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  1. Of course to all four comments. I took the commentary those ways. The problem with number two is in a few cases since you weren’t clear about the extent, it could give the impression a certain policy was typical of global behaviour rather than an exception or uncommon and imo in a few cases your comment implied the intent was to manipulate when the probability is it was not. I don’t have a problem with how Smac views his experience on his mission as what he did was his choice. I believe that is a proactive and usually healthy and realistic way to view one’s life, to see one’s focus on control as internal and not external***….as long as one is consciously examining one’s life and actually making those choices with awareness and not just operating on autopilot or even consciously making those choices, but without examination or evaluation of whether or not one should choose that way. It is also understandable that many would label a lifestyle with a lot of rules and where the day is mapped out in many ways by others as highly externally controlled especially if their typical POV has them placing their locus of control as external even if it’s the individual’s choice to accept that control and even if the level of enforcement is mostly emotional or social pressure (and therefore highly dependent on the individual’s personality and personal circumstances for effectiveness as in whether or not their family will have a strong negative reaction if they come home early or would be the type to want to hop on a plane themselves to bring them home as soon as they know their child is suffering) and limited physical control (I see placing someone in unfamiliar physical surroundings as a level of physical control, what amount of such control depends on their ability to access other resources to change their physical experience and in some cases that could be quite high, especially in the past, but even now if the MP holds onto the passports…which is wise imo, but may be constructed in some missionary’s mind as trapping them in that location even if the MP has no problem with turning it over when asked and has been clear about that as some have difficulty engaging with authority at all). BTW, I checked out the BITE model a long time ago and wasn’t impressed based on my psych background. It is quite interesting to now learn the background of his initial exposure to Mormonism. Do you know if he collected data from anyone else at that time or in the future? I am curious as to how much effort and rigor he put into his examination of the Church. If he posted that info based on one person’s ideas and someone he knew was a former member and therefore likely was biased against the Church even in a minimal way and did not reach out to others, including active members and nonmembers who were familiar with the Church for their perceptions it would reinforce my view that he is not that careful in his research to try and be objective and likely has a heavy bias built into the model if this was his typical method. My review doesn’t change my perspective of you much, your level of bias back then seems consistent with your current one imo, which is you do not have extreme biases/perceptions of the Church, I would definitely include most of your opinions in the reasonable part of the spectrum of reactions with a few that veer into more skewed. You do fall enough, imo, on the negative side of center (neutral) so I would want to confirm your descriptions with others just as I would want to confirm the perceptions of several faithful members that are on the board, including myself as we tend to have overly favorable responses in many ways. You do have imo a blind spot to your own biases at times, not seeing how strong they are for some things. That’s not unusual though. ***https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/locus-of-control
  2. Except according to leaked documents, supposedly very few of the leadership, including the apostles have full knowledge of the assets and yet all must be in agreement over the process based on the principle of quorum unity we are told they operate under. Why would something only a couple can do motivate the whole quorum?
  3. His commentary was from that time (2005), so it works as a critique of his then comments. I suspect if he did it again today, he would change some of his answers as policies and emphasis have changed (a temple marriage is still excluded, but they can now be married first, but I responded in disagreement when I did based on how it was in 2005 rather than today).
  4. An equally (I am guessing from what I saw from book sales even ten years after it was published) popular book (number one bestseller in the Church for a number of years), Believing Christ by Robinson (1992), provided another version of our teachings, though I recognize it wasn’t authored by a prophet, so not as authoritative, but certainly accepted as teaching great truths by many from what I saw. Recommended by bishops and other leaders from what I heard. Overstatement imo, the quote applies to a very limited set of thoughts…while the heading is very general. I think you misinterpreted this in that manipulation can occur through pushing someone to feel highly elated and/or despairing. Activities that create a state of euphoria for example might be seen as useful in a “cult” as it creates altered mental states where someone may be highly suggestible. Taking Prozac controls extreme feeling, removes the highs and lows, so if anything it would demonstrate LDS don’t depend on emotional extremes to control. But the vast majority of time it’s one on one. So disagree there…maybe there is an impression for some for eternally speaking, but even then we teach the non celestial Kingdoms are glorious and everyone is content with where they are at. Oh please…way off here, as if this one temple scene above is constantly pushed everywhere in the Church or is even comparable to what most people think of for demon possession or even hell or any of the list given. Again, oh please…again way off, one instance of restriction of access is not shunning. Not saying it wasn’t excluding from a major event and I am so glad they don’t penalize anymore for having the wedding first which is what I always wished it had been and was, leave the temple purely for sealings so it only involves the closest and is intimate rather than the couple barely has time for each other, but I was obedient, faithful, attending all my meetings and etc and I couldn’t attend my older siblings’ weddings either. Was I being shunned or rejected?
  5. But that doesn’t exclude other feelings. Overstatement imo Another overstatement imo This ignores the frequent mention that faithful parents need not fear for their children, starting with Elder Whitney: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2002/09/hope-for-parents-of-wayward-children?lang=eng#p7
  6. I so disagree with this one. Why bother with “study” and “pondering” as part of seeking revelation if rational analysis is not part of the process? This one really showed your own bias imo. Maybe as kids. I think I heard it personally taught once or twice. Iffy on this one, depends on interpretation of “critical” imo and such reactions vary a lot.
  7. I think this was an inappropriate framing as being very busy has nothing to do with trying to limit time to think since we are encouraged to take time to study daily, etc. Overstatement imo. Most archives (likely all of larger size) have tracking inventory issues, limit access to many, even scholars in some cases depending on conditions imposed by those who donate material, etc. You made it sound like all this information is secret and completely restricted except to top leaders and that the purpose of the vault is to hide such rather than protect records of all sorts, restricted and not. “Ultra secret”? This is taught to new members in the first opening paragraphs of Gospel Fundamentals as in he is a man with a perfect, immortal body. And it is explicit in the last part of the manual he was a human being on an earth at one time, “same as we do”. (pg 204) https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bc/content/shared/content/english/pdf/language-materials/31129_eng.pdf Similar info is in the general basic manual for new and old members, Gospel Principles.
  8. This was meant to be just the missionary program and not general membership, correct? The title is in error? It however reads as applying to general in quite a few answers, so I am confused. commenting on stuff I disagree significantly on, not commenting where I agree or see as reasonable even if I don’t agree. I am going to post stuff that doesn’t match general experience in my view since enough seem to apply, I am going to assume the title is correct especially since in at least one case you differentiate between missionary and general. Disagree, never heard teachings on color and as long as modest and not vulgar, haven’t been told what to wear outside of church. below, maybe missionaries, but not general outside of encouraging people to be healthy Not from what I have seen generally speaking. I would be interested to hear what others think. Perception, imo… what is rigid to one person is natural to another and I have found over the years that application is more flexible than the talk. For example, one man who I consider one of the most rigid and uptight members I have known was called as a bishop and he allowed a friend who was an astrologer to be baptized and had no problem with him continuing his career as an astrologer as long as my friend approached it as more therapy than fortune telling, helping a person explore their own personality, etc. Then there are the many anecdotal stories surrounding prophets and their application of the WoW.
  9. So what happens if the apostle who is next in line is racist and the president (maybe best to use president instead of prophet to avoid confusion as I thought you meant apostles as well) is dying? Does God visit him and teach him correct principles or does God sustain the president until that apostle is dead himself and the next one is not racist? Or has God arranged the callings in such a way to ensure it’s all taken care of without needing to do anything when someone is dying? Serious question as I am wondering how you see this happening while preserving agency of the apostles and soon to be presidents of the Church.
  10. Just need clarification on what is meant by professionally kidnapped…as in held for ransom and released when paid? On their missions?
  11. Aren’t you telling smac in the above quote that he believes “that apologists have the intellectual high ground and that if somebody's spiritual journey happens to lead away from the church, it is probably because they weren't intellectual enough and didn't give the religion they had lived for their entire lives a "fair hearing" by reading enough Jeff Lindsay et.al.”? when you say “this is his view”, how is that not making a claim about what someone believes? (not being confrontational here, trying to understand your point)
  12. Yes. Think of addicting games, for example.
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