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Everything posted by mgy401

  1. FWIW, when I was in the Brazil MTC in 1999, we were told that when Elder Nelson had dedicated the structure he had planned to do the dedicatory prayer in English but called an audible at the last minute and delivered it in flawless Portuguese. Not sure if there’s any truth to that, or if it’s just another Mormon urban legend . . .
  2. My understanding is that certain victims’ attorneys, when they were negotiating with potential clients, were forecasting individual payouts in the range of $100K; which would require a reimbursement fund of $8.5 billion. AFAIK, no one in the BSA bankruptcy has those kinds of asset reserves—not BSA National, not the councils, not the insurers, not the chartering orgs—no one except the LDS Church itself. Most of them don’t have anywhere near it—I think the BSA and council assets combined are under $2 billion. And let’s remember that $100K is on the low end for a sex abuse claim. Kerry Lewis won $18.5 million from the BSA back in 2010. If the Church can be held jointly and severally liable with the BSA for a judgment of $100K, there’s little reason it couldn’t be on the hook for an award of up to $1 million or even $10 million, which puts our potential exposure at $80 billion or even $800 billion. Suddenly that “rainy day fund” we’ve got is looking a little on the small side—at least, if we want to hold on to our temples . . .
  3. Press release from one of the victims’ committees “Money” paragraph, if you’ll pardon the pun: The TCC calls attention to major flaws contained in the proposed settlements. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is not paying reasonable compensation for the broad releases of the sexual abuse claims that occurred in local councils controlled by LDS. LDS had direct involvement in every aspect of the scouting program. If approved, the proposed settlement yields an average $3,000 payment for each claim. Instead, the TCC maintains that LDS is being handed a “get-out-of-jail card” in exchange for an unreasonably low sum. So basically, the claimants’ position is that the Church owes money to all 82,500 BSA abuse victims; not just the 2,400 victims who were members of Mormon units.
  4. I imagine there’s some jealousy involved too. While BSA was paying its local executives bloated compensation packages worth seven figures and otherwise wheeling, dealing, running up debt while looting the boys it purported to serve by selling them ridiculously overpriced merchandise and literature and shaking down LDS congregations through “Friends of Scouting” quotas, we built up our storied “rainy day fund” which—coincidentally or not—would now handily pay off their entire claims balance of roughly $100 billion. Between the claimants and the BSA themselves, it was perhaps inevitable that someone would be trying to get their hands in our pockets sooner or later; and as far as the former goes—it’s The Little Red Hen writ large, and I suspect that if the BSA leadership had been fundamentally decent and honest people the Church never would have seen a need to leave.
  5. Over the past year or so I have occasionally seen grumbling, at the Scouter.com forum, to the effect that (allegedly) there were those in BSA leadership who wanted to get much more aggressive much earlier on (like, 1970s) about implementing youth protection procedures and teaching Scouts to recognize sexual abuse; and supposedly the LDS Church was one of the major entities saying "no, the BSA should not be talking to its boys about sex at all". I have no idea whether this is true or not, but there seems to be some feeling on the part of some BSA long-timers to the effect that the Church set the BSA up for failure and has gotten off much more lightly than it should, financially speaking.
  6. Oh, I don’t think I’d say that it improved anyone’s understanding of the principles themselves—as they stand, they’re not exactly rocket science. But the change absolutely improved everyone’s understanding about which students and faculty members, given the chance, would slip into open warfare against those principles. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that we learned more in those two weeks, than we otherwise would have learned in five years. ”Hastening”, indeed . . .
  7. He’ll get off with a slap on the wrist. He was, after all, “punching up”, as they say . . .
  8. It is perhaps worth noting in this context that on the day the change was announced, BYU clarified via Twitter that even though the revised honor code emphasized on principles rather than specifics, the same conduct standards still applied. This statement was attributed to Honor Code Office director Kevin Utt. The issue wasn’t a lack of clarity from the HCO leadership; the issue was that a number of BYU students, faculty, and even (apparently) some underlings in the HCO just didn’t want to hear it and basically instigated a game of PR-chicken with the Church leadership; gambling that if they could make it appear that the Church/BYU had moved to the left, the leadership wouldn’t dare subject themselves to the media embarrassment that would result by dragging things back to the right. It certainly would have been nice if the Church leadership had put the kibosh on the resulting insurrection/orgy more quickly, but the fact is that none were deceived who didn’t want to be deceived. To be sure, there’s a great deal of ridiculousness at BYU. But a lot of the things they do actually make sense if one is living the law of chastity with one’s mind as well as one’s body.
  9. It’s not that complicated, as long as the balance of the fund never dips below the amount of tithing that was initially channeled to the fund—the tithing is still in the account, so, easy peasy. It’s only if the total fund balance dips below the total amount of tithing seed money, that we have to start combing over the outlays to figure out which dollars went to which projects/investments and when. Do you have any evidence that the total value of the EPA fund has ever dipped below the amount of the tithes actually contributed to the fund?
  10. Hinckley may imply a difference, but doesn’t go so far as to weigh in on what should or shouldn’t be objectively permissible—he merely makes a concession to the potential feelings of some of the donors. Three potential differences warranting this kind of concession may include: 1) Because of the diversified nature of the investment, a mutual fund is inherently less risky than a single development project; 2) Because this particular investment, in addition to (hopefully) a tangible return for the Church’s bottom line, also had intangible benefits that were largely limited towards a certain geographical subset of the Church; which may cause grousing from members/tithepayers outside of that particular region (as well as grievance-peddling nontithepayers and nonmembers who just get their rocks off by making Mormons think they ought to be offended) 3) Because there is a certain class of people who just can’t abide the thought of the Church having nice things; no matter how many other people may have benefited from the Church’s production and continued operation of those nice things.
  11. Long ago I happened to see a formula that read: “Modern Art = ‘I could have painted that myself’ + ‘But, you didn’t’”. Similarly, one could argue that “Tithing Investment Income = ‘I could have invested that money myself’ + ‘But, you didn’t’”.
  12. Maybe Huntsman’s attorneys are gambling that Judge Shelby, author of the Kitchen v Herbert decision, is naturally somewhat hostile to the Church and that this glimpse of behind-the-scenes sausage-making will rouse him into a righteous anger that will make up for any legal deficiencies that might otherwise compel him to rule for the Church.
  13. C'mon, 2CC. If Church critics are arguing that *all* of the Church's assets are either tithing or proceeds of tithing, then they can't turn around and demand that "non-tithing" be used to pay their debts. And my memory could be off, but I believe the original seed money for the EPA fund was $20-$30 billion and that the fund's value is 3-4 times that amount. So long as the original $20-$30 billion corpus remains untouched, it's pretty hard to argue that expenditures of the earnings from that seed money constitute a use of a "tithepayer's donation". The donation itself is still there, sitting in the account, generating interest; while the expenditure--in Beneficial's case--literally went to the care of widows and orphans. And you're assuming a couple of additional facts in evidence. You assume that Beneficial's losses during the Great Recession of 2008 were due to mismanagement; and you throw around the word "corruption" with nary a shred of evidence. You concluded your post by asking "What untruth did I write?". Here's one of them. You had previously written, "why should some African or Brazilian family who can’t feed their kids subsidize a failing for profit insurance company with their tithing? They can’t even feed themselves and yet the church is using their tithing and gold teeth to bail out their failure." Now, in your most recent post, you acknowledge that you knew all along that tithepayer money is flowing from America to the third world; and not the reverse. That's not what I wrote at all. I was merely contesting your dishonest assertion that "poor members tithes being used to subsidized the college education of a bunch of white kids from five states and for all mission presidents kids and the kids of GAs". And here you double down--actually, triple down--on the untruth. Money from starving people is not subsidizing BYU tuition. If poor tithepayers are in the third world, their money essentially never makes it to the USA at all. If the tithepayers are here in the US they have access to bishop's storehouses and cash assistance through their ward fast offering funds, and have no need to starve. And it's not like the Church isn't providing for post-secondary education of members outside the United States. The Perpetual Education Fund is available for third-worlders who want it, and is so flush with cash that they've actually stopped soliciting donations--the current endowment is enough to keep the program self-sustaining.
  14. 1. First, truly, thank you for sharing that. It sounds like you well understand the futility of, in a moment of hell, just being told “If you’d just [not] move that one muscle, everything would be okay!” No doubt it took a prolonged struggle to work through that, and I hope you’re doing better now. 2. Agreed. I may be teaching “He Sent His Son” in Primary this Sunday and I love its summation of what the Father asks of us: “Have faith, have hope, live like his Son, help others on their way.” Holding people accountable does not mean flat-out refusing to help them, and I worry that some critiques of the Church’s traditional dress and grooming standards are rooted in the mentality that “I don’t have to even think about inconveniencing myself to help you on your way if I find your struggle to be incomprehensible/personally repulsive.” We can’t do everything for those who struggle, but often it costs is relatively little to do something—even if to our rational minds, it seems like that something is likely to be irrelevant or ineffective in solving the problem. It’s why I’m wearing a mask to church, FWIW—probably doesn’t do a heckuva lot of good, but some of the people around me are scared and if my wearing a mask makes them feel better it’s really not that much of an imposition.
  15. I think I kept you straight. My post quoted a post from Calm, replied to it; quoted another from Calm, replied to it; and quoted a post from you and replied to it. The section I directed to you, originated with a statement that you made in this post, no?
  16. Have a lot of experience as an adolescent boy, do you? Telling a teenaged boy to look away from an attractive, exposed girl is akin to telling a woman with postpartum depression not to cry. Just because it’s physically possible, doesn’t mean the person has the wherewithal to do it for a sustained period of time.
  17. I agree with nearly all of this (subject to the of the same concerns I expressed to Rain in my last post; and I think deliberately inciting/entertaining lust is more problematic than you seem to think). I think “modesty” is mostly about how you act in light of your knowing that your behavior is likely to elicit a particular reaction amongst your community that tends to aggrandize/draw attention to oneself at the expense of the community’s harmony and progress towards its fundamental priorities. When it comes to dress and grooming—it’s easy to rely on bright-line rules that in a binary way, tell us if we’re compliant or not (sleeves versus sleeveless is an easy call; but how tight is “too tight”?). And ultimately, in some respects it doesn’t matter what dress/grooming standards the Church adopts, because the “immodest” among us will always be trying to push the standard (if the Church tells men that swimming shirtless is fine but that they should avoid Speedos, the guy will wear a Speedo; if the Church evolves to being OK with Speedos the guy will switch to a G-string, and so on into realms I dare not contemplate).
  18. 1. I don’t think I suggested it was. 2. This is mostly true, but think is still a little facile and dismissive. Let me draw an analogy. Let’s say I walk into sacrament meeting, and I sit behind you with my Yorkshire terrier emotional support animal, and at some point he lets out a quick bark: under your paradigm. Now, I think we could both agree that it’s your responsibility to put that out of your mind and re-focus on the service. All well and good. But let us say that thirty seconds later my Yorkie barks again. You are mildly annoyed but then manage to re-focus on the speaker. And thirty seconds later—again. And on and on, every thirty seconds, for the next hour. Every time you get your mind quiet—woops! There it went again. First off—welcome to the experience of being a teenaged boy around a scantily-clad female. Second off, back to our analogy: Sure, I don’t mean any harm with my Yorkie. Sure, I have good reason to have it there. Sure, I have no power to control your thoughts—only you can do that. But I am ultimately responsible for an ongoing distraction. At a certain point, knowing full well that my Yorkie is having the effect that it’s having on you and potentially others in the meeting, common courtesy says that its churlish of me to just keep sitting there and smugly telling you that your lack of mental discipline is only problem here.
  19. What Church-related behavior are you analogizing this to? (I might actually agree with you, but would like to be sure we’re on the same page!) That seems odd to me. I mean, what one does when no one else is around, seems to have little bearing on “modesty” under any definition of the word. Hmm. That was my takeaway from your statement that “Men -or women - may have an initial thought or feeling of attraction. But what they choose to do with that momentary thought or action is completely within their control. No one else is responsible for that.” That seemed an awful lot like you, a female, making assumptions about how males should be able to handle lust. Happy to be corrected, if I misinterpreted you.
  20. Sure, Calm. You’re my sister (right? Apologies if I’ve misgendered you) in the gospel, and if you’re coming to my place I’ll gladly put the potato-cuttings away and serve a meal in accordance with your dietary needs. I fear you are similarly missing my point. Men can (and should) be expected to control it. Boys are undergoing a learning process. It’s always amusing when I see a female tell a male how he’s supposed to handle an excess of testosterone, or suggest that an adolescent boy can simply “switch off” a lustful thought and not have it recur thirty seconds later. How about you, a female, don’t make assumptions about how a teenaged boy should able to handle lust; and I, a male, won’t make assumptions about how a first-time mother should be able to handle postpartum depression; and we’ll all just trust that people are doing the best they can and commit to helping them out any (reasonable) way we know how?
  21. 1. It’s interesting, what you say comes awfully close to to confirming what I said to Calm: It’s not that Mormon guys are the only ones who are tempted to sexualize [women]. It’s that all (straight) guys are tempted to sexualize [women]. The Mormon guys are just some of the only ones who are making an active effort to resist that temptation, while millions of other guys opt to sit back and enjoy the show. Let’s be honest here. You know as well as I do that most western guys outside the Church—outside conservative Christianity, anyways—aren’t trying to handle their emotions at all; they’re trying to indulge them. They don’t control their libido, they just spend it until it’s exhausted (and then they pop some Viagra and spend some more). As for the rest of us: Certainly, we need to go about learning self-discipline in a healthy way. On the other hand, people on diets are rarely counseled to surround themselves with junk food; and I can’t think of a mental health professional who would recommend a recovering alcoholic take a job in a bar. It’s not that he’s such a snowflake that he must never, ever be in incidental proximity to his vice; it’s just that—he knows he has an issue, he’s working through it, and why surround himself with extra temptation? And if I know the alcoholic, and I love him as a brother, and he’s coming over to my place to hang out—it doesn’t cost me anything to make sure the booze is put away. 2. By learning to handle the emotions I feel. (Doesn’t everyone?) Naturally, that process took some time.
  22. As I said above: People, of course, can and should learn not to be victims of their hormones. We can help each other through that process. Or, we disregard their individual needs and concerns because Muh Rights™, or something. In any community—including a Church one—we are free to say “look, bucko, that’s YOUR cross to bear, not mine.” The flip side is that when we find ourselves grappling with some sort of physical or spiritual ailment—someone may say the exact same thing to us.
  23. I’m not sure burqas per se are as relevant to this discussion as the means by which they are enforced, frankly. To me it seems like there are three facets at play in these sorts of discussions: a) whether standards should exist at all, and b) if so, how those standards ought to be taught, and c) whether/how those standards ought to be enforced. I’ve sort of gotten the vibe that your answer to a) had been “no”, but then your most recent post makes me question whether I’ve interpreted you correctly; so apologies if I haven’t. On b), I guess my position is that the teaching should be less of a thundering “COVER UP, THOU VILE TEMPTRESS!!” and more of a casual “By the way—sister, if it’s not too much trouble, can you help your brother out?” in the middle of teaching a more holistic idea of “modesty”that presents the concept as primarily being a contributing and self-effacing member of a larger community working towards a common goal that is bigger than any one of us. On c)—I’m not by any means “woke”, but I’ll acknowledge that the idea of males enforcing standards (ie, imposing discipline) on females for the way they dress, sort of churns my stomach a bit. I’d like to think that most guys have better things to do with their time anyways. And in the spirit of modesty, self-effacement, and sacrifice for the greater good—you ladies can have the gym, and I’ll content myself with the couch and a bag of chips. I’m generous like that.
  24. It’s like porn—I know it when I see it. And of course no one wants to be walking porn.
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