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    • By HappyJackWagon
      Apparently BYU has been instituting these changes for the past couple of years, striving to move away from "activities checklists" and reliance on GPA and ACT scores (only).
      The article discusses how BYU is looking to find people who better align with the school's/church's mission. That makes sense.
      I find this interesting and a bit disappointing but I'm curious what your thoughts are. I've heard the question asked many times, "Does BYU require seminary graduation?" This new approach doesn't really answer that question but it does require a recommendation from a seminary teacher. I'm assuming it's in addition to a standard ecclesiastical endorsement and it seems like maybe it's a bit redundant, or maybe BYU isn't as trusting of the bishop's endorsement. I don't know. But basing college admissions on a student's engagement in seminary at one point in time during that student's senior year doesn't seem all that helpful. 
    • By Robert F. Smith
      Yasemin Saplakoglu, "There May Be a Link Between Coffee and Lung Cancer, Study Suggests," LiveScience, April 3, 2019, online at https://www.livescience.com/65136-coffee-lung-cancer.html .
    • By LisaALu
      Born and raised LDS, married in the Temple...the whole 9 yards.  Well....except I like to drink, sometimes socially, other times to "make things go away".  My husband and I started on a vacation 17 years ago, and justified that since it was out of the country....we went every other year, came back, prayed for forgiveness and moved on.  But in the last 2-3 years we have become far more involved.  We can go 4-5 months and then binge for 2 weeks.  Then we set a new time frame and start over.  We don't go to the Temple because we feel that we shouldn't.  So here is the thing...our recommends are 3 days from expiring and the counselor is bugging us to schedule.  STUCK!  TO be clear, neither of us have an issue with doctrine, Joseph Smith or Priesthood....or any of the other usual things.  We have always clung to our faith.  So what we have  in a sense going on, is that we want our cake and to eat it too.  The dilemma is what to do about the counselor.  If we don't go within a certain time for a renewal, we hit the Bishops radar...if we get called in, he's going to want to know why. I am not ready to come clean, I don't want help.  But I don't want to lie in a sacred interview.  To add to the mix, we are going to Europe and plan on drinking a lot of wine.  Later this year another vacation where we will be drinking a lot.  If you are wondering, no, it's not alcoholism on either side...it's that binge thing.  We hold out and then binge in our "off" time.  Knowing that we have no intention of quitting this year...I feel I am stuck with 2 choices.  First, come clean to the Bishop, and deal with consequences, such as being removed from our callings (we have limited our other activities such as Temple and off and on with Sacrament) OR we lie...(it's hard to write that).  If we just get through those interviews, we are off anyones radar while we continue to seek our way through this mess we made.  I want the whole Eternity thing.  My husband is more of a closed book and can't say what he wants.  He wants me...for ever, but he is hurt by the church....I should say WE are hurt by people in the church...their cultural stupidity and not doctrine..  Our 4 children have all opted out, my husband says "if they aren't going to be there, why would I work so hard to be there" of course he doesn't mean that about me.  So it's complicated.  We know the people aren't true, but the church is.  But boy can they do damage.  So I am looking for thoughts. Ps, anyone know how to ask the counselor for time without it going on the Bishops agenda?
    • By Marginal Gains
      Scott Lloyd, on a different thread, said:
      Which begs the question (if one agrees with Scott) about how we differentiate between the bits of the Word Of Wisdom that are binding, and which aren’t?
    • By Five Solas
      Got back home last Sunday after 8 days in London, England, celebrating my 10-year wedding anniversary with my wife.  Our three kiddos stayed at home with her parents—which was awfully generous of them.  (Other guys may complain about their in-laws, but not I.)  It was a great trip, perfect walking weather, peak tourist season not yet started. 
      We stayed at The Grosvenor adjacent to Victoria Station, which meant we had pretty near the whole city within ~ 30 minutes via the Underground (and Buckingham Palace within a six minute walk).  And I’ll share one small observation with the board for any discussion:
      Aberrant theology notwithstanding, the Jehovah’s Witnesses work pretty dang hard.  
      A number of times we saw them working the street.  And unlike Seattle where they will occasionally occupy a corner & smile gently at passers-by—here they seemed to be anxiously engaged with the vast diversity of humanity that occupies greater London.  Yes, we saw a lot of old churches and even a new one that could have been an Acts 29 plant.  But in all our time, we never once saw any LDS missionaries. 
      Recently there was a thread about religious persecution in contemporary Russia.  And this has hit the JW’s hard—because they’ve worked vigorously to establish themselves after the fall of the Soviet Union and have built quite a presence (~100K active worshipers in Russia).   But on that same thread, we couldn’t even figure out how many LDS stakes there are today in Russia (somewhere between zero and three).  Some other stats were tossed about along with an LDS “Locator” app which, among other things, pointed the user to what could have been a boarded-up McDonald's.  After nearly three decades since the fall, LDS here don’t know or seem to care (but a few certainly enjoyed discussing/debating political aspects of Russia).  It’s a stunning contrast to all the fevered speculation when I was growing up (70’s – 80’s) about the missionary/membership opportunity for the LDS Church if Communism were to fall. 
      I realize it’s all anecdotal, and with a life-expectancy assumption of 110 for lost members, we can expect the LDS Church to continue to claim modest membership growth into the foreseeable future (loosing track of people makes *much* better numbers than knowing who actually dies or quits). 
      The question I have is this: Have we entered a period of retreat and retrenchment for the LDS Church where the focus will shift more to Utah and adjacent states (plus perhaps a few parts of the “third world” where record keeping and independent verification of membership will conveniently not be possible).  Even at the national level, we appear to see an example of retrenchment with BYU’s divorce from USAF ROTC.  And on the front page we have a thread about whether “slowing growth” makes any difference to the LDS Church and its adherents.  And again, the LDS here don’t seem terribly interested or concerned. 
      What do you think?  Has Mormonism peaked?  Any will LDS really care if it has?
      You left
      Your tired family grieving
      And you think they're sad because you're leaving
      But did you see Jealousy in the eyes
      Of the ones who had to stay behind?
      --The Smiths "London"
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