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Saint Bonaventure

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  1. I'll be in Salt Lake City in October for three nights and four days. Therefore, today's Friendly Friday questions are: What are the LDS historic sites and tourist destinations I should see? I'll have a rental car, so I can travel around the city and surrounding area a little bit. I'm also healthy and am up for a decent walk, so long as the neighborhood is safe. What are the overrated sites I should avoid?
  2. Thanks. Polemicists usually can't restrain themselves from rhetorical excess.
  3. Thank you so much. This explanation makes sense to me.
  4. Here are today's Friendly Friday questions: Several of you have referenced Joseph Smith's King Follet sermon, and I've read it this week. In it, there are two notions that I can't puzzle my way through. I've tried to look them up on the LDS Church's website, which some of you patiently steer me to now and again, and I am still bottom over tea kettle. Here they are: Joseph Smith said that "I will preach on the plurality of gods. I am going to tell you how God came to be God." And yet the Book of Mormon says that there is only one God and that that God doesn't change. Is there a principle of expanding understanding at work here? Does the Book of Mormon trump the King Follett sermon? I can agree with the Book of Mormon when it teaches about there being one, unchanging God. So far, so good in my book. The King Follet sermon is way out there for me though, and somehow you all reconcile both. I appreciate your willingness to walk me through some of these things. They're probably basic, and maybe even boring, for you all.
  5. I've noticed that some--but by no means all--of the most fervent activists seem to suffer from some developmental/psychological issues. They disproportionately exhibit some anti-social and Cluster "B" tendencies, some signs of abuse/trauma, some signs of fantasy/reality confusion, and a need for professional help. I'm not diagnosing (of course) and this is just my observation, but I do have some relevant training in this area. Consider that some of the letters and manifestos that are issued, and regardless of whether they are issued by a far-out pro-choice person or a far-out pro-life person, have the troubling markers that we find in the communications of dangerous criminals. I'm confident that LDS leaders teach that we need to help our communities, and many popes have too. I try to remember that the folks who vandalize and set fire to churches and centers, who walk naked into Mass, who intimidate and brutalize, who kill doctors, need help. Sometimes they also need to be separated from the rest of us for our own protection.
  6. For me, Domino's does a good job of offering what it does best. Its menu doesn't change as much as the others, but its standards--the Philly steak, Buffalo, Extravaganza thingy--are consistently great.
  7. A couple of these incidents have hit close to home--geographically speaking. My parish has a Knight of Columbus who is also a police officer. He's been in the narthex (gathering space) for the last month or so for Saturday evening and Sunday morning Mass. Catholic Churches are often open all day, and into the evening, until locked up for the night. There's usually an early morning and/or late afternoon Mass, time set aside for Adoration and Reconciliation, for funerals, and just for people coming in to pray and read the Bible. I hope that doesn't change.
  8. I tend to like thinner crusts--fewer carbs!
  9. Pizza Hut? Papa John's? Domino's? Papa Murphy's? Little Caesars?
  10. Regarding the KJV, it's probably a little of both the clunkiness of translating Paul and the shift of the language. I have a copy of the original preface to the KJV--25 pages or so--and it makes the point that the KJV is intended to help make the Bible available to the "common reader." 400+ years later, I imagine it might be difficult for LDS missionaries in Baltimore, for example, try to read passages from the KJV with an immigrant from Nigeria. I'd just bust out an easy-reading translation, maybe a Good News Bible. I have spent some time with the New Oxford Annotated; a great, scholarly work. Hopefully, your Elder's Quorum is appreciative. Thanks for the context for Joseph Smith's interest in German Bibles. I'm part way into the Rough Rolling book, and so I'm feeling a little whiplash. The Author has been emphasizing how unschooled Joseph Smith is--he needed a school teacher and a printer to clean up the Book of Mormon text--but at some point he's a polyglot with preferences for German translations. An interesting fellow, to be sure.
  11. I learn a ton from these little threads. At my parish it's kind of difficult to know if a family is drifting away. They might be going to Saturday evening or Sunday morning Mass, maybe they caught Spanish Mass, etc.
  12. I have a KJV so I can increase the comfort level when my LDS family members visit and our inevitable, and interesting, discussions of religion happen. In my hair-brained opinion, Paul is pretty much butchered in the KJV. I use an RSV as my main Bible, but also have an NRSV that includes the additional canonical books of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches. Did Joseph Smith like Luther's Bible? I could see why native German speakers would like a German Bible, but a native English Speaker preferring a German Bible? I must not understand.
  13. St. John Paul II gave several teachings on the Song of Songs that are well-regarded. They have been published as part of his Theology of the Body.
  14. Thanks for your thoughtful response. I hope I can clarify a bit on my end too: Catholics believe that God communicated through public revelation that was both written and oral, and that these forms of public revelation occurred during OT times, NT times, and up to the death of the last apostle. Within that first bullet point (above) there are four ideas embedded: The written form of public revelation is Sacred Scripture, that is, Sacred Scripture is divine revelation that was written down under inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Sacred Tradition is divine revelation that was not written down, but it has nonetheless been faithfully transmitted by the Church from the beginning. The Church's teaching authority, known as the Magisterium, ensures that Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are received without corruption and are interpreted correctly. Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium all stand together and "contribute effectively to the salvation of souls." Here's the passage from the Catechism on this: You can know how central these ideas are to Catholicism by my use of capitalization. The Sacred Tradition and Magisterium elements are primary points of separation between Catholics and Protestants (hence, sola scriptura). I hope this gives a little insight into my questions about LDS prophets and oral/written statements from a few weeks ago. At that time, I was also wondering if the top LDS leaders claim a Magisterium-like authority.
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