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Posts posted by InCognitus

  1. 1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

    To the bold, I feel like our church emphasizes family more than a relationship with God, sorry if this comes off offensive. But honestly I wonder if you put in "relationship with God" vs. "family". Well, I'd bet family would be mentioned more in conference talks than relationship with God. Eternal families and creating your own worlds seem to not be about a relationship with God really. He's there but not as much IMO. Now in an Evangelical church I can definitely see that relationship with God/Jesus being placed far above spouse/family.

    I see family and relationship with God as one in the same, because our relationship with God is a family relationship.   What I say below I have posted before (here), but it's relevant again...

    When we were studying the Old Testament a couple of years ago, I came across a Jewish tradition regarding the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai.  The tradition is that the Ten Commandments were written on two tablets of stone, with five commandments written on each tablet.  The first tablet was said to contain the five laws related to man’s relationship to God, and the second to contain the five laws related to man’s relationship to his fellow man.   When I read about this tradition, I had to take a look at the first five commandments to see if this idea held true.   The first five commandments are:

    1.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  (Exo 20:3)
    2.  Thou shalt not make any graven image and bow down to it or serve other gods (Exo 20:4)
    3.  Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain (Exo 20:7)
    4.  Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Exo 20:8)

    And finally:

         5.  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

    The first four commandments are obviously connected with man’s relationship to God, but I was puzzled as to how they considered the fifth commandment, to honor your mother and father, to fit into that idea.  One commentary said the following:

    “This Commandment (to honour thy father and thy mother) follows the Sabbath command, because the Sabbath is the source and the guarantor of the family life; and it is among the Commandments engraved on the First Tablet, the laws of piety toward God, because parents stand in the place of God, so far as their children are concerned. Elsewhere in Scripture, the duty to one's parents stands likewise next to the duties towards God (Lev. 19:3)”.

    Now regardless of whether the tradition about the dividing of the commandments into these two groups of five is accurate or not, there is a true principle touched upon in this idea that honoring our father and mother has an association to our relationship with God:  The family unit is the model from which we can understand God’s love for us and our relationship to Him. Understanding our relationship to God helps us understand how the commandments are expressions of his love for us.

    So this isn't just a Latter-day Saint thing, other faiths seem to get the importance of family too.

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  2. 2 hours ago, Calm said:

    I would be giving the cat away.

    Yeah, on a boat I think I would be doing that too since there's no pet door that you can close at night.  Although you could anchor the boat about nine feet from the dock.   That might be enough, unless you have the cat that can teleport or catapult.

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  3. 5 hours ago, rodheadlee said:

    My female cat is bringing mice onboard the boat. She brings them in and then set sets them loose and has great fun chasing them all around the boat. I am chasing them with her with a cup and a lid trying to catch them. When the mouse finally gets away and crawls in some hole she gets bored and stops. Then she is like don't worry Dad I know where to get more of those.

    I put some Humane mouse traps out and caught three of them so far. One Mouse is smart enough to go in and get the food and get back out. At night we can hear them eating our boat. I hope I got them all.

    There are so many stories I could tell like this, although I'm not on a boat (that would be bad).  

    Cat #1:  One of my kids found a pregnant mother cat abandoned at the local community college and brought it home.  We raised the kittens she had until they were old enough to give away.  One of her kittens grew up to be quite a hunter.  She was a small cat, very small framed, but that didn't deter her at all in her hunting skills (I think it may have been an advantage).  One day we heard a terrible noise coming from the area where we had our pet door, and the cat was struggling to pull a live pigeon, squawking and screaming, through the pet door.  The bird out-sized the cat by about one third of the cat's size, but she managed to do it anyway.  We had fun trying to get the live pigeon out of the house.

    Cat #2:  The following two stories are about the same cat that is shown in the "Love Your Enemies" photo posted earlier in this thread.  She was also a hunter, and she was relatively small in size too.  I could tell a lot of stories about her hunting skills, but here are two of them:

    The first story:  One night I was up working late at home, and I heard the cat come through the pet door and into our master bedroom, and then I heard something like a small helicopter sound coming from the bedroom.  I went in to see what was going on, and she brought in a moth with a nine inch wing span (I'm not kidding, I measured it) and she let it go in our room.  My wife was asleep and I don't know how she managed to sleep through the commotion, because the cat was literally trying to climb the walls to re-catch the moth, with the moth sounding like a miniature military helicopter the whole time.  I finally caught the moth in a container just above the headboard of the bed where my wife was sleeping, and I had to keep the cat from jumping on her so she wouldn't wake up.  I kept the moth in the container until the next morning so I could prove the size of the moth to my wife and others (who would believe there is such a thing as a moth with a nine inch wingspan?).  I proved my case and congratulated my wife for being such a sound sleeper.

    The second story:  Your story above reminded me of this one.  In the community where we live there has been a relatively recent influx of roof rats into the parts of town that have citrus trees.  We don't have citrus trees so we have never encountered these pests, but there are some farm type homes near where we live that do have citrus trees.  These rats aren't known for entering homes, but we were surprised to learn from the washing machine repairman that some of the hoses on our new washing machine had been gnawed through, and it was likely caused by a rat.  We first thought that a rat had entered the home through the hole in the wall where the washer drain goes, and so we plugged it up and set out a rat trap.  We finally caught the rat, and it was a full grown roof rat.  We were concerned that we had a problem until one night when the cat came through the pet door and we heard some meowing (i.e "look what I have" sounds) and she had dropped a fully grown dead roof rat on the floor of our bedroom (fortunately she killed that one before bringing it in).  We then realized how the rat that was in our laundry room got into the house.  In the next couple of weeks the cat brought in at least two baby roof rats and let them loose in our house alive.  Fortunately we caught her in the act each time she brought in the live baby rats and were able to track them down and remove them.  Needless to say we started locking the pet door at night from that time forward (the cat hated that).  Apparently she was going down the street a ways to do her hunting and was bringing her trophies home to us.  Sadly that cat passed away from old age two years ago, but now we no longer need to keep our pet door closed at night and haven't had a problem with rats since.  

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  4. On 10/18/2020 at 4:45 PM, Jared Livesey said:

    How does one deny a person in general?

    2 Tim 2:12  "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"

    Mat 10:33  "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."

    Titus 1:16  "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."

    Serious stuff here.

    Given that denying God is done through works, it would seem that acknowledging or believing in God would also come through works or the bearing of good fruit.

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  5. 35 minutes ago, Tacenda said:


    That bird was incredibly warped, and I think the cat would have eaten the bird given the chance, but don't let that spoil the moment for you. :) 

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  6. Based on an Elder's Quorum study of Elder Oaks' conference talk today, I thought of this picture I had taken of our cat from several years ago.

    As Elder Oaks says (quoting Jesus from Matthew 5:44): 



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  7. On 10/15/2020 at 11:43 AM, Dan McClellan said:

    In the original text, it was definitely God himself in the fight, but over time it became theologically problematic to have God interact physically with humanity, and angels were the most convenient literary obscurant. A different reference to the story is found in Hosea 12:4. The KJV reads "He had power over the angel, and prevailed," but if we remove the word "angel," the preposition that is bizarrely translated "over" in the KJV (el) becomes the Hebrew word for God (el), which then becomes the subject of the clause, and it reads, "And God contended, and prevailed." This makes much better sense of the next statement, "he wept and made supplication unto him." Why would Jacob weep and beg for favor if he had just defeated the angel? It makes much better sense without the angel, and with God winning, at which point Jacob weeps and begs for favor. This doesn't fit the story in Genesis, but it already doesn't match. 

    I'm curious to know your take on the commentary on Genesis 32:25 from Nachmanides (Ramban) found here (it's in Hebrew - and my verse reference is using the verse numbering from the Torah on that website, it correlates to Genesis 32:24 in our KJV).  Matthew B. Brown made a reference to this source using the Charles B. Chavel translation of his commentary in a presentation titled, "The Israelite Temple and the Early Christians" given at the 2008 FairMormon Conference (this is the video and this is the transcript).   Matthew Brown said (according to the Nachmanides source using the Charles B. Chavel translation), "Jacob’s experience with the heavenly being should be translated in Genesis as, “and he embraced him.”  It was in this embrace that Jacob received a new name (see Gen. 32:24, 27-28)."

    I don't have a copy of Charles B. Chavel's translation (my wife would kill me if I bought all the books that I'd really like to have), and I can see where the website reference talks about a struggle and embrace or a hug (Google translate gives different results at different times), but that seems to be more of an interpretation by Nachmanides rather than a translation issue.

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  8. On 10/15/2020 at 9:21 AM, theplains said:

    It might make more sense if you consider Jesus is both God and man. 

    Earlier (in this post) you said "I believe Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are distinct beings", and I think you said that the God Jesus worships is the only God of Isaiah 43:10 and 44:6 (correct me if I'm wrong).  So if Jesus is a distinct being from his Father and Jesus is "both God and man" (as you say here), is the God Jesus worships a separate being who is also God?

    On 10/15/2020 at 9:21 AM, theplains said:

    I can't understand how Latter-day Saints believe men can become gods when church teachings indicate they are already gods.

    We've talked about that so many times now (here, here, and especially here) and you seemed to finally understand it here in this post (quoted below):  

    On 8/19/2020 at 12:46 PM, theplains said:

    It seems like a god (a deity) = a God (a deity) and a God in embryo (a deity) is still a God (a deity) that has yet to mature. 

    We've also talked about this next question several times (here, here, and here)... 

    1 hour ago, theplains said:

    How is Satan considered the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)?

    Do you see Jesus and the Father and those who overcome and sit with them in God's throne as a "god of this world" in the same way as Satan?

  9. I immediately thought of this thread when I watched comedian John Branyan tell the story of the Three Little Pigs in the language of William Shakespeare.  

    The first minute of the video is on another topic, so if you only want to hear the lead up to and the Three Little Pigs part, forward to about the one minute mark.

    The Three Little Pigs in Early Modern English:


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  10. 5 hours ago, telnetd said:

    Mosiah 3:19 says "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of  Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy  Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement  of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full  of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon  him, even as a child doth submit to his father".

    The Plan of Salvation guide defines the terrestrial and telestial inhabitants.

    Terrestrial kingdom - People who refuse to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ but who  live honorable lives will receive a place in the terrestrial kingdom.

    Telestial kingdom - Those who continue in their sins and do not repent will receive a place in the telestial kingdom.

    Does this mean the terrestrial and telestial inhabitants remain the enemies of God because they did not yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit since they did not endure to the end?


    This is essentially the same principle as is taught in the Bible, James 4:4–8:


    4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
    5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
    6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
    7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

    If people persist in that type of behavior (i.e they "continue in their sin"), then they are being "a friend of the world" and therefore they are "the enemy of God". 

    But Jesus taught us to love our enemies.  I'm pretty sure that God will practice what he preaches and love his enemies too, but his judgments are carried out against their behavior.

  11. 6 hours ago, Tacenda said:

    Well, there is the possibility that his family were in on it. Wasn't the only one of the witnesses to seeing the gold plates and handling them Martin Harris, the only non family member? And he only saw the plates by visionary eyes? It could be that the family all thought it a good thing to do. And Joseph's family were hurting, and some say that's a way to make money is start a religion. I'm not saying I believe this, but think it's plausible. Or they could have done this without trying to make money, just believing it's for the good of the world.

    I know I already responded to your post once, but by total coincidence I was listening to articles from the January 2020 Ensign when I went for a walk this evening, and I listened to this article:   "Knowing Is Nice but Not Enough", By Steven C. Harper, Professor of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University.   The article has several accounts from people who talked to the witnesses of the Book of Mormon.

    As one example, here's a quote from the journals of William McLellin.  This backs up what I was saying about the lack of plausibility for the conspiracy claim:


    William McLellin: “Bound … to Acknowledge the Truth”

    One morning in 1831 a young schoolteacher named William McLellin heard that some men on their way to Missouri would be preaching about a new book that was described as “a Revelation from God.” He hurried to hear them. He listened to David Whitmer testify that he had “seen an Holy Angel who made known the truth of this record to him.” He deeply desired to know whether their testimonies were true. He followed them 400 miles (644 km) to Independence, Missouri, where he met and interviewed other witnesses, including Martin Harris and Hyrum Smith.4

    William interviewed Hyrum for hours. “I inquired into the particulars of the coming forth of the record,” William recorded. The next morning, after praying to be directed to the truth, he realized that he was “bound as an honest man to acknowledge the truth and validity of the Book of Mormon.”5

    In the following years, William’s faith was tested and strengthened by his choices and by the persecution the Latter-day Saints suffered. When Saints in Jackson County, Missouri, were attacked, William’s friend Hiram Page, one of the Eight Witnesses, was clubbed and whipped by men who said they would let him go if he would deny the Book of Mormon. “How can I deny what I know to be true?” Hiram said, and they beat him again.

    William was strengthened by Hiram’s testimony—and understandably terrified of being beaten. When William heard that men in the area were offering a reward for the capture of him and Oliver Cowdery, they left town to hide in the woods with David Whitmer. There William interviewed two of the Three Witnesses. “I have never seen an open vision in my life,” he said, “but you men say you have, and therefore you positively know. Now you know that our lives are in danger every hour, if the mob can only catch us. Tell me in the fear of God, is that Book of Mormon true?”

    Brother William,” Oliver said, “God sent his holy angel to declare the truth of the translation of it to us, and therefore we know. And though the mob kill us, yet we must die declaring its truth.”

    David added, “Oliver has told you the solemn truth, for we could not be deceived. I most truly declare to you its truth!”6

    Why would these men behave this way if the whole thing was a fraud?

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  12. On 10/3/2020 at 7:10 AM, theplains said:

    Yes to the first question. Since Jesus is both God and man, I see that there is nothing wrong in Christ's
    reference to Heavenly Father as his God. 

    So if the God Jesus worships is the only God of Isaiah 43:10 and 44:6, then how is it that Jesus is also God?

    On 10/3/2020 at 7:10 AM, theplains said:

    In reference to Isaiah 43:10 and 44:6, men cannot become Gods since there is only one God.  Our church doesn't believe in the existence of 2 or more Gods.

    You can believe whatever you choose, but Isaiah 43:10 and 44:6 obviously doesn't teach that men cannot become gods.  Otherwise, why would the earliest Christians believe and teach that men become gods?  I see Isaiah 43:10 and 44:6 teaching us that we have only one God who is our God and we will never have any other than him.

  13. 10 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

    "We don't have any oil.  Ah, what the heck!  We should be able to beg, borrow, or steal some at some point, so if we just take our lamps, we should be good."  (Unfortunately, that attitude is probably pretty prevalent among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

    I always imagined that the great battle at the end of the world would center around an oil crisis.  

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  14. 47 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

    Plus, I really do not think his piece requires any sort of skill, and therein lies my criticism as to the contents.  

    Can you please explain what you mean by, "I really do not think his piece requires any sort of skill"?  I don't want to misunderstand you.  Are you saying that the subject matter that he is discussing doesn't require any sort of skill?  If that is the case, then why lambaste him for his credentials?   As for the "contents" of his piece, you really haven't addressed any of the contents of his article.  You claimed he didn't directly compare or quote Clarke, which he did (I cited one of several possible examples to prove that).  You claimed his piece is "poorly written", but you refuse to explain why.  You claim he doesn't have the academic skills to render an opinion on this, but others have shown that he does.  Is this just a personal matter between you and him?  If so, then I don't want to hear about it.   But if that is the case then it might explain why your comments on his article seem so conflicting and nonsensical.

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  15. 21 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

    I've explained it above. 

    1.  No peer review.

    2.  Usually, no direct comparison between Clarke and the JST other than paraphrasing.

    So in other words, in answer to my question about dealing with his specific arguments, your answer is "no", you can't do that.  Instead you generalize and give a sweeping dismissal of his article based on nothing more than your own opinion.  

    I gave an example and provided the original source material so you can examine the merit of his argument directly.  Why can't you do the same thing?   I realize that blanket dismissals are much easier, but isn't doing that directly contrary to your recommendation to not accepting everything at "face value"?  You are expecting us to accept your dismissal based only on your vague claims.

    All of the source documents for this topic are available to everyone.  It's all on the internet, and this is part of the peer review process.  It is a work in progress.  Why not participate in that process by providing some substance to back your claims and engage him on his specific arguments?

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  16. 24 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

     His article is ludicrous.  I'm not saying he's ludicrous.  I don't know anything about cards or what that has to do with my challenge to his article.  I'm not aware of any peer review and he's not claiming it.

    Don't accept at face value everything an apologist writes in defense of the Church.  Some of it is terrible.  Encourage the best.

    So deal with his arguments.  Explain why he is wrong instead of attacking his credentials.  Can you do that?

  17. 11 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

    So you’re in camp #1 🤪 But seriously Smith either was inspired in his bible or he was not, it’s not that difficult.

    No, it is more complex than that.  Using academic sources as a catalyst to receive inspiration does not mean the process of producing the Bible version is not inspired.

    Edit:  I'm trying to understand your thinking on this.  You put me in camp #1 even though I allowed for academic sources in the process.  Did you categorize me that way simply because I allowed for some revelation in the process?   How much allowance for revelation or use of academic sources puts a person in camp #1 or camp #2?

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  18. 10 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

    I'm a believer, and a former Bishop.  I think Jackson's article about Clarke is ludicrous.  He's untrained.  Not peer reviewed.  

    Deal with his arguments and demonstrate why you think his article is "ludicrous".  Attacking the person doesn't deal with what he wrote (and at least he's using his real name, so you can't use that against him).  All the cards are on the table.  Engage with what he said and explain where you think he is messed up.  That's what peer review is all about. 

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  19. 1 hour ago, Fair Dinkum said:

    I too find it interesting in how posters have divided into one of two sides based on their biases.  Here is what we are left with.  Either you believe that 01. Joseph Smith received divine inspiration and received revelation to correct scribal errors in the Bible and was able to produce a more correct version of the Bible, restoring the Bible to its original intended text found in the original manuscripts that formed the Bible or 02. That he borrowed from other sources that were available to him and that we know he had access to, which includes Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary, sprinkled with his own intellect and good luck at having been able to make changes to many of the same exact places commented on by Clarke. 

    I tend to see the JST as a human endeavor, so I guess that puts me in Camp #2

    But this kind of false dichotomy distorts reality and forces a person to choose one side or the other, doesn't it?  In reality there are a multitude of possibilities, all evident in the Joseph Smith history and in the lives of anyone else who has received revelation from God.

    Consider the last General Conference, when President Nelson spoke on the gathering of Israel.  He said, "I have studied the gathering [of Israel], prayed about it, feasted upon every related scripture, and asked the Lord to increase my understanding."  He said he was led to new insight "with the help of two Hebrew scholars" about the meaning of the word Israel.  That insight brought about new understanding to him, and he expounded on how that meaning can apply to all of the work of gathering Israel.  So he prayed for increased understanding, and he was led to scholarly sources, and he received increased understanding, some of which became the subject matter for his talk in conference.  Given your two choices above, where does this fit?  Was this all merely a scholarly endeavor, or was the Spirit leading him on the path to greater understanding?   It's not just a simple black and white answer, door number one or door number two, like you describe above.

    And for Joseph Smith, the path to revelation in his life began by reading a verse of scripture.  Reading from a book is an academic exercise.  But it led to him seeking the Lord in prayer and he received further revelation from there.  So it's not just only revelation on one side and only academic sources on the other, that's a false dichotomy.  Revelation comes by faith and as a result of our searching and willingness to come to a greater understanding of the things of God, from whatever sources are available to us.  Consequently, I would have no problem with the idea that Joseph may have used the Adam Clarke commentary in the process of creating the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, because that would just be another valid catalyst that could lead to greater understanding and further revelation.  But so far I haven't seen any convincing evidence that he did that.

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  20. 9 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

    That was the best that I could do, and it still has major problems, and you did not even include C in your JST layout.  Do you see the supposed chiastic parallel clauses?  One should not have to force a chiasm.

    I agree (one should not have to force a chiasm) and I think I see what you are saying now (I thought you were referring to how it fit in with what Lund was saying).  But I need to think about this some more, and to compare how it read before and after the changes.

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