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  1. Heh. Yep, and then we had Ravi Zacharias speak at our tabernacle and we parted friends. And then the Baptist Al Mohler spoke at BYU and we parted friends. Between all that, and SLC hosting the winter olympic games, it just seemed to be less cool to bash Mormons and believe we were a dangerous cult bent on world domination and marrying our cousins. As time went on, there was a marked decrease in things like the # of folks on the antimormon lecture circuit, the size of the antimormon book section in Christian book stores, and the numbers of passionate critics of my faith. Good times.
  2. Cool journey HP. Mine is similar. I was newly converted in the late '90's, and would frequent BBS's, usenet groups, discussion forums, etc. I was quiet for years, just watching the debate go by. Early on, it seemed to me, we were losing the debate from just sheer numbers of critics, with nobody knowing what to say to them. I'm not a scholar, I'm not particularly bright, have no particular rhetorical gifts, and I'm a slow thinker. Watching faithful and critic interact online, and reading FARMS articles, was about my speed through the '90's and the decade that followed. Eventually I began participating, whenever I'd see a criticism that had been answered since the 1840's appear again, I'd produce the answer I had encountered that made sense to me. (If nothing else, we eventually won the "Nephite coinage" battle. It's been years since I heard "The BoM couldn't have been translated, because it has the word 'adieu' in it, and that's not English!"). My usernames evolved along with my familiarity with the material into the proud battlin' apologetic warrior you see before you today. I entered semi-retirement after having achieved two of what I consider the greatest accolades an average IQ armchair apologist like me could achieve: 1- One of the prolific posters on the UK-based Reachout Trust Counter-cult forums 'non-Christian religions' board, admitted to me, after years of arguing, the possibility that I may indeed be a saved Christian. 2- Dr. Peterson called one of my points "salient", in the forum that eventually became mormondialogue.org. I'd cut/paste stuff into my Word doc, my apologetic database currently stands at 212 pages. I still refer to it on occasion, because it has such gems. Like this one, which at 17+ yrs old seems to have aged remarkably well:
  3. Truly amazing. A billion dollars, and 6.3 million volunteer hours. 11k welfare missionaries. Food security, clean water, vision projects. 439 programs to lift ppl out of poverty and improve their situations, given to 100k folks. Emergency response projects. 500 addiction recovery groups with weekly meetings. I hope we can take a moment to just reflect on the amount of good done in the world.
  4. Hopefully someone's googling skills are better than mine: How can we read the dissenting opinion?
  5. Heh. Reminds me of the absolute best, most memorable EQ activity I've ever had. We met at property a brother owned, where he had set up a gun range, and went shooting. Probably a dozen elders all banging away with their scary black rifles and shotguns and handguns. The cops showed up right in the middle of live fire because a neighbor complained. We worked things out with the cops, slightly modified our angle of fire, and went back to shooting. (If I expanded that out into the 4-5 paragraphs it deserved, y'all would see there was sufficient battle and adventure.) They also brought donuts, and I had my very first maple bacon donut ever. Covers #3 more than most other experiences I've had in life.
  6. What would those demographics be? I'm wondering, because I'm all about "love thy neighbor as thyself". Last time I checked, the scripture didn't read "love thy neighbor, except for two particular obnoxious demographics". So, I'm wondering what two exceptions to scripture you're imposing on me.
  7. Depends on the definition. 1. The ability to accept data/information. (Also known as humility) 2. The absence of firm beliefs or principles one wishes to defend, leaving one open to being buffeted about by changing winds of culture and public opinion. (Also known as idiocy)
  8. My ward used to hold a ward fast. And during the priesthood session, we'd kneel as a priesthood body and be led in prayer for specific families and individuals. Someone higher up than the stake caught wind of it, and we continued, with very specific language up front that this was "a [LM's ward] tradition". About 6 months after that, we were told we couldn't do it any more.
  9. My first reaction: Someone showed this chapter to a Catholic they liked, and noted the Catholic's "oh really" expression included a eyebrow raised so violently it put a dent in the ceiling. News of the encounter got around to the people who publish the book, and they made a change. Way ahead of you. When I was teaching this class and this lesson a decade ago, I'd always include a blurb about how much we owe the Catholics for preserving the bible as well as they did. "Next time you see one, go give 'em a hug and thank them."
  10. Honestly, XKCD has eased my worries on numerous occasions. I'm glad to see it.
  11. And furthermore, everyone should go watch Idiocracy. It's the dumbest, most poorly made flick that will give you years of nightmares.
  12. My father was a printer/proofreader. He set type and layout for the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News. His father before him was a printer as well. It was a respected profession going all the way back to Gutenberg days. Then the entire profession dried up within 5 years after they invented the spell check button and the home printer. Makes me wonder what professions are going to be obsoleted in the next 10 years because of this stuff. Once LawyerGPT V3 is downloadable for ten bucks on sale, totally capable of doing 80% of what lawyers do, better than the average lawyer, what will your profession look like?
  13. This is supposed to be an old discarded LDS apologetic, given new life through modern technology. It's retro kitsch with a layer of ironic meta. You know, stuff millennials like.
  14. I wish I could say this was my idea, but someone beat me to it. Pretty cool though. Request: ChatGPT's answer:
  15. I'm still running the camera every Sunday. I wonder how LDS sacrament broadcasts are faring post pandemic.
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