brother recently converted to what I think is a conservative non-denom oriented religion/family. The dad of said family spent hours trying to convince him of the trinity, to little effect. It didn't make sense to him, even from the bible passages they pulled out...even from his limited understanding of our own religion. What did work was what you describe as "boundary maintenance." I call it stacking the cards in their favor. As in, make continuing his relationship with their daughter contingent on studying their religion (and strongly inferring conversion = keeps first love and their family while he's still figuring out how to adult). That one was likely extremely unique to his circumstance. Other's were less so. Like the dad realizing he would need to throw some heavy doubt about my brother's religion he was raised in, to leave him more open to his own. Forget whether the stuff was actually accurate. I cannot emphasize how painfully true the bold has become to me. Particularly after said brother who I helped through some of his hardest moments stated clearly that he believed I was going to hell because of my beliefs. I could also believe that the trinity and contingent beliefs are maybe a stance of "overthinking it." But here's the things, while my bro was parroting what he was taught and explaining why he believed I would go to hell if I continued as I was, he didn't mention anything about my saved status (at least at first). His assumption of my heathen hell-bound destination if I died tomorrow was tied heavily to doctrinal assertions. Ie. my disbelief of the trinity, beliefs of JS as a prophet, etc. It was only after I pointed to the scripture in galatians about the gifts of the spirit and he noted that he'd seen all of those traits in me that he even mentioned something about being saved (summarizing) and one of those is still tied to a theological boundary (whether I believe in that all I need to do is believe in Jesus to be saved...again summarizing). At least from I've seen to presentations to "the mormons," pointing to these areas of theological boundaries is really important to evangelizing to us. It likely isn't how it's presented to everyone, but it is definitely how I've seen it presented to me and others like me in areas heavily populated with evangelicals. With luv, BD
  24. This draws a bit of a false equivalency. Along with people who leaned hard on “literalism” there’s been a solid core that haven’t. I would assume that at this point is the majority of LDS folk. And being “saved” even on a more literal variant is still more nuanced and universalist leaning than what I’ve seen from the vast majority of evangelicals, non-denoms, and many other branches of what would be deemed orthodox Christianity. with luv, BD
  25. It you look at the maps and compare county vaccination rate and county hotspots (as in high case rate per 100k people) there is an obviously correlation between vaccination and spread. Multnomah is no exception. Their covid cases are steadier than most the rural counties I clicked on (as in there’s no drastic surging happening there) and per capita, their rate is on the lower end for Oregon. this is with a big thing going against it: it has a far greater population density. Which means it’s harder to socially distance and reduce contact with others. It gives huge credence to the final step to reducing covid transmission: vaccinations. Without it, it can dash previous efforts to slow the spread in the face of delta. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/oregon-covid-cases.html With luv, BD
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