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Navidad

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  1. I know you don't always appreciate what I say, but I will take your comment one step further (farther?). I think he is a danger to women, this forum and to the COJCOLDS. Suppose someone you all deem an anti-Mormon comes on this forum and reads this thread? He or she picks out his comments and makes them normative for someone in TCOJCOLDS? He clearly proclaims himself a faithful and righteous member. What if that anti-person spreads Boo-boos' comments around the net on his or her favorite anti-Mormon forums? Then someone like me gets to defend you all against his atypical venom. For the life of me I don't understand why comments like his are not blocked by the powers that be? But then again, it isn't my forum is it? I just worry about and feel protective of both the women and the COJCOLDS when he spews his venom. It isn't normative. It is harmful. Ok, now I feel better. . . .got that rant off my chest! Take care.
  2. Good afternoon. Instead of speaking in an adhominem manner about you - let me share my values with you. I will make this about me - not you. I believe there is spiritual value in both true shame and true guilt. I have felt both in my life. The spiritual value in each is that they cause me to pause, reflect and repent. I turn around away from those things - that is the meaning of the Greek word for repent. What I have had to learn in my life is how to discern between those things that are Biblical, doctrinal and those things that are cultural, societal, and the norm in my religious group, but are not doctrine. They may be dogma. But dogma is doctrine gone awry. That is a value of mine. Not all shame and guilt are true shame and guilt. The challenge as we grow in Christ is to discern between them. As you may or may not know I am not a member of TCOJCOLDS - never have been. I have spent most of my life as a member of the Mennonite church (denomination). It is not the church, or thee church. As a Mennonite, my values in my life have been as follows: I don't swear. I don't go to the movie theater. I don't watch television on Sunday. I don't dance (no kind of dancing - square dancing included). I have a beard. I don't smoke. My mother never cut her hair or wore makeup. Let me repeat - these are values of my church over the years. My sister wore no jewelry - no wedding or engagement rings - she got a watch! If something has no utilitarian value it is worldly and should be avoided. Hence ring- bad; watch - good. Tattoos were bad. Skinny jeans were really bad - especially on guys! Premarital sex was bad because it led to dancing (that's a Mennonite joke). Women always had to wear a prayer covering. Did I mention no playing cards - face cards - the kind you gamble with. Those all have been my values. Committing any of them caused me shame and guilt. If I were a girl - would you date me if I had those values? How about if I judge you if you don't have the same values I have mentioned? I am still a bit offended when I know the ward or the local LDS academy is sponsoring a dance. Is that offense a good thing? Should I stop attending the ward because of it? What do you think about those who have different values than you? What about those who have values that are stricter than you? Are they more spiritual? Would you agree Mennonites are more righteous than Saints because we have a longer list of values? Is the fact we drink coffee offsetting? Is the fact I am writing this sipping ice tea offsetting? Oh, and I don't drink coke either. I drink Dr. Pepper! I learned to do that in a Baptist graduate school. Shame on them for corrupting me. Should you think of me and feel shame next time you step into a theater or dance with someone? You can play Rook without guilt or shame, but playing cards????? No way! You see my friend - values vary, don't they? My values today are not the same as when I was 25. I am 72 and am much looser in some ways and much stricter in others. Would you be my friend with me the way I am? Should I stop attending the LDS ward because they don't have the same high values I do? Because they have differing values? How about my Catholic neighbors (I live in Mexico). Should I invite the Catholic priest over as a friend and neighbor? Might he corrupt my beliefs or my values? Or might I corrupt some of his that I don't share? Facial hair is not appropriate for one who ministers? Say what??????????? That is enough about me. Some of my values were cultural, dogma, and simple Mennonitish societal expectations, weren't they? You don't conform to all of them as non-Mennonite do you? You probably don't even agree with all of them, do you? If you dated a Mennonite girl would your LDS values be corrupted or even raised higher? Hmmm....Would your standards be raised, or lowered? You are not the only one with standards -- God-given standards, or church expectation standards, are you? We don't share the same standards - am I less than you? Are you less than me? I don't think so. Thanks for reading all of this. Take care; just don't tell me you are going to see a movie tonight! Just kidding - sort of - no really! - oh never mind!
  3. Perhaps we could discuss this in another thread. It involves more in depth discussion that is not within the scope of this thread. Thanks.
  4. I am not sure where you get the idea that I am trying to convert folks? I believe in evangelicalism, but I am and always have been a terrible evangelist. When I was younger, in my twenties I would travel preaching in churches with my best friend. He was the evangelist, I was the Bible teacher. He enjoyed converting folks; I enjoyed teaching Christians about sanctification and growth in the Christian life. We had different gifts as I Cor 12 says we all have. I am not actively engaged in trying to convert anyone. I have attended an LDS church for four years or more. Never have I tried to make anyone there Mennonite or Evangelical. In my understanding of them, they are already Christians via the atonement. I would sure like to see a little more grace and a little less striving to be worthy, but I recognize that as a difference that is an appendage. My mission to Africa was what we call a service/ministry mission. I couldn't speak their language and there was no written language, hence no scriptures; hence no real evanglism. I planted cotton and yams, played the guitar, and worked in the mission hospital. Of course I believe my faith is exceptional as I believe is yours. As is that of my Catholic, Baptist, and Orthodox friends. My faith gives me confidence and assurance. It doesn't teach me certainty or onlyism. It teaches me that I don't have all the answers. It teaches me I don't have the unique and absolute truth. I do have confidence in my faith and am working on my trust. Oh, and I love my wife dearly. She is my north star that always leads me home whenever I am gone speaking somewhere.
  5. Thank you for the kind words. I do believe that Christ will be the ultimate judge of access to the Father and eternal life in heaven with the Father and Son. He says, "I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes unto the Father but by me." That is a foundational scripture for me. I interpret it quite literally - no one gets (comes) to the Father but through Christ first who is the judge related to final destiny. In some wondrous manner that I can't comprehend He (Christ) will be prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, jury, and judge all in one for all humanity. What I don't know, and am certainly uncertain about is the criteria He will use, especially since I believe Him (Christ) to be omniscient down to the knowing of our hearts and minds. On numerous occasions in the New Testament He told people their faith had made them whole (sodzo - safe, free from judgment, free from the Messianic judgment) ; He told the thief on the cross that he would be with Christ in paradise that same day. In no case did he baptize anyone. Most interestingly, on the cross He cried "It is finished." In that short phrase He used the perfect tense which combines elements of both present (continual) and aorist (point in time) tenses. I find that fascinating. The atonement was complete, His role fulfilled in a continual and point in time meaning. The resurrection had not yet even occurred. He was not yet glorified. It was clearly within hours of his statement to the thief. So, did all these folks in the NT to whom he spoke become Christians? Did his statement (you are whole - complete) make them Christians at that point in time? So many questions. I won't go on, but I believe in a wideness in God's mercy. I do not believe that everyone who existed prior to "It is finished" will suffer an eternity in the absence of the Father and Son; nor do I believe that all who call Him Lord will be with Him forever. I simply can't judge the faith of another person. I can't judge the finest best most loving person I have ever met; nor the worst most terrible person I have ever met. That is Christ's job. He finished the work of atonement and someday in the future He will finish the work of granting or denying access to the Father for all time. Within Evangelicalism there are four or five very separate and distinct beliefs/positions about who Christ will allow to come unto the Father. Very restricted to very wide in His decision making. My understanding of Scripture informs me that it has nothing to do with baptism, church affiliation, or the like. Christ, when here on earth, declared folks whole who had none of these. Once Christ declares someone whole, that person is generally safe from negative judgment. I may be wrong. It has to do with the faith of a person and what he or she has done with the light (revelation) received. Beyond that the glass is too dark for me to say more. Just this, my own personal missionary journey in the booniest part of Africa led me to the conclusion that there is no way a loving God would condemn all these wonderful people to spending all eternity outside of His presence. That is my lived experience, belief and faith. That is why I reject onlyism while accepting the need for faith and being declared whole. The beauty of that is that I am not whole; but am declared so by Christ. That is the best part of the whole plan of salvation. I am not and never will be worthy. I am declared worthy through the worthiness of Christ. For me, it is "finished" - aorist and present tense.
  6. For me, creating a stronger spiritual foundation involves and necessitates putting aside onlyism, certainty, and othering. I must realize that neither I, my culture, church, or way of looking at things is the only. I must live by faith and trust; casting aside the convenience and ease of certainty. That is how I "work out" my salvation. Lastly I must appreciate and must be ready to receive other's truth without denigrating, being offended by it or them, or trying to convert them to my "truth" as I believe it. Ranking individuals, faiths, and groups inevitably leads to me, my faith, and my group being ranked above the others. This is ego (I am); the opposite of spiritual foundation-building. My two cents, as someone on this forum regularly says - FWIW.
  7. I live in a small village famous for its pottery. The Greek word used for purity in New Testament is a compound word, roughly translated in English as "sun-tested." It was a pottery term. When a potter formed a pot, prior to firing it, he or she would hold it up to the sun and turn it, looking for cracks, crevices, or imperfections in the pot. In holding it up to the sun he could see the light coming through any imperfections. If the pot passed the "sun-test" it was fired. If it passed through the firing without breaking it was used or sold. Biblically speaking we are pure when we pass the "sun-test." Methinks few of us pass the test; hence our need for and joy in being clothed with Christ's purity and righteousness.
  8. No sir. It is not a denomination at all. In no way is it that. There are thousands of loosely affiliated groups in the world. There is nothing unusual about that. I also am a lifelong member of the Philadelphia Phillies association which personifies hopeless causes in the world. I don't believe there is a structure to that group, but it is strong and fervently believes in the hope of the miraculous some day! I hope that helps.
  9. I am sure that there is spiritual truth in the Biblical account of Noah. I have often needed an ark, a vessel (sometimes my wife or my faith) to save me from the floods of either my own or others' creation. I also find an ark in the Scripture and in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the dove who helps me find land when I feel like I am about to drown. I believe that for more than 1200 years the remembrance of an ark event has been a source of peace for Christians, Muslims, and Jews on the heights of Mt Cudi in extreme southeastern Turkey (not the mythological site of Mt. Ararat). Until 1910 they came together once a year to celebrate the sacrifice of Noah after the flood waters receded. A synagogue, a mosque, and a Nestorian (in later years a Presbyterian) church were built on or near the spot. For a day or two religious bickering and wars ceased while each faith came together in a truce of peace to celebrate the life and sacrifice of Noah. After the Armenian holocaust all that fell apart. Today it is the site of terrible conflict. I am grateful that the story of Noah brought those folks together for so many years. I am sure of that. 🙂
  10. Sure! According to both newspaper accounts and Rick Turley, the saints in attendance very much enjoyed the preaching of Moody. The newspaper says there was not a dry eye in the place when he was done. He was an effective public speaker/preacher. Nothing more than that I would say. I mentioned it because I don't think that many folks realize that non-members of the church have been invited to speak in the tabernacle by LDS leadership, included folks like Evangelical leader Dr. Mouw and fundamentalis evangelist Dwight Moody. Not sure why you think he would tell them off or try and convert them????? Sure, he may have made them better persons and Christians, maybe even better Saints! I think it is more interesting than important. I hope that in my Sacrament and fireside talks I have perhaps helped someone be a better Saint as well. I have never tried to convert a Saint to changing faith. Fundamentalism can be a derogatory word to some who are on the other extreme; as can being "mainline." Not to me. When accurately applied, the nomenclature helps understand one's position. I don't use the word Fundamentalist in the sense that is used when referring to Fundamentalist Mormons. Evangelicalism is in no way superior to anything. It is one non-denominational branch or group of Christians of any denomination or group who self identify with the Evangelical community that was started in the 40s and 50s in the United States. Any Evangelical who thinks he or she is superior to anyone else is not a very good Evangelical. No, no one can be removed from the Evangelical community. It is a self-identity for the most part. There is one group called the NAE that attempts to bring an informal grouping to Evangelicalism, but it is neither a church or a denomination. They hold conferences and publish a magazine. They try and explain Evangelicalism to folks. There are some denominations, churches, NGO groups, and individuals who identify with the NAE. It is not a formal group in any sense of the word. One enlists as an Evangelical by claiming to be one and probably in so doing conforming to certain very broad characteristics in their spiritual and intellectual (in a theological sense) life. The Evangelical movement was a reaction against both Fundamentalism as a movement in the 1920s and the Mainline or Mainstream folks who in the 20s and 30s began emphasizing a form of social welfare emphasis of Christianity to the exclusive of individual conversion. Neither Fundamentalism, Evangelicalism, or Mainline Christianity are indicative of membership to certain denominations or groups. There are most likely all three in all branches of Christianity whether Protestant, Restorational, Orthodox, or Catholic. It is an identity within Christianity not within denominationalism, creedalism, or the like. You have probably read my posts indicating that I first and foremost identify as a Christian, second as an Evangelical and third as a Mennonite. Only the last refers to a church or denomination. As you say, each (Fundamentlism, Evangelicalism, and Mainline) is an umbrella description of a certain approach to Christianity, more than a set of beliefs. Each of the three are organizations famous for their lack of organization. There have been "leaders" of the three groups identified as such, but not in any formal way. John R. Rice was a leader of the Fundamentalists. Billy Graham a leader of the Evangelicals, and perhaps William Sloan Coffin a leader of the Mainline folks. There are doctrines, practices, and behaviors that are observed in each group. Don't think of them as structures. I admit to frustration when folks here on the forum use the term Evangelical to refer to almost any and all non-LDS Christians. Methinks some paint with too broad a brush. I do believe it is helpful and important to distinguish between the three groups when referring to non-LDS Christians, especially those who are said to be "anti-Mormon." I have posted tables and documents in posts on this forum providing more formal differentiations between the three. I won't do that here because it would take me beyond my allocated 1000 words! Ha!
  11. Hi my friend - Would you accept one slight alteration? I think Evangelical churches have Evangelicalism. That would be more accurate than Evangelism. Lots of faith groups, including the COJCOLDS have Evangelism. Just my .02 cents.
  12. Don't drive down about an hour south of my house and say that! That won't go over well at all! 🙃
  13. Moody Radio and Moody Bible Institute are probably on the liberal side of fundamentalism. Dwight Moody was a great fundamentalist evangelist. Don't confuse being an evangelist with Evangelicalism. They are not one in the same. As I have noted here over the years, he even preached in the tabernacle on two occasions. He apparently was very effective in preaching to the faithful of the LDS church, who may have many similarities to fundamentalism. I am sure there are Evangelicals in ELCA churches, as well as mainline folks. In the Missouri Synod there are most likely a mix of fundamentalists and Evangelicals. I don't enjoy classifying folks or denominations as conservative and liberal. I am not sure that tells me anything. I am conservative in my theology and liberal in my social justice beliefs. That is probably typical of many Evangelicals. It sounds like your radio station may lean fundamentalist. That tells me more about them than "conservative" or "liberal" does. Certainly interpretation of Scripture is important and varies greatly, probably more so among Evangelicals and Mainliners than among Fundamentalists. I am a dyed in the wool Evangelical and I certainly believe that Catholics are often Christians, just like I believe that members of the LDS church are often Christians. Just like I believe that Baptists or Methodists or Pentecostals are often Christians. One is not a Christian based on the church one attends or denomination that one affiliates with. One could certainly attend First Christian Church of Atlanta (I made that up) and not be a Christian. I attend an LDS ward and am not LDS. I am not sure there is much difference. It is a personal individual thing. As far as your last statement, I would say again say that Moody folks and ELCA folks both can enjoy being in the Evangelical community if that is where they are most comfortable associating based on their beliefs. I have preached in ELCA churches and in ELCA colleges. My father worked for the Moody Extension Department when I was born. My best friend went to Moody Bible College. I have personally known two MBI presidents. Wonderful folks. I know Evangelical Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, Pentecostals. I think I probably know some Evangelical members of the LDS Church. In fact I am sure of it. Best wishes!
  14. OK. Let me simply say I am a thorough through and through Evangelical and I am thoroughly through and through apolitical! I hope that helps!
  15. I have tried, but have failed to resist asking . . . so here goes . . . what are the "'extreme' evangelical Christian movements and ideologies" to which you refer? How would you define an "evangelical Christian?" I guess I don't correlate being extreme with being Evangelical and I are one! 🙃 Methinks the Evangelical movement was created in the 1940s and 1950s for the very purpose of avoiding the extremes.
  16. Hola. I wasn't pointing it out as a critic. I remember some years ago researching the origins of the WOW. I came across an article in a magazine recounting Elder Richard's talk. It repeated the talk verbatim and then noted that it had been stricken from the conference record. I found the official record of that conference online and sure enough the talk was gone! Duncan is correct in pointing out it was Stephen L Richards. I will have to look him up and learn more about him. I apologize if bringing up his talk and its removal from the record was offensive. That was not my intent. Perhaps it was an anomaly.
  17. I remember reading about a conference talk by an Elder Richards around 1932. He spoke rather plainly about his thoughts on the Word of Wisdom. His talk was deleted from all official records of the conference . . . it never happened! I wonder how many talks over the years have been stricken from the record or edited to remove something that a leader did not like?
  18. Thanks for the reply. I understand (I think) the prioritization of current apostles. I simply enjoy reading the diversity of thought, the thunderings, the poetry, beauty etc. of the earlier gentlemen, especially of those from the late 19th century who had their baptism (literally) in the very early church. Sermons and revelations like the Sunset Wilderness Revelation of Wilford Woodruff (January 1880) are so powerful and Book of Revelation-like. They will really preach! I also enjoy learning what the record tells us how (the process) it was decided whether these revelations were adopted or not by the Brethren as "canonical" or not, for lack of a better word . It is also enjoyable to see how the homiletic style from the earlier apostles to the current ones has changed over the years. I think the 1930s were a real turning point. I enjoyed reading the Shepherd brothers' books on general conference talks. Very interesting. I got to know them from some correspondence some years ago. Then to my surprise and delight, I sat right next to them (The Shepherd twins) in the tabernacle choir loft at a MHA Sunday morning devotional talk by Rick Turley. We all, probably 150 or so of us got to sing "Come Come Ye Saints" in the choir loft. We were right up by the big bass wooden pipes. I couldn't hear for a week! Rick Turley fascinated me that morning when he recalled how Dwight Moody, the famous fundamentalist evangelist moved the Saints with his preaching from that very same spot! That was fascinating for me. A few weeks later Rick sent me the clippings, etc. from Moody's preaching in the tabernacle. So much history and so little time!
  19. Yes, I have heard an audio recording of it in his own voice. He reminds me a bit of Paul Harvey when he speaks. I do a lot of tree trimming on our property here in Mexico. I often think of this story while I am pruning. It seems like he was a gifted story teller. I like that a lot!
  20. Good early morning all. I enjoy reading about the lives of LDS apostles - from the very earliest to the latest. Hugh B Brown is rising to the top as one of my very favorite. I have two questions for this esteemed group. 1. Are there any recent biographical works about and insight into his life? 2. In the pantheon of LDS apostles, how is he perceived? He was a farmer, soldier, and lawyer. He suffered from a severe nerve disease and paralysis. He seemed to have a great sense of humor and openness to the importance of intellectual pursuit. He was a colleague, friend, and partner to J Reuben Clark, another of my favorites. I think it would have been a great trip to sit with the two of them on some train ride from SLC to Washington DC. I would want to simply sit and listen - not an easy feat for me. I would appreciate any insight you all might offer into this man and his life. He seemed so full of life despite his physical illness. I like that! I am especially interested in how he is viewed today as an apostle, leader, and thinker in the church? Thanks so much.
  21. That is a great addition to what I was told. It is wonderful how these old stories have a common heritage and background. I hope to get up there soon and check out the cemetery, as well as the hotel. Hotel or courthouse the story is fascinating and my time listening to Bagley's stories about the colonies was a delight. BTW, there is still tension here among descendants about the MMM participants who came here to live or to escape notoriety in the US. Another fellow, not connected to the massacre, but to wonderful folklore in Dublan was James Nathaniel Walker. In spite of great effort, I haven't begun to solve his mystery! His is a story for another day!
  22. I have great respect for him as a person (most important) and as a historian. I once spent an hour with him as he regaled me with a tale about Isaac Haight's return trip from here in the colonies after Elder Teasdale asked him to leave (around 1885). Haight had been living here under an assumed name (Horton or Heaton - I forget which) when indicted for his role in MMM. Several of the indicted men came here to live and at least one died and is buried here in an unknown grave in the old Colonia Juarez cemetery. Haight was staying about 20 miles from my house at a temporary place they called Turley's Camp. At the same time a fiery convert to the church (former Baptist circuit riding preacher) from northwest Arkansas named George Calvin Williams was there as well. Williams was a real rough and rugged pioneer here who founded several of the colonies and whose name is on the obelisk on Temple Hill (where I once helped take SMAC's dad). Apparently while an itinerant pastor in Harrison County, Arkansas, Williams got to know and performed the marriage for two young couples who later traveled west with the Fancher wagon train and were killed. At an Elders Quorum meeting Williams found out that Haight was not really Br. Heaton/Horton but was, in part responsible for and a participant in the massacre. Williams blew a fuse and told Elder Teasdale it was either him or Heaton/Horton, but not both. The next morning Haight was on his way back to the United States to St. George. While in Thatcher, AZ he had a heart attack and died. Not sure about his identity or family they put his remains in a casket in the basement of the court house. There it remained for many years. Bagley told me that in the early 1900s, local kids would go down to the basement at Halloween time and scare each other. It was a great story, as only he could tell, all dressed up in his western-style clothes. He said he always wanted to go to Thatcher to check out this story that he had gotten many years before from a then old-timer of that town. I believe there is a new courthouse there now, but the old one still is standing. Some day I will stop by there and see what I can find out! I appreciate his friendliness and ability to spin a yarn. We swapped books that day. He signed mine "To the Mennonite in the Colonies!" Sorry to hear he has passed.
  23. Methinks you haven't had any disagreements with hard core leftists lately. For them the idea of tolerance is no longer enough. That is a broad generalization on my part, but I believe it to be accurate.
  24. Best wishes to you. I have left twice. After months I have returned, probably much to everyone's chagrin. Go with God!
  25. I think I agree. I watched the whole thing. I thought he missed the boat completely, but continued the mythology that folks leave the church because of something that the "others" do. This tendency to "otherspect" and inability to "introspect" seems to me to be a challenge for the faithful.
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