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  1. My experience is the same as yours (nobody has turned down a calling that I can recall). We did have one guy who accepted the assignment to give a talk in Sacrament meeting, but then suddenly had to get his gallbladder removed on the Saturday before his talk, so he couldn't give the talk on Sunday for some crazy reason (he said something about being bed ridden and in pain). But he was telling the truth I'd say that was a fair excuse.
  2. Good article. Stan Curry was our bishop many years ago, and I got to know him quite well working with him in the calling I had at the time. Early last year I attended an event in his home, and he shared with me some of his connections he has with the Jewish community in Phoenix. He's a good man, and perfect for the work he is doing. Thank you for bringing this article to our attention.
  3. I think that particular guy did it just to advertise his name and his business on a national TV show. He's obviously known by the people in the show as a bookseller. He didn't strike me as the desperate type. He knew what he was getting into before the book was appraised. He knew his stuff.
  4. We also have our sound directly routed in from the podium microphone, and the sound quality is excellent. And we have two cameras as well, one on the person speaking, and the other one high and behind the choir seats pointing toward the congregation. We flip the camera to the congregation view during the opening and closing hymns and if there are sustainings and releases. We have a few home bound families that still view from home, and a few others that request a temporary link from the bishop when they are sick. So it's not available to everyone unless specifically requested and approved by the bishop.
  5. The Zoom Webinar option is exactly how our ward does our sacrament meetings. The Webinar allows the presenter to be controlled by a moderator, and on Fast and Testimony meeting Sundays, this allowed for people at home to "raise their hand" and get in a queue to bear their testimony in the meeting and it could be heard and (optionally) projected in the chapel. We also had one person give a sacrament meeting talk from home that was also shown in the chapel. And we always use it to count the people attending the meeting remotely.
  6. I noticed that Father Casey acknowledges and emphasizes the importance of replacing apostles in the video (starting at approximately the 3:10 mark), but he then shifts from apostles to bishops, as if they are one in the same (but they are not!).
  7. The general theme of all the talks so far have been about love. I'm looking forward to getting the transcripts, because I'm going to count how many times any form of the word "love" was used. Also, I consider Elder Erich W. Kopischke's talk (of the Seventy) in the Saturday afternoon session to be very timely and much needed. I know a family that lost a son due to depression this week. His talk moved me.
  8. Every choice we make to keep the commandments, or follow the prophet, or follow the guidelines of the church, it is all a matter of agency. It just seems like such an odd and simple request to put one over the edge. It is so incredibly minor compared to other choices. Most of the details of what we wear and what we do in the temple aren't found in the scriptures. There is obviously some political or cultural stigma that people perceive with a mask mandate that they just can't overcome. It is just so very odd to me. I don't know the right approach with people in this situation, because it would be best to help them somehow rather than drive the wedge between them and the church even deeper. But church worship and temple attendance isn't the place to protest perceived cultural or political objections.
  9. This just seems so, so incredibly odd to me. It's such a little thing. Pay 10% of income to the church? Sure! Donate additional funds for fast offering? No problem! Donate hundreds of hours of service in church callings? No sweat! Wear a medical face mask while in the temple? NO WAY! - I'M OUT OF HERE. YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR! I don't get it. The priorities seem way out of line. And I'm not trying to judge your neighbors, it's the general attitude that astounds me, and I've seen the same attitude elsewhere.
  10. I addressed this same argument when it was posted by LDS Watchman here. You wouldn't happen to know him, would you? Your arguments sound very familiar.
  11. And there again lies the reason for the living apostles and prophets, and why they are to continue. We're not all in the unity of the faith yet. But don't assume that all the people that post on LDS online forums, such as this one, are active members of the church. And not all topics discussed by active members of the church, where there are differences of opinion and varying viewpoints, carry the same weight. Since we are encouraged to grow in truth, some of us are still working out how to understand the revelations we've been given and how to fill in the gaps where information is lacking. There is much to be learned by sharing viewpoints, since we may not always consider possibilities that may be relevant.
  12. Indeed. One of the ways that Mark Hofmann was able to produce the illusion of provenance was by stirring up rumor to as many people as he could spread it. That way the "source" didn't always seem to come from him, because so many different people were his pawns and were talking about it. The internet has a way of doing the same thing these days, without Hofmann's help.
  13. As the verse you quote points out, it is not just "the only true church", but rather, "the only true and living church". There's a big difference. The "living church" is the only one on earth guided by revelation from God to apostles and prophets. And as you probably know, Joseph Smith acknowledge the existence of truth in other Christian denominations, mixed with error (see History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]). But he also told us we should gather up all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up. So the "only true and living church" doesn't have a monopoly on truth, but it embraces all truth, where ever it is found. As to your question, "why should someone join the church? What does the church today offer that can't be found anywhere else?" The answer to that question, to me, is summed up in Ephesians 4:11-14: The only true and living church offers: Living apostles and prophets (etc.) which are: For the perfecting of the saints For the work of the ministry For the edifying of the body of Christ And these continue until: We all come to a unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God Unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ For these reasons: So that we are no longer children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. No other church on earth offers this. And without this, the result may be chaos and confusion.
  14. Maxwell Institute of Silence I'm sorry, but when I first saw the title of this thread, I thought it was going to be a parody.
  15. If you get the book, let us know what you think of it and if it answers your question. I'm curious about the book too. I think most accounts of that nature would be from the journals or public statements of other individuals who heard Joseph Smith discuss those kinds of details in casual conversation, and not in public sermons from Joseph Smith himself. A few that come to mind can be found in Don Bradley's book, The Lost 116 Pages - Reconstructing the Book of Mormon's Missing Stories. Here's one example from Don Bradley's discussion on "The Lineages of Laban, Ishmael, and Zoram" starting on page 157. He quotes an 1896 account from Elder Franklin D. Richards, who recalled hearing Joseph Smith explain how the Book of Mormon could fulfill Ezekiel's prophecy of "the stick of Ephraim" or "stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephriam" (Ezek. 37:16, 19): He also quotes Erastus Snow as also hearing Joseph Smith talk about Lehi and his family, and Nephi marrying Ishmael's daughters, and their linage being that of Ephraim.
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