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Everything posted by smac97

  1. With respect, I disagree. As OGHoosier observed: "It's fashionable today to approach fields of study through a multiplicity of explicitly labelled perspectives: feminist perspectives on Field of Study X, decolonialist, Catholic social teaching, pragmatist, Jewish, etc." There is nothing wrong with adding a "Latter-day Saint perspective" to the list. Not explicitly or traditionally, perhaps. But so what? I'm not sure this is some sort of profound or out-of-left-field alteration to things at BYU. It has always been a religious institution. I doubt it. But even if that happens, the mission of BYU must supersede an individual's "research passions." Really? CFR, please. Out of curiosity, do you really care about this? Are you concerned about BYU losing "the best and brightest talent"? Thanks, -Smac
  2. BYU never provided that as an option. Perhaps that option is not BYU's to give. It's not like BYU could prohibit "tak{ing} it to the stake president" or "area authority." I think some accommodation might have been possible. I have a client who owns a small parcel of land adjacent to Aspen Grove in Provo Canyon (Aspen Grove being a "mountain retreat" facility owned and maintained by BYU). My client has had some challenges in working with BYU as a land neighbor (encroachments, water runoff problems, etc.). He went a while communicating with a VP at BYU, but then brought me on board. The VP wigged out a bit, saying that hiring an attorney (to help resolve a real estate dispute) amounted to an "escalation." It was . . . weird. We got it sorted out in the end, but it required a fair amount of out-of-the-box thinking, as well as participation by other groups (BYU's legal department, Utah County, etc.). BYU's bureaucratic systems can be as complex and messy and stupid as any other organization's, with errors made along the way. Because institutions like BYU occupy an unusual niche in the lives of some Church members (where "the Church" is both their religious association and their employer), I think particular attention ought to be paid to matters that touch on the Church-as-Both-Religion-and-Employer nexus. That may involve a bit more assertiveness and out-of-the-box thinking than is typically utilized when dealing with a bishop acting in his ecclesiastical capacity. FWIW, I am very sorry that this happened to your friend. Thanks, -Smac
  3. And also that LDS teach that God the Father is literally a father, where for Catholics that is a metaphor used to describe that which is very difficult to describe. Yes, that is so. Could you summarize what Catholics generally believe about Psalms 82:6 ("Ye are gods, children of the most High"), Acts 17:29 ("We are the offspring of God") and Hebrews 12:9 ("Be in subjection unto the Father of spirits")? These are only "metaphorical" in Catholic thought? Thanks, -Smac
  4. Here is a link to the Church's "Answer" to the Amended Complaint in the Wyoming litigation. Among other things, the Church A) states that all paintings in dispute "were the subject of complete conveyance of all right, title and interest to {the Church}," and B) denies that the Teichert estate has any legitimate copyright interest in the paintings in dispute. I doubt the Church's attorneys would make such assertions in writing unless there were really solid legal grounds to do so. On a somewhat unrelated note, the signature line of the Answer designates the Church as "THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, FKA {FORMERLY KNOWN AS} CORPORATION OF THE PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, AND FKA {FORMERLY KNOWN AS} CORPORATION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS." The entity currently showing on the Utah "Business Entity Search" website as "active" under the name "CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, THE" has a specific entity number (553976-0145), is listed as a "Corporation - Sole," is designated as "Active as of 07/13/1916," is designated under the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) coding scheme as "9999-Nonclassifiable Establishment," is listed as having a "former" name of "CORPORATION OF THE PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS," and also has the following as current DBAs ("doing business as"): CORPORATION OF THE PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS MILLENNIAL STAR NETWORK VERNON UTAH LIVESTOCK MORTGAGE LOAN SERVICE SALT LAKE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR, THE FARM MANAGEMENT COMPANY DESERET TRANSPORTATION LATTER-DAY SAINT PHILANTHROPIES BEEHIVE CLOTHING DESERET INDUSTRIES TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE, THE DESERET SOAP ELBERTA VALLEY AG. MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR DESERET PASTA JOSEPH SMITH MEMORIAL BUILDING LDS PHILANTHROPIES CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, THE LATTER-DAY SAINT HUMANITARIAN CENTER Thanks, -Smac
  5. From the Daily Universe: This is not the first time Tim Teichert has sued the Church. See here: Minerva Teichert's Grandson's Lawsuit Against the Church This other suit, originally filed in state court and later removed (transferred to) federal court in Wyoming, appears to be inactive, as there have been no filings since January 2022. Interesting, though unfortunate, stuff. Lawyers for Tim Teichert could not be reached for comment. Minerva Teichert was a famous 20th-century artist celebrated for her depictions of Western and religious subjects. She was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and became popular in the Church community for her illustrations of scriptural and pioneer events. Teichert donated many of her pieces to the Church and BYU throughout her life, with BYU even accepting paintings in place of tuition for some of her descendants. I will be interested to see what happens with these. Certainly the Church and BYU must be held to the same normative standards of the law as any other party. And though unlikely, it's not inconceivable that BYU has erred in terms of ownership, copyright, etc. Thanks, -Smac
  6. Here: I could see how Genesis 1:27 might create some measure of confusion: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." There are some biblical descriptions of God using "female" imagery or comparative allusions: Deuteronomy 32:11–12, 18 - "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. ... Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee." Isaiah 42:14 - "I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman..." Isaiah 49:14-15 - "But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." Isaiah 66:13 - "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem." Hosea 13:8 - "I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them." Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34 - "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" and "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!" All of these seem to be "feminine" metaphors. There are, of course, "masculine" metaphors as well. See, e.g., Psalm 103:13 ("Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him."), Proverbs 3:12 ("For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."), Luke 15:18 ("I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee."), I am not aware of any "feminine" pronouns in the Bible as referencing God. There are also some extensive references to God as "male" in the Bible. See, for example, 2 Samuel 7 (and 1 Chron. 17:13) : Also see: 2 Kings 2:12 - "And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof..." Matthew 23:9 - "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." Matthew 26:39, 42 - "And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. ... He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done."). Matthew 27:46 (and Mark 15:34) - "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" ("Eli" being a masculine noun). Luke 23:34, 46 - "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. ... And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.") John 5:19 - "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." Hebrews 1:1-3 - "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person..."). Hebrews 1:5 - "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?" Hebrews 12:9 - "Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" And many, many more. However, the grammatical gender setting seems to be a bit mixed. From Wikipedia: And apparently our Catholic friends have, since 1992, held the following position: Interesting stuff. I was not previously aware of this. Anyway, back to the article: Hmm. I don't see this ending well for our Anglican friends. It will alienate traditionalists and old-timers, and probably have little to no effect on the intended target: the younger - and ever-more-secularized-and-indifferent - set. This is an interesting perspective. Latter-day Saints appear to avoid these issues by teaching that "all human beings, male and female, are beloved spirit children of heavenly parents, a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother," and also that "{g}ender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." Thoughts? Thanks, -Smac
  7. Years ago, right out of high school, I joined the Army National Guard. I went to Basic Training in Missouri, then to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA to study Russian for 12 months. It was a pretty intense program, with about a 40-50% attrition rate. And as far as "Initial Entry Training" for military, it was very expensive. The soldier in training is paid, billeted and fed for the duration of the language training (6-18 months, depending on the language), and his transportation to/from, medical care, etc. are also paid for, along with the coasts associated with all the language teachers, logistical and support staff, and so on. Soldiers are also required to stay physically fit for the duration of the program. They are, after all, more than students studying a foreign language. I remember one fellow in my cohort of trainees who seemed to tick every box the Army would want to see for a a "soldier-linguist." He was doing quite well academically, and he was also quite physically fit. And yet at about five months into the program, he was kicked out of not only the school, but the Army. As it turns out, he was apparently quite fond of marijuana, and was getting high on a regular basis. On his last day he shrugged this all off, saying he had not wanted to be in the Army anyway. I do not know the nature of his discharge, but I suspect it was a "bad conduct" or "general," rather than "honorable" discharge. Did the Army make a mistake in discharging this guy? I suppose that depends on your point of view. A physically fit and intelligent soldier who nevertheless refuses to follow the most basic and widely-understood regulations as to personal conduct would raise all sorts of red flags. A soldier is part of a unit, and the unit will have a rank and organizational structure, and mission parameters and objectives. Consequently, military discipline and cohesion are very important considerations. A soldier who cannot bring himself to adhere to basic expectations and requirements is very likely to impair the overall cohesion and effectiveness of the unit. I submit that BYU likewise has factors it must take into consideration when hiring, which factors are in addition to - and of similar or superior import - the applicant's purely "academic" qualifications. Thanks, -Smac
  8. Thanks for your kind and thorough reply. I am happy to receive it as you have offered it. The only sentence I struggle with is the one I quoted. I am familiar with the term "the fold of God." It is used in Mosiah 18 and possibly/probably others that don't come to mind. From the Topical Guide: John 10:16 seems significant ("and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd"). And 2 Nephi 9:2 ("That he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down, from generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be restored to the true church and fold of God..."). And 3 Nephi 15:21 ("I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."). And 1 Nephi 15:15 ("And then at that day will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their rock and their salvation? Yea, at that day, will they not receive the strength and nourishment from the true vine? Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God?"). 3 Nephi 16:1-3 speaks of "other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem." There are also extensive scriptural references to the "Book of Life," one meaning of which is "the heavenly register of those who inherit eternal life (Heb. 12:23; Alma 5:58; D&C 76:68)" and "the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world (D&C 88:2; cf. Mal. 3:16-17)." The Church takes a fairly literal approach to the names written in this book: So there is a certain element of literalness to these things. That said, however, I think the Restored Gospel is remarkable for its depiction of the Lord's love and benevolence for His children. "or a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee." (Isaiah 54:7.) Yes. Generally, you are correct. Yes. Though verse 2 seems to differentiate ("But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep"), verses 7 and 9 suggests the conflation you raise ("Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep" and "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,"), as does verses 11 and 14 ("I am the good shepherd"). Seems like these metaphors can be a bit elastic. In terms of saving ordinances, yes. In terms of living a Christlike life, no. I hesitate to elaborate on metaphors, as we get pretty quickly into personal opinion and conjecture. The teachings of the Church re: priesthood authority, organization, a cohesive and unified and visible "church," etc. work quite well and can be seen as well-supported in scripture. I acknowledge that there are many faith traditions within Christendom that take a different stance on these issues, and I respect them. I also acknowledge that there are many wonderful followers of Christ throughout the world who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the end, whether the exclusivistic truth claims of the Church are correct is a matter of faith for each individual. I would not kid about such a serious topic. I think the "spiritual condition" of these folks is, candidly, pretty good. The doctrines we have about missionary work, teaching in the Hereafter, temple work, and the kingdoms of glory leave plenty of room for optimism and hope. I am less worried about an earnest, sincere, devoted follower of Jesus Christ who is not in the Church than I am about Latter-day Saints who are not keeping their covenants. I can't go along with the "not in Christ" part. In the Latter-day Saint pardigm, the saving ordinances and other exclusivistic claims of the Restored Gospel matter. If you believe in those claims, or if you do not, are preconditions to answering your question. In the end, you must do what you think is right, what you feel the Lord wants you to do. Pursue that and you will, sooner or later, be fine. Thanks, -Smac
  9. Yes, that is the context that, in my view, justifies the comparison. There are others as well. I have made covenants to God about the Church (and, for that matter, about my wife). They are. For me, that's like saying "My marital covenants are not to my wife, but to the Savior." If the Church of Jesus Christ is what claims to be, then I don't think I can differentiate in this way. Well, it's a comparison between metaphors, so I don't think the parameters are intended to be precise. I have made covenants with God about certain things. At baptism and confirmation, and when we take the Sacrament: The "fold of God" is, I think, the Church. "Bear{ing} one another's burdens" has to do, to some extent, with the Church. "Serv{ing} God unto the end" involves the Church. Repenting of our sins involves the Church. Taking the Sacrament involves the Church. When we receive the priesthood: Ordination involves the Church. Fulfilling priesthood responsibilities and obligations involves the Church. In the temple endowment: The Church is involved in all of these covenants in one way or another. Neither, I think. Consider Mosiah 5:7: Again, these are metaphors, but with real meaning. We don't worship the Church either. Thanks, -Smac
  10. Whatever he said initially, I think his edit is fine. Thanks, -Smac
  11. I didn't say that at all. I said "some straight people" are disgusted by gay people. -Dario_M Then you were stating a truism, such that my retraction and apology remain appropriate. Thank you for your clarification. I hope you accept mine. Thanks, -Smac
  12. I haven't done that. And I think doing that would be quite wrong. Thanks, -Smac
  13. I have never done that. I haven't done that, either. I hold your opinion in such low regard that I lend it no probative meaning or weight. Again, you essentially never have anything thoughtful or substantive to contribute. Just glib insults, cheapshots, and attempts to provoke and offend. -Smac
  14. I think the “sometimes” might have been added in with an edit. Because I remember it not having that qualifier the first time I read it. Huh. So the original statement was (or may have been) categorical? "Normal (straight) people are disgusted by gay people."? The qualifier sure changes the meaning of the statement quite a bit. But even then, it's still a broad and ugly stereotype levied against heterosexual people. Thanks, -Smac
  15. Happy to explain! I read his post too quickly, and somehow neglected to notice the "sometimes" in this part of his comment: "And you are right. Normal (straight) people are sometimes disgusted by gay people." Once I re-read it, I removed the downvote. I apologize if my downvote offended you, Dario. Thanks, -Smac
  16. All hail Smac. Fighting prejudice in one breath, meanwhile downvoting the lived experience of a brand new Latter Day Saint in the next. Truly he is amazing. You once again demonstrate the futility of trying to mollify or satisfy relentless faultfinders. No matter what we do, people like you are never satisfied. It's darned if we do, darned if we don't. Heads we lose, tails we lose. The goalposts endlessly shift further and further away. For folks like SeekingUnderstanding, anything the Latter-day Saints do is... C'est la vie. Thanks -Smac
  17. Yep. I was offering corrective counsel to overcome literal prejudice by Latter-day Saints. I'm sort of surprised some find this controversial. Thanks, -Smac
  18. I resent that remark! Or I resemble it. One or other other. Thanks, -Smac
  19. I do not think it would have altered my conclusion about the truth claims of the church but it may have help guide me towards a way to be successfully active without being a full believer. Okay. That raises some important philosophical questions for me. I have been analogizing a person's "relationship" with the Restored Gospel (and the Church) with a person's "relationship" with his spouse and children. Is a man better off remaining in a marriage materially diminished in love/affection/devotion? To remain - using a paraphrase of your wording - "successfully married without being a full husband?" I suppose the answer to that question could be a "yes" ("I'm staying for the sake of the children" or "I'm staying to keep my covenants" or some such), a qualified or conditional "yes" ("I'm staying in the hope that we can rekindle what we felt at earlier stages of our marriage"), a qualified/conditional "no" ("There is no point in staying unless there is a decent chance of rehabilitating the relationship to something like what it was in the earlier stages of our marriage"), or a hard "no" ("My affections and love for my wife are irretrievably gone and broken, and marriage without love or hope of regaining it is no marriage at all"). So are there ways "to be successfully active without being a full believer"? I suppose "successfully" is an eye-of-the-beholder sort of thing. Putting that aside, though, I suppose I have been juxtaposing Kimball's PIMO "middle way" approach with the "all in" exhortations I see in the scriptures and in the counsel from living prophets and apostles (whereas you are, I think, juxtaposing the "middle way" and "all out" approaches). "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62.) "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." (Rev. 3:15-16.) We all must allow for weaknesses, sins, failures, omissions, etc. which impair our devotions to God, as that is part and parcel of the Restored Gospel. Many of us have "looked back" after putting our hand to the plough, and most or all of us are "lukewarm" at times. But these are hopefully temporary conditions, and after a time we "look forward" again, we choose between "hot" and "cold." It seems that Kimball's "middle way" PIMO approach encourages a deliberate and prolonged, rather than a circumstantial and temporary, sojourn "on the edge." A calculated decision to be or remain "lukewarm." I have as friends a married couple. I love them both dearly. As with pretty much any couple, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. For some time now, their weaknesses have been superseding their devotion to each other, such that are presently on the cusp of divorce. If they sought marital counseling, would the therapist encourage them to maintain their relationship in this condition? To simply accept the largely ambivalent, often tense, occasionally overtly acrimonious state of their marriage? To adopt this state as permanent, fixed and immutable? Likely not. Kimball is advertising himself as having "spent the past 25 years 'on the inside of the edge' of Mormonism." And he is encouraging others to join him there. Riess has been publishing similar encouragements for years now. For example, he is apparently encouraging members disregard the worthiness requirements of obtaining and retaining a Temple Recommend, to feel free to live in ways incompatible with having a TR. Here are the first few questions from the TR interview (new in bold) : These are all "in the heart and mind" questions. And none of them are absolutist, either in their wording or intent. Perhaps so. As between "PIMO" and "all out," the former is preferable. But as between "PIMO" and "all in," the latter is preferable (from a Latter-day Saint perspective, that is). I would also encourage you to read Bruce and Marie Hafen's Faith Is Not Blind, summarized here: Again, said previously: "I did not chose to not believe. The evidence led me to the conclusions that would no longer allow me to believe nor pretend to and hold on to my personal integrity." I suspect that you and other Latter-day Saints have looked at the same "evidence," but have done so with different presumptions, expectations, perspectives, etc. These differences have resulted in a marked divergence, with you reaching "conclusions that would no longer allow {you} to believe nor pretend to and hold on to {your} personal integrity," while Latter-day Saints have, as the Hafens put it, "arrive{d} at ... a simplicity that transcends complexity — 'a settled and informed perspective that has been tempered and tested by time and experience.'" In other words, I think the Hafens are encouraging an "all in" over "PIMO" approach, whereas Kimball is encouraging a "PIMO" over "all out" approach. I hope you give consideration to the former. Thanks, -Smac
  20. Same here. I don't know what "over-the-top engaged" means, but it has connotations of excess that are, I think, not healthy. And nobody should be "ignored." Ever. Yes. But having retained their membership, they are not "all out." This is an ongoing difficulty. Many who become less active take a "Just leave me alone and stay out of my life" attitude. Faithful and observant Latter-day Saints, being generally nice and considerate people, may end up presuming this is the general attitude of all who become less active, and so might leave them be. More often, though, I think straight-up neglect is the reason. And in that we should repent and improve. Thanks, -Smac
  21. You are giving me some things to think about. I appreciate that. You said previously: "I did not chose to not believe. The evidence led me to the conclusions that would no longer allow me to believe nor pretend to and hold on to my personal integrity." You think a "middle way" approach would have altered how you viewed the evidence and arguments, or might have otherwise affected or altered the ultimately conclusion you reached? Or by "helpful" do you mean that your course out of the Church was unalterable, but "a book like this" might have made the exit less difficult? Thanks, -Smac
  22. That is one way, yes. But "on the edge" would, I think, be a transient thing. Temporary. I have a very nice relationship with my wife, and I am grateful for that. If in the future we run into substantial difficulties, such that I end up "on the edge" of my relationship with her, I sure hope I don't stay there by choice and calculation, but that I gain whatever knowledge or skillsets that perspective provides, and then make a choice about my relationship with her. In the words of Elijah in 1 Kings 18:21: "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him..." Or as Joshua put it: "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve." (Josh. 24:15.) Or Mosiah 18: 8-10: We all fail in various ways, hence the need for repentance. To deliberately and with calculation step away from covenants, though, that's a very troubling thing for me. But that's what Kimball and Riess are preaching. Good thoughts. Thanks, -Smac
  23. I suppose I could have framed it as "nominal or minimal effort by design and deliberate choice," but I thought the italicized part would be understood as implied. Years ago I went to jump school in Ft. Benning. I was pretty physically fit, but I was never quite able to complete the five pull-ups the trainers wanted all of us to do. I would jump up, grab hold of the bar, give it my all, but the most I ever banged out was . . . three. Getting to five was not a training requirement, so the trainers would chew me out, have me do a bunch of push-ups, and then let me carry on with the next exercise. Fast forward to today. A few weeks ago my son came home with a t-shirt with the Marines logo on it. He said he had won it from a Marine recruiter who had visited his high school and had challenged students to a pull-up contest. Anyone who could out-do the Marine would get . . . a t-shirt. My son did, as I recall, 27 pull-ups, easily defeating the Marine, and so won the t-shirt. Now, let's say that my son were to go to jump school in a few weeks. Let us further assume that the training regimen still calls for trainees to do - or at least attempt - a minimum of five pull-ups. My son could easily do five pull-ups, but he instead completes only . . . three. Not because he lacked the ability, but because he chose to only make a "nominal or minimal effort." Keep in mind that all this training is intended to make trainees into the best soldiers they can be. Our military is a vital part of preserving our society, our nation, our way of life. Should trainees in the military nevertheless deliberately choose to do less than they could, to only make a "nominal or minimal effort," just enough to get by? That is the sort of thing I had in mind. People who with calculation choose to contribute substantially less than the can or ought to contribute. This is an unfortunate mindset, and I do not fully understand it. Imagine if Kimball and Riess were talking to soldiers, encouraging them to only exert the minimal amount of effort in their training, or even in their defense of our nation. "Hey, binary thinking about your abilities as a soldier is a trap. If you think 'all-in' and 'all-out' are the only choices for your service in defense of our country, you can get trapped. I'm preaching a middle way. There are many places to exist on the edge of your relationship with the Army, the United States, and the Constitution, and of your duties and obligations toward them. Places that give you what you're looking for. If being "all-in" in your military duties is not working for you, there are other ways to make it work." There are some things in life that are worth a lot. A lot. That deserve our best, as much as we can do. My relationship with God, and the duties and obligations I owe Him, are important, and deserve more than "nominal or minimal effort," more than just enough to get by. Thanks, -Smac
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