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  1. I don't know. The first words out of their mouths are almost always something to the effect of, "Don't be afraid!" So maybe not just any generic guy...
  2. Well, I would probably be a little skeptical if the HG started spewing off talking points from ex-mormon reddit, but if I were certain God had actually commanded me to stop paying tithing then yes, I would stop. I wouldn't tell other people to stop paying tithing though, nor would I hold it against my priesthood leaders for withholding a temple recommend due to my decision to not pay tithing.
  3. The Holy Ghost trumps everything. That being said, it only trumps everything for you personally; it doesn't give you the right to preach, teach, or publicly advocate for anything contrary to what has been revealed to the Church as a whole through the prophet.
  4. I loves me some hate chicken. Reminds me of that episode from Silicon Valley... Satanist Leader: Hail Satan, it is done. Well, thanks for coming, everyone. Brother Jason was kind enough to furnish this week's food. It's Chick-fil-A. I know, they're on the Christian right, but darned if that chicken isn't good. I think the Dark Lord would understand.
  5. Did he? I thought he only conceded that a pink/blue cake is not inherently expressive - not that a pink/blue cake couldn't, given the right context, be considered symbolic speech. I think that's probably a finer (and harder) point to argue though - one that I'm not convinced would (or even ought) to win.
  6. If you read Justice Thomas' concurring opinion in the Masterpiece decision, he mentions that "[t]o determine whether conduct is sufficiently expressive [to qualify as protected speech], the Court asks whether it was “intended to be communicative” and, “in context, would reasonably be understood by the viewer to be communicative.” I think there's a colorable argument to be made that, in the context of a gender transition birthday party, a pink/blue cake might reasonably be understood by a viewer as being communicative. That being said, I think the facts were much more in Phillips' favor in the wedding cake case than in this one.
  7. Here's the thing: I like a lot of what environmentalists and conservationists are ultimately all about, but statements like this just don't make any sense to me. I mean, even if every single person in the state of Utah (Mormon and non-Mormon alike) were to become vegetarian overnight, wouldn't alfalfa still be a cash crop? It isn't like people are just going to stop raising livestock because people in Utah decided to stop eating burgers and started consuming twice as much fry sauce. Plus, once everyone in the state has switched over to a completely plant-based diet, who's to say that such a major shift in market demand wouldn't just incentivize all of those alfalfa farmers to switch over to another, similarly water intensive crop like wheat instead? Seriously, I honestly just don't get comments like these. Like, at all.
  8. Um, I don't want to make your head explode or anything, but...you do know that the same guy who gave the talk you seem to be so bothered by is the same fellow who pretty much authored the Family Proclamation, right?
  9. If you read through the entire speech that his supposedly biased view is founded upon it becomes quite clear he was not, in fact, making an affirmative case that gay people ought to be "perceived and treated as criminals." He was merely saying that he was personally okay with leaving those aspects of the law in place - not just for gays, but for adulterers and fornicators as well - "because of the standard-setting and teaching function of these laws on sexual morality and their support of society's exceptional interest in the integrity of the family." He also cautioned about the concern for privacy such laws would threaten and how they ought to be carefully supervised and rarely (if ever) used. Now, I don't know how other people view things, but for me, when I hear someone writing like that 30 years before Lawrence in that kind of measured tone and merely saying that he can live with laws remaining on the books so long as they are rarely enforced - that doesn't exactly scream gay-hating to me. YMMV. I'm skeptical that he is really a fellow Saint and that these are legitimate concerns. I find it pretty sus that someone can spend nearly 60 years in the church as an active, believing member and then suddenly find themselves incapable of sustaining the prophet and the first presidency because of one sentence in one talk given 50 years ago by someone who wasn't even in a leadership position at the time. Someone who has really been in the church all that time has been around long enough to have lived through the revelation removing the priesthood ban and participate in the church throughout the entire modern gay rights movement. And I'm supposed to believe that he's just now learning that, decades and decades ago, people in the church may have said some things that seem pretty uncouth by today's standards? Well, where on earth have you been living all this time? Under a rock? Look, it is entirely possible that our friend "The Great Pretender" (definitely not a troll-ish moniker there), is really a member who is struggling with his faith right now, and if that is genuinely the case then here is my honest, best advice: get off the internet and go talk to your bishop and/or stake president.
  10. Pinewood Derby Races, Road Shows, and Green Jello. Okay, maybe just the two then.
  11. Okay. So, again, nearly 50 years ago now (and 10 years prior to him being called as an Apostle), then President-of-BYU-only Oaks gave a talk about the law and in his discussion of "victimless crimes" included a comment about how he would have preferred to keep criminal statutes in place - even if they were deeply regulated and rarely enforced - for certain types of private, noncommercial sex offenses (e.g., adultery, fornication, homosexual activity, etc.). This tracks with President Oaks' previous legal comments about his thoughts about there being a "teaching" aspect to the law. Clearly such a position, if ever it were commonly held amongst those in the legal community, has long since been abandoned. Why? Even if President Oaks currently (and secretly) believes that adultery, fornication, and homosexual activity ought to be subject to some sort of criminal sanctions, that's a pretty esoteric and (clearly) minority position - one that modern legal jurisprudence has long since abandoned. And, based on current Supreme Court precedent, one which will never become a thing. So, for all practical purposes, I have to ask: Even if, arguendo, President Oaks currently holds to an unpopular and untenable legal opinion about the purpose of law or how society relates to the law at a very high level, why should that prevent one from being capable of sustaining him if he never so much as mentions it (let alone advocates for it) for the rest of his natural life? It's pretty clear to me from Elder Oaks' comments following the gay marriage debate in our country that the Church has said its peace on the matter and that it is now time to move forward with love and civility. I have a hard time taking seriously the concerns of someone who goes and hunts down a 50 year old talk that is mostly about something else entirely - it's mostly about decriminalizing drugs - and then finds a single quote that, to his modern sensibilities, seems offensive - even when in the very next sentences the author (who, again, was not an Apostle) concedes that there are concerns with his suggested approach and would even favor something akin to a non-enforcement regime. Well, except maybe for prostitution. But, then again, I know lots of people who don't want to see prostitution decriminalized, and I don't have a problem sustaining any of them - even though, politically, I don't completely agree with them.
  12. If one can't bring oneself to sustain President Nelson as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator because some guy who was born in 1900 (and has been dead for nearly 40 years now) once said something objectionable in a talk given 50+ years ago, and that - because of this talk (by some other guy, mind you) - that somehow means one suspects President Nelson of currently being a closet racists, then...okay. Don't sustain him, I guess. That seems like kind of a stretch to me, but whatevs.
  13. This feels very much like a damned if you do / damned if you don't kind of situation to me. If the church were to continue to publish the non-redacted, non-correlated versions of these talks, wouldn't critics just turn around and say that - by continuing to publish these hurtful words - the Church is giving its imprimatur to (and tacit continued support of) their content? Personally, the absolute last thing I would want is for the Church to go back through all these old talks and add some kind of content / trigger warning to all of them. /blech Here's the thing: Go back in time (not even that far back in time) and you can find oodles and oodles of people saying things that would be considered hurtful by today's standards. If you were to receive a transcript of everything your own family members said between 1900 and 1964, I would be shocked if you didn't find some racist remarks in there. I guess I don't see what the big deal is. Would it be nice if there were never a racist Mormon ever? Sure. But it isn't like the Church isn't true just because that wasn't the case for a good while. You can either accept that God works with imperfect people or not - even when those imperfect people were flawed in ways that offend your personal sensibilities.
  14. I don't think it's a trust issue so much as an issue of community. I suppose if you wanted to call it tribalism I could probably go along with that too. For example, in the city where I live there are a few dentists who happen to be members of the church. So far as I can tell, they are perfectly adequate professionals operating in their field. I don't go to any of them myself, but I know several members do; and they do so not because they are more trustworthy than those other heathen dentists around town (like the one I see), but because - given the choice between a number of comparable service providers - they elect to support the ones they feel a sense of community with. And when that bond of communality is broken, then yes, that might be all it takes for some people to decide to go and see someone else - maybe someone with a closer office perhaps, or someone with more convenient operating hours, etc. But it isn't because they have lost trust in their former dentist due to his decision to leave the faith - it's just that he is now indistinguishable from all of the other (non-member) dentists out there. I'm sorry, but I have a hard time accepting that the person who is lying to others about his beliefs in order to maintain a stream of income is "the victim." If you want to do that sort of thing then have the integrity to go into politics where that sort of behavior is expected.
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