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Everything posted by Emily

  1. Off the top of my head, the only reference in the Bible to a communicable disease is in Leviticus 13. The recommendation there is isolation, and repeated examinations by the priests until the disease goes away. In cases of a long term infection, the proscribed method of handling it was as follows: 45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. They also burned houses, clothes and pretty much anything else a leper touched to make sure the various "leprous" diseases didn't spread to the rest of the populace. Hey, I'm all for going totally Biblical with communicable diseases. What do you think? 😁
  2. When the virus first started making the rounds, the recommendation was that only people who are sick needed to wear masks. Since a mask has limited effectiveness for the person wearing it, it made sense not to bother if you didn't feel sick. Further research made it obvious that people were spreading the virus when they had no idea that they were sick - no symptoms for several days after they were already contagious is normal, mild symptoms well into the disease is common. So the recommendation changed. Everyone needs to wear a mask because people don't know they are sick. There is no contradiction in the two recommendations, and no change in the data regarding the efficacy of masks. There was just new data about the virus itself. Since that period, further research into mask efficacy has shown they are actually more effective at preventing the spread of the virus then previously supposed. They are not 💯 guaranteed to stop the spread, but they help alot. So efforts to promote masks increased. After the vaccine came out, the CDC relaxed the recommendation for masks, if you were vaccinated. Testing had shown that there were little to no "break through" infections. If you were vaccinated, you were very unlikely to catch Covid. Then the Delta variant invaded. It spreads faster. It kills and cripples both the sick and the healthy, and there are a greater number of "break through" infections in the vaccinated population. So everyone needs to wear a mask again. This cycle will repeat, over and over, until there are no new vectors for the virus. It would be nice if we could get rid of all the vectors in the population by vaccination... But many in our country have unilaterally decided that we will achieve herd immunity by killing 2.5 percent of the population and crippling another 5-10 percent with long Covid. 🤷
  3. Eye protection would probably be useful. The Plexi-glass barriers at stores and the flip down visors I've seen in medical offices do seem like a good idea for people who have to be in prolonged contact with the public. Sadly, the fancy visors are probably out of the budget range of the average person needing to go to the store or church, which is why distancing is still a good idea, even when wearing a mask. Offices where social distancing isn't possible should consider them. Had an experience the other day, at church, where a nice ward brother kept moving closer toward me while we were talking. We were both masked, but I was still trying to maintain about five feet or more distance. It ended up looking like one of those Latin dances... Retreat, close, retreat, close. He never seemed to notice I was backing away from him through the whole conversation. 😄 I'm still not willing to shake hands. (To be honest, I may never want to shake hands again) But church brethren are starting to offer handshakes again. That's so socially awkward, I really wish they wouldn't do that. So far I haven't had a woman hold out their hand, but I think for some of the men, it's a tough habit to break.
  4. And I agree. We need to follow the prophet when he's speaking as a Prophet. However, this is a far cry from the idea that "members are taught to follow what the leaders say and not deviate." We are under no obligation to listen to diddly squat when a man, who happens to be the Prophet, is expressing a personal opinion. It's not always easy to comb out "prophetic statements" from personal opinion in comments that were made in the early church. If you want to be hardcore, we are actually only obligated to pay attention to what made it into the D&C from that time period. Though there are some wonderful bits of knowledge found in statements made by the early prophets that didn't make it into scripture, we still need to lay anything that is not found in the D&C in the "speculation" category. Our obligation now is much more clear cut. Conference talks, letters signed by the entire First Presidency, and Proclamations, also signed by the First Presidency "count." Everything else is advice. Probably good advice. Potentially inspired advice. But we aren't obligated to accept it.
  5. I did not say that, "follow the prophet" isn't taught in church. I said that we are not taught to slavishly kowtow to every random leader of the church. (The implication made by the person I was responding to.) I did in fact say that "Follow the Prophet" is taught. But adult members understand the difference between official church doctrines, prophetic advice, good advice, and plain old personal opinion.
  6. He's doing better. We are just hoping for no more episodes while the spread rates are so high. I'm going in for a biopsy procedure myself tomorrow, and my husband has no idea what he'll be doing after dropping me off. I was told to go stand outside (in 110 degree heat) when we took Dad in. No one was able to be with him at all until he got a room. Most likely he won't be allowed to wait in the hospital, but even if he is, we aren't too sure we want him there any longer than he has to be. It's all just a mess. I should only be wondering about possible cancer, not wondering if I'll catch a disease on top of it while seeking treatment in the hospital. 😝
  7. I hear what you are saying, because I'm in the same place. Sadly, I think it will take watching people sick or dying to change minds on this issue. And I'm not happy about that. Truth is supposed to be about reason, not about regret. There was an interesting article I read recently about a Provo woman who didn't plan to join the ranks of the unvaccinated vectors, but she fell down a rabbit hole of social media misinformation that eventually convinced her to leave her family unvaccinated. I can feel pity for this woman. She was a good person who was deceived. I can empathize with someone who was simply deceived even while I wish that she had researched both sides of the issue before she solidified her decision. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/30/us/covid-vaccine-hesitancy-regret.html I also read an article written by a Catholic that you might find helpful. He points out that most of the anti-vaccination sentiment in the country rises from fear. And we can perhaps turn anger to pity once we understand that fear, and not just selfishness or ignorance, is the main motivation behind those who remain unvaccinated. https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2021/07/30/anger-unvaccinated-covid-advice-prayer-241146 I'm still mostly feeling the anger. But empathy is creeping in, and I'm looking for ideas to go further in that direction, so that's progress.
  8. I'm not sure why anti-maskers keep repeating that masks can't stop viruses, as if this is a meaningful argument. Medical professionals who advocate using masks do not claim that anything but N95 masks block viruses. Masks are effective because they absorb the water droplets that carry the virus. Any water droplets that aren't blocked are at least slowed down as they travel from your nose and mouth, so they don't spread as far away from point of origin. You can see the process in action in this, and other easily searched up videos: When someone says, "Masks don't block viruses" they are just making it obvious that they haven't actually researched why masks are recommended. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-covid-19-and-medical-devices/face-masks-including-surgical-masks-and-respirators-covid-19#:~:text=A%3A Masks may help,from spreading the virus. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html#evidence-effectiveness As a side note: If anyone is going to a doctor who is mocking the use of a face mask, I would highly suggest looking for a new doctor. If your doctor isn't taking the five minutes required to be informed about the reasons behind the CDC guidelines, you can bet he's not keeping up with his medical journal reading, and isn't going to be offering you the most up to date care for any other health problems you may have.
  9. I live in Arizona and we've had two confirmed Covid deaths in our ward and one death of a family member who wasn't part of our ward (non-member), but we helped with the funeral. We've also got two long Covid cases. The people survived the infection, but they aren't doing well. We recently had an outbreak that kept several of our ward members home for two weeks. Fortunately, most of them were vaccinated so it wasn't too serious, but they aren't happy with the unvaccinated vector. We personally have a branch of the family that were firm Covid deniers who are currently struggling with four cases of long Covid. They nearly lost a fourteen year old granddaughter who was perfectly healthy until her grandmother infected her. Both her mother (who was hospitalized with a collapsed lung) and grandmother have made public expressions of regret for not being vaccinated. This has been a humbling situation for all of them that I would not wish on anyone... Vaccination would have been so much less painful in every way. In short, the virus is indeed spreading in Arizona, whatever your personal experience. And here is the really hard truth that needs to be understood. Had everyone capable of vaccination already been vaccinated, the Delta variant would not have got a foothold in our country and we wouldn't be facing another round of masks and social distancing. So, if you were eligible for vaccination and you didn't get vaccinated, this resurgence of the virus is all your fault. Don't expect anyone to feel sorry that you have to wear a mask at work. Edit: My husband said I should have said, "you are probably responsible for the resurgence of the virus"... I disagreed. There is plenty of evidence to show that lack of adequate levels of vaccination in the population is directly responsible for the resurgence of the virus. I'll share this article in support. https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-resilience-ranking/ "Tapping 12 data indicators that span Covid containment, quality of healthcare, vaccination coverage, overall mortality and—as of last month—progress toward restarting travel and easing border curbs, the Ranking’s top performers are increasingly those economies where vaccination is driving containment and underpinning reopening." Future data may change my mind, but for now, I really can't hesitate to hold unvaccinated vectors fully responsible for the resurgence.
  10. So, some of us are saying, "My solution. I'll get vaccinated. I will be part of the population that is helping prevent more virulent variations of an already virulent virus. I will be a person who helps relieve the overburdened healthcare system by protecting myself from serious illness. I will make sure I'm not a vector for a killing disease, so that immuno compromised individuals and children will remain safe." And the other person is saying, "I disagree with your solution." Well, here's the thing about disagreeing. It's not enough to simply say, "I don't like your solution." The problem still exists, no matter how much you dislike the proposed solution. In order to properly disagree with a solution, you have to offer an equally viable, but different solution. You also need to provide cogent evidence that your solution will be better at unclogging the hospitals, saving lives, and protecting the next several decades of people's lives (and our economy) from the debilitating long term effects of Covid. When the anti-vaccers come up with a different solution, then their disagreement will have some weight. Until then, they are like my grandchildren, who are fond of telling me that I need to make it less hot outside, make the rain stop, make it daytime. I usually ask them how I should do these complicated things. Their solutions generally involve magic or brute force. ("Knock the moon down!") I think the anti-vaccers are similarly fanciful. But maybe they'll think of something more viable before the next variant appears - the one that causes a big, ugly rash on the face of anyone who hasn't been vaccinated. (That's my magic solution to the problem.)
  11. I am beyond puzzled when anti-vaccers pipe up with the, "It's my life, my health, you've got no right to judge me for my personal decisions..." argument. I really wonder if they actually believe what they are saying. How could they possibly believe it? If they catch Covid and spread it to even one other person, they become the vector that will eventually kill someone. They have also given the virus extra time to mutate into new and potentially more virulent versions of the virus. Those two thoughts alone should get anyone who cares squat about their fellow human beings down to the nearest Vaccine center. But let's say they don't get a mild case and they are part of the unlucky percentage that gets seriously ill. (And the Delta variant kills healthy young adults, not just sick, old people.) If they catch Covid and go to a hospital, they use up a bed that another, seriously ill patient could have used. They stress out nurses and doctors who are then incapable of giving decent care to other patients. They raise insurance costs for everyone. They use up limited medical supplies. Case in point: My father has heart disease. He had to go to the hospital last week, his left lung was full of fluid. He had to wait on a gurney in a hallway for over two hours - until he got back a test confirming he did not have Covid. After that, he was parked in an overflow wing that was basically a series of long, uncarpeted hallways with curtains. The whole wing was stuffed full of patients, with only a few nurses available and a handful of aids. We asked if he would eventually be moved to an actual hospital room (it was so noisy, he couldn't sleep) and we were told no. They had the infectious Covid patients in all of the actual rooms, so the doors could be kept closed. Non-infectious patients, including heart patients, stroke patients, accident patients, were being stacked in these curtained alcoves with the kind of portable monitoring equipment that is usually only used temporarily in ambulances. All those Covid patients could have been at home, with minimal to no symptoms, if they'd simply taken the time to get a vaccine. So no, it's not just about your life/your choice, those of you who are choosing to remain unvaccinated. You are directly impacting other people just as surely as if you took a gun and started shooting it into the air in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Maybe the falling bullets won't hit you, or anyone else, but shooting a gun into the air is still a very stupid thing to do.
  12. So far, our ward still offers streaming with permission of the Bishop, which pretty much consists of asking the Bishop to send the link. I've been part of discussions on keeping streaming available indefinitely for both chronic and acute illness, and the feeling has generally been that we've already got the equipment set up, why not? I think most stakes who have made it convenient to stream will continue to do so. It could only be a problem if it is determined that streaming is creating a large group of people who are always, "sick" when they are really perfectly capable of attending.
  13. Then you should refrain from "Primary language", particularly when it's been adjusted to the point that it is no longer true, even on a "Primary" level. Regarding the phrase in question: "Members are taught to follow what the leaders say and not deviate" I have never, at any point in my lifelong membership in the church heard this concept taught within the official curriculum of the church. Indeed, your phrase is the antithesis of "search, ponder and pray" and admonitions to seek personal testimonies of the doctrines of the church and guidance of the Prophet. I have heard similar phrases used, but only in anti-Mormon literature, usually accompanied by quotes from early member diaries, speeches or notes (invariably out of context) that would appear to support the idea that the goal of the church is to turn members into mindless sheep that will happily drink poisoned koolaid on the basis of something their Bishop said at the ward BBQ. (Granted, there are members like that, but the church and it's doctrines don't encourage that kind of behavior.) I was giving the benefit of the doubt, by assuming this comment was the result of "Primary understanding." If that is not the case, then my next assumption would be deliberate and hostile misrepresentation of church teachings. I'm sure, however, that's not what you were trying to do, since you say you are not hostile to the church. So perhaps it was just a really badly phrased comment or joke.
  14. 🛀Elisha told Naaman to go bathe in the river Jordan seven times and he would be cured of leprosy. Instead of doing it, Naaman gets angry and dreams up several methods of a cure that would be so much better. I heard this story as a child, and thought...Naaman was proud to the point of stupidity. He's lucky he had a servant who was a whole lot smarter than him, and that he listened to the servant. 🐍Moses held up a brazen serpent and told people to look at it, and they would survive the venom of the fiery serpents. Some looked and survived, some refused to look and died. I also heard this story as a child, and wondered if it could possibly be true. How could anyone be that incredibly dumb? They didn't need to believe in the serpent, or understand it, or pay for the cure. They just had to look. Yet some were so stubborn, they preferred to die. 💉It is now recorded in church history that the Prophet told members that the Covid vaccine was a gift from God. He pled with members to get vaccinated, so the temples could be reopened. Some did, some didn't. I have to wonder what children will think of the people in this story when it's told in Primary sometime in the future.
  15. Speak for yourself. I certainly worried about getting my flu vaccine every year, got extremely annoyed at the inconsiderate twits who go to church and work when they are feeling sick, and believe strongly that if you knew you've been exposed to flu, you should wear a mask when you are around other people, even if you don't feel sick. Regardless of whether it's a flu, a cold or Covid, sick people should always stay home. If you can't do that from an economic perspective, then wear a mask and social distance. This has ALWAYS been true. The consequences of what was previously rude and inconsiderate behavior have simply changed to inhumane and potentially lethal behavior as Covid transmission rates and death rates are so much higher than common varieties of flu. I wish this disease came with a rash. A terrible disfiguring rash that lingered for months after exposure. You can darned well bet people would go get that shot if the alternative was huge splotches on their face, instead of simply killing random old people, diabetics or immune supressed children. Never mind, the next variant probably will come with a rash. Then we will see how long people keep thinking it's somebody else's job to stop the spread.
  16. A fan designed to blow the bed sheets around... My cat just added that to his Christmas list
  17. Being the "other half" of Incognitus, and not nearly as diplomatic, I will tell you that the reactions of family members will NOT be positive. They will be angry and they will be disgusted, and they will wonder how anyone could possibly be that selfish. Not being vaccinated was bad enough. She also doesn't wear a mask, and doesn't social distance -- the bare minimum a person should be doing if they won't get a vaccine. My in-laws visited my daughter and her children a couple of days after they were exposed to my sister-in-law. The family was forced to spend a week in quarantine waiting until they could be tested. They were negative, by sheer good luck. The virus was probably not active enough to spread to the grandchildren. My daughter and her husband are vaccinated. However, the wedding reception that my in-laws attended after exposure was filled with people who may not be so lucky. Ditto for the airline passengers on the flights they were on going to and from the wedding. We will never know just how many people were affected because my sister-in-law decided, for whatever reason, not to get vaccinated.
  18. Young children have to start with basic concepts before they can move to more complicated concepts. My grandson has a series of books that he adores, "Organic Chemistry for Babies", "Rocket Science for Babies" etc. All the books start with, "This is a ball." And the book goes on to show the ball being stuck to other balls, attracting or repelling other balls, balls being squished or twisted or propelled - in attempts to explain principles of science in a way a young child can understand. To my grandson, it's all about what is happening to the "ball" even though in reality, molecules bear no resemblance to stuck together balls, quantum levels do not resemble the rings of Saturn, and space is not a bedsheet. But it's a start. It's a necessary start for any student who will go on to learn the mathematical language needed to understand higher concepts. Until a student is familiar with that language, they will NEVER understand what an atom really is or what "warping space" really means. But you can't teach babies advanced math in preschool, even though that's what is required to teach them the real truth. The song, "Follow the Prophet" gives children a basic idea of what prophets are, and why we need them. It teaches a word that is necessary in gospel language. It's not a perfect song, but children sing it and are able to define "prophet" in a rudimentary fashion. Once you understand what a prophet is, and what he's supposed to do, and what you are supposed to do - then you can start to learn more about what he is not, how far his authority goes, and exactly what "following a prophet" entails. But you need the basics to begin. The situation with your Native American friend is a prime example of juvenile thinking. The teacher only knew one definition for the word, "white" and assumed that her interpretation was correct, regardless of all scientific and contextual evidence to the contrary. She didn't discuss alternative explanations with other members, she didn't seek help from the spirit. She just embroidered a theory from her limited knowledge, or picked up the theory from other members with equally limited knowledge, and spread it around. It's very unfortunate that your friend was exposed to this teacher. The teacher could have been safe in her ignorance if she had at least stuck to the approved curriculum. She did not stick to approved curriculum and created confusion. So the teacher failed to follow church teaching guidelines, she failed to consider the context in the scriptures, she failed to consider scientific evidence which would reject her nonsensical theory, and she failed to be sensitive to the needs of the children in her class. But all of the above were her failures. It was not a failure of the scriptures or the church curriculum, or the prophet. It was a common enough failure that the church decided to change "white" to "pure" in a later printings of the Book of Mormon. One could say the change in that wording should have been made sooner. Before that particular myth of "changing skin colors" crept into the church, hurt the feelings of so many members, caused other members to question the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as a while, and gave some members an excuse to leave the church. I don't know why it wasn't changed sooner. Perhaps some changes just aren't made until the members ask for them? Perhaps some changes require a majority of us to get on our knees and ask, "Why? Why does this obvious error of man remain in the mythos of the church, becoming a stumbling block for the innocent and the weak?" I can't answer that question. I do know that the "Revelation on the Priesthood" was an answer to many heartfelt prayers throughout the membership of the church (a resounding yes) as was the "Proclamation on the Family" (for many, a stinging no). So, I have to continue to believe that the Lord will say yes and He will say no, in His own time. In the meantime, love your fellow man, and do your callings to the best of your ability. The rest will work out in the end.
  19. Just out of curiosity, was your revelation only that you should "no longer participate or defend the LDS church" or did the revelation also include the "Why?" portion of your statement? It's unclear in how you phrased this post if the "why" was a unique thought given as part of the revelation, or if that was the reason for the revelation that you developed after receiving the revelation. Also, by "not participating", did that mean having your name removed from the records? Or are you still officially a member? I'm also curious, did you receive revelation to start criticizing, that is actively fighting against the church? Were you asked to convince others to leave the church? Or were you told to simply stop participating?
  20. I am reminded of a neighbor who had stopped attending church services regularly when her parents were divorced. She was 10 at the time. Her attendence after that point was sporadic, rare weekends she spent with her father, and she never attended seminary or institute. She felt like she knew everything there was to know about the church, but when I talked to her, I realized that all her ideas were based on Primary level learning. This comment: "Because they were taught to follow what the leaders say and not deviate" also reminds me of Junior Primary level learning. "Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet, don't go astray." Don't get me wrong. "Primary answers" are succinct and essential building blocks for further learning. But they are rarely complete answers. As members progress beyond Primary, they will start to hear this (Senior Primary): "Follow the prophet,when he's speaking as a prophet." Then they will hear this (Twelve Year Old): "Follow the prophet, when he's speaking as a prophet, which you will know because the words will published as revelation or direction from the leaders with the approval of the church council. We look to the scriptures (BoM, PoGP, D&C, the Bible - as far as it's translated correctly), General Conference talks, proclamations or letters sent out to be read over the pulpit for all of our doctrine and guidance, and we are not "deviating" if we choose to ignore what a leader says outside these sources. You could stop right there and throw out eighty percent of the critic's stated issues, since most of what they quibble about has nothing to do with actual church doctrine. Members should not, however, stop at that point. They should move on to an adult level which will allow them to hear and follow the Prophet regardless of the venue, but also to know when a leader is not speaking as a prophet. When is a prophet speaking as a prophet? When the spirit speaks to you and says, "This is God's message to you. Hear him." Perhaps I'm being unfair, but when critics express themselves with words that indicate "Primary" level learning on gospel related topics, I'm inclined to believe that this is the level at which their understanding rests.
  21. I'm uncomfortable with this comment. It seems to imply that in a fair and impartial world, being a wife would be considered a lesser calling than being a leader in the church. My husband can't even do his Ministering without asking for my help picking out Birthday presents or making cupcakes. I'm going to bet that wives of General Authorities do everything the average wife does to support their husband in their callings, and then a great deal more. If the church puts wives on an equal footing with other female church leaders (who get many opportunities to speak), then it's because these women are just as important as female office holders.
  22. I agree. There's nothing wrong with "Soup for the Soul" books. Even if you are far beyond the "milk" stage in your gospel studies, other people are not. Many of those books are very helpful when people are struggling, or looking for answers on more basic religious topics. Even if you are a thorough carnivore when it comes to religious studies, lighter books are excellent fodder for quotes to sprinkle in talks, hang on the wall or give you something to discuss with other members. It doesn't hurt to say, "Yes" when your friend offers to lend you their latest read for that alone. At any rate, you can find serious books at Deseret Books...but it's too expensive to actually buy them there. 😝
  23. I had a Stake calling (volunteer work) with Deseret Industries for a few years. Part of our training included factoids on LDS charity operation. It was explained to us that the general policy of the church is to partner with existing charities in an area (provided they meet church standards for accountability, etc.) as it's more cost effective, efficient, etc. The Catholic church is a favored partner in all the countries where the Catholics have been around for awhile. I would imagine the Catholic Church is very efficient and cost effective given their centuries of experience. 😄
  24. I don't disagree with you, which is why I said, "That part occurs with, or without, priesthood authority or regardless of your adherence to particular doctrinal theories, because God's way is the right way to do things if you want a happier mortal existence." We appear to be defining "priesthood" differently, hence the perceived disagreement. LDS members tend to add a capitol "P" to the word, while you are talking about priesthood as it's defined by the rest of the world. IE: "The office or position of a priest." It would be redundant to define "Priesthood" (capitol "P") here on the message forum, as other people have already done a good job writing up definitions. (Links to a couple of articles below.) If you are interested in the LDS perspective on other religions, I've provided an article for that as well. LDS Perspectives Regarding Non-Christian Religions https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1988/01/i-have-a-question/what-is-the-relationship-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints-to-the-non-christian-religions-of-the-world?lang=eng Definition of Priesthood https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/priesthood?lang=eng The Difference Between Power and Authority https://kealakai.byuh.edu/general-authorities-and-byu-hawaii-religion-professor-share-difference-between-priesthood-authority-and-priesthood-power
  25. I think the Trek is a highly spiritual experience for some youth, but I don't think that's ever been it's primary purpose. Treks help youth experience a little bit of what it means to "be a pioneer" - an important goal in a culture that builds alot of it's community identity around "Pioneer" images. Community identity is important in the church. From the earliest Nativity Plays to Service Projects, Treks, Roadshows and helping the neighbor move...we define who we are as a people with our community activities.
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