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Robert F. Smith

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Everything posted by Robert F. Smith

  1. Those who have been in the military and in law enforcement know just the opposite: We need disciplined and trained gun-owners, not lackadaisical libertarians who have no sense of responsibility. Rights = responsibility.
  2. We have also made schools with small children gun-free zones with little to no security. Same for our churches. Govt bldgs, on the other hand, generally have strict search-screens to prevent entry of people who are armed. Why is it that we do not value the children enough to make their learning experience secure? Why is that crazy people choose to go to gun-free zones, such as schools and churches? Seems like a no-brainer. Why are our teachers and school administrators so uninterested in doing something intelligent for a change?
  3. Yes, Mormons have been creating their own midrash.
  4. I'm not sure that reason and logic are the only qualities needed in making those extrapolations. We earthbound humans are so limited in purview that our imagination is truly challenged. Brother Brigham took a similarly down-to-earth approach, but I'm not sure that the details are really within our grasp.
  5. Another radical take on this whole matter includes the bull or calf images installed in North Israelite temples visited by the 10 northern tribes. Some scholars believe that they were modeled on the bulls ridden by Canaanite El, except that Israelite El was invisible when he rode them.[1] In fact, Gen 49:24 refers to El as the Bull of Jacob -- in an astrological sequence which makes this Taurus the Bull. Moreover, the name Lehi "Jawbone" may represent the Jawbone of the Bull of Heaven, the Hyades: The god Marduk even uses the Hyades as a boomerang-like weapon, just as Samson uses a jawbone to slaughter Philistines. [1] See G. N. Knoppers, "Aaron's Calf and Jeroboam's Calves," in A. Beck, A. Bartelt, P. Raabe, and C. Franke, eds., Fortunate the Eyes That See: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of His Seventieth Birthday (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 92-104; Amihai Mazar, “The ‘Bull Site’ – An Iron Age I Open Cult Place,” BASOR, 247 (Summer 1982):27-42, online at https://www.jstor.org/stable/1356477?seq=1 .
  6. Excellent point. Restraint is certainly called for.
  7. Correct. However, a lot of things are assumed to be true which are not part of Latter-day Saint doctrine. I hear people making what I believe to be valid statements all the time, but that does not make them correct doctrine. Much of it is just opinion which agrees with my own preconceptions.
  8. Very entertaining extrapolation, Teddy, but whether all that is "official Latter-day Saint doctrine" is another matter.
  9. Joseph Fielding Smith published that book in 1936, when he was not LDS President.
  10. The phrase you repeatedly ask about, Jim, "literal Son of God," is likely an extrapolation from both Bible and other holy books. As with many theological phrases used by Protestants and Catholics, extrapolation is a major source of encapsulating such concepts in order to make them understandable to ordinary people. Whether they are ultimately correct is up for discussion. Nearly all Latter-day Saint beliefs can be found in the Bible. InCognitus gives us just one small indication of that fact, above. Indeed, such concepts were already commonly available in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
  11. Neither the Book of Mormon nor the Bible use the phrase "literal son of God." You may be thinking of statements by Brigham Young and Joseph F. Smith, https://www.mrm.org/jesus-christ-literal . You need to learn to specify and cite your sources, Jim. That is the only honest way to approach such issues. Be up front and frank in expressing your views.
  12. You might want to cite your sources for those claimed teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, providing exact quotes, rather than your personal version of what is actually taught. Various people, including yourself, may have opinions of various kinds. Justifying those opinions may not be so easy.
  13. Nope. Lehi doesn't say that at all. What he says is that there can be no good without evil, no bitter without sweet, etc. That is the nature of the universe. Otherwise, he says, everything would simply be "a compound in one" -- an undifferentiated mass, without good or evil, without any meaning at all, and without even the possibility of God. This is also a fundamental law of physics. The Law of Opposition is universal.
  14. There was no beginning, there shall be no end. There will always be heavenly councils throughout the universe, and for all time, as new spirit children head off to their own life experiences during their mortal probation. All will be given their choice of following Satan or Jehovah, on keeping or not keeping their first estate. This must go on forever. It is never a one-time thing. Perhaps the ministering angels and celestial beings in the Celestial Kingdom are sequestered from the hoi polloi such that there is only love and never contention. However, all celestial beings will inevitably be present in a heavenly council in which there will be many non-celestial spirit children who must make a choice as a first step on their covenant path. So, yes, in those instances, there will be fighting and contention. It is inevitable. Reading II Nephi 2 is key here. It makes it plain that evil must exist, along with all other opposites. If not, God could not be God. This a central feature and foundation of LDS theology. Lehi is very explicit.
  15. I was thinking of the War in Heaven. One-third of the Host of Heaven are headed for Outer Darkness as a result. Evil is eternal. Always has been.
  16. There is also fighting and contention in Heaven, and always has been. It is part of the principle of agency.
  17. Evil is an eternal principle, and must exist. As Lehi explains in II Nephi 2, if we have no opposites, then God cannot be God.
  18. The Latter-day Saint faith officially allows for people to go into combat and to kill the enemy without being condemned, just as anyone or a police officer may be allowed to kill in self-defense. It is called justifiable homicide. At the same time, the Book of Mormon plainly approves of a pacifist vow being taken and kept. One gets to choose his own path. Having lawyers contend on behalf of clients in a court of law is in no way immoral or ungodly, just as various types of public debates (live or in writing) are quite useful for clarifying the issues. This board is part of that same useful function. A prime biblical example of a divine court is that in which both Satan and God contend over the piety of Job. However, angry denunciations are not called for, and do nothing to clarify, and moderators here will strike you down for it.
  19. According to Anglican Bishop Tom Wright, the Garden of Eden itself was a temple -- and we all know what takes place there.
  20. Wonderful, very enlightening conversation, Corey. Thanks.
  21. Yes, and people have a right to walk away.
  22. I agree that it is probably not a good idea to interpose your pro or anti notions into such matters, even when it involves family (or maybe especially when it involves family). It is usually best to continue with a loving family relationship regardless of religious views/church views, and that would be a good idea for any religion (or even political view). Parents and siblings need to have and continue their tight bonds, and this should extend in some way to aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, grandchildren, etc. Unless we are talking about the adoption of rank immorality or toxic, abusive relationships and actions, maintaining a friendly demeanor is tremendously important. It is completely natural for some people to walk away from the socio-political-religious views they once had, and they should be allowed to do so without fanfare or backbiting. I had a recent exchange with someone online (not here) in which he insisted on recounting the dire consequences of not adhering to his version of the covenant path -- to those young folks who decided to abandon the faith. I thought his comments harsh and premature, and said so. I thought he left out key provisions of the Gospel, such as grace, repentance, and the Atonement. I also felt that he had condemned those young people to abrupt and short-sighted judgment because I know of cases where such apostates come back. He did not want even to consider that possibility. He seemed to want a final apocalyptic Judgment here and now.
  23. According to non-LDS Egyptologist Lanny Bell, careful analysis shows that there are two hands of the guy on the couch (Osiris-Abraham), rather than a second bird wing. Bell says:
  24. Your main problem here is that you think that those outside the Latter-day Saint faith will even listen to you. They already know that you are wrong before you say anything. They will not even entertain the possibility that you might be right. Hugh Nibley handled that problem by finding "Gentile respectability" for LDS views. He cited well known non-LDS scholars in each field to show that the Latter-day Saint faith is foundational and can easily be derived from the earliest sources.
  25. The similarties among hypocephali have been well known for over a hundred years. There are no surprises there. Facsimile 2 is merely one more hypocephalus. There is nothing unique about them. I wrote a detailed commentary on the subject back in 1975. Mike Rhodes wrote a short translation-commentary a bit later. What is it that you don't get about hypocephali? I have yet to see the anti-Joseph crowd deal with standard Egyptological interpretation of Facsimile 2. Are they afraid of the consequences?
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