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Everything posted by smac97

  1. Perhaps. Perhaps not. I don't know either way. John Dehlin fought his excommunication, even though he didn't believe in the Church at the time. Then she shouldn't be doing what she is doing. Publicizing her membership council was not a smart move. That's not quite correct, or at least it's incomplete or misleading a bit. See here: I guess this may come down to an issue of semantics. A couple is "sealed" together for time and eternity, but the efficacy of that sealing is conditioned on the ratification of it by The Holy Spirit of Promise (which, in turn, is conditi
  2. Income and fortunes are very different things. Yes, but clearly they are interrelated. "Fortune" is an imprecise term. I had a great-uncle who died with some millions in the bank. Relative to me, he was worth a "fortune." But compared to Bezos or Zuckerberg or Gates or Musk, my great-uncle's bank balance was pretty weak tea. If John Dehlin makes $200,000 per year, that's pretty darn good. And that probably doesn't involve his clinical work (if he does any) or his wife's income (if she works). He's near the top in terms of income for the United States, which in turn is
  3. Fortune? Bwaaahahahah! IIRC, someone said John Dehlin makes $200k/yr. That would put him in the 96th income percentile in the United States (see here). He appears to be married with four children (see here). According to this calculator, an income of $200k (assuming his wife does not work) would put him in the 98.7 percentile, which is "more than 19.2 times the global median." Thanks, -Smac
  4. As I said we don't agree on this. Except my position is more congruent with the evidence at hand. And have not merely declared my position, I have explained the reasoning and analysis pertaining to it. And yet here you are, calling a quiet and somber meeting "heavy handed." Calling constraints on or termination of voluntarily membership in a religion "heavy handed." Again, there is no violence or force, or the threat of violence or force, in the Church's disciplinary proceedings. There is no threat to the individual's liberty, health, property, or life. There is no t
  5. No she isn't. Not anything close to that. Yes she is. Totally. No, she isn't. How many other members of the Church are situated, career-wise, similar to Natasha Helfer-Parker in the U.S.? Thousands, I'd wager. How many of them are "being disciplined for practicing her profession based on the best science and recommendations of her professions?" In the absence of some massive and ongoing pogrom against therapists in the Church, I think it's reasonable to infer that Helfer-Parker is being disciplined for something more than "practi
  6. Why is it "needless?" And on what facts do you disagree? I agree that the Church is a "high demand religion," and I am grateful for it. It infuses its doctrines pertaining to God, individual choice and conduct, relationships with others, and so on with real meaning and import. My life is made richer and better for the impact the Church has on me, on my decisions, my conduct, my relationships with others, my relationship with God. Similarly, I am in a "high demand" relationship with a group of people. My wife and children. Virtually all of my time is taken up taking care o
  7. I am reminded of the story of Naaman in 2 Kings. Elisha the Prophet sent a messenger to him and told him that his (Naaman's) leprosy could be cured if he bathed seven times in the Jordan River. Naaman's reaction, and the response from Elisha's servant, merit attention: Was Pres. Nelson's counsel to us as seemingly arbitrary and futile as what Elisha told Naaman to do? Nope. Not be a long shot. His 2018 talk, The Correct Name of the Church, goes into some detail about his reasoning: Is the name of the Church "of great importance?" Is how we designate ourselves and the
  8. This is a bit rich in the context of this thread. I don't understand your comment here. I was speaking of the general purpose of the policy of confidentiality, which is to protect both the individual and the Church. Now, there are times when an individual involved in a disciplinary proceeding may want to turn the meeting into a publicity stunt, either for self-aggrandizement, or to injure the reputation of the Church, or for a combination of reasons. Such motivations are inappropriate, and are not grounds for creating an exception to the rule. Again, the Church is con
  9. A reasonable measure, that. The stake president was likely cognizant of past attempts to convert a membership council into a publicity stunt, as her friend John Dehlin did. I given that Helfer-Parker was apparently headed down that road, reasonable precautions were appropriate. Thanks, -Smac
  10. Not at all. It's a private religious meeting. On the Church's property. And it involves topics and information that is very sensitive and private. No. It is a meeting conducted by the Church. By its representatives. On its property. It is eminently reasonable that the Church prohibit recording in such a context. Nobody is allowed to record the proceedings. It is as much for the benefit of the individual as the Church. I don't think that's an accurate characterization. Thanks, -Smac
  11. https://www.kfvs12.com/2021/04/18/crews-battle-fire-church-jesus-christ-latter-day-saints-cape-girardeau/ More: https://www.kmov.com/news/person-in-custody-after-missouri-church-goes-up-in-flames/article_17bb3c78-a0fe-11eb-8232-7f63a9f0127e.html https://www.semissourian.com/story/2878245.html https://www.semissourian.com/gallery/38531 Boy, these news items come up more frequently than I would like. January 2021 (California) : September 2020 (Utah) : May 2020 (Hawaii) : January 2020 (South Dakota) : June 2019 (New Mexico) :
  12. If church court including high priests were so critical then there would be a standard for all. There isn’t. I don't understand what you are saying here. Could you clarify? But it is the job for others to judge because that is part of their responsibilities and stewardship. That was my point I was not aware. I am sorry to hear that. I can see your point. When you said, in a discussion about disciplinary councils, "someone's salvation is quite literally none of our business" and "I can see the necessity for limiting membership based on anti-church
  13. It's not a perfect comparison, but there are some similarities. Well, yes. But more than that. Courts are also intended to sort out disputes. And determine guilt or innocence. And mete out sentences and judgments. That is simply not so. The Lord has involved all of us in each other's salvation. What else is missionary work? Temple work? Marriage? Administration of saving ordinances? Serving each other in church callings? Serving our fellow man in humanitarian and other ways? As for disciplinary councils, they are very much part and parcel of the Restored Gos
  14. Except that you are not merely commenting on your own personal experience. You are extrapolating and impugning the entirety of the Church. Surely you see the difference? Yeah, kinda skeptical here. And yet you are condemning the entirety of the Church for the purported misconduct of one stake president. I find that myopic and facile, particulary since you are being told by several other people with as much or more experience with Church discipline that your characterization does not fit how things are handled elsewhere in the Church. Strange, then, that you are conde
  15. Yep. I am aware of a number of instances where discipline was appropriate or necessary, but the local leadership was reluctant to do their job for one reason or another. In most instances, I'd like to think that the foot-dragging is attributable to the kindness of the local leaders, who are not keen on conducting an unpleasant, but necessary, disciplinary council. That rather militates against the nasty characterizations of the Church by Fair Dinkum and others, who portray the Church as nearly bloodthirsty in its zeal to hound sinners from our midst. That just ain't so. We want peopl
  16. A stake-level council can be held if A) the person is endowed and B) the loss of membership is "likely." This suggests that the charge against her is for some sort of apostasy. Thanks, -Smac
  17. You are presenting outrageous misrepresentations and distortions about how the Church handles disciplinary matters. Have you stopped beating your wife yet? Are you still into skinning puppies and lighting them on fire? Why do you hate black people and homosexuals? I'll answer your loaded question as soon as you answer mine. A simple yes or no will do. {/sarcasm} The Church's disciplinary process is about as "loving, private and compassionate" as can be. Let's take a look at the Church's explanation for disciplinary procedures. From Section 32.2 of the H
  18. Same here. But then, I also felt some real compassion for my friend who was required to appear in court to answer serious criminal charges, to admit in a public record that he had committed the crimes, and to then receive a sentence from the court to serve several years in prison, and to then be approached by armed deputies and - in front of his wife and extended family and friends - turned around and handcuffed and escorted out of the room and later to a bus to be transported to prison. All that was very hard on him. I have an acute memory of standing outside the courtroom with my
  19. I'm skeptical of that. Disciplinary (now "Membership") Councils are quiet, solemn affairs. Here's the current process (not hugely different from how things have been done in the past) : Despite having participated in several dozens of councils, not a single one was contested. Every one involved an individual who was penitent and who did not dispute the substance of the misconduct (usually having confessed to it beforehand). I did participate in one council where one person on the council asked one question that was somewhat inappropriate. It was clearly not a malicious q
  20. Oh, that's too bad. There are some timelessly good TNG episodes, such as The Measure of a Man, The Inner Light, Best of Both Worlds, and All Good Things. Thanks, -Smac
  21. So have I. I've long come to exactly the opposite conclusion, namely, that membership councils are essential to the long-term viability of the Church. I've explained my reasoning here: As I have said before, I don't want members to leave the Church. I want them in it. I want everyone in it. But we are a community of faith. We cohere around faith. When we disregard apostasy we weaken our community. DonBradley (who left the Church and later returned to it) commented on this sentiment here: Those who know my personal history and the tenor of my posting in the la
  22. Yes, I know who she is. I was wondering as to the accuracy of her public recounting of the bases for the membership council. In the last many years I've observed John Dehlin, Kate Kelly, Sam Young and others all "go public" with their disciplinary matters. There were any number of instances where self-serving characterizations were later falsified. Kate Kelly was particularly bad about this. So I guess I am a little reticent to take her say-so as definitive. But then I'm not particularly want to get into the nitty-gritty either. I don't think she should be publicizing the dis
  23. A lot of assumptions build in here. The purpose of General Conference is to hear from the leaders of the Church. Generally, I think it is. That's what "General Conference" means. It is for those who have stewardship over the entirety of the Church to address . . . the entirety of the Church. That does not mean that exceptions cannot be made. That has happened here and there (I recall there being a few youth speakers a few years back). But they would be just that: exceptions to the rule. They are not "the general authorities and general officers of the Church." We don
  24. Yes, in this very thread. I explained my position in the first instance. And then, when you complained that I had not "elaborated" on a term, I provided links to where I had, in fact elaborated. And now I've done that a second time. If you complaint about something I have said, and then fail to read what I have said after I say it again (by providing links to it, as I have now done twice), then yes, I am expecting you to know what I have said. So am I. You attributed to me something I did not say, and then complained that I had not explained what I did say, when in fact I
  25. My good friend's husband is the bishop. He dutifully spends 90% of his time with the youth and delegates as much as possible to his EQ leader and RS pres as directed over a year ago. He tells his ward members that the RS president has priesthood authority to act and that they should trust her leadership. That's much the way things are in many other wards in the Church. What makes you think it isn't? You think bishops are looking for more work? Relief Society Presidents have all sorts of (though not unlimited) autonomy to work with the sisters in the ward, and bishops i
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