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  1. it was illogical for me to save money by not serving alcohol at my wedding? Or it’s illogical for me to suspect that the Church would get criticism for affirmatively advising its members to buy a product that the Church itself was selling for profit on the open market? I mean, crimony—some of y’all are [acting] ticked that the Church bailed out an insolvent insurer in order to pay life insurance claims to widows and orphans, and saved thousands of jobs when the Great Recession engulfed the City Creek development. These critics are so consumed with the idea that the Church is nebulously harmful, that they advocate the tangible harm of more people just so they can be proven “right”. When discussing LDS business practices, “logic” tends to be one of the first things that gets thrown out the window.
  2. Additionally, the first written reference to the discovery of gold comes from the journal of Battalion veteran Henry Bigler; and it’s thanks to that journal that history has preserved the actual date of the discovery. And it was another Mormon, Sam Brannan, who (having failed to convince Brigham Young to settle the Church in California) publicized the discovery by waving bottles newly-mined gold from the American River around the streets of San Francisco, in hopes of establishing himself as a merchant to gold-seekers.
  3. IIRC, there was also Mormon presence at Los Angeles. The boundaries of Deseret were expansive, but I think the plan Brigham Young followed for the “short term” was a strong of settlements along the Wasatch Front extending north into Idaho and southwest to a port around Los Angeles, with a person never having to travel more than a day’s journey without going through a Mormon town.
  4. I am fairly confident that what I said was that you were misrepresenting church teachings; and it’s unfortunate that your post wanders away from that issue. You opened up the thread by asking “should a church that teaches the evils of alcohol consumption be serving alcohol?” There have been ten pages of discussion in which it has been repeatedly pointed out that the Church’s position is more nuanced; that the theology is not that alcohol consumption is morally wrong by all people in every time and place, but that it’s a commitment specifically made by church members in this particular day and age and that outside the boundaries of Church membership the Church’s primary beef with alcohol revolves around drunkenness and underaged use, not consumption per se. This isn’t really a nuance that you’ve engaged with in any meaningful way; you seem bent on imputing a much more absolutist stance to the Church just so that you can have something to disagree with it about. As for the legal marijuana thing: so far “legal marijuana” is a bit of a misnomer since it remains banned under federal law, which (among other complications) makes financing such transactions a bit tricky. I’d be surprised to see the Church get involved with that kind of thing until the legal issues are resolved. I also can’t claim to have a strong position about whether marijuana is per se harmful in the way that—say—heroin or methamphetamine or even tobacco are. If the substance turns out to be as harmless as advocates are saying, then no; I wouldn’t be shocked to see a pot dispensary get grandfathered in as part of a larger Church property purchase.
  5. Amending or footnoting D&C 89 would certainly be nice, but the underlying mentality of legalistic hostility to people one (theoretically) accepts as prophets and apostles is the bigger issue here. The Church membership already knows what the prophets are saying and what the church is teaching; fundamentally—one either accepts what they’re saying or one doesn’t. If one rejects the moral/revelatory/ecclesiastical authority of the LDS leadership, then (as the rantings of our FLDS/AUB/misc. cousins remind us) it doesn’t matter whether their teachings make it into the canon or not. Your last paragraph is amusing, because it really boils down to “If you don’t like the fact that I and/or my fellow critics keep making making crap up, your only recourse is to shut up and let our assertions go unrefuted.”
  6. Except that Smith’s successors have refined that aspect of its applicability. Have they ever likewise refined or extended its applicability by saying that non-Mormons who take alcohol, will be judged for their “sin” in doing so? Or are we really going to go on into our ninth page of former-Mormons and semi-Mormons and never-Mormons telling us what we, the actually-believing-and-practicing Mormons, are supposed to believe?
  7. Friend, the issue a lot of us have is that we feel you are misrepresenting what the Church actually teaches. We can haggle over the meaning of “covenant”, whether it can extend beyond liturgical covenants and into the realm of “bishop’s office commitments”, and the question of which specific behavioral obligations are tied to which specific liturgical covenants; but the fundamental facts are that a) church members commit to living the Word of Wisdom as part of the baptismal interview and recommit during each temple recommend interview; b) people outside the church have not made that commitment; and c) as near as I can tell, in the eight pages of this thread no one has provided a single piece of evidence in which the Church has unambiguously held that alcohol consumption (as opposed to drunkenness or the other activities that happened at turn-of-the-century saloons) is objectively, inherently, eternally a grievous sin that will morally taint anyone who participated in it whether he is in the church or not. The best we have seen is someone referring us to a page of search results for articles that happen to contain the word “alcohol” at one point and “evil” at some other point, and demanding we do the research to make their point for them. That’s not very “fair dinkum”, to borrow a phrase from our New Zealander friends.
  8. Perhaps this is best left for a different thread, but . . . Is there really a big subset of Church members who *want* Church leadership positions and are deeply, sincerely disappointed when they don’t get them? I mean, it’s probably natural to have inclinations to that effect in the early 20s (I certainly did!); but as life and church experience showed me what a pain in the neck those positions are and gave me a more realistic view of my own capacities and limitations, the ambition for those kinds of calling was pretty well squashed out of me. Is it not that way for most people?
  9. Elder Oaks’s comments about how to address/incorporate family members who were engaged in gay relationships were pretty tentative in nature. For the purposes of this discussion, I think the more interesting passage is Elder Wickman’s statement that “Homosexual behavior is and will always remain before the Lord an abominable sin.”
  10. Perhaps. The article’s suggestion that even the mainstream local Protestant clergy wanted them shut down, suggests to me that the saloons were looked at not just as the sites of responsible use of theologically-taboo substances; but as epicenters of inebriation and other social ills.
  11. Just for context’s sake: was drinking the *only* vice that was going on in those saloons?
  12. I am deeply offended by the erroneous inclusion of the apostrophe in the possessive “its”.
  13. On your first point, I respectfully disagree; particularly since within Mormonism service positions are not sought, people don’t even know they’re “up for consideration”, and numerous less-formal opportunities come up frequently that allow for service without bishop approval (meals, moving, welfare assignments, etc). On your second point: I would consider those as “adverse actions against church membership”, and as I said earlier—if we get concrete examples suggesting that this is a statistically significant issue in the Church that stake and area authorities are failing to remedy then I’ll be happy to reconsider my position; but thus far we seem to be dealing in hypotheticals and “what ifs”.
  14. I hope I’m not being overly offensive here, but . . . Getting one’s nose out of joint because one was not called to serve in a particular calling, strikes me as “drama”. Can you propose any more substantive ways that a disapproving bishop could affect a member’s church membership, liturgical participation, and/or daily walk with Christ?
  15. Sure; and that gets into the sort of issues Elders Oaks and Wickman discuss about whether, in God’s eyes, a civilly-recognized SSM is really a “marriage” at all; their answer is that it is not. (A cynic may accuse the church of special pleading here vis a vis your observation about polygamy; because the Church basically says that God recognized those unions but not SSMs). I would also respectfully submit that any Mormon who insists that modern orthopraxy must have textual support in ancient scripture, is sort of missing the point of having living prophets at all. As it is, though: the scriptures speak more-or-less approvingly of people drinking alcohol; but seem to lack approving references of either extramarital sex or any kind of homosexual intercourse. Typically policies that are wont to change have either been demonstrably different in the past (e.g. polygamy, baptismal requirements, etc); or have been undergirded by consistent statements from ecclesiastical leaders to the effect that the policy can/will change in the future (e.g. Blacks-and-priesthood). It seems historically unprecedented for the Church leadership to entrench themselves into a position for which they have left themself no theological “out” for future change, the way they have on the issue of SSM.
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