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Are past sermons still in force from Prophets past, no matter our current Prophet?


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It is clear that “continuing revelation”, makes changes in Church Doctrine, a necessary event. Such as the “ending of Polygamy”, and  “Priesthood for those of all races“, but what about sermons that make behavior very clear? It is clear that coverts join who have tattoos, such as former military, and others who did not grow up in the Church. I remember one sermon, very well when President Hinckley, in a sermon made very clear, and very forcefully the comment; “..,tattoos are graffiti on the Temple of God...”. He had this practice, when speaking as the “Prophet”, of making gestures with his dominant hand in the air, by doing this to those attending General Conference, be they in the Conference Center, or watching from home. When addressing this topic, he was being very, very,  forceful! 
 

I wonder if any here, remember this sermon, and the gesture he would use, when driving a point home? 

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If I find out, after having done something, that a certain practice is frowned upon, I'm only accountable if I engage in the practice after I hear that it is frowned upon.  I would say that if a current or recent prophet says something that contradicts what a previous prophet said, what the current or recent prophet says controls.  If a current prophet has not spoken on a subject upon which his long-ago predecessors spoke freely, I think that's probably a clue as to how concerned the Lord is about the subject currently.  My $0.02, actual value may vary, void where prohibited, restrictions apply. ;)

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One must keep in perspective that conference talks are informed opinion.  One must be guided by the Spirit in what one learns from them.  One must also take into account the audience and the context and times of the sermon.

Official doctrine is in the Four Standard Works.  AFAIK, tattoos are not mentioned.  One must keep in mind that in many cultures that the Church preaches to now, tattoos are a normal part of life.

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I like to seperate ideas, from Doctrine to life advice. For example, it's a good idea to get married, the doctrine is if you are sealed in a temple and live faithful you will have a continuation of the family unity after death. Life advice would be telling someone when to get married, how to stay married, should you continue to be married? it's not a doctrine that you are your holiness is dependant on how many kids you have, if any. 

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5 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

It is clear that “continuing revelation”, makes changes in Church Doctrine, a necessary event. Such as the “ending of Polygamy”, and  “Priesthood for those of all races“, but what about sermons that make behavior very clear? It is clear that coverts join who have tattoos, such as former military, and others who did not grow up in the Church. I remember one sermon, very well when President Hinckley, in a sermon made very clear, and very forcefully the comment; “..,tattoos are graffiti on the Temple of God...”. He had this practice, when speaking as the “Prophet”, of making gestures with his dominant hand in the air, by doing this to those attending General Conference, be they in the Conference Center, or watching from home. When addressing this topic, he was being very, very,  forceful! 
 

I wonder if any here, remember this sermon, and the gesture he would use, when driving a point home? 

Continuing revelation frequently makes changes in policy and practice, not necessarily in doctrine.  Polygyny, for example, remains solid doctrine, even though we are not allowed to practice it at present.  Likewise, tattoos may be discouraged, but they continue to be used by good LDS members from Samoa (one can see them clearly during the shows at the LDS Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii).  St Paul often had personal views about what people should do, but his personal opinions were frequently not a matter of doctrine -- and he carefully distinguished which was which.

As to diversity of views among prophets, we do not disregard the words of Moses just because Samuel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah come along later.  We read them all, and take them all seriously.  Many of them are speaking to a particular generation, not to us.  Noah, for example, had a particular problem to deal with which does not concern us presently:  We don't need to build an ark, even though it was appropriate to his time.  The general lesson we need to gain from Noah is twofold:  Being faithful is good, and the wages of sin is death.  We need to understand the prophetic enterprise along such general lines.

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I remember the sermon, but I don't think he meant that new members need to go through the process of having tattoos removed; but rather the current members should not get them or any more of them.

"Now comes the craze of tattooing one’s body. I cannot understand why any young man —or young woman, for that matter —would wish to undergo the painful process of disfiguring the skin with various multicolored representations of people, animals, and various symbols. With tattoos, the process is permanent, unless there is another painful and costly undertaking to remove it. Fathers, caution your sons against having their bodies tattooed. They may resist your talk now, but the time will come when they will thank you. A tattoo is graffiti on the temple of the body...The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have declared that we discourage tattoos and also “the piercing of the body for other than medical purposes.” (Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children,” Liahona, Jan. 2001, 67)

So how strong of a word is "discourage"?  I would not call it one of those "thou shalt" types of declarations. Just good council from the prophet. 

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There is an issue of definitions. We cannot apply traditional definitions of scripture and revelation of other religions. We do not believe sculpture to be inerrant and we do not believe our prophets to be infallible General conference talks are assigned but no topics are given and no talks are reviewed before being presented. I cannot think of a past sermon that does not have value today. True the examples used to expound the principle being taught may be flawed or outdated, but they are still true principles The purpose of general conference is not to produce doctrine or canon, but to  produce scripture, which is inspired teachings. Sacrament talks are just as much scripture as are general conference talks. 

 

Our doctrine is found in our cannon, and in official proclamations. 

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16 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

It is clear that “continuing revelation”, makes changes in Church Doctrine, a necessary event. Such as the “ending of Polygamy”, and  “Priesthood for those of all races“, but what about sermons that make behavior very clear? It is clear that coverts join who have tattoos, such as former military, and others who did not grow up in the Church. I remember one sermon, very well when President Hinckley, in a sermon made very clear, and very forcefully the comment; “..,tattoos are graffiti on the Temple of God...”. He had this practice, when speaking as the “Prophet”, of making gestures with his dominant hand in the air, by doing this to those attending General Conference, be they in the Conference Center, or watching from home. When addressing this topic, he was being very, very,  forceful! 

I wonder if any here, remember this sermon, and the gesture he would use, when driving a point home? 

Yes, I think that when such counsel is reflected in current teachings, it is still in force. For example: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/tattooing?lang=eng and For the Strength of Youth ("Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings..."). Converts who already have them can abide this counsel going forward and will enjoy the attendant blessings by submitting preferences, custom and culture to prophetic counsel.

Yes, I remember his gestures.

 

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13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Continuing revelation frequently makes changes in policy and practice, not necessarily in doctrine.  Polygyny, for example, remains solid doctrine, even though we are not allowed to practice it at present.  Likewise, tattoos may be discouraged, but they continue to be used by good LDS members from Samoa (one can see them clearly during the shows at the LDS Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii).  St Paul often had personal views about what people should do, but his personal opinions were frequently not a matter of doctrine --

It is why I separated, “doctrine form sermon“, and even used polygamy as an example. One thing may be cultural in nature, but not doctrinal, while other things are eternal in nature. For instance, if someone were to paint graffiti on a Temple, no matter how well done, steps would be taken with haste to remove it. What caused me to think of this, had nothing to do with the Church, but a talk show where a very, very, famous actor, said that he was not only going through the pain to have his removed.he went on to say that he takes his kids with him so they can see the pain of having them removed. I am not trying to pass judgement on anyone for getting a tattoo, but that day, President Hinckley, seemed more forceful about this topic, and it did not seem like just his opinion.  

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19 hours ago, Duncan said:

I like to seperate ideas, from Doctrine to life advice. For example, it's a good idea to get married, the doctrine is if you are sealed in a temple and live faithful you will have a continuation of the family unity after death. Life advice would be telling someone when to get married, how to stay married, should you continue to be married? it's not a doctrine that you are your holiness is dependant on how many kids you have, if any. 

No disagreement there, none at all. 

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8 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

It is why I separated, “doctrine form sermon“, and even used polygamy as an example. One thing may be cultural in nature, but not doctrinal, while other things are eternal in nature. For instance, if someone were to paint graffiti on a Temple, no matter how well done, steps would be taken with haste to remove it. What caused me to think of this, had nothing to do with the Church, but a talk show where a very, very, famous actor, said that he was not only going through the pain to have his removed.he went on to say that he takes his kids with him so they can see the pain of having them removed. I am not trying to pass judgement on anyone for getting a tattoo, but that day, President Hinckley, seemed more forceful about this topic, and it did not seem like just his opinion.  

That is certainly true of criminal gang tattoos, but there are some cultures in which the tattoos are not at all criminal in nature, and I think of good African, Maori, and Samoan LDS men in that regard.  We must be very careful to separate cultural rituals of manhood and other preferences from the doctrine of God.  Likewise, we should be very cautious in looking down on ancient traditional piercings, in India, for example, which go beyond just ear piercing.  God judges not by outward appearance, but by the heart.

The same applies to musical traditions across the planet.  American and European musical traditions may be very familiar to us, but not necessarily represent the preferences of God.  Some of us moderns might not fully appreciate the type of music the ancient Levitical choirs sang at God's temples, and others of us might be shocked at the blood and gore of the temple sacrifices conducted by the Hebrew priests of Aaron.  There may be a deeper context.

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12 hours ago, JAHS said:

I remember the sermon, but I don't think he meant that new members need to go through the process of having tattoos removed; but rather the current members should not get them or any more of them.

I know I suffer from being misunderstood, and misquoted, due to my endless self editing as I write. But, I did not suggest this in any way (Going through the pain of having them removed, to satisfy my own desire), and I fear you bringing it up, will lead others to be dismissive of both my comments and questions. Including having them view me as a self righteous Pharisee. I am neither unkind, or self righteous, suggesting others should live by my sense of morality. I am just posing the question, (because I was reminded while watching a talk show during my five long days in the hospital) but took great care not to appear as if I should “sit in the judgment seat of Christ”. God loves his children far too much to ever have me serve as a Bishop, or Stake President, in this or any other life. I am (like most) a deeply flawed man, but none that know me would view me as unkind, strong and differing opinions maybe, but not self righteous. I say this knowing I have friends on Facebook on this website, and in this very thread, as I say this with the hope I did not just embarrass myself. Or a least I pray none who know me, would never think of my as unkind, if so I would be sorely grieved. As far as his admonition that “current members never get them”, on that we can both agree, assuming this is the point you are trying to make? Are you sure that having no tattoos, at least visible tattoos would disqualify a missionary from serving a mission, unless removed? There are so many rules when it comes to serving missions, that would seem odd. 

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26 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

That is certainly true of criminal gang tattoos, but there are some cultures in which the tattoos are not at all criminal in nature, and I think of good African, Maori, and Samoan LDS men in that regard.  We must be very careful to separate cultural rituals of manhood and other preferences from the doctrine of God.  Likewise, we should be very cautious in looking down on ancient traditional piercings, in India, for example, which go beyond just ear piercing.  God judges not by outward appearance, but by the heart.

The same applies to musical traditions across the planet.  American and European musical traditions may be very familiar to us, but not necessarily represent the preferences of God.  Some of us moderns might not fully appreciate the type of music the ancient Levitical choirs sang at God's temples, and others of us might be shocked at the blood and gore of the temple sacrifices conducted by the Hebrew priests of Aaron.  There may be a deeper context.

You make good points, and in this comment you just replied too, I made the distinction between that which is “doctrinal and cultural”. However, President Hinckley also had a sort of a axiom he preached, “bring all that is good in your culture, and add it to our own”. Although I have no idea how he felt about, “rites of manhood”, as it relates for those such as “Maori, Samoan, Hawaiian, etc. (well almost all Pacific Island cultures). I will admit I know nothing of tattoos, as “rites of passage” in other cultures, so I won’t pretend to suggest I do. 

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5 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

You make good points, and in this comment you just replied too, I made the distinction between that which is “doctrinal and cultural”. However, President Hinckley also had a sort of a axiom he preached, “bring all that is good in your culture, and add it to our own”. Although I have no idea how he felt about, “rites of manhood”, as it relates for those such as “Maori, Samoan, Hawaiian, etc. (well almost all Pacific Island cultures). I will admit I know nothing of tattoos, as “rites of passage” in other cultures, so I won’t pretend to suggest I do. 

Has anyone mentioned Al Fox Carraway?  https://www.mormonwiki.com/Al_Fox_Carraway

I subscribe to her youtube and really like her weekly videos of her family. There was one where she spoke openly of when she arrived in Utah after joining the church, she's from New York. She said that she came alone, and it was very painful because of the judgement from those that were around her immediately when she got there. She said mothers even kept their children away from her because of all of her tattoos. I don't remember all the stories about this that she shared. I'll find the youtube, she's very honest in how hurtful this kind of treatment was. She's very popular with the members and speaks at many church functions. She isn't paid, but her travel is, luckily. I think she has made a great impact where that judgement has probably dissipated hopefully and it's because of her, IMO.

Found it, listen at the 4:40 mark. :)

 

 

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6 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:
20 hours ago, JAHS said:

I remember the sermon, but I don't think he meant that new members need to go through the process of having tattoos removed; but rather the current members should not get them or any more of them.

I know I suffer from being misunderstood, and misquoted, due to my endless self editing as I write. But, I did not suggest this in any way (Going through the pain of having them removed, to satisfy my own desire), and I fear you bringing it up, will lead others to be dismissive of both my comments and questions. Including having them view me as a self righteous Pharisee. I am neither unkind, or self righteous, suggesting others should live by my sense of morality. I am just posing the question, (because I was reminded while watching a talk show during my five long days in the hospital) but took great care not to appear as if I should “sit in the judgment seat of Christ”. God loves his children far too much to ever have me serve as a Bishop, or Stake President, in this or any other life. I am (like most) a deeply flawed man, but none that know me would view me as unkind, strong and differing opinions maybe, but not self righteous. I say this knowing I have friends on Facebook on this website, and in this very thread, as I say this with the hope I did not just embarrass myself. Or a least I pray none who know me, would never think of my as unkind, if so I would be sorely grieved. As far as his admonition that “current members never get them”, on that we can both agree, assuming this is the point you are trying to make? Are you sure that having no tattoos, at least visible tattoos would disqualify a missionary from serving a mission, unless removed? There are so many rules when it comes to serving missions, that would seem odd. 

I wasn't really accusing you specifically of thinking that I was just making a general statement on the subject. Missionaries would not have to have them removed and in fact I am sure there are many members serving in the temple who have tattoos. 

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15 hours ago, JAHS said:

I wasn't really accusing you specifically of thinking that I was just making a general statement on the subject. Missionaries would not have to have them removed and in fact I am sure there are many members serving in the temple who have tattoos. 

I know of Temple workers who do, they got them prior to becoming members. I think I remember GG, once spoke of a sister she served with in the Temple, who had tattoos, maybe even gang tattoos. But no, I was not suggesting that those with tattoos should have them removed, unless they were maybe profanity. But, I am surprised about missionaries having visible tattoos, being allowed to serve. One of my best friends, has a son who has a condition where he cannot grow hair. He was told that he could not shave his head, and serve. His father (my friend) had to write a letter to explain his condition, and to tell them the little hair he grew on his head in patches, would be a look they would not like. They made him send a picture to illustrate, before he was allowed to serve. But, in any event, no matter how poorly, I write what I think on any matter. This is why I didn’t want you to imply what I did not say. No worries, we are still brothers in the Gospel, and I still love you as such. Sorry if I came on too strong. 
 

Your Brother in Jesus Christ, 

Bill Lee 

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16 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Has anyone mentioned Al Fox Carraway?  https://www.mormonwiki.com/Al_Fox_Carraway

I subscribe to her youtube and really like her weekly videos of her family. There was one where she spoke openly of when she arrived in Utah after joining the church, she's from New York. She said that she came alone, and it was very painful because of the judgement from those that were around her immediately when she got there. She said mothers even kept their children away from her because of all of her tattoos. I don't remember all the stories about this that she shared. I'll find the youtube, she's very honest in how hurtful this kind of treatment was. She's very popular with the members and speaks at many church functions. She isn't paid, but her travel is, luckily. I think she has made a great impact where that judgement has probably dissipated hopefully and it's because of her, IMO.

Found it, listen at the 4:40 mark. :)

 

 

I know of her, and read about her. It is sad that many do not remember the words of Jesus Christ, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.  But the judgmental are in all Faiths, and every independent Church building. Although it is at times painful, we attend not for the approval of others, but to worship he who is worthy. Besides, although these things happen to much, “and one time is one time to many”, once people get to know one another, like all things, “This too will pass”. We just need to hold on to our Faith, until that day comes. Sadly, I know there are some, and one is too many, who lose their way before others get to know them. Also for those who are “judgmental, they will face a harsh reality, “By what manner you judge, you will be judged”.  

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On 1/12/2021 at 2:39 PM, Kenngo1969 said:

If I find out, after having done something, that a certain practice is frowned upon, I'm only accountable if I engage in the practice after I hear that it is frowned upon.  I would say that if a current or recent prophet says something that contradicts what a previous prophet said, what the current or recent prophet says controls.  If a current prophet has not spoken on a subject upon which his long-ago predecessors spoke freely, I think that's probably a clue as to how concerned the Lord is about the subject currently.  My $0.02, actual value may vary, void where prohibited, restrictions apply. ;)

That places you in a rather precarious situation. If a prophet contradicts another prophet you no longer know which of the two is correct. And that is certainly the case since God does not speak from both sides of His mouth. In addition, it casts a huge shadow on whatever a prophet is saying for we no longer know if he is actually articulating something directed by God thru the Spirit or stating just an opinion. It is not a simple matter of the most recent statement "controls" the situation because you have no way to assess its validity. God's truths do not have an expiration date.

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8 minutes ago, Islander said:

That places you in a rather precarious situation. If a prophet contradicts another prophet you no longer know which of the two is correct. And that is certainly the case since God does not speak from both sides of His mouth. In addition, it casts a huge shadow on whatever a prophet is saying for we no longer know if he is actually articulating something directed by God thru the Spirit or stating just an opinion. It is not a simple matter of the most recent statement "controls" the situation because you have no way to assess its validity. God's truths do not have an expiration date.

While I'm sure you're concern is genuine and heartfelt, I'll take my chances.  Thank you.

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41 minutes ago, Islander said:

That places you in a rather precarious situation. If a prophet contradicts another prophet you no longer know which of the two is correct. And that is certainly the case since God does not speak from both sides of His mouth. In addition, it casts a huge shadow on whatever a prophet is saying for we no longer know if he is actually articulating something directed by God thru the Spirit or stating just an opinion. It is not a simple matter of the most recent statement "controls" the situation because you have no way to assess its validity. God's truths do not have an expiration date.

 

32 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

While I'm sure you're concern is genuine and heartfelt, I'll take my chances.  Thank you.

Does continuing revelation really just come down to recency bias vs primacy bias?  Is it orthodox vs progressive?  

If God doesn't change but continuing revelation is a true principle then we really need to understand what principles are eternal in nature and which are situational.  Otherwise we have no principles behind our beliefs.

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37 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

 

Does continuing revelation really just come down to recency bias vs primacy bias?  Is it orthodox vs progressive?  

If God doesn't change but continuing revelation is a true principle then we really need to understand what principles are eternal in nature and which are situational.  Otherwise we have no principles behind our beliefs.

But you skirted the issue raised. If a prophet contradicts another, you have a real conundrum. I am not speaking about situational issues but rather those of existential relevancy; juxtaposed to one another. Kenngo just ignored it and decided to go with the flow in total intellectual blindness. That is not faith. Continual revelation can not be a scape goat for inconsistency and doctrinal incongruency. Either God speaks or He doesn't. It is then, either His voice or man's opinion. That is an unavoidable conclusion.

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

 

Does continuing revelation really just come down to recency bias vs primacy bias?  Is it orthodox vs progressive?  

If God doesn't change but continuing revelation is a true principle then we really need to understand what principles are eternal in nature and which are situational.  Otherwise we have no principles behind our beliefs.

If you wish to lament the passing of dead prophets over following the living ones, I will leave you to that.  You and Islander can have fun in that "congregation" of two (perhaps you can have a death match to determine which one of you will lead it, sort of a "Coriantumr-vs-Shiz" final battle ... )  I'll leave you both to that, as well.  I recognize you beg to differ, but, really, I'm fine.  Thanks.

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26 minutes ago, Islander said:

... Kenngo just ignored it and decided to go with the flow in total intellectual blindness. That is not faith. ...

That is very poor form, there, old chap.  I don't think there's too much of a difference between accusing someone of intellectual blindness, on the one hand, and questioning that person's faith, on the other: I think that, probably, they're simply two sides of the same coin.  There may not be a Board rule against accusing someone of intellectual blindness, but there is one against questioning someone's faith.

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2 hours ago, Islander said:

That places you in a rather precarious situation. If a prophet contradicts another prophet you no longer know which of the two is correct. And that is certainly the case since God does not speak from both sides of His mouth. In addition, it casts a huge shadow on whatever a prophet is saying for we no longer know if he is actually articulating something directed by God thru the Spirit or stating just an opinion. It is not a simple matter of the most recent statement "controls" the situation because you have no way to assess its validity. God's truths do not have an expiration date.

Sure we do. It's the same thing we teach new members, primary children and adults very throughly.  If the present prophet contradicts a past prophet then we just need to prepare ourselves and pray to have the Spirit guide us in which way we should follow.

God's truths/doctrines do not have an expiration date, but even if prophets were infallible, God's applications for each era or individual may not apply. So when there are contradictory words from prophets we put our hearts in a place to listen to God and seek the Spirit to find out what applications apply to us.

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6 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

If you wish to lament the passing of dead prophets over following the living ones, I will leave you to that.  You and Islander can have fun in that "congregation" of two (perhaps you can have a death match to determine which one of you will lead it, sort of a "Coriantumr-vs-Shiz" final battle ... )  I'll leave you both to that, as well.  I recognize you beg to differ, but, really, I'm fine.  Thanks.

You can choose to mock rather than addressing the questions raised if you like.  But when speaking of doctrine and revelation truth is eternal.

If we accept every change because the current prophet says so we really have little testimony in any gospel principles except for the one that says follow the living prophet.  Which you can do without agreeing with every doctrinal opinion of the current day.

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