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smac97

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    My name is Spencer Macdonald

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  1. "A talented defense attorney" would not need two hours to "lay it all out." Thanks, -Smac
  2. I can't help it if we've re-hashed, many times over, the criticisms you and others want to bring up. I don't feel we should apologize for having previously considered, studied, and reached an informed conclusion about criticisms that have been hashed and re-hashed. If and when there is something new and substantive to consider, I'm happy to give it a go. By way of example, a while back there was some discussion about a BYU undergrad who felt she had uncovered a "smoking gun" in terms of Joseph Smith's purported reliance on a biblical commentary. We discussed it quite a bit. Online forums can be frustrating. It happens. In broad strokes? Yes. I have been married to my wife for nearly 25 years. At this point I feel comfortable in saying that my mind is "made up" about her. I have spent a lot of time with her. I have communicated with her on a daily basis for a quarter century. We are raising six children together. We have experienced health problems, financial problems, employment problems, and also many blessings and victories. We've been through thick and thin together. I have seen her at her best (pretty much all of the time), at her worst, and in between. So yes, my mind is made up about her. And my conclusions are informed by actual knowledge and experience. Similarly, I have been a member of the Church all my life. I've had good and bad experiences in it. Struggles and blessings. Challenges and comforts. I have studied the doctrines and the history a lot. I served a mission. I have served in many callings since then. I have been on this board since 2004 and have racked up nearly 13,000 posts discussing / dissecting / scrutinizing / celebrating / defending the Church. My mind is made up about it, and my conclusions are informed by actual knowledge and experience. I am open to further information about the Church. If I wanted an echo chamber, if I only wanted to have my biases confirmed, I sure would not come to this board. Are you sure? In a previous post I specifically said: "Is it possible that Pres. Nelson has embellished the account? Yes." How, then, can you say that I have concluded that Pres. Nelson is "not embellishing?" I did? Okay. And I have acknowledged, and acknowledge again, that this is a possibility. But is it also possible that there are alternative, or additional, considerations in play? That the CAB report was incomplete or inaccurate? That the CAB report was likely not based on CAB/NTSB investigation? That SkyWest may have had an incentive to downplay the seriousness of the incident? I have acknowledged the possibility that aligns with your opinion/expectations. Are you willing to consider possibilities that do not? A conclusion about an incident that happened 45 years ago? A conclusion based on a few lines in a CAB report? A report that was almost certainly hearsay? A report based on information given by a tiny and financially struggling airline, that may have had an incentive to downplay the seriousness of the incident when reporting it to the CAB? A report about an engine failure on an airplane that had been preceded by another failure a few weeks before, and was followed by another one a few weeks after? A report that seems to contradict itself (it notes that \"{i}nvestigation revealed cylinder base studs {in the engine} sheered" but, on the other, that there was "{n}o damage to aircraft")? Why? It's your story. It's your attempt to disparage Pres. Nelson's character. Why is it our obligation to chase down these things? I do think the personal attacks on you were inappropriate, and I ask the board folks here to ease up. Thanks, -Smac
  3. So the controversy seems to center on purported discrepancies between Pres. Nelson's various retellings of the story and the summary listed in the Civil Aeronautics Board ("CAB") record. A few thoughts: 1. Unlike Paul H. Dunn's stories, the story about the airplane mishap was not particularly self-aggrandizing. Pres. Nelson didn't do anything heroic. He was calm in the face of death. 2. Unlike Paul H. Dunn's stories, the story about the airplain mishap did not involve any overtly miraculous claim or component. 3. Paul H. Dunn publicly retracted and apologized for his embellishments/falsehoods. 4. The purported embellishments, assuming they exist, do not seem to be "material" (as in "having real importance or great consequences"). The incident really did seem to have happened. The worst possible reading was that engine did not "explode," and there was no "fire." As to the former, "explode" can, I suppose, mean different things to different people. And we are discussing an event that happened 45 years ago. And the incident did result in at least "sheared" cylinder base studs. That sounds . . . serious. 5. Cinepro raises some good points about the nature of memory. 6. The possibility of inaccuracy and/or omissions in the CAB record deserves some consideration. Did the CAB have a representative on the ground in Delta when the flight landed? How did it get the information about what had happened? Who provided the information? Was there an actual investigation? Was the NTSB involved? Apparently not. The investigative function of the CAB, later abolished in 1985, was apparently taken over by the NTSB in 1967. Even today, the NTSB - tasked with air accident investigation duties - has a grand total of 400 employees and four offices (Anchorage, Federal Way (Washington), Denver and Ashburn (Virginia). So exactly how rigorous was the investigation of the 1976 incident? 7. And about about SkyWest Airlines? It was just over four years old, having been established in April 1972 and having a "fleet" of "a 2-seat Piper Cherokee 140, a 6-seat Cherokee Six, a 4-seat Cherokee Arrow, and a 6-seat Piper Seneca." In 1973 the Seneca was replaced with a 9-seat Piper Navajo Chieftan. 1974 was a difficult year, despite Sky West's growth. 1975 was described as "efforts fail to sell or even give away SkyWest, losses reach $300,000" and "{r}eorganization takes place by cutting overhead costs and personnel, and selling 3 aircraft and the Moab FBO." 1976, the year of the incident described above, was described as: "First profitable year! Net income is $17,097." So SkyWest was struggling during this period. And the notes above show that their inventory of aircraft experience had three separate engine failures within a five-week span, one of which was the incided described here. Given these circumstances, would there have been an incentive for SkyWest to downplay the seriousness of the incident in its report to the CAB? We report, you decide! 8. Overall, this does not seem like much of an indictment against Pres. Nelson. If anything, it shows that the critics of the Church are really scraping the bottom of the barrel in looking for things to criticize about Pres. Nelson. Splinters under the fingernails and everything. Thanks, -Smac
  4. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1992/05/doors-of-death?lang=eng (1992 first-person account by Pres. Nelson) : https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/friend/1994/06/most-important?lang=eng (1994 first-person account by Pres. Nelson) : Spencer J. Condie, Russell M. Nelson: Father, Surgeon, Apostle, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003 (culled from another message board) : https://www.thechurchnews.com/archives/2004-09-18/gospel-principles-vital-to-correct-living-94995 (2004 second-hand account of remarks made by Pres. Nelson) : https://www.deseret.com/2006/4/15/19948411/death-is-part-of-life-ex-surgeon-says (2006 second-hand account of remarks made by Pres. Nelson) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=EMwKxmTLaCs&ab_channel=TheChurchofJesusChristofLatter-daySaints (2011 first-person audio account by Pres. Nelson) : https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/president-nelson-shares-5-lessons-life-has-taught-me-with-49000-in-safeco-field?lang=eng (2018 second-hand account of remarks made by Pres. Nelson) : https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2018-09-03/president-nelson-delivers-historic-message-to-dominican-latter-day-saints-in-spanish-8931 (2018 second-hand account of remarks made by Pres. Nelson) : https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2018-10-26/president-nelson-finds-church-thriving-in-uruguay-thanks-to-multiple-generations-of-members-missionaries-156122 (2019 second-hand account of remarks made by Pres. Nelson in Spanish) : https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/president-nelson-argentina-2019 (2019 second-hand account of remarks made by Pres. Nelson in Spanish) : https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2021/03/a-free-fall-death-spiral.html (quoting from a second-hand source, Sheri Dew, Insights from a Prophet’s Life: Russell M. Nelson (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019)) : https://youtu.be/bACX8BXHuEs (2021 first-person account by Pres. Nelson) (transcription from this published account, nearly verbatim with the video) : From the 1976 Civil Aeronautices Board report: A partial transcript (mine) : November 11, 1976 was a Thursday, and November 12 a Friday. Per the Sheri Dew book (quoted above), Pres. Nelson took a flight on November 12, the same day as the inauguration event he was attending (see here). The chances of there being two small aircraft problems on two consecutive days, both going from SLC to St. George, both ending up as an emergency landing in Delta, seems . . . remote. So the above-referenced account of an incident happening on November 11 likely corresponds to the incident described by Pres. Nelson. Is it possible that Pres. Nelson has embellished the account? Yes. Is it possible that Sky West, a small regional airline, having had their inventory of aircraft experience three separate engine failures within a five-week span, might have undersold the severity of the incidents in their official reports to the Civil Aeronautics Board? Also yes. Is there perhaps something of a discrepancy in the CAB report, which states, on the one hand, that "{i}nvestigation revealed cylinder base studs sheered" but, on the other, that there was "{n}o damage to aircraft"? Also yes. Thanks, -Smac
  5. There are plenty of people who are not interested in joining our faith, but who like and respect us, and/or who want to work with us in areas of common interest and belief, etc. I agree it shouldn't be that way. But unfortunately for us it is. I'm not sure I understand. There seems to be a mixed bag here. A person who wants to "worship" with the Latter-day Saints will have some difficulty doing so without moving toward the "unity of faith" espoused by Paul. The saving ordinances matter. New scripture matters. Living prophets and apostles matter. That said, there sure seems to be an awful lot that we can do together. We can work alongside each other. We can pray together. We can support the sick and the needy. "We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof." (AoF 1:5.) I think the restoration of the Priesthood, and the attendant founding and maintaining of the Church, are important parts of the Restoration. We can't baptize without authority. We cannot bless and pass the Sacrament without authority. We can't officiate in temple ordinances without authority. We can't receive new scripture without authority. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23.) I believe the will of God was to restore priesthood authority and other vital things through Joseph Smith, to establish a church lead by prophets and apostles vested with that authority, to call and set apart missionaries to preach the Restored Gospel, to build and enter into temples to officiate in sacred ordinances for our dead, to tithe into the Lord's storehouse, and so on. These are wonderful things. They are not preferences or traditions. They are mandates. The Restored Gospel is built on and around the concept of authority. "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord." (Ephesians 2:19-21.) I have spent quite a bit of time interacting with and talking with people on the "outside ... looking in." And I have had to have my own journey to internalize the Restored Gospel. To catch the vision of it, or some of the vision. I think I have some idea. Thanks, -Smac
  6. "Exclusive" in what sense? "{The Lord} doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." (2 Nephi 26:33.) We are putting tremendous time/money/effort in "invit{ing} all to come unto Christ" (D&C 20:59), which doesn't jibe us being "exclusive" in a cliquish or exclusionary way. We are also trying hard to work ecumenically with other religious groups. However, if you were to say that "the LDS Church was exclusive" in terms of its claims to priesthood authority, then yes, we are. Not really. It shouldn't be that way. There are plenty of people who are not interested in joining our faith, but who like and respect us, and/or who want to work with us in areas of common interest and belief, etc. Thanks, -Smac
  7. Isn't that an ontological difference? "They always chose the right," whereas we "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and therefore need the Atonement. Agreed. I'm not particularly bothered by this. It's just a doctrinal itch I thought I'd scratch a bit. Thanks, -Smac
  8. Perhaps this helps: "I believe the Church is 'true' in that I believe it is what it claims to be." What it "claims to be" is a divinely-restored organization led by prophets and apostles who have priesthood authority restored through angelic ministrants. What it does not claim to be is a pristinely perfect and fully-formed organization, led and populated by infallible and flawless men and women. D&C 1:30 has the Lord describing the Church as "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually." Critics seem to think that this passage can be rebutted/negated by pointing to flaws and errors of the Church's leaders and members. This has never worked for me, particularly given the subsequent description: The Church being "true" is not equivalent to the Church and its members being perfect and without flaw. Yes. Again from D&C 1: "The Church" pertains to that which was established by Joseph Smith. I don't think we stray too far from the normative, from-the-dictionary meaning of "true." But I agree that the statement seems pretty broad. I therefore construe "the Church is true" as essentially a declaration of belief that "the Church is what it claims to be." Yep. I think we previously had some negative perspectives on "the greater Christian community," the early Saints having been mistreated by that community over and over again. Later, we had leaders that created dichotomous notions that sort of linger to this day (Elder Bruce R. McConkie comes immediately to mind). Another influence is the concept of the Great Apostasy. We may cumulatively have a facile and substantially inaccurate perception of it. From The Encyclopedia of Mormonism: There were plenty of good and decent believers in Jesus Christ on the earth subsequent to the loss of the priesthood and prior to its restoration. There was much light and truth given during this period. Nevertheless, we believe the authority to act in God's name and officiate in saving ordinances was lost for a great while. That does not mean, however, that many of the core doctrines and precepts of Christianity did not continue. I think if you construe "true" with restored priesthood authority, with having living prophets and apostles, then it becomes easier to understand. Latter-day Saints and Mennonites share many beliefs, yes? Many, but not all. The distinctive doctrines and practices of the Latter-day Saints generally trace into the concept of the restoration of things that were lost or previously unrevealed. The priesthood. Living prophets and apostles. The Book of Mormon. Temple work. I don't think that comparison works very well. There is an exclusivistic element in the Church being "true" that is absent here. That element is . . . priesthood authority. Well, sorta. "True" as an adective helps define and describe the Church. The Church as "truth" is more of a metaphorical comparison, and one that doesn't quite work for me. It has notes of infallibility that I'm not quite comfortable with. Good questions. They made me think a lot. Thanks, -Smac
  9. Thank you for your well thought out response. I guess we have been around the block on this one before. 2016! Amazed you remembered that discussion. Having been on this board a while, I've noticed that we do tend to re-visit issues and arguments now and again. Reasonable minds can disagree about all sorts of things, including important things. I have been reading and making apologetic arguments for many years, and have not felt they constitute or require "strain and work and jumping through ... hoops with mental gyrations." There are gaps in our grasp of the Plan of Salvation, yes. Some things, many even, have not been revealed to us. And there are some flaws in our understanding of what has been revealed to us. And we have made plenty of mistakes in implementing the Restored Gospel in our lives and in our dealings with each other. Maybe the difference in our experiences arises partially from a difference in expectations. You seem to have expectations of the probative value of apologetic arguments that are considerably higher than mine. Consider your comments in this thread about "plausibility," which you seem to hold in low regard. You speak of "the apologist acts with certainty and is only interested is some small level of plausibility." And "apologetics is just to raise the truth of where faith is placed to simple plausibility." And "I don't know of many disciplines that approach truth seeking in such a way." I can't help but think that if you were to re-visit your expectations about what apologetics can and cannot do, and about its subordinate status (relative to faith and personal revelation), and also about the probative value of "plausibility," you might come away with a different perspective on things. Alas, "fraud" is anything but "simple," either in the abstract or in the particular. In the law, fraud is never presumed, Territorial Sav. & Loan ***'n v. Baird, 781 P.2d 452, 462 (Utah Ct. App. 1989), nor cannot it be based on “mere suspicion or innuendo,” Taylor v. Gasor, Inc., 607 P.2d 293, 294–95 (Utah 1980) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Instead, a claimant must prove all nine prima facie elements by “clear and convincing evidence.” Embassy Grp., Inc. v. Hatch, 865 P.2d 1366, 1371 (Utah Ct. App. 1993) (citation omitted). Black's Law Dictionary defines “clear and convincing evidence” as “[e]vidence indicating that the thing to be proved is highly probable or reasonably certain. This is a greater burden than preponderance of the evidence, the standard applied in most civil trials, but less than evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, the norm for criminal trials.” Black's Law Dictionary 636 (9th ed. 2009). And even putting the law aside, your proposed "simple answer" circumvents the evidence, rather than addresses it. This takes us back to DCP's point: Your proposed theory of fraud sidesteps the evidence. The Plates. The Three Witnesses. The Eight Witnesses. The content of the text. Its complexity. Hebraisms. Chiasmus. Narrative structure. Internal consistency (chronology, geospatial relationships, etc.). Etymological hits. Later evidence of metal plates. Nahom/Bountiful. The Valley of Lemuel. Olive culture. Mesoamerican fortifications. Cement in Mesoamerica. The Seal of Mulek. Barley. Skousen's Critical Text Project. And then there are the flaws in the alternative theories. Joseph Smith was a fool, Joseph Smith was a genius, Solomon Spaulding, Ethan Smith, conspiracies, and so on. Again from Daniel Peterson: You have "stake{d} out your own explanation." You said: "the simple answer that it is based on fraud seems the logical conclusion." The lawyer in me can't go along with that. "Fraud" doesn't account for the plates, or the witnesses. "Fraud" would require either A) Joseph being a brilliant writer in his 20s and metallurgist (neither proposition is borne out by what we know about him, which is quite a bit), or B) Joseph being involved a substantial conspiracy for which we have zero evidence. "Fraud" doesn't account for the internal evidences in the text. Of course, this is all secondary and ancillary. Elder Maxwell was, I think, substantively correct: "It is the author’s opinion that all the scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, will remain in the realm of faith. Science will not be able to prove or disprove holy writ. However, enough plausible evidence will come forth to prevent scoffers from having a field day, but not enough to remove the requirement of faith. Believers must be patient during such unfolding." Apologetics comes later. It's a supplemental form of inquiry. It is not intended to "remove the requirement of faith." It is intended to add to and strengthen faith after the seed has been planted. This is not at all a fair characterization of the value and role of apologetics. Elder Holland put it well: You are creating an either/or dichotomy. Faith but not reason. Faith but not rational and critical thought. That's not what we believe. And that's not the purpose of apologetics. I invite you to give this some further consideration. Your conclusion of "fraud," with its attendant requirement of a substantial-but-never-detected conspiracy, is antithetical to what you are saying here. Your proposed explanation is very complex. And it is quite lacking in evidence. And it is not coherent when examined (in all my years of reading "it's all a fraud" declarations, I have not seen a systematic explanation, just the conclusory assertion). And it doesn't account for the evidence we do have. I don't think you can have it both ways. You can't attribute the origins of the Book of Mormon to a highly complex, evidence-free theory of conspiracy and fraud (that does not address, and often contradicts, extant evidence), and then say that this is a "simple" Occam's-Razor-esque explanation. I hope you come back around. Put aside the apologetics and criticisms (for the time being, anyway). Go back to the beginning. Thanks, -Smac
  10. I think qualified immunity should A) be codified (at the state level), rather than used as a judicially-created doctrine, and B) should be limited to law enforcement and first responders who - unlike yahoos in the academy - are sometimes required to make split-second decisions in emergent, heat-of-the-moment circumstances. Thanks, -Smac
  11. Not sure if this has been posted: I've repeatedly expressed the hope that Latter-day Saints will step away from and disavow both the #DezNat hashtag and its associated problematic themes and behaviors. We as Latter-day Saints need to be clear about these things. It would also help to heed the prophetic counsel we have received against uncivil behavior, racism, coars communications, and so on. Thanks, -Smac
  12. I assume you are referencing this: Interesting stuff. Thanks, -Smac
  13. Explanation. Defense of. That's the gist. The gravamen. Yes. Empiricism doesn't really work in a first-order-of-business kind of way when evaluating the existence of God, ascertaining His will concerning and interactions with us, and so on. Sure. More to the point, I actually have altered a number of my beliefs consequent to reading or participating in adversarial/apologetic discussion and treatment of those things. Thanks, -Smac
  14. Sure. Confirmation bias. But surely the risk of that swings both ways? Moreover, "apologetics" doesn't seem to to do that much. To the contrary, a lot of Latter-day Saint apologetics includes all sorts of concessions. "We don't know (or don't know much) about..." "Our leaders were human and made/make mistakes..." That sort of thing. I have spent many years listening to critics and opponents of the Church, partly as a means of countering the risk of confirmation bias. I have found ample grounds to accept, and exercise faith in the tenets of the Restored Gospel. Many of the critiques of my faith are predicated on assumptions I do not hold or share, on conjecture and guesswork, on flimsy evidence and reasoning. I have found the following essays quite helpful in this regard: The Reasonable Leap into Light: A Barebones Secular Argument for the Gospel (Daniel Peterson) I Don’t Have a Testimony of the History of the Church (Davis Bitton) The Logic Tree of Life, or, Why I Can’t Manage to Disbelieve (Daniel Peterson) Basic Methodological Problems with the Anti-Mormon Approach to the Geography and Archaeology of the Book of Mormon (William Hamblin) I'm not sure they are saying that. Kenngo spoke of "engaging in reasonable extrapolations of the evidence to provide plausible explanations for what, as yet, we don't know for certain." Glenn: "Apologetics is not intended to convince skeptics. Just to provide plausible answers, when possible, to problems that are advanced against the Restoration. And you are correct that faith and a spiritual affirmation is the only real answer, at least in this life." Maestrophil: "I don't need to fret if I can't nail one explanation down as fact. I can hold out that the is AN explanation out there somewhere and my faith is sufficient until that truth is revealed to me. In other words it created fields of plausibility that buttress my faith." I just found a discussion I had with you back in 2016 on this same topic: Well, maybe this comes down to discomfort about terminology. "Fantastical" has more than a pejorative whiff about it. Here's the dictionary definition: I would perhaps say instead that the truth claims of The Book of Mormon are bold. Audacious. You are skeptical, and so run the risk of confirmation bias to reinforce your skepticism, right? And we face the same risk going the other way. More from that discussion: I guess we have divergent views on what "fantastical" means, then (or perhaps about its connotations). I'm not sure it is. I feel no obligation to stake out a position on the Loch Ness Monster, or conspiracy theories about the Kennedy Assassination, or about any number of controversial issues. However, if I venture into a discussion about one of those issues, and if I stake out a position on the controversy, and if I proceed to attempt to persuade people to my point of view, then I have assumed such an obligation for myself. DCP put it this way (emphasis added): I think DCP makes a fair point. I welcome you to join in discussions about The Book of Mormon. I welcome critiques of my position on The Book of Mormon. But if you are going to meaningfully contribute to the discussion, then I think you need to defend positions that you stake out for yourself. If your position about The Book of Mormon is that it has naturalistic origins, great! Let's talk about it! (I assume you are not agnostic/indifferent/ambivalent about this topic in the way I am agnostic/indifferent/ambivalent about topics like the Kennedy Assassination.) But if you refuse to defend your position, then you really aren't meaningfully contributing to the discussion. This is why I think it is "intellectually incumbent" upon each of us to use reasoning and evidentiary analysis, rather than "guerrila warfare . . . never defend{ing} territory"-style tactics as described by DCP. ... As audacious (or "fantastic" if you insist upon it) as the truth claims about The Book of Mormon are, the alternative theories are even more so, even less plausible. Hence Dr. Peterson's statement about why he "can't manage to disbelieve." The LDS Church has both a claimed witness of the Spirit on an individual/personal level, and also supplemental, ancillary analysis of The Book of Mormon and its origins. Meanwhile, the critics have . . . well, not much of anything to offer in contravention. After nearly 200 years, you'd think they'd have some coherent theory, but they don't. I find that interesting. Yep. Secular disciplines? Sure. But discerning truth from God doesn't fit into an empirical mold very well, does it? Yes. I've been doing that for many, many years. I quoted Elder Maxwell previously: "It is the author’s opinion that all the scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, will remain in the realm of faith. Science will not be able to prove or disprove holy writ. However, enough plausible evidence will come forth to prevent scoffers from having a field day, but not enough to remove the requirement of faith. Believers must be patient during such unfolding." In the absence of sure knowledge, I am quite content with acting on and proceeding in faith. But that means I need to accommodate the possibility that what I believe is not what it claims to be. I'm quite okay with that. Yep. It's more a rhetorical flourish than substantive declaration, but it does tend to have the side effect of creating/maintaining unrealistic expectations. Thanks, -Smac
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