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About mgy401

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    Member: Moves Upon the Waters

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  1. I would think that, all other things being equal, the Lord wouldn’t expect the Church to spend $150 million on a temple that could be built for $100 million. I mean, there’s building something with as high a quality as you know how—and then there’s spending money just for the sake of spending money. Building in the middle of an open field in Erda, where the Church would have to bear the expense of running water, sewer, gas, electric, communications, and so on out there—and not trying to defray the expense by developing the surrounding area—strikes me as falling more in the latter categor
  2. I believe that publication is available in electronic form only.
  3. I would agree that “sin” is a loaded term, and particularly unhelpful to the extent that it encourages us to write off people as individuals or dismiss concerns that ought to be addressed. But I think it’s legitimate to point out that being a Mormon is hard. Our church asks a lot of us. If you aren’t independently convinced of the virtues of an LDS lifestyle (in other words—you only live the life because you accept the church’s authority claims)—there are immediate, tangible, and potent material, social, and sensory benefits to giving it all up. I don’t impose high standards of proof
  4. Tangentially applicable: There are many Elders in this house who, if I had the power to mesmerize that vase and make it dance on that table, would say that it was done by the power of God. Who could tell whether it was done by the power of God or the power of the Devil? No person, unless he had the revelations of Jesus Christ within him. I suppose you are ready to ask Brother Brigham if he thinks the power of the Devil could make the vase dance. Yes, and could take it up and carry it out doors, just as easy as to turn up a table and move it here and there, or to cause a rap, rap, rap, or
  5. I can see some changes coming down the pike in the next few years. I don’t think BYU is going to be able to use its honor code office to enforce LDS living standards (and possibly, not even being able to charge varying tuition rates to LDS versus non-LDS students); and once that happens, its low tuition would make it as attractive to non-LDS kids as to LDS kids. This in turn would both threaten BYU’s character as a Latter-day Saint school, and undercut the church’s goal to offer a decent and affordable education to a few tens of thousands of its youth. I can visualize a situation
  6. The Whitmer account of encountering Moroni en route to Fayette is interesting to me, but bewildering if we assume “Cumorah” is in fact the hill near Palmyra. Whitmer, Cowdery, and Smith (including, I presume, Emma; though Whitmer doesn’t mention her) are traveling northwest from Harmony towards Fayette; Palmyra/Cumorah would be even further to the northwest. Moroni, who received the plates from Joseph in Harmony for safekeeping, was also going to the same destination—the Whitmer farm in Fayette. Why is Moroni bothering to go the extra distance Cumorah/Palmyra at all? And even if t
  7. People who correct your grammar during a conversation always die alone.
  8. Of course. After all, I made a covenant with God that He would make me filthy rich; and if a pack of twice-convicted felons are the tools He has chosen to keep his word, then I just need to repent of my lack of faith!
  9. All very fair; but the beginning of the inquiry should be the historical context; rather than starting out with the dogmas of Snuffer or Woolley or LeBaron and then retconning scripture to bolster those conclusions. For example, the business about “one mighty and strong” as set out in D&C 85 was written in a very particular context in response to a very specific set of circumstances, which we can read about thanks to the “Joseph Smith’s Revelations” (drawing on the JSPP) book in the LDS Library app; and in context it has very little to do with the fundamentalist/Snufferite fetish abou
  10. It strikes me that a lot of the interpretations offered in this thread (e.g., “‘the arm of the Lord’ referred to in verse x is a specific referral to item/event/person y”) is overly legalistic/literalistic. Much of D&C 1 echoes themes that came up in the First Vision or the Book of Mormon, which in turn were revealed in such a way as to evoke Biblical passages that are better approaches as Hebraic poetic/literary forms intended to convey a general impression. In the D&C, as elsewhere in scripture, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
  11. I also like the D&C Reference Companion (which has companion volumes for the BoM and PoGP that are also very good); and Steven Harper’s “Making Sense of the D&C”.
  12. To what degree, in the Church, do we view salvation/Zion as a communal effort such that individual noncompliance may threaten the health of the entire endeavor? Particularly in matters of temple recommend worthiness, where we are under collective obligation to let no “unclean” thing into the temple? I don’t know where the line should appropriately be drawn. I certainly don’t want a rat-on-your-neighbor mentality to become pervasive in the Church. But I don’t think we’re being honest, or consistent, if we simply say that other people’s shortcomings are absolutely never, under any circum
  13. OP seems to have been reading Grant von Harrison’s Drawing on the Powers of Heaven. That was big for a while in my mission, complete with (increasingly self-serving) “covenants”, (increasingly irrelevant) “sacrifices”, and (increasingly puerile) attacks on the “faithlessness” of those whose “covenants” failed to translate into quantifiable results on a preset timetable. I don’t disagree with the theological *possibility* that we can make a covenant with God for a particular outcome. But my experience is that few have the spiritual maturity or humility to engage in the process on God’s
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