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  1. When I was in a position to know both sides of the story, it was most often the members that we had bent over backwards to welcome and done everything possible we could think of to help them out that would complain about how poorly they had been received and how unfriendly the ward had been. I'm not saying that doesn't happen for real in some cases, but I take most of that type of complaining with a huge grain of salt. It's like my dad, who is always complaining that no one cares about him in his ward and no one wants to be his friend. But when I've attended church in their ward, I've seen the exact opposite. Most people are very friendly to him. But he has never really understood how normal human relationships and friendship work outside the immediate family. He has unrealistic expectations of friendships and fellowship in the ward.
  2. The book says virtue, not virginity. Of course, that's slightly harder to use as a stick with which to beat the church, so it had to be altered to say virginity.
  3. Given that he was talking about spiritual foundations, I think it's reaching to try to tie that back to financial and physical sovereignty measures. Mental health is arguable. I don't think this is a veiled message that we all need to become preppers and prepare for the apocalypse. I think what he is referring to is that we need to do whatever is necessary to strengthen ourselves spiritually to handle the social pressure that exists and will increase to abandon our principles and beliefs. I anticipate and have seen this social pressure primarily on a personal level, rather than an institutional one.
  4. Not sure I buy the bolded part. It couldn't have anything to do with wanting to be around a larger community of saints, more economic opportunity, or better educational opportunities? I won't pretend to understand why many or most Polynesians have migrated to the US, but I'm skeptical that any have come solely based on this teaching. That's also a big IF. Like I said, I know it's been taught sporadically, but I wouldn't call it a truth claim of the church.
  5. There are all sorts of traditions in the church that may or may not be correct. I'm not sure why it matters if this one is accurate or not. The Book of Mormon itself does not identify Polynesians as Book of Mormon people. That some or even many prominent leaders have held that opinion doesn't obligate me to agree. I'm not sure it's any more doctrinal than a lot of the tripe that came from Saturday's Warrior, but a lot of people loved that, too. As for me, I don't think there's enough evidence on either side of the issue to even establish anything more than a very tentative leaning one way or the other. The same can be said of most of the of "gotchas" that people trot out against the church and its scriptures.
  6. I am seeing this, but I think it's largely a US and maybe European thing. It seems to me that in a lot of other countries, the opposite is happening. It reminds me of the Nephites falling away while the Lamanites grew more righteous, the last shall be first, the first last and all that. It's just my opinion, but Utah and the US are fading as the core strength of the church, and the decline will only accelerate. But I believe the church elsewhere will grow stronger at an increasing rate that more than compensates.
  7. While sex is an important part of marriage, American society places it way too high in importance. Even if I knew I could never have sex with my wife again, I would not find that alone sufficient grounds for divorce. It would be very difficult for me, but I'd deal with it. Just like I dealt with being celibate until I got married at 29. If my own pleasure and needs are the top priority in my marriage, it's not likely to go well. That said, though, relationships are complex, and I think sex is rarely the sole reason for a divorce. But if that were truly the case, I would find that selfish.
  8. For me personally, when scripture and a prophet contradict each other in a way I need to act or decide on, the sensible course would be to ask God and get a personal witness as to which I should follow. That said, I've never had the prophets contradict canon or vice versa in any way that had any bearing on my life. So it's a moot point for me so far, and I suspect for most members of the church.
  9. It shows as a green 1 for me, so maybe it's just your browser cache.
  10. We had this problem with finding a phone for my son's Dexcom G6 (he's not a missionary). We started using xDrip+ instead of the official Dexcom app, and it works great. It will work on almost any phone and is very easy to install and get working. I'm not sure how much they lock down missionaries' phones, but it may be an option. Here's a link with more information: https://jamorham.github.io/
  11. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life. -Russell M. Nelson
  12. My point was not about specific activities, but that things are often much more complex than people realize. Most of what you are suggesting has been tried either church wide or in different wards around the world, with varying degrees of success. The one clear trend that I've seen, personally, is that people brought in by free food, sports, or free labor tend not to make very good converts. There are of course exceptions, but most of the people I've observed that came from such activities didn't stay active for long. There's also a big difference between service and offering the missionaries as free day laborers. To claim based on my one comment that the church is saying "we can't do service because someone might take advantage of us." is ridiculous, given the church's long track record of service. But it seems more and more like you just want to find fault with how the church does things, so I'll leave you to it.
  13. Missionaries already do a lot of service, but those who think they know better than the leadership of the church miss a lot of the implications of ideas like this. As soon as the church starts serving food to the public, it has to start complying with a huge number of health and food safety regulations. Charging money for a Saturday breakfast brings with it all sorts of tax implications and potential loss of tax-exempt status. With a car wash comes liability for scratched or damaged cars. Some of this could also have labor law implications. One big issue is the people who would take advantage of the missionaries. Those with no interest in the gospel who would use them shamelessly over and over as free labor. I suspect a small number of people would occupy 100% of their time to the point that it would actually make it so they do less service overall and basically no missionary work. The other issue is supply and demand. Free labor sounds nice, but when the missionaries are booked 9+ months out for that free labor or it's impossible to schedule them to come because of such high demand, is it really doing anything to share the gospel? Anyway, there's a lot more to think about than just giving out free stuff or labor. I'm confident that the leaders of the church have considered all these ideas and many more, but have made inspired decisions to manage the missionary program the way it's currently run. Of course there are always ways to improve, and I believe they are always trying to get better.
  14. While I do think church leaders have become more diplomatic in their language, I don't see any real attempt to distance the church from being the only true church. I did a quick search on the church's website and came up with several talks from the last 10 years or so that talk about it. If the church were to give up on its claims to sole authority and being the only true church, it would not grow, but gradually fade away. I, for one, would look for an easier church to belong to if I thought all churches had the same authority.
  15. I wasn't pointing the finger at our church alone. There are all sorts of churches past and present that use(d) religious justification for racism and xenophobia. What I was getting at is that since, "Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects unrighteous actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.", those who continue to cling to said theories are just looking for a way to rationalize their racism. A better response would be to accept that those theories were wrong and change any remaining racist views, which I believe the church as an institution has done and continues to do. Some individual members, however, have yet to get with the program.
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