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cacheman

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  1. I didn't see him differentiate between violent and nonviolent BLM protestors. He referred to the BLM organization and specifically mentioned all of them.
  2. I would be interested to see your past posts explaining how the context supports your interpretation. To me, this portion of the sermon appears ambiguous enough that both interpretations could make sense, without needing to rip it from its context. I'm not sure what leads you to believe there was intentional misuse of the quote. I'm open to correction though. Also.... it's possible that we are reading different versions of the sermon, as the one I've read is absent of him talking about "being shocked that so many Saints were finding excuses not to tithe because that is the very mechanism the Lord will use to fund His Church in perpetuity". Rather, he is praising the members for doing their duty and obeying the commandment of tithing. The version I read can be found here: https://scripturetools.net/periodicals/conference-report#1906 For what it's worth, the interpretation used by Teancum and others appears to have some earlier support. President Smith said the following in an earlier general conference (found at the same link as above) : "We will say to the people that we have no reason to complain of the diligence of the Saints, so far as we are able to Judge, In keeping the law of tithing. We believe that the Latter-day Saints are observing that law as faithfully as they have ever done, and we beseech of you that you will continue to do this until our hands shall be freed from all obligations, and until we shall have means in the storehouse of the Lord with which to accomplish greater works, which may be necessary to be done. We feel there is much that can be done and much that ought to be done in the interests of Zion and for the benefit of the people of God." Joseph F. Smith, Conference Report, October 1902, p.2 It was interesting reading his sermons where he discusses tithing. It's clear that some things have changed. For example, in those days a portion of tithing was used to aid the poor. In the accounting that he provided (I only read one) about 10% of the past years tithing proceeds went to help the poor. Another difference was that they not only offered tithe payers to check their records to make sure all their payments were recorded, but he said they could be shown what was done with their donated tithing. Pres. Smith also invited feedback from tithe payers on how to better spend tithing funds. In fact, when the church was considering the possibility of purchasing liberty bonds with tithing funds it was put to a vote in general conference. Anyway, it was interesting reading.
  3. My state passed a law 2 years ago prohibiting those who were ordained online from officiating marriages. The law was passed just weeks before my brother (who had an online ordination) was set to officiate our daughter's wedding. Fortunately, the law didn't go into effect until a week or two after the wedding. The law is being challenged in court, but currently it's still illegal for someone with an online ordination to be a marriage officiant.
  4. In the eighties, I lived in a remote part of the US. We couldn't get TV or radio signals where we were at. We could only listen to conference talks long after conference was over by ordering a set of the conference cassette tapes. We would often listen to a recorded conference talk during our family sacrament meetings. We had a shelf of these sets (example at this link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/LDS-MORMON-CASSETTE-TAPES-BOX-SET-156TH-GENERAL-CONFERENCE-1986-BONNEVILLE-/233408912608) -cacheman
  5. A few things to consider..... these data are incomplete for various reasons (as stated on the justice dept publication). There's also no margin of error reported here which is interesting considering the significantly different homicide clearance rates for white and black victims. While it seems reasonable to assume that the majority of murders will have a local offender, and localities or neighborhoods are often segregated to an extent (particularly urban areas), reporting numbers like this without clarifying that more than 1/3 of homicides where the victim is black are not cleared is irresponsible. So apparently, the drug war plays a big role in the stats that are available. Who started the war on drugs, and why? And why have homicide clearance rates for black victims been steadily decreasing for the last 40 years, while no similar trend is observed when the victims are white? cacheman
  6. My parents have told myself and my brother that they are planning to do that. Of course, we have no right to their money or possessions, and I appreciate the fact that they've let us know. But I really hope they plan to leave something for my sister. She is still very active in the church, but struggles financially and has health issues. I don't know that they are making their decision due solely to our leaving the faith. They've always been big on self reliance, and never gave money for college, cars, etc. But they did pay the last 3 months of my mission once my money was gone. I'm glad that they taught me to be independent at a young age. And I carry the self reliance gene they passed on to me. But, I'll definitely be leaving what I can for my kids when my time comes.
  7. I don't doubt that married couples choosing to have fewer children is a factor in declining family sizes, there are likely other factors at play. Something I haven't seen mentioned in this thread is decline in male sperm count and quality, particularly in 'developed' countries. A number of studies have linked the decline to dietary/lifestyle factors (obesity, smoking, alcohol, processed foods, etc.) and environmental stressors (air quality, pesticides, plastics, etc.). But whatever the case, studies are showing that young men in the west have roughly half the sperm count as their grandfathers would have had. To compound that, sperm quality (motility, viability, chromatin integrity, etc.) has also declined. From what I can see, the impact this has on overall fecundity has not been precisely quantified. But it's likely that it plays some role in lower birthrates in western countries. cacheman
  8. It wasn't scrubbed from the internet. The US Department of State websites for each administration are archived when a new administration begins. You can find the full text here: https://2009-2017.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/12/250502.htm
  9. Hi AtlanticMike, I can't answer for Teancum, but I'll answer your question as it relates to myself. Yes. I've considered the benefits of religion as a form of therapy or a coping mechanism. I also acknowledge the role of religion in promoting a lot of good behaviors and charitable actions. In fact, I am fine with anyone believing in anything mystical or religious...... except when those beliefs cause unnecessary harm. At that point, I feel that I should say something. I don't know any non-theists personally that are on a 'religious' quest to prove religiosity wrong. But, it wouldn't surprise me if there are people like that. Now let me ask you a question. Have you ever considered that unbelief in a particular religion, or all religions, can help people cope with the thought of dying and rotting in the ground? If that's true, then that unbelief is a form of therapy or a coping mechanism for some people. If it is, why subscribe to a belief system whose scriptures and leaders rail against this coping mechanism? Why sustain religious leaders that consistently describe personal apostasy as resulting from sin, bad character traits, immorality, laziness, etc. FYI - this isn't a gotcha question. I thought you posed a good question, and I'm genuinely interested in hearing your thoughts on my similar questions. -cacheman
  10. One thing that my LDS heritage gave me is an appreciation of living simply and as self-sufficient as possible. I keep a rotating food storage, and I grow a lot of my own food. I also collect rainwater and generate my own electricity. It's come in handy multiple times this year due to a couple of quarantines where I didn't need to make a store run. Also, a few weeks ago an ice storm knocked out power for a couple of days in our county. But, my power was always on. Beyond thre benefits of being prepared, I actually enjoy growing food and working with the land. I attribute a lot of my current lifestyle to my upbringing, where food storage and gardening was encouraged. Sure... some take things too far. But, I don't recall the church encouraging extreme prepping. The church's emphasis on being prepared, debt free, and self- sufficient is right on in my opinion. -cacheman
  11. I messaged my former student and he told me that they used vipkid for the online teaching. Vipkid requires a bachelor's degree and provides their own esl certification (that costs nothing). But, the certification is solely valid for vipkid.
  12. One of my former students and his wife have been teaching English to Chinese students online for a couple of years. Last year, they went to Guatemala to take a certification course they needed in order to go teach in China. I'm not positive, but I believe they got certified in Guatemala because they love to travel and the course was much cheaper there. Of course, they were scheduled to go to China last spring, but COVID prevented that. My understanding from them was that the certification was required to be able to teach in China, but I don't know which specific certification they got. Both had bachelor's degrees when they started teaching online. But again, I don't know if a bachelor's degree was required. My student's wife lived in China for years and speaks fluent Chinese, but I don't believe that mattered for the online teaching. She was not allowed to speak Chinese during the lessons. cacheman
  13. If there are government agencies designating hallucinogenics as narcotics, then they are doing so in error. For what it's worth, the DEA does not (see the links below). https://www.dea.gov/taxonomy/term/331 https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/drug_of_abuse.pdf Also.... you have mentioned the illegality of hallucinogens, but in the context of religious use are they illegal? I assumed that you would be supportive of religious freedom. I believe that the church even supported the freedom to use hallucinogenics in a religious setting during the Employment Division v. Smith case. President Oaks has described the supreme court ruling in that case as a significant narrowing of the traditional protection of religion. That case is what inspired the RFRA. Does your view differ from President Oaks? cacheman
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