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Elder Holland: BYU may need to "stand alone"


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1 hour ago, rongo said:

Adding onto @Bernard Gui and @Bob Crockett's list of educational jargon:

I have a Word doc I add to from time to time with education buzzwords. Here are some others:

 

skill set

authentic assessment

STEM/STEAM

engagement

cross-curricular

project-based

big ideas

essential questions

power standards

synergy

proactive

best practices

data-driven

rigor

stakeholders

narrative

dialogue (used as a verb; e.g., "We're going to dialogue with the other departments about this next week")

accomodations/modifications

paradigm

21st Century skills

walk the walk/ talk the talk

buy-in

lifelong learners

growth mindset

piece (e.g., “accountability piece,” "the professionalism piece")

executive function

evaluation instrument

Kagan structures

metacognition

We had our annual Sales/development summit this week so I am full of synergy, lol!

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14 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Man- I was going to put this together but I think you can do your own research. I don't have the time. IF you really think marriage law hasn't changed throughout the Old Testament, New Testament, D&C and today then you are living in La La land.

Look up Levite Marriage, Concubines, Polygamy, polyandry, divorce, eternal nature of marriage etc. and tell me there are no contradictions. Don't worry. I won't expect any response.

Ah, that's what you mean. Very well. I'll not bore you with another foray into accomodationism, revelatory context, or about the hermeneutical implications of the Matthew-Mark reference to the Book of Tobit, or my disagreement with the claim that the essential nature of marriage is actually altered by these contradictions. Since you're clearly quite busy, we can agree to disagree.

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3 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

Ah, that's what you mean. Very well. I'll not bore you with another foray into accomodationism, revelatory context, or about the hermeneutical implications of the Matthew-Mark reference to the Book of Tobit, or my disagreement with the claim that the essential nature of marriage is actually altered by these contradictions. Since you're clearly quite busy, we can agree to disagree.

Would you agree that teachings/revelation about marriage and closely related topics have changed over time?

If so, would it not be reasonable to think that revelation on an important topic like SSM would be useful and even necessary. Relying on past revelation/scripture/teachings doesn't touch directly on the issue of SSM does it? It doesn't.

Then one might suggest that it's an eternal truth that man and woman must be married to propagate little spirits in eternity. And then I might ask, where is the revelation and teaching related to how spirits are created. Is it a creation, or will hetero couples beget little spirits in a sxual way? IOW- the arguments of eternal progeny only coming from married hetero couples is based on assumptions because there is no revelation about how spirits are created. So we get back to the issue of why one kind of loving couple, or throuple, quadrouple or whatever is approved by God at one time and not another. 

I think the church would do very well to simply have some humility about how much it doesn't really know about God's plan and then work from a more inclusive point of view instead of thinking they have it all figured out when clearly they don't. "There are many things yet to be revealed." Cool. Maybe a little humility would do some good.

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12 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

No offense, but I don't really care about your "feeling" about this. You are discounting what was said because you have a "feeling" I would have an inconsistent view if the tables were turned. I wouldn't.

As I've stated before, I'm generally opposed to the war metaphors throughout scripture and talks. For example, I don't like "Onward Christian Soldiers" because IMO it militarizes religion which is a bad thing in my estimation. The crusades-bad. Radicalized Islam-bad. Danites-bad. etc. etc. Those notions of enforcing some level of religiosity on others may well start somewhere and I don't find metaphors about battle, or waging war against infidels to have a place in religion.

I guess then maybe you are just hypersensitive about metaphors?

On the other hand, I discovered that you yourself have approvingly used a scriptural war metaphor on this very board in the past year. Back in march you wrote to another poster: 

Quote

You're fighting a good fight but if Atlantic Mike and others want to rely on opinion/anecdotes and logical fallacies then there's really not much you can do to help them. But bravo for trying :)

There is no doubt that "fight a good fight" is Paul's military metaphor from 1 Timothy 6:12, similar to his other use of military metaphors, such as the armor of God imagery. I'm pretty sure that advocating for violence against other board members is against the board rules. But maybe we should all just give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that by "fight a good fight" you weren't subtly advocating for physical violence. Perhaps the metaphor was clearly a metaphor, and we should all interpret it as it was intended--as a struggle of words and ideas. 

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5 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I guess then maybe you are just hypersensitive about metaphors?

On the other hand, I discovered that you yourself have approvingly used a scriptural war metaphor on this very board in the past year. Back in march you wrote to another poster: 

There is no doubt that "fight a good fight" is Paul's military metaphor from 1 Timothy 6:12, similar to his other use of military metaphors, such as the armor of God imagery. I'm pretty sure that advocating for violence against other board members is against the board rules. But maybe we should all just give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that by "fight a good fight" you weren't subtly advocating for physical violence. Perhaps the metaphor was clearly a metaphor, and we should all interpret it as it was intended--as a struggle of words and ideas. 

Seriously? :) You looked up my posts over the past year to see if I've used war metaphors and the best you could come up with was "fight a good fight" and you equate that to Paul's military metaphor. This is getting dumb. :) 

But I'll readily admit that my feelings and opinions about war imagery and metaphors have changed over time and will likely continue to change. I remember teaching the Alma war chapters with vigor. Does that make me a hypocrite? Maybe. But I just think it shows I've changed and continue to change.

Edited by HappyJackWagon
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3 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I guess then maybe you are just hypersensitive about metaphors?

On the other hand, I discovered that you yourself have approvingly used a scriptural war metaphor on this very board in the past year. Back in march you wrote to another poster: 

There is no doubt that "fight a good fight" is Paul's military metaphor from 1 Timothy 6:12, similar to his other use of military metaphors, such as the armor of God imagery. I'm pretty sure that advocating for violence against other board members is against the board rules. But maybe we should all just give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that by "fight a good fight" you weren't subtly advocating for physical violence. Perhaps the metaphor was clearly a metaphor, and we should all interpret it as it was intended--as a struggle of words and ideas. 

Here are the things HJW is not: 1) the former President of BYU; 2) a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; 3) a public figure; 4) a member of the BYU Board of Trustees.  Good leadership necessitates a taming of the tongue and thoughtfulness in language.  Poor leadership gives no thought to the words used or how they might be misused.

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1 hour ago, Peacefully said:

Whoa, self-righteous much? What if I told you I have ears to hear and I am hearing something different than you are? Who decides which of us has more of the Holy Spirit? Go ahead, I’ll wait, 

If you told me that you were hearing a message that I was clearly missing, and I was in pain because of how I felt about the message and the implications, but you insisted that the way I was seeing it was skewed, then I hope I'd be willing to ask if you're right and try to look at the message differently.

I've felt terrible emotional pain from misunderstandings in the past. I would've given anything to be freed by a simple change in perspective, but I wasn't ready. There are so many dynamics that influence our worldview and how we perceive the messages and metaphors of others. I'm convinced, based on my own research into the pain being shared on social media, that the scope and intent of Elder Holland's words is not being considered. Speaking to faculty he was telling them, in their capacity as builders of a Temple of learning, that in a way like those who actually built the Nauvoo Temple, they would have to both build up their students while at the same time defending Gospel doctrines and the teachings of living Prophets while at BYU. These were words for teachers at school to be used during school, and ignoring that point is the problem.

Could his metaphor about muskets be twisted to look like a call to action against a minority group? Of course, and anything can be twisted sufficiently away from the author's intent and context, and that has happened here. Are they wrong to feel pain, anguish, and confusion? I can't begrudge them for feeling how they feel, but I believe I know for a fact that if they receive the Holy Ghost, and ask, seeking diligently, walking in all holiness, they would receive insight into the truth of the matter and peace to their hearts. As someone who has been attracted to my own gender for so long I don't want them to suffer if they could just slow down, step back from the charged emotions of social media, and really reflect, instead of getting absorbed in the anguish, the chains of their hell.

Circling back: if I'm suffering and you sincerely believe that at least in part it's because I'm not seeing things clearly, then I hope I'd be humble enough to ask you to help me out of the love you have for my soul. I would give anything to not suffer, and if a change in perspective through the power of the Holy Ghost is what it takes then so be it. I can testify that a daily change, a refinement in perspective, is exactly what we need in a world with so many competing voices declaring their truth. What those in pain really need is "the way, the truth, and the life." They need to make the Lord their highest authority rather than the idol of expressive individualism.

Lastly: how does one determine who has "more" of the Holy Spirit? I think that's a great question for another thread, please make it, I'm interested in what people think. For now though I'd submit that the fruits of the Spirit are how we can tell, and in the context of an Apostle's speech (an Apostle known for incredible compassion and empathy for many years), if one is engulfed in pain and confusion because of what they take from his words (and from the cries of social media), then I'd say they probably don't have the Spirit because the fruits are missing. When we become surrounded by darkness we can lose the Spirit, but as we repent and change our minds it will return again.

Edited by Gillebre
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1 hour ago, Gillebre said:

May I ask you what final evolved form do you hope/want to see in the Church's continuance over the coming years and decades? 

I've seen the concept mentioned in many places about steps forward and backwards, but I'm curious about the destination and the end thereof. I think there's something beneath the surface for many wherein they don't come right out and state the final result they want: complete spiritual/divine equality in the Church between traditional marriage and gay marriage. 

If this is the end thereof that people have in mind, and I know many that do, I believe that they are primed for a very emotional let down. The Apostles continually teach, unitedly and with one voice, that this outcome is contrary to the nature of what God has revealed about the heavenly life He wants to give us. There are other lives we can all have, and He will truly give us what we we can handle, a place our own where we'll be happiest in eternity, but I think we do a disservice if we build up false hope.

I personally mourn for my brothers and sisters who hope for things that, as we understand the Plan and have living oracles, cannot be. I've witnessed our culture growing and changing for the good. The children of Zion are being refined, and you can identify them by their fruits of gentleness and compassion, but also by their unwavering loyalty in who the Lord has chosen to lead the Church.

Satan is the worst offender here, I think, and the pain gets attributed to the Apostles. The pain the community feels, I believe, is at least partially because they are blinded by many things.

Blinded by their holding onto false hope in an eternal paradox, blinded by their frustration that they can't keep telling themselves the doctrine will change if they just hold on, and even blinded by the growing realization that the middle ground they were standing on is becoming increasingly unstable.

In short: they don't have the Holy Ghost to help them see the light that would make all things more clear, and help them see Elder Holland's words in their proper spirit. I'm absolutely certain of this because the Spirit has enlightened many members who, with ears to hear, can understand the message, and those who can't are left to sort it out on their own, being left to themselves.

From 2 Nephi 32, I think these verses apply well.

4 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.
5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

The biggest realization for me out of this speech by Elder Holland is, in my opinion, how widespread the spiritual blindness and deafness appear to be among so many.

If you were to ask me about why the Spirit wouldn't restrain Elder Holland in his use of the musket analogy, God knowing the divisions that would result, I'd say this: it is we who divide ourselves by giving in to dark emotions, painful flames fanned by Satan and his angels, and the Lord insists that the wheat and the tares both be allowed to mature completely before the harvest. 

The pain and heartbreak are a result of their own worldview being founded on principles of expressive individualism and not in the worldview of Christian discipleship. The interpretation they choose hurts them, and the Spirit can't enlighten us unless we purify ourselves and seek Him. See this article for more insights into this phenomenon. 

 

I don't really care, I'm not a believer of the historicity of the BoM, or even a Satan. What I want the church to do is do no harm. I would be fine if they do not allow same sex marriage in the temple, who is asking for it? What I want them to do is to quit talking about the topic like in conference or devotionals or ? Anywhere a LGBTQ+ could be harmed. 

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15 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I guess then maybe you are just hypersensitive about metaphors?

On the other hand, I discovered that you yourself have approvingly used a scriptural war metaphor on this very board in the past year. Back in march you wrote to another poster: 

There is no doubt that "fight a good fight" is Paul's military metaphor from 1 Timothy 6:12, similar to his other use of military metaphors, such as the armor of God imagery. I'm pretty sure that advocating for violence against other board members is against the board rules. But maybe we should all just give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that by "fight a good fight" you weren't subtly advocating for physical violence. Perhaps the metaphor was clearly a metaphor, and we should all interpret it as it was intended--as a struggle of words and ideas. 

No. But I think language matters. Especially coming from an apostle or any other proclaimed spiritual leader.

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4 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Seriously? :) You looked up my posts over the past year to see if I've used war metaphors and the best you could come up with was "fight a good fight" and you equate that to Paul's military metaphor. This is getting dumb. :) 

But I'll readily admit that my feelings and opinions about war imagery and metaphors have changed over time and will likely continue to change. I remember teaching the Alma war chapters with vigor. Does that make me a hypocrite? Maybe. But I just think it shows I've changed and continue to change.

Well, it took about 30 seconds to find that. It's called a search engine. You type stuff in the search bar and it does the looking for you, by author and content. And since you pushed back on my intuition about selective outrage, it seemed relevant. 

Sounds like you had a very transformative year. A few months back you didn't seem to have any problems with using a scriptural war metaphor. And now you do. I wonder what could possibly have initiated such a profound change between then and now. 

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13 minutes ago, ttribe said:

Here are the things HJW is not: 1) the former President of BYU; 2) a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; 3) a public figure; 4) a member of the BYU Board of Trustees.  Good leadership necessitates a taming of the tongue and thoughtfulness in language.  Poor leadership gives no thought to the words used or how they might be misused.

My point was that HJW's use of a violent scriptural metaphor wasn't wrong. I don't think Elder Holland's remarks were wrong either. 

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2 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Would you agree that teachings/revelation about marriage and closely related topics have changed over time?

On a prima facie level, I would agree. However, I think questions of audience are significant in evaluating the nature of scriptural views, and given that, I think the changes in scriptural viewpoints which you lay out have more to do with God's interaction and accommodation of varying societies than any sort of eternal redefinition. See Matt. 19:7-8 for an example from the life of Christ. He's free to do that again, of course, but that depends on Him. 

11 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Relying on past revelation/scripture/teachings doesn't touch directly on the issue of SSM does it? It doesn't.

I disagree, I think past revelation/scripture/teachings are relevant and constitute the default, which God can update if He sees fit. He does not need an additional revelation merely to confirm what has already been given. There is scriptural precedent to be considered here, namely that of Luke 16:27-31, the conclusion of Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Abraham declined to send Lazarus to the family of the rich man, reasoning that if the words of Moses and earlier prophets wasn't good enough for them, the preaching of a postmortal Lazarus would be fruitless. I think that the application of this parable is probably not completely straightforward, as epistemological standards have likely changed between today and first-century Judea (which raises the haunting specter of epistemological relativism, but I digress), but it seems relatively clear to me that the Lord considers prior witnesses to be sufficient where He has not issued a modification. 

17 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Then one might suggest that it's an eternal truth that man and woman must be married to propagate little spirits in eternity. And then I might ask, where is the revelation and teaching related to how spirits are created. Is it a creation, or will hetero couples beget little spirits in a sxual way? IOW- the arguments of eternal progeny only coming from married hetero couples is based on assumptions because there is no revelation about how spirits are created.

Fair enough. 

26 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

 

I think the church would do very well to simply have some humility about how much it doesn't really know about God's plan and then work from a more inclusive point of view instead of thinking they have it all figured out when clearly they don't. "There are many things yet to be revealed." Cool. Maybe a little humility would do some good.

I'm in favor of humility about what we do and do not know, but I tend to approach that from the lens of Chesterton's fence. We might not know much, but that lack of knowledge is not of itself justification to modify longstanding revelation-based praxis unilaterally. California Boy disregarded my reference to D&C 132:8-10, but I maintain that it is a true principle that the ball is in God's court, and it's up to Him to determine what is appointed unto us and what is not.

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4 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I don't really care, I'm not a believer of the historicity of the BoM, or even a Satan. What I want the church to do is do no harm. I would be fine if they do not allow same sex marriage in the temple, who is asking for it? What I want them to do is to quit talking about the topic like in conference or devotionals or ? Anywhere a LGBTQ+ could be harmed. 

Thank you for sharing. You've given me a lot to think about. 

Must the Church abandon speaking about the doctrines that people find painful so as to stop doing what the world declares is spiritual/emotional violence? That's where I think this leads. We could find all manner of "harmful" doctrines, but in the end I think we also harm themselves by staying in darkness and confusion when it doesn't need to be that way.

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2 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

My point was that HJW's use of a violent scriptural metaphor wasn't wrong. I don't think Elder Holland's remarks were wrong either. 

Perfect. I've asked a couple of times now and no one seems to be able to explain it to me. Can you help me understand what was wrong with Matt Easton saying "I am proud to be a gay son of God"? So wrong that a prophet of God needed to call it out two years after the fact? Please be specific if you can. Amulek earlier took a stab and said that it was similar to saying I'm a racist son of God. Not sure if that's a widely held belief or not.

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3 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Perfect. I've asked a couple of times now and no one seems to be able to explain it to me. Can you help me understand what was wrong with Matt Easton saying "I am proud to be a gay son of God"?

Well, as I said yesterday:

Quote
Quote

 

Quote

So a Valedictorian coming out in his valedictorian speech constitutes as part of that community eh?

Elder Holland in his comment expressed what many of us felt at the time: that a valedictory speech is for the purpose of uniting the graduating class behind noble and shared values, not drawing ideological battle lines.

 

 Yep.  If he had said "I stand before you a proud Trump supporter," or "I am happy to come here today and tell you why I think abortion is a grave sin," I would have had the same reaction.

Not the time or place, dude.

Elder Holland also explained himself.

Thanks,

-Smac

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52 minutes ago, Calm said:

While I think you make good points in other ways, trivializing the pain good people are going through as a youth throwing a snit because they can’t get the keys for the weekend won’t help.  We are, after all, talking about what the Church presents as the highest and best blessing God will give to the faithful, exaltation which includes the eternal companionship of God as well as the blessing of eternal companionship of our beloveds.  Those of us who can accept this by aligning our hearts and minds with God are welcomed at an eternal feast of joy and glory; those who do not will be on the outside, hopefully with their own happy ever after, but not the happy ever after we in the Church are telling everyone is the best thing ever and more than worth and pain or suffering we go through here.  
 

It is not the eternal equivalent of a set of car keys and a car for a weekend we are telling people homosexual romantic companionship will prevent them from having, but all that the Lord has, his kingdoms without end, and most important an eternal companionship with the Lord and his family.

 

The desire for the Church to change doctrine comes most often IMO a very good place, a place of compassion and love and wanting the best for others as much as we want the best for ourselves.  
 

The problem is if they are wrong, if the Church is right that a homosexual sexual and familial companionship is not part of God’s plan for us, if the Church changes doctrine out of mistaken compassion, it will actually prevent more from receiving the ultimate blessings of God…at least until  we can better align our will with him and repent and start over.  In the end, if the Church is currently right, we only will help and be truly compassionate by standing with the true doctrine.

Of course an adolescent wanting keys for the weekend is not the same things as an individual wanting to be with the person they love for his life and beyond - I never suggested otherwise. Avoiding unnecessary hurt is always advisable but many times such is the trade of dealing in analogies/metaphors - there are those who will miss the point and perseverate on an incidental element far from that which is relevant in the comparison. The Bible is replete with such analogies many of which trigger hurt feelings from numerous groups. In those cases, we would counsel those afflicted parties to not read so literally into every element of the analogy but to focus on the relevant point being made. IMO, there is considerable similarity with what has been exchanged in this thread and the analogous example I provided - that is, one party has a capital demand and is frustrated the entity empowered to grant that command isn't budging. The frustrated party continues to harbor considerable resentment at how the empowered entity explains/expresses themselves even if the new tangential/stylistic grievance gets them no closer to their ultimate desire. Full stop. That's the similarity - no more no less. Again, had Elder Holland not used the metaphor or focused on the valedictorian the advocate LGBT community would be no closer to their ultimate goal. Proper use of metaphors was never the capital demand and doesn't advance the goals of the aggrieved community.  

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36 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

My point was that HJW's use of a violent scriptural metaphor wasn't wrong. I don't think Elder Holland's remarks were wrong either. 

Well in my opinion it is, at best, unwise for a leader to use such metaphors in public settings given the current atmosphere.

Edited by ttribe
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3 hours ago, CA Steve said:

Then obviously we agree.

That is my subjective analysis of the words you are using.

Cool.

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3 hours ago, california boy said:

Crystal Clear on what? Whether the Law of Chastity that requires sex only in marriage applies to only straight couples and forbids same sex marriages?

Or are you just assuming that God doesn't recognize gay marriages

The question is “are there any revelations ancient or modern that define God-approved and God-commanded marriage as anything other than between men and women?” You have provided none. That’s a good basis for making such an assumption.

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3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I've sure never seen any revelation about SSM. I'd challenge anyone who says they have.

We do have plenty of revelations on marriage but they haven't been consistent over time. I sure wonder why there isn't a revelation on such an important topic. Instead the church seems content with comments from general authorities.

All of those plentiful revelations have one thing in common. 

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2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

The question is “are there any revelations ancient or modern that define God-approved and God-commanded marriage as anything other than between men and women?” You have provided none. That’s a good basis for making such an assumption.

"Absence of evidence...", something, something.

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6 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Saints?

Hmmm. I’ll have to cogitate on that one.

Our fellow Christians used to be the termites attempting to destroy the foundations of the Restoration…from the outside. Now that task has been assumed by our brothers and sisters….from the inside. What a strange world we live in.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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