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Everything posted by rchorse

  1. 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 mis
  2. 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 advan
  3. 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.
  4. 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.", th
  5. Because some people still need to feel like their racism is supported by God and scripture.
  6. Good question. I don't have a good answer. I think it's something everyone has to figure it out for themselves.
  7. I think it takes all personality types to spread the gospel. Some people don't feel comfortable around those who are extremely outgoing, bubbly, and cheerful and will have a hard time opening up to them. Others need someone with that kind of personality to draw them out. For me personally, I am happy, but I don't come across as a beaming ray of sunshine 😄 Once people get to know me, though, it's not hard to tell that I am a happy person. What I take from the teaching to let our light shine is not that we need to change our personality, but that we need to show and share our personality an
  8. I'm not sure if it's relevant to the thread or not, but reading through the Freudian analysis of football made me think of the way archaeologists/anthropologists today interpret and explain ancient religious structures, texts, and practices. I can't help but think that many of the modern mainstream interpretations of ancient religious structures, texts, and practices could be just as (in)accurate as the Freudian analysis of football. I've often had the thought that a society in the far future with no knowledge of television would probably conclude that televisions are religious shrines in the
  9. One of the big criticisms of both Joseph Smith and Jesus was that they didn't act like prophets or holy men should act. Both were criticized for what others thought was undignified behavior. When I was a bishop, I heard from several people that I didn't act the way a bishop should act. My favorite was the one man who told me that I was "the meanest man of God [he had] ever met." I do have a blunt personality and don't talk with a typical "church" voice or demeanor, so it didn't surprise me too much. My point is that a prophet will act like whoever God calls as a prophet. Just because they
  10. I was endowed after 1990. I have no idea what was in there before. I know the information is out there, but I have avoided looking it up because it felt wrong to me. So am I missing out on blessings because of something I was never even given the chance to accept or reject? Are all future generations that will receive the endowment doomed to a "lesser" endowment because they happened to be born later? That doesn't square with anything else I know or have experienced in the church. Having seen the endowment before and after the recent changes, many negative reactions to the changes s
  11. For an example of this, just look at women serving missions. The church is very careful to say that a mission is completely optional for women. But culturally, it has been slowly evolving into a must. My wife has felt judgment from some in the church for choosing not to serve a mission. There's not even close to the same level of stigma that not serving a mission carries for men, but it's not completely stigma-free, either. Even though it should be.
  12. The problems you mention are only problems if the changes do not come about through true revelation. The church will do just fine if it sticks to doing God's revealed will because God will confirm that it is His will to any member that wants to know for sure. I'm fine either way with women getting the Priesthood, but only if it's really what God wants. I don't claim to have received any revelation on that topic, one way or the other, but so far I've seen nothing in the decisions made by the leadership of the church that would suggest we're headed down the route of the Community of Christ. I th
  13. Actually, comparing the church today to during Joseph Smith's time, I would say the opposite has happened. Joseph Smith and the early policies of the church were much more radical and liberal than what we have today. Edit to add: I welcome anything that comes down the road, as long as it's God's revealed will.
  14. I don't think we let anyone use anything. They're not "mormon" inventions or the church's property, so the church has no say in whether or how they're used. I think the point is that scientific discoveries come through God's help, and that He's providing more of that help to accelerate his work in the latter days. The lack of scientific progress in the thousands of years prior to now makes a little more sense in this context. Homo Sapiens 10,000 years ago was arguably just as intelligent (although uneducated) as we are today, but they missed key discoveries like electricity for thousands
  15. A language warning would have been nice, since there's an F-bomb in there...
  16. I don't know anyone that has a problem with the constitution being inspired or New Jerusalem being in America. I think the problem people have is with American Exceptionalism. The idea that Americans or the American way of life and culture are superior or that somehow Americans are favored of God just by virtue of being American. That idea goes against doctrine taught in the scriptures and is what offends many non-Americans. After all, "the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God...And he raiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wick
  17. I was thinking more along the lines of people going inactive or leaving because the church doesn't toe a desired political line. Judging someone's faithfulness based on their politics is not what I was getting at.
  18. My experience is only working for one company in Germany, but my observations are above. The observations about German vs Austrian culture are interesting. I had both German and Austrian bosses, and I found the Germans much easier to work with and get along with. From talking to people in our ward and my wife's family, though, Austrians are typically easier to get along with. Which just goes to show that generalizations only get you so far. We're all still just people.
  19. This can't be said enough. Sadly, I see too many church members that I know all over the political spectrum choosing to follow political rather than church leaders. If your politics conflict with the gospel of Jesus Christ, change your politics, not your faith.
  20. We lived in a small town in southern Germany about halfway between Stuttgart and Munich. My wife's family all live there or in the Stuttgart area. It's easy to move there and get a work permit, especially if you have family there. But housing is expensive in the big cities and the Germans were frequently annoyed by our loud American children. 😄 Overall, though, we loved it.
  21. I agree with everything you say here, except that there's no stigma with the skilled trades in Europe. We lived in Germany until January of 2020, and those who went to Gymnasium do look down on those who went to Real- or Hauptschule. I don't think it's to the same extent as here in the U.S., but the stigma does exist there, as well. Gymnasium was one of the reasons we moved back. Our boys were looking to be headed for Gymnasium, and it's been turned into something ridiculous in terms of how demanding and stressful it is. We wanted our kids to be able to explore different career and educat
  22. The rising cost of college tends to not be as much of an issue in other countries. It's really primarily a U.S. issue. As the core of the church migrates outside the U.S., I don't see it hurting the church. Having said that, too many in the U.S. overlook the skilled trades. You can become a master electrician, machinist, or plumber very affordably, get paid for most of your education and have your pick of jobs when you're done with your training. It's also typically much easier to start your own business in these areas. One of the big problems is that "blue collar" work is looked down on.
  23. This is the part that worries me. I'm not optimistic, either. If the major players globally were not, in general, basically organized crime bosses, I might feel more optimistic.
  24. My biggest concern with climate change is that the shifting availability of resources, primarily water, will lead to war. I think alarmism over the climate, as well as denial of human impact on the climate, both contribute to the likelihood of war. That said, I think God expects us to be good stewards over the earth and do all we can to protect it. We should research and find ways to minimize our impact personally nationally, and globally. The issues of climate and shifting resources can be solved if people work together. Politicians on both sides seem to care more about using the cl
  25. They're only mutually exclusive if you believe that the prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actually speak for the Lord on the matter. If you don't believe that, you can do whatever you want. If you do believe it, they've been pretty clear that tithing needs to be paid to the church to be considered a full tithe payer.
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