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About smac97

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    Creates Man & Woman

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    My name is Spencer Macdonald

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  1. Apparently in response to the George Floyd issue, the mayor of Salt Lake ordered some policy changes for the police department: Hmm. I'll be interested to see how this pans out, and how experts in law enforcement feel about it. I'm not sure what "necessary and imminent" means. The practical effect will likely be less use of deadly force. And that will be celebrated in some instances, and the source of outrage in others (such as when an innocent is killed because police, though on site, felt constrained from using deadly force until it was too late). I like the idea of imposing on officers the affirmative duty "to stop other officers who are about to use illegal or excessive force." Thanks, -Smac
  2. Yep. I've "known" some of you for years and years. And yet, never having met any of you face-to-face, we don't really have much of a "community" vibe. Thanks, -Smac
  3. Yep. I have a good friend who is single. He has really struggled with missing out on Sunday services. I also have a good friend who is a single mother. Working out the administration of the Sacrament has been a challenge for her. My wife is the YW president in our ward. They have had several video-conference activities with the young women, but it's just . . . not the same. Also, one of these young women is A) brand new to the YW program, B) from a Spanish-speaking home (though her English is pretty good), and C) on the cusp of losing her father to cancer. My wife has found it difficult to minister to this young woman, who is not familiar with her (my wife) and the other young women, who needs help in cultural assimilation and acclimation, and who really could use a lot of love and support as her father nears death. But as it stands, we can only do so much. It's kind of hard to foster feelings of community, fellowship, support, etc. when we only interact with each other through computer screens. Thanks, -Smac
  4. It's not an either/or scenario. Many of my "deeper friendships" have started out as "sincere, but shallow acquaintances." I think it is. Again, this is not an either/or situation. I have spent the last 10 years working mostly remotely. The impact it has had on my working relationships with co-workers has been acute and profound. That is to say, I don't really have much in the way of relationships with them, certainly not anything like I have enjoyed in past jobs or environments where regular, face-to-face interaction and collaboration is the way of things. Thanks, -Smac
  5. I spent 8+ years in our ward's bishopric. Yes, there were often long hours. But Sunday was still quite a joy. I enjoy recent Sundays as well. However, I miss the society and camaraderie of the other members of our ward. It's hard to built a community of faith when the community doesn't interact much. I think each has its strengths. That could well be. That will be unfortunate, but understandable. But for the covenants, and for finding far more that just "a social experience" in the Church, I probably would drift into inactivity. We live in an era in which there are all sorts of ways to fill our time. Some are healthy and productive, some are a bit frivolous or self-indulgent, some are a waste of time, some a destructive and toxic. Lots of distractions. All the more reason to remember and keep the covenants we have made. D&C 59 comes to mind: The shift to "home-centered, church-supported" worship is ongoing. I'm not sure that shift will entail a wholesale cancellation of Sunday services, though. The "church-supported" part is not going away, I think. We are a community of faith. We need to be around each other. Thanks, -Smac
  6. We've already reduced Sunday services to two hours. I think we should give that program more time to see how it pans out. There are a lot of people who very much enjoy Sunday services, and the opportunities to socialize with friends and fellow believers. An interesting idea. I dunno. We have 1-3 such meetings per quarter. That doesn't seem like a lot. And again, a lot of people appreciate and value firesides, etc. This kind of puts a strain on local leaders, particularly the bishopric. Our ward is quite good at keeping these meetings efficient and as brief as possible. I think ward council meetings need to stay on Sunday (though I'm not sure this is a rule). That way we maximize the number of people who can attend. The length and frequency of meetings seem to vary from place to place. Our ward's meetings are quite succinct and effective. Very little time wasted. Thanks, -Smac
  7. Could you elaborate on your reasoning here? What is "staggering?" Okay. How is that a problem? How do you know this? That is deeply troubling. Do you think "the family" should have publicized the transgressions of Joseph Neipp? Do you think the Church should have done so? I'm not trying to provoke or anything. I want to better understand your position. Thanks, -Smac
  8. No, it's not. Not legally anyway. In principle we did. Fully abolishing it took a while. Pretty much. The same can be said for the Constitution's treatment of blacks. What it did (originally) was at variance with what it should have done, with its underlying principles and philosophy. Fortunately, over time we revised and improved it to more better adhere to those principles. The same, I think, can be said with contemporary American capitalism. It has evolved and improved over time. And thank goodness for that. Thanks, -Smac
  9. I started this thread to discuss a press release. I'm not sure what you are talking about here. What do you mean by "port of harbor for that 10%"? 10% of what? What "mis-step of church leadership" are you referencing here? Who is "defend{ing} and enabl{ing}" this mis-step? Thanks, -Smac
  10. https://www.fox13now.com/news/local-news/provo-police-looking-to-identify-suspect-in-criminal-mischief-trespassing-at-latter-day-saint-temple Provo Police looking to identify suspect in criminal mischief/trespassing at Latter-day Saint temple PROVO, Utah -- Police in Provo are asking for the public's help in identifying a man who may be a suspect of trespassing and causing "criminal mischief" at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple. PROVO, Utah -- Police in Provo are asking for Provo Police tweeted Monday that they want to speak to the man, pictured above, as part of an investigation into trespassing and criminal mischief at the Provo Temple. The department is also investigating an incident early Monday morning where the driver of a white SUV fired multiple rounds at the main security booth of the church's Missionary Training Center directly across from the temple. Provo Police told FOX 13 they are suspicious that the two investigations could be connected, but nothing has officially connected them at this point.
  11. No, that's not what I think. Abuse within marriage is not a problem to be attributed to the institution of marriage itself, and is instead attributable to a misuse/distortion of the institution. Okay. That seems to be Meadhowchik's purpose and point (though I am open to correction on that). Sure. Just like abuse can exist in a marriage. That speaks to the flaws of the individual, and not an indictment of the institution itself. And again, I think capitalism is inherently incompatible with slavery. Sure seems like it. What is the statue of slavery in the United States? I quite disagree. History demonstrates that capitalism and slavery were incompatible, as evidenced by . . . the extinguishment of slavery 150+ years ago. Okay. Thanks, -Smac
  12. Sure. But not of the institution itself. Similarly, corrupted forms of "capitalism" (such as those instances which have allowed slavery to operate) can also be indicted. Why you think I have defended "a tragic and loathsome version of capitalism" is beyond me. I've done no such thing. Not even close. Huh? Why do you think I would disagree with that? You were the one issuing wholesale denunciations of "capitalism." "In terms of America history, racism is wrapped up in its capitalism. The ownership and exploitation of Black bodies to build wealth came first. Racism was the rationale used to continue it." "Do you think that American slavery was not intertwined with capitalism? Are you saying that slavery was not used to build wealth in the United States?" "Slavery was enabled by capitalism." Thanks, -Smac
  13. At one time God didn't want anyone to be a priest unless that person was male and a descendant of Aaron, Moses's brother. You can try to make a big deal about that now if you want to. I just can't get to where some seem to want to go, which is to attribute evil motives to God. I can't do it. I'm reminded of this statement by Joseph Smith: "Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is." We are simply not situated to supplant God's wisdom with ours (which is part and parcel of questions like "Whether {God} could do more to make the entire situation better"). I also have in mind these passages: "For my thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are your cays my days, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 55:8) "The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; when every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just." (Mosiah 16:1) "Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them..." (Mosiah 27:31) "O the pain, and the anguish of my soul for the loss of the slain of my people! For I, Nephi, have seen it, and it well nigh consumeth me before the presence of the Lord; but I must cry unto my God: Thy ways are just." (2 Nephi 26:7) "{W}e must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in his power, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men..." (Alma 12:15) "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works." (Jacob 4:10) I can't speak definitively about the origins of the priesthood ban. As I have said previously (several times), I think the ban was probably the product of 19th-century "racism" rather than revelation. We don't have a revelation for it. Joseph Smith ordained several black men to the priesthood. These and other factors inform my position on this issue. However, I can't say that this definitively. There have been, and continue to be, restrictions on priesthood ordination. I cannot attribute all of these to evil designs of men. I also cannot attribute them to God having evil motives. So the origins of the priesthood ban are a lacuna. The end of the priesthood ban, however, is plainly and unequivocally revelatory, and for that I am quite grateful and happy. Thanks, -Smac
  14. And spousal abuse exists within some marriages. That is not an indictment of marriage, though. In a sense, I suppose so. Have you ever heard of George Fitzhugh? From Wikipedia: With this context, let's take a look at this article by Phillip Magness: The Anti-Capitalist Ideology of Slavery: Fizhugh’s point was to inveigh against economic freedom and in defense of slavery. His radical tract sought to make out an elaborate ideological case for slave labor and indeed all aspects of social ordering. Such a system, he announced, would resolve the posited state of perpetual conflict between labor and the owners of capital by supplanting it with the paternalistic hierarchy of slavery — a model he advocated not only for the plantations of the South but also for adaptation to the factories of the Northeast. In total, Fitzhugh presented a horrifying vision of a national society reordered around the principle of chattel slavery. And as his introductory remarks announced, attainment of that society required the defeat of its remaining obstacle, the free market. Fitzhugh seemed to find "the free market" antithetical with the continuation of slavery. So what did Fitzhugh, and avowed and widely-known and -regarded advocate of slavery, think of capitalism? Well, yeah. That is a conundrum. If slavery in the South was "capitalistic," why did Fitzhugh find its greates threat in "the free market economic doctrines of Europe?" Why would he be so opposed to Adam Smith, etc.? 5% v. 50%. Potato, po-tah-to. And America's current "economic powerhouse" status is to be attributed to that 5% that ended in 1860? Why? Yep. There is an ulterior motive to attacking capitalism by tainting it with antebellum slavery. The advocates of this theory want to abolish capitalism and replace it with socialism/communism. They are using specious historical arguments about slavery as a pretext for that effort. "Capitalism" covers a fairly broad swath of economic behaviors. There it is again. Socialists/communists are hoping to persuade Americans that "capitalism" is evil so that they will turn against it in favor of . . . socialism/communism. Yeah. Kinda weird. If NHC thinks slavery is bad, why are they taking a position about 180 degrees opposite from Fitzhugh? He hated free market capitalism, which he saw (rightly, as it turns out) as a threat to a slavery-based economy. Again, very strange that the people who purport to be opposed to slavery as a great moral ill are expressing that opposition by attacking capitalism, which Fitzhugh viewed as incompatible with slavery. Here's where it gets interesting: The difference between the value of the laborer’s product and this substantially lower wage, Fitzhugh explained, provided a measure of the exploited share of his work. If this line of reasoning sounds familiar, it is due to a very real parallel between Fitzhugh’s formulation of the capital–labor relationship and that of another famous contemporary. Fitzhugh had effectively worked out the Marxian theory of “surplus value” over a decade before the publication of Marx’s own Capital (1867), and derived it from the same sweeping indictment of the free-labor capitalism. Fitzhugh, champion of justifying slavery in the antebellum South, was taking his cues on vilifying capitalism from . . . Karl Marx. The father of socialism/communism. This was not, I think, happenstance or coincidence. See here: As depraved and corrupt as I find socialism/communism, at least Marx did not predicate it as a slave-based alternative to capitalism. Fitzhugh, however, did. (Emphasis added.) Modern scholars are loathe to give credit to Christians like William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson, who championed the abolition of slavery as a moral and religious and humanitarian and Christian concern. They are also largely immunized from the free market, tenured hacks that they they are, and so are free to lambaste the very economic system that funds their lavish lifestyles. Stephen Davies has some interesting comments about slavery and capitalism: Abolition and capitalism shared a "common intellectual basis?" Slavery was dismantled by abolitionists who were motivated by that "intellectual basis" and by religious sentiment (Wilberforce, et al)? Such things really don't fit the narrative espoused by those hoping to push us away from capitalism (and religion) and toward socialism/communism. Thanks, -Smac
  15. I'm saying that slavery is fundamentally incompatible with free market capitalism. Thanks, -Smac
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