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'Lazy learner'


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47 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

As I've thought on this, I realize I might rely too much on other's opinions. And listen easily to many podcasts, since I'm not much of a reader these days because it's hard on my eyes.

I think most of us rely on other's opinions too much! Even those of us who think we don't.  

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Or that's my excuse.

Don't make excuses. 💗 I heard some time ago that when we stop making excuse we find we have more power.  I found it to be true and wow it was hard to stop making those excuses (still working on it).  But it is so freeing to makes choices instead of excuses.

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Was thinking how Joseph Smith doubted and sought out other ways of thinking, is he a lazy learner I wonder?

Everything I have read shows me he was generally not a lazy learner.  Doubting and not checking out other ways of thinking is not lazy.  It is how one approaches that which makes it lazy or not.

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I might be lazy since I'm not well schooled in the intellectual things.

It doesn't matter.  It is so important to search out things.  To study and learn.  But the most important thing is going to God.  It is really connecting with Him.  Asking Him what He wants AND doing it.  Making choices and going to Him to see if he confirms.  Taking time out to really thinking through the things that he gives you that counts.

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But otoh I feel I'm not lazy because I could have stopped belief in God/Jesus but I'm still trying to learn more things on that end. Not saying atheists are lazy, I'm sure they wrestled and fought hard not to lose that belief.  

I might be a choosy learner I guess. I guess we all learn differently, in fact we all do exactly that.

I think being choosy about learning is often a good thing.  The question to ask ourselves, or rather ask God, is if we are choosing to learn the best things.

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I wonder if Pres Nelson's comment will stay in the script for the Liahona. Or maybe we're taking this too far, haha.

 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Is it possible to be a lazy learner in the gospel of Christ and to be a lax disciple of Christ, and increase in faith?

Faithful answer: Yes, because repentance covers weakness like laziness and lax discipleship.

Skeptical answer: Yes, because faith is subjective, and often depending on peoples' experiences and not just their learning and devotion.

But that doesn't really get to what I noticed, and that is how he identifies faith as the answer to each life challenge. Sometimes we can overcome a challenge and sometimes it can only be endured. In either case, lots of things which don't require the LDS faith hypothesis can help. Science, persistence, hope, gratitude, personal support systems, and community support are all, in my opinion, more important that one's faith in the LDS hypothesis.

Why is this relevant? It always was, but perhaps now more than ever, LDS believers are not as insulated as before. When President Nelson is speaking about these things, an increasing number of mixed-faith families will be effected. An increasing number of people with non-LDS friends and neighbors will be effected. And this type of rhetoric can make it more difficult for LDS believers and nonbelievers to collaborate in good ways together, and more difficult to support each other.

 

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23 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

I believe both your question and mine are loaded questions. Both are assuming the person is actually engaging "the gospel of Christ". But, yes I do believe one can increase their conviction in something without effort.

There is a difference between a loaded question and a sincere question that is asked from a specific perspective.  I don't expect you to ask questions based on the belief that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and hopefully you don't expect me to ask questions based on the belief that it's not.

If you asked a loaded question then ok.  I didn't.  My question was sincerely asked, as a way to find out what Meadowchik believes is untrue about Pres. Nelson's statement, considering his perspective.

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Time alone tends to have an impact on belief. I know on my mission I would run into people who would would loudly claim their belief in their own religion even though they had not participate in it in any way for years.

Faith in Christ and "loudly claiming their belief" in a specific religion (even the religion I have chosen) is not the same thing.  Further, faith and belief are not the same thing.  Faith is an action word, a verb, and belief is not.    

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11 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Faithful answer: Yes, because repentance covers weakness like laziness and lax discipleship.

Skeptical answer: Yes, because faith is subjective, and often depending on peoples' experiences and not just their learning and devotion.

But that doesn't really get to what I noticed, and that is how he identifies faith as the answer to each life challenge. Sometimes we can overcome a challenge and sometimes it can only be endured. In either case, lots of things which don't require the LDS faith hypothesis can help. Science, persistence, hope, gratitude, personal support systems, and community support are all, in my opinion, more important that one's faith in the LDS hypothesis.

Why is this relevant? It always was, but perhaps now more than ever, LDS believers are not as insulated as before. When President Nelson is speaking about these things, an increasing number of mixed-faith families will be effected. An increasing number of people with non-LDS friends and neighbors will be effected. And this type of rhetoric can make it more difficult for LDS believers and nonbelievers to collaborate in good ways together, and more difficult to support each other.

 

I can see how you would see it this way from your perspective.  It is not at all how I see it from mine.  

That will always be the crux of these kinds of discussions.

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1 minute ago, bluebell said:

There is a difference between a loaded question and a sincere question that is asked from a specific perspective.  I don't expect you to ask questions based on the belief that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and hopefully you don't expect me to ask questions based on the belief that it's not.

If you asked a loaded question then ok.  I didn't.  My question was sincerely asked, as a way to find out what Meadowchik believes is untrue about Pres. Nelson's statement, considering his perspective.

There is nothing that precludes a sincere question from being loaded.

 

2 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Faith in Christ and "loudly claiming their belief" in a specific religion (even the religion I have chosen) is not the same thing.  Further, faith and belief are not the same thing.  Faith is an action word, a verb, and belief is not. 

I don't think you have any idea about the faith level of those claiming belief.

And, faith is a noun.

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3 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I can see how you would see it this way from your perspective.  It is not at all how I see it from mine.  

That will always be the crux of these kinds of discussions.

How do you see it from yours?

Can you imagine if you were LDS in a community that was heavily some other religion which claims to be the One True Religion. Say your entire family were members of the other religion? Suppose their leader said something like this, implying that the faithful believers of the other religion had the answers to life's challenges. 

So, from your perspective, how would President Nelson's affect you if you are not believing LDS but among believing LDS?

 

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4 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

What he does not acknowledge though, is that doubt can be a legitimate product of earnest faith and diligent work. A person can doubt the truth claims of the church in complete integrity and sincerity. One can even make an argument that complete integrity requires doubt in those claims.

Edited to Add: I'm not really disagreeing with you in my response here, Meadowchik. Your post just elicited my own comments and thoughts. You raise some good points and questions, and in some particulars I completely agree with you. And now on to the show...

Does he need to acknowledge this? I don't think so.

Does complete integrity require doubt? Perhaps, since we must always start with doubt in any field of endeavor.  But in such a subjective area of interest, is an objective doubt even possible? I am constantly drawn back to scientific, especially astronomical, examples. At one time the universe was believed to be in a steady state of one kind or another. And then gradually doubt in this grew and now today the prevailing consensus is the Big Bang Theory (BBT), or, a sudden and unexplainable popping forth of the universe out of apparently nothing. Famous astronomers such as Fred Hoyle mocked this idea, and coined the term "Big Bang" in order to deride the idea. And of course, now the term is used matter-of-factly by everyone (by the way, thanks, Fred, for giving us a hook to hang our hats on).  Hoyle was wrong about the BBT. He died in 2001, never having accepted the BBT. Given that the Big Bang is the reality, is Fred Hoyle's doubt and rejection a matter of integrity, or a matter of "lazy learning" and "lax discipleship"?

Why didn't Hoyle ever accept the BBT? Was it because there was insufficient evidence? Of course not. He didn't accept it because he felt that there were some things that the BBT couldn't explain to his satisfaction, such as the origin of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). He also didn't like it, and this was his primary objection, because he felt it gave too much credence to the idea of there being a Creator. In effect, Hoyle rejected the BBT because it compromised his rejection of religion.  Or to put it in terms of our present debate, he rejected it because he didn't like polygamy, because Joseph Smith told the story of the First Vision in too many versions, because there is no explanation for why blacks couldn't hold the priesthood, because gay marriage is unacceptable, or all of them at once. Just because there are some things the theory doesn't seem to explain, or there are some things that one doesn't agree with, doesn't mean the theory is wrong.

In a sense, doubt is the mother of certainty, because working through one's doubts should lead to certainty. But if one allows oneself to be led off in chains of logical fallacies (such as personal preferences, the madness of crowds, or presentism), one can find oneself firmly rejecting that which is actually true.

Does one trust God and seek His assurance, or does one lean on the arm of flesh? For me, I prefer God's assurance, because there is no scientific proof of even the very existence of God. The best one can achieve using science is agnosticism. And is not knowing enough?

It was clear to me a long time ago that when it comes down to religion, only God can give the assurance I need. Science has no answer to it. There is not, nor can there be an objective proof of the matter. The only answer is found in the advice of James 1:5, Moroni 10:4,5, and D&C 9:8,9. And the answer comes personally, or not at all. Some rely on hope alone, and if this suffices them, I have no argument with them.

But I prefer the certainty of personal revelation, and having obtained it, I pass Go and collect my 200 tokens.

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In the long run, it is religions in general who are asking diligent learners to leave some of their diligence aside to invest in trying out their own specific hypotheses. But they do this while often treating those who refuse to leave that diligence aside as lacking in integrity or worthiness. This can create tremendous conflicts in individuals and interpersonal conflicts in relationships.

It's in the Prophet's job description to tell people things they don't necessarily want to hear. A glance through scripture finds that, unlike the usual idea, a prophet's job is not so much to be a foreteller, but to be a forthteller. He is supposed to cause tremendous conflicts in individuals and interpersonal conflicts in relationships. Jesus himself said very clearly that he came to cause division and not relieve it. Because telling people truths they don't want to hear is ever guaranteed to engender strife. And in suggesting that some people are "lazy learners" and "lax disciples" President Nelson is doing the due diligence his job description entails. Much like other prophets, such as Jacob the brother of Nephi, did when he wrote:

Wherefore, it burdeneth my soul that I should be constrained, because of the strict commandment which I have received from God, to admonish you according to your crimes, to enlarge the wounds of those who are already wounded, instead of consoling and healing their wounds; and those who have not been wounded, instead of feasting upon the pleasing word of God have daggers placed to pierce their souls and wound their delicate minds. [Jacob 2:9]

Perhaps others should be gentler about it, for the sake of interpersonal relationships, but what else is a prophet supposed to do?

I can't speak for "religion in general", but LDS doctrine does not ask learners to leave aside due diligence. It rather invites due diligence to be exercised. I will admit there are some Latter-day Saints who seem to advocate sticking one's head in the sand, but that's not what the scriptures enjoin.

For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the devil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray. [2 Nephi 32:8]

"Put it to the test! Pray about it!" the scriptures say. "But no!" the evil Spirit says. "Don't pray about it! Believe what [insert name of your favorite anti-Mormon here] says about it! That's the objective test -- ignore what God has to say, or rather, there is no God, so He can't tell you anything!"

I'm talking about seeking personal revelation on the subject. 

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A more honest approach would be to say something like, "Doubting Person A is making a completely legitimate choice if they choose to not invest in our hypothesis. In doing so they do not forfeit the ability to find truth or goodness, and we can accomplish a lot with the doubters when we work together in forwarding our common values."

Why is this more honest? President Nelson is a man who, if he and others who testify of him are to be believed, is a prophet of God, and what is he or she supposed to say to a doubter?  You might be right and I might be wrong? He must know he is right, and all he can really say is "I know I am right, and you can find out for yourself that this is so, if you ask the One who called me."

 

Edited by Stargazer
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35 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

There is nothing that precludes a sincere question from being loaded.

If you say so.  It's not worth arguing over.

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I don't think you have any idea about the faith level of those claiming belief.

Neither do you, which was my entire point.  You can't tell someone's level of faith based on how loudly they proclaim belief.  

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And, faith is a noun.

Sorry if I was confusing.  As far as the gospel is concerned, faith is a verb.  Faith, without works, is useless, as the scriptures teach.  Pres. Nelson was using the word as a verb.  Since we are talking about his words, we have to define them the way he is in order to understand what he is saying.

How you want to define faith is irrelevant to understanding his point.

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44 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

How do you see it from yours?

Can you imagine if you were LDS in a community that was heavily some other religion which claims to be the One True Religion. Say your entire family were members of the other religion? Suppose their leader said something like this, implying that the faithful believers of the other religion had the answers to life's challenges. 

So, from your perspective, how would President Nelson's affect you if you are not believing LDS but among believing LDS?

 

Honestly (and I'm being very sincere), I would expect their leaders to say such things.   I would be disappointed in what they had to offer if they didn't believe that.  I am all for religious and spiritual beliefs that "set their gods high" (to quote a line from a novel).   Those are the beliefs (if they are sincerely held) that I respect, even if I might not agree with them.

 

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5 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

A more honest approach would be to say something like, "Doubting Person A is making a completely legitimate choice if they choose to not invest in our hypothesis. In doing so they do not forfeit the ability to find truth or goodness, and we can accomplish a lot with the doubters when we work together in forwarding our common values."

If he does not believe that is true, is it still the more honest approach?

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8 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Honestly (and I'm being very sincere), I would expect their leaders to say such things.   I would be disappointed in what they had to offer if they didn't believe that.  I am all for religious and spiritual beliefs that "set their gods high" (to quote a line from a novel).   Those are the beliefs (if they are sincerely held) that I respect, even if I might not agree with them.

 

I wonder if religion is more like MLM's after reading this. Not to be sacrilegious. 

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32 minutes ago, bluebell said:

How you want to define faith is irrelevant to understanding his point.

I am not the one trying to redefine a noun as a verb in order to make a point. 

Can you provide a sentence in which 'faith' is correctly used as a verb?

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7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I wonder if religion is more like MLM's after reading this. Not to be sacrilegious. 

I think I can see what you mean (because blessings are promised for sharing gospel truths with others) but the difference is that you get those blessings regardless if the people "sign up" or not.  It is the effort of trying to share the good news that God rewards.  The blessings are not conditional upon whether or not the people you share it with choose to have faith, repent, and make covenants with Him themselves.   That is between them and God.

I'm not sure how what I said brought you to this line of thinking though.

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Well, whether President Nelson intended it or not, he's now given many of the "faithful" two more labels to apply to those of us who doubt and/or lost our faith.  Lovely.

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2 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

 

I am not the one trying to redefine a noun as a verb in order to make a point. 

Can you provide a sentence in which 'faith' is correctly used as a verb?

I'm really surprised this is a new concept to you.  Here are some links that discuss and explore the ways that faith, as it's used in the gospel, can be both a noun and a verb.  Some of them are from an lds perspective and some are not.  It's not an idea that originated with me to make a point. It's been around for a long time:

http://holyfruits.blogspot.com/2013/07/faith-is-verb.html

http://pheugo.com/faithmatters/index.php?page=FaithMatters.Faithisaverb&WEBMGR=846fafeb0c3a6445eab46c9ebd0e4182

https://www.phillytrib.com/religion/faith-is-a-verb-not-a-noun/article_5494248b-33d0-5f16-8363-a581bc259610.html

https://pcpe.smu.edu/blog/faith-is-a-verb-not-a-noun-reflections-on-john-3-14-21

https://www.marissashrock.com/faith-as-a-verb/#:~:text=According to Merriam Webster%2C the,it as a transitive verb.&text=It is when doubt becomes,on the water%2C he followed.

https://www.faithgateway.com/faith-both-noun-and-verb/#.YGyM_hRKjJw

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001718.html

http://www.adfontes.ca/posts/post/article/faith-a-word-in-urgent-need-of-definition/index.php

 

 

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40 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think I can see what you mean (because blessings are promised for sharing gospel truths with others) but the difference is that you get those blessings regardless if the people "sign up" or not.  It is the effort of trying to share the good news that God rewards.  The blessings are not conditional upon whether or not the people you share it with choose to have faith, repent, and make covenants with Him themselves.   That is between them and God.

I'm not sure how what I said brought you to this line of thinking though.

I'm not sure because you surely didn't infer that. I just thought of it the minute I read your post, so my fault entirely. I don't know what's wrong with me some days. There is pressure to believe in a product of MLM's though. 

Edited by Tacenda
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6 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

What he does not acknowledge though, is that doubt can be a legitimate product of earnest faith and diligent work. A person can doubt the truth claims of the church in complete integrity and sincerity. One can even make an argument that complete integrity requires doubt in those claims.

In the long run, it is religions in general who are asking diligent learners to leave some of their diligence aside to invest in trying out their own specific hypotheses. But they do this while often treating those who refuse to leave that diligence aside as lacking in integrity or worthiness. This can create tremendous conflicts in individuals and interpersonal conflicts in relationships.

A more honest approach would be to say something like, "Doubting Person A is making a completely legitimate choice if they choose to not invest in our hypothesis. In doing so they do not forfeit the ability to find truth or goodness, and we can accomplish a lot with the doubters when we work together in forwarding our common values."

 

I think this could be a good approach for investigators, but that is was clearly not his audience.

I think his talk was more about "doubt your doubts" than anything 

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43 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I'm really surprised this is a new concept to you

And I am surprised you don't realize loaded question are frequently sincere.

 

Instead of a wall of links for me to sort thru, just provide a single grammatically correct sentence where faith is a verb. 

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11 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

And I am surprised you don't realize loaded question are frequently sincere.

You can be snarky to me if you want but I wasn't being snarky when I said that.  I'm sincerely surprised that you haven't run into this concept before.  I wouldn't have brought it up in the way that I did if I had known you weren't familiar with it.  I would have provided more context.

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Instead of a wall of links for me to sort thru, just provide a single grammatically correct sentence where faith is a verb. 

I provided the links because this is not a concept you can understand using English grammar rules.  We are talking about a concept that was originally written about and taught about in greek, which works differently than English does.

In greek the word faith can be both a noun and a verb, but our english word for faith is much more limited.  So, one grammatically correct sentence where faith is used as a verb would be "Faith without works is dead, being alone."  In this sentence the greek word for faith is the verb peithō, which means "to listen to, obey, yield to, comply with, to trust, have confidence, be confident." 

It's not obvious in English that the word faith is a verb in this sentence.  You either have to read the text in the original Greek or, you have to understand that the verb form of the word is inherit in the sentence because the sentence is teaching that saving faith requires belief, trust, and obedience to God.

(**I do not speak Greek.  This is information that is available online by greek scholars in the links that I shared.  You can look it up yourself with Strong's Concordance, which provides the greek and english side by side.  I'm also sure it is a much deeper and broader subject than my base understanding.)

Hope that helps.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

There is pressure to believe in a product of MLM's though. 

That's true, and usually that pressure comes because the person who wants you to believe is going to get something reward if they can convince you to do so.  Gospel blessings are not contingent on convincing people to believe what you are saying is true though.  People who share the gospel sincerely do so because of the way it will bless the other person's life.  The sharer will certainly gain happiness if the other person believes and their happiness increases (because they find joy in helping others), but I don't think it's the same concept as selling a product for an MLM.

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9 minutes ago, bluebell said:

That's true, and usually that pressure comes because the person who wants you to believe is going to get something reward if they can convince you to do so.  Gospel blessings are not contingent on convincing people to believe what you are saying is true though.  People who share the gospel sincerely do so because of the way it will bless the other person's life.  The sharer will certainly gain happiness if the other person believes and their happiness increases (because they find joy in helping others), but I don't think it's the same concept as selling a product for an MLM.

But I feel the leaders of the church must feel a sense of urgency that they are failing with having so many leaving the church. I understand how that must be a real worry for them.

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7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

But I feel the leaders of the church must feel a sense of urgency that they are failing with having so many leaving the church. I understand how that must be a real worry for them.

I agree, I think they have a great sense of urgency about it all.  If we love someone we will always have a sense of urgency concerning their safety and well being.

Edited by bluebell
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Dan's Ellsworth posted a blog article about Pres. Nelson's words at conference and he begins it with this caveat:

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As a preliminary note, I would strongly recommend that people who are angry, not watch general conference. Find something else to do. Why? Harvard University’s Jennifer Lerner explains in her research on anger:

“. . . even when the object of subsequent judgments bears no relation to the source of one’s anger, anger increases . . .

a desire to blame individuals,

tendencies to overlook mitigating details before attributing blame,

tendencies to perceive ambiguous behavior as hostile,

tendencies to discount the role of uncontrollable factors when attributing causality, and

punitiveness in response to witnessing mistakes made by others.”

Lerner further explains that “[b]eing perceived as angry can increase one’s social status”, and that, “[r]elative to sadness and neutral emotion, anger activated heuristic processing (e.g., more stereotypic judgments, less attention to the quality of the arguments, and more attention to the superficial cues of the message)”

More on this here, but suffice it to say that anger fuels powerful biases toward reading a person’s actions or statements in a certain way. There are scientific studies supporting the idea that we should not undertake any important decision-making when we are angry, because our ability to actually understand things that people are saying goes out the window.

It follows, then, that we should also avoid commentaries on general conference (or any other things) that are written in anger. An angry commentator is likely to have greatly misunderstood much of what was said.

 

Is he right?  Is some of the hubbub around Pres. Nelson's words due to them being heard by people already angry with church leaders and so predispositioned to take them badly (for lack of a better term)?  Or is it something completely separate from that?

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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I wonder if religion is more like MLM's after reading this. Not to be sacrilegious. 

Everything is like an MLM, when you get right down to it.  

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