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Everything posted by mgy401

  1. One can never say “never”, in a Church that acknowledges and seeks modern revelation. But one of the issues “situational ordination” could create, is that it would be in tension with the way Mormons have traditionally viewed priesthood. The traditional view is that those who are eligible for priesthood ordination and service, have an affirmative duty to qualify themselves for it and are considered woe-stricken if they fail to obtain their ordination (see, e.g., D&C 84:42). To the degree that Mormon culture has a strong sense of communitarianism and self-sacrifice, I think the
  2. I don’t know if this perfectly answers the question, but . . . When proxy temple worship resumes, if you’ve never done it before, I’d encourage you to go to the temple with someone of the opposite gender; to do initiatories; to try as hard as possible to memorize (even if only briefly) the specific blessings pronounced on each part of the body; and then to meet your companion in the temple lobby and compare notes. I think you’ll find that while the blessings are substantially the same, there are a couple of key differences. Additionally, the stated reason why the initiatory must be done
  3. 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
  4. Well done, Erda. Well done.
  5. I believe that publication is available in electronic form only.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. People who correct your grammar during a conversation always die alone.
  11. 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!
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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”.
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. I suppose it depends on what direction “through the lineage of his fathers” runs. Couldn’t one say that Prince William will receive the English throne “through the lineage of his fathers [and mothers], even unto Charles”? The claim to birthright/royalty/priesthood runs backwards through the generations; but the birthright/royalty/priesthood itself runs forward, no?
  18. I hope (and trust) it is untrue that LDS leadership knew what Bishop was up to. Growing up in the 1980s when President Kimball’s ministry was in recent memory, I was always taught that a Melchizedek Priesthood holder who committed adultery was going to get excommunicated—end of story, do not pass “go”, do not collect $200. I understand that the Church handles such situations differently today, and that’s fine. But the high Church leadership of the mid-1980s allowing Bishop to keep, not only his membership, but his position at the MTC after confessing to such an act, would be shocking
  19. Wait—so it’s inappropriate to cause chaos in the life of one BYU student by telling her she can’t re-enroll six months from now unless she meets with the HCO; but it’s OK to completely upend the lives of thirty thousand BYU students by shutting down the school completely? Rapists use a lot of institutions, technologies, tangible objects, and even body parts as tools to oppress their victims. We don’t immediately banish any of those things from our society just because they *can* be used for ill. The analogy of Chesterton’s fence is appropriate—we can consider whether the fence should be
  20. Or . . . we could just commit to keeping our pants on, as we already promised to do. In spite of the attempts of some to gaslight us into thinking that chastity is both inhuman and inhumane— the BYU honor code isn’t really about some unattainable standard of perfection. It’s about trying . . . versus not. It’s interesting to me that one thing you *haven't* suggested, is ending the Church subsidy of BYU tuition and letting all the students pay market rates. Then the students who want a “party school” experience wouldn’t feel constrained to attend BYU for financial reasons; and the BYU
  21. You’re right. It’s not technically fraud. It’s theft of services. [quote]They also should have followed the advice of the prosecutor and withheld any further investigation or discipline until after the trial. [/quote] Investigation immediately surrounding that particular incident, sure. But why should they have suspended investigation of other events, or discipline/counseling generally? Where does a government official get the right to force a private party to continue to confer thousands of dollars’ worth of benefits to another party who is in breach of the contract? If your
  22. No, and it’s kind of dishonest of you to put words in my mouth. Procedure is important, and BYU’s failure to observe it is a problem. That said, a sense of perspective is appropriate. Barney was not terminated because she was raped; she was terminated because she was caught trying to defraud BYU. And BYU could have gotten the same info by suing Barney for fraud and then subpoenaing the police report as part of the discovery process. And it’s not like BYUPD was passing around nekked pics of murdered coeds, the way the U of U PD was just caught doing (with nary a peep from DPS).
  23. A point of order: Barney was not terminated from BYU “for being raped.” She was terminated because the Honor Code Office had received information about her prior sexual escapades (apparently, tipped off by at least one of her disgusted roommates). The rape was tangentially pertinent, in HCO’s eyes, because the police report (and later, Barney’s trial testimony) confirmed that immediately before being raped she had engaged in voluntary oral sex with her assailant (well, alleged assailant. He was acquitted at trial). HCO said “look, notwithstanding what happened that day, we nee
  24. All I know is, Dallin Oaks—who in all likelihood makes less money than John Dehlin—can’t go anywhere in public without having a security guy in tow. John Dehlin, AFAIK, can.
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