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Lesson 11 - False Doctrines of the Last Days


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1 minute ago, Brahms said:

You (and others) say and will likely continue to say you don't know.  I think we may know, even though every detail has not been and likely will not be explicitly spelled out in words by our Father in heaven.  Just change "don't know" to "may not know".

So how is it that you "may know"?  Based on what you think you know about human reproduction right now?  Or is there some revelation that tells you exactly how it works with celestial beings and spirit offspring?  Obviously there will be eternal marriage and husband and wife, and we will be sealed to families.  But will every child that is sealed to us be produced as a spirit offspring using the same means as you think works in human reproduction?  Given the differences in the celestial world, how could you possibly know that?

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18 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

So how is it that you "may know"?  Based on what you think you know about human reproduction right now?  Or is there some revelation that tells you exactly how it works with celestial beings and spirit offspring?  Obviously there will be eternal marriage and husband and wife, and we will be sealed to families.  But will every child that is sealed to us be produced as a spirit offspring using the same means as you think works in human reproduction?  Given the differences in the celestial world, how could you possibly know that?

This is what I would call “folk doctrine.” There’s nothing in LDS scripture that supports the idea that spirits are created through sexual intercourse. Of course, some leaders have speculated about it, but that’s all.

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4 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

This is what I would call “folk doctrine.” There’s nothing in LDS scripture that supports the idea that spirits are created through sexual intercourse. Of course, some leaders have speculated about it, but that’s all.

And the analogy of spirit bodies being identical to physical bodies is false if we assume as traditionalists most often do in my experience that the spirit somehow literally dwells within the physical body (perhaps in the space between subatomic particles) because how does the adult spirit that has most likely existed for eons already fit inside the fetus in such a way that it is like a hand inside a glove, which was the analogy used in Primary when I was teaching (assuming the spirit enters/connects to the body before birth, which may be false actually)?

When we start looking at implications, it becomes clear the spirit body has to be significantly different in some ways at least than the physical one as will be our resurrected bodies if our veins end up flowing with light and not blood.  My guess if this is true that somehow it is the spirit that is capable of absorbing light as energy and that resurrected bodies have a tighter connection between spirit and body such that energy can be transferred between them in large quantities where only small amounts can be transferred when mortal, this solves the problem of trying to figure out how our bodies alter to ‘digest’ light…why not have our mortal bodies flowing with light if that is the actual physical structure of our eventual eternal bodies?  I think it possible though we have both blood and light flowing through our solidly connected soul (body and spirit) rather than losing those aspects of our mortal bodies, since every jot of ourselves is supposedly restored in the resurrection, not destroyed or altered. 
 

But to get to my point….

If spirit bodies are significantly different than physical bodies, why assume the process of creation must be the same?  Other things, including even human reproduction these days (no sex required), are organized using different processes than sexual reproduction.

Edited by Calm
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18 minutes ago, Calm said:

And the analogy of spirit bodies being identical to physical bodies is false if we assume as traditionalists most often do in my experience that the spirit somehow literally dwells within the physical body (perhaps in the space between subatomic particles) because how does the adult spirit that has most likely existed for eons already fit inside the fetus in such that it is like a hand inside a glove (assuming the spirit enters/connects to the body before birth, which may be false actually)?

When we start looking at implications, it becomes clear the spirit body has to be significantly different in some ways at least than the physical one as will be our resurrected bodies if our veins end up flowing with light and not blood.  My guess if this is true that somehow it is the spirit that is capable of absorbing light as energy and that resurrected bodies have a tighter connection between spirit and body such that energy can be transferred between them in large quantities where only small amounts can be transferred when mortal, this solves the problem of trying to figure how our bodies alter to ‘digest’ light.  I think it possible though we have both blood and light flowing through our solidly connected soul (body and spirit) rather than losing those aspects of our mortal bodies, since every jot is supposedly restored.   
 

But to get to my point….

If spirit bodies are significantly different than physical bodies, why assume the process of creation must be the same?  Other things, including even human reproduction these days (no sex required), are organized using different processes than sexual reproduction.

As I said, some leaders have certainly suggested spiritual reproduction via sex. Joseph Fielding Smith said, for example, that those in the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms would be resurrected without genitalia because only celestial beings can have spirit children. 

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On 9/27/2022 at 2:08 PM, Spammer said:

To the OP: here's 2 cents from lurker land.

Regarding Irenaeus, theosis, and LDS use of Irenaeus' writings on the topic, what Irenaeus believed is rooted in the God he worshipped: a God who is uncreated, immaterial, pure spirit, and who created all things out of nothing, including matter itself.  This is the same as what Catholics believe today. Irenaeus was a Catholic bishop after all.

This then is the order of the rule of our faith, and the foundation of the building, and the stability of our conversation: God, the Father, not made, not material, invisible; one God, the creator of all things: this is the first point of our faith. (Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching: 6)

 “The rule of truth which we hold, is, that there is one God Almighty, who made all things by His Word, and fashioned and formed, out of that which had no existence, all things which exist.” (Against Heresies 1.22.1)

  “…[The Gnostics] believe not that God, according to His pleasure, in the exercise of His own will and power, formed all things (so that those things which now are should have an existence) out of what did not previously exist...But they do not believe that God (being powerful, and rich in all resources) created matter itself, inasmuch as they know not how much a spiritual and divine essence  can accomplish...

 “While men, indeed, cannot make anything out of nothing, but only out of matter already existing, yet God is in this point preeminently superior to men, that He Himself called into being the substance of His creation, when previously it had no existence.” (Against Heresies 2.10.2-4)

But the things established are distinct from Him who has established them, and what have been made from Him who has made them. For He is Himself uncreated, both without beginning and end, and lacking nothing. He is Himself sufficient for Himself; and still further, He grants to all others this very thing, existence; but the things which have been made by Him have received a beginning. But whatever things had a beginning, and are liable to dissolution, and are subject to and stand in need of Him who made them... (Against Heresies 3.8.3)

“Truly, then, the Scripture declared, which says, ‘First of all believe that there is one God, who has established all things, and completed them, and having caused that from what had no being, all things should come into existence: He who contains all things, and is Himself contained by no one.’” (Against Heresies 4.20.2)

I'm not sure why LDS folks like to quote Catholic bishops like Irenaeus in support of LDS claims.  Why not quote an ancient Christian who believed what the LDS Church teaches about theosis - that the goal is to become like the LDS Heavenly Father (who is a divinized, embodied human male who created the world out of pre-existing matter, similar to what Platonic elements in Greek philosophy teach about the origin of matter).    

Go back a little further to Justin Martyr. What do you think of his statements?

Quote

And we have been taught that He in the beginning did of His goodness, for man’s sake, create all things out of unformed matter; 

and

Quote

And that you may learn that it was from our teachers—we mean the account given through the prophets—that Plato borrowed his statement that God, having altered matter which was shapeless, made the world, hear the very words spoken through Moses, who, as above shown, was the first prophet, and of greater antiquity than the Greek writers; and through whom the Spirit of prophecy, signifying how and from what materials God at first formed the world, spake thus: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was invisible and unfurnished, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and it was so." So that both Plato and they who agree with him, and we ourselves, have learned, and you also can be convinced, that by the word of God the whole world was made out of the substance spoken of before by Moses.

 

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2 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

As I said, some leaders have certainly suggested spiritual reproduction via sex. Joseph Fielding Smith said, for example, that those in the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms would be resurrected without genitalia because only celestial beings can have spirit children. 

Yep, the Heaven version of Barbie and Ken completes the set for the ultimate Barbie collector.

Edited by Calm
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6 hours ago, Calm said:

If spirit bodies are significantly different than physical bodies, why assume the process of creation must be the same?  Other things, including even human reproduction these days (no sex required), are organized using different processes than sexual reproduction.

I'm not sure how much can reliably be read into the poverty of revealed words we have on the subject, but in my mind at least the term "intelligence" as used in the Book of Abraham does not conjur up the image of a spirit fetus.  Nor can I think of a biological process which strikes me as analogous to the creation/organization of "intelligences".  (Again not knowing what the word "intelligence" really means in this context, that particular word choice brings to my mind "correct/creative/innovative thought processes" rather than "celestial biology".)

8 hours ago, InCognitus said:

... we simply don't know (now).

Agreed.

Edited by manol
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15 hours ago, marineland said:

I figure procreation of heavenly parents with bodies of flesh and bones (if one holds to that belief)
means just that.  Unless Jesus and others are not really born to them.

I believe God is the father of us in the sense of adoption.  The Bible mentions this a few times. I
couldn't find anything about "adoption as sons" in the Book of Mormon though.

Have you ever thought that beliefs can have an important function in life even if the are "just beliefs" because they cannot be proven either way?

Is it important that we believe in "human rights", for example, even if it is clear that not all of us have them literally?

Suppose the simple IDEA that we ALL "have" inalienable human rights helps us learn what it could be like IF we made a world in which that was really true ?

Suppose we really believed that we are all brothers and sisters and that Father and Mother really ARE the parents of all- even IF it was a picture of an IDEA that we all should have?

Kind of like the Bill of Rights?

Now that does not mean that Father and Mother really are NOT our parents- but the idea is that the IDEA ITSELF could change the world if everyone had that goal in mind?

It could be "true" or not- but the importance would be that everyone in the whole world believed that that would be a good goal?   To simply AT LEAST "act as if" we really ARE brothers and sisters?

Kind of like the idea/ belief that all people should believe that at least?

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On 10/14/2022 at 7:16 PM, T-Shirt said:

Go back a little further to Justin Martyr. What do you think of his statements?

and

 

Justin Martyr was a Christian Platonist. Platonists and Neo-Platonists alike, the same as in LDS teaching, believe that matter is eternal.  Greek philosophy and the LDS Church are in agreement on that point.    

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On 10/14/2022 at 9:31 AM, marineland said:

I figure procreation of heavenly parents with bodies of flesh and bones (if one holds to that belief)
means just that.  Unless Jesus and others are not really born to them.

I believe God is the father of us in the sense of adoption.  The Bible mentions this a few times. I
couldn't find anything about "adoption as sons" in the Book of Mormon though.

I’m guessing you didn’t try very hard…

And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. (Mosiah 5:7)

And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born; yea, yea born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; (Mosiah 27:25)

And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you. (Moroni 72:26)

Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. (Ether 3:14)

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On 10/14/2022 at 4:31 PM, InCognitus said:

So how is it that you "may know"?  Based on what you think you know about human reproduction right now?  Or is there some revelation that tells you exactly how it works with celestial beings and spirit offspring?  Obviously there will be eternal marriage and husband and wife, and we will be sealed to families.  But will every child that is sealed to us be produced as a spirit offspring using the same means as you think works in human reproduction?  Given the differences in the celestial world, how could you possibly know that?

@marineland  @Calm  @jkwilliams   The LDS church, in Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel - Student
Manual, uses the eloquent phrase "Celestial sireship" (a higher manifestation of natural law) to describe the birth of
Jesus.

Maybe some people are not willing to consider that heavenly parents (if that type of family even exists) might use
the same means to reproduce as they designed for their earthly children.

How do Latter-day Saints understand being born in accordance to "natural law" as opposed to being born in a "higher
manifestation of natural law"?

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44 minutes ago, theplains said:

@marineland  @Calm  @jkwilliams   The LDS church, in Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel - Student
Manual, uses the eloquent phrase "Celestial sireship" (a higher manifestation of natural law) to describe the birth of
Jesus.

Maybe some people are not willing to consider that heavenly parents (if that type of family even exists) might use
the same means to reproduce as they designed for their earthly children.

How do Latter-day Saints understand being born in accordance to "natural law" as opposed to being born in a "higher
manifestation of natural law"?

I don’t have a dog in this fight, so it’s not about what I’m willing to consider or not. My point was simply that, doctrinally and scripturally, the LDS church does not have a definitive position on how spirits are created. 

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5 hours ago, theplains said:

@marineland  @Calm  @jkwilliams   The LDS church, in Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel - Student
Manual, uses the eloquent phrase "Celestial sireship" (a higher manifestation of natural law) to describe the birth of
Jesus.

What does the "celestial sireship" quote from James Talmage have to do with our discussion?  You're mixing apples and oranges.  The earthly birth of Jesus to his mother Mary is NOT the same thing as Jesus being the "firstbegotten" of the Father in the beginning (Heb 1:6), before the worlds.  That we are all the "offspring of God" (Acts 17:28-29) is different than our birth here on earth.

6 hours ago, theplains said:

Maybe some people are not willing to consider that heavenly parents (if that type of family even exists) might use
the same means to reproduce as they designed for their earthly children.

Maybe some people understand that spirits are not the same as mortal babies born on earth, so they might understand that there could be significant differences.  But nothing has been revealed on how our spirit birth works.

6 hours ago, theplains said:

How do Latter-day Saints understand being born in accordance to "natural law" as opposed to being born in a "higher
manifestation of natural law"?

Again, you are mixing apples and oranges.  The "higher manifistation" of natural law in the James E. Talmage quote had to do with the physical birth of Jesus to his mother Mary when he was born on earth (natural law), and the same does not need to apply to the fact that we are all the "offspring of God" (Acts 17:28-29).  We don't know anything about how spirit birth works. 

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7 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

I don’t have a dog in this fight, so it’s not about what I’m willing to consider or not. My point was simply that, doctrinally and scripturally, the LDS church does not have a definitive position on how spirits are created. 

I do have a dog in this fight, a border collie I think…I agree completely with your point and it would be the one I would make as well….just using lots more words and a few links.

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17 hours ago, theplains said:

@marineland  @Calm  @jkwilliams   The LDS church, in Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel - Student
Manual, uses the eloquent phrase "Celestial sireship" (a higher manifestation of natural law) to describe the birth of
Jesus.

Maybe some people are not willing to consider that heavenly parents (if that type of family even exists) might use
the same means to reproduce as they designed for their earthly children.

How do Latter-day Saints understand being born in accordance to "natural law" as opposed to being born in a "higher
manifestation of natural law"?

The higher manifestation, of which you speak, is that those thus engaged are either holy and sanctified through their faith in Christ (like Mary), or they are holy and sanctified beings who’ve obtained anatomically correct, resurrected celestial bodies.

Do you believe that your resurrected body will be anatomically correct, or do you think you will be anatomically incorrect like a Ken Doll? For that matter, do you believe that the Lord was a fertile human being while he lived on earth, or do you believe he was infertile and without seed even though he was fully human and his body anatomically correct? And do you believe the Lord’s resurrected body is now anatomically correct? If so, to what end? From your point of view, wouldn’t  it make more sense to raise bodies from the dead that are anatomically incorrect rather than encumber them with a useless appendage?

I find it amusing that non-LDS Christians recoil at the idea of naturally bringing forth children beyond the grave, even though it was the holy God whom they worship who created the process of sexual procreation and commanded the man and the woman to actively engage in that process even before the fall!

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion  over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.(Genesis 1)

and…

1 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (Titus 1:15)


 

 

Edited by teddyaware
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On 10/18/2022 at 6:21 AM, Spammer said:

Justin Martyr was a Christian Platonist. Platonists and Neo-Platonists alike, the same as in LDS teaching, believe that matter is eternal.  Greek philosophy and the LDS Church are in agreement on that point.    

As I'm sure you know, Justin Martyr said that Plato and the Greek poets got their teachings about the eternal existence of matter from Moses, and that the teachings about matter and creation from unformed matter came down to them by their tradition:

Quote

 

CHAP. LIX.--PLATO'S OBLIGATION TO MOSES.

And that you may learn that it was from our teachers--we mean the account given through the prophets--that Plato borrowed his statement that God, having altered matter which was shapeless, made the world, hear the very words spoken through Moses, who, as above shown, was the first prophet, and of greater antiquity than the Greek writers; and through whom the Spirit of prophecy, signifying how and from what materials God at first formed the world, spake thus: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was invisible and unfurnished, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and it was so." So that both Plato and they who agree with him, and we ourselves, have learned, and you also can be convinced, that by the word of God the whole world was made out of the substance spoken of before by Moses. And that which the poets call Erebus, we know was spoken of formerly by Moses.   (Justin Martyr, First Apology of Justin, Chap. LIX, in ANF, Vol 1, p.182)

 

See also this post here and here, where we were previously discussing the development of the doctrine of creation ex-nihilo.  (It was a doctrine invented by Tatian and Theophilus to try to make inroads into the Greek understandings of the material world, because of all the attacks against Christian beliefs in the late 2nd century A.D.)

So we need to blame Moses for the eternal matter idea, not Greek philosophy. 

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On 10/19/2022 at 5:19 AM, teddyaware said:

Do you believe that your resurrected body will be anatomically correct, or do you think you will be anatomically incorrect like a Ken Doll? For that matter, do you believe that the Lord was a fertile human being while he lived on earth, or do you believe he was infertile and without seed even though he was fully human and his body anatomically correct? And do you believe the Lord’s resurrected body is now anatomically correct? If so, to what end? From your point of view, wouldn’t  it make more sense to raise bodies from the dead that are anatomically incorrect rather than encumber them with a useless appendage?

I find it amusing that non-LDS Christians recoil at the idea of naturally bringing forth children beyond the grave, even though it was the holy God whom they worship who created the process of sexual procreation and commanded the man and the woman to actively engage in that process even before the fall!

I think I already answered your question before.  The Lord's resurrected body is anatomically correct.

As for your comment about "naturally bringing forth children", do you believe Heavenly Father has an anatomically
correct resurrected body with which he brings forth spirit children *naturally* with his heavenly wife (wives)? 

I suppose she (they) also has (have) an anatomically correct resurrected body.

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2 minutes ago, theplains said:

Do you see a difference in method if angels were procreated by heavenly parents as opposed to just
being created by God himself?

I'd say the same thing: the LDS church has no definitive position on that. Of course, asking me to speculate on possible implications of LDS teachings is kind of pointless.

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Heretofore in this thread, we have focused on “false doctrines of the last days” as being those promulgated outside of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I would broaden that set to include the false doctrines of very recent times that are promulgated by some professing membership in the Church but who would supplant the inspired and united teachings of the prophets and apostles with their own misguided  thinking, whether it be something they’ve come up with on their own or something they’ve embraced from the world of secular or sectarian dogma. 
 

I would include among these not just the Denver Snuffers and Rock Watermans in our comparatively recent past, but any who harbor  beliefs — expressed or implied — that contradict authoritative teachings of the Church. Various examples could be cited, but I have in mind specifically the redefinition of marriage contrary to the Lord’s law of matrimony and the baseless expectation that it’s only a matter of time before said marriage redefinition is accepted within the Church and even solemnized in the temple. 

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1 hour ago, theplains said:

I think I already answered your question before.  The Lord's resurrected body is anatomically correct.

As for your comment about "naturally bringing forth children", do you believe Heavenly Father has an anatomically
correct resurrected body with which he brings forth spirit children *naturally* with his heavenly wife (wives)? 

I suppose she (they) also has (have) an anatomically correct resurrected body.

Well of course! If God the Father saw fit to endow his son (who is in the express (exact) image of the Father’s person) with a fully functioning human body, complete with male sex organs, it only stands to reason that the Father is also in the express human image of the Son’s person.

A question: If Christ was fully human during his sojourn on earth, complete with male sex organs, do you also believe his body produced seed in the same way every healthy male human body produces seed, or do you believe he was sterile?

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8 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Heretofore in this thread, we have focused on “false doctrines of the last days” as being those promulgated outside of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I would broaden that set to include the false doctrines of very recent times that are promulgated by some professing membership in the Church but who would supplant the inspired and united teachings of the prophets and apostles with their own misguided  thinking, whether it be something they’ve come up with on their own or something they’ve embraced from the world of secular or sectarian dogma. 
 

I would include among these not just the Denver Snuffers and Rock Watermans in our comparatively recent past, but any who harbor  beliefs — expressed or implied — that contradict authoritative teachings of the Church. Various examples could be cited, but I have in mind specifically the redefinition of marriage contrary to the Lord’s law of matrimony and the baseless expectation that it’s only a matter of time before said marriage redefinition is accepted within the Church and even solemnized in the temple. 

I certainly don't expect the church to accept or solemnize same-sex marriage anytime soon. Would I be shocked if they did? Yes and no. It would be a huge change, but I suspect they would make that change if they felt digging their heels in was hurting their cause. Who knows? 

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21 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I certainly don't expect the church to accept or solemnize same-sex marriage anytime soon. Would I be shocked if they did? Yes and no. It would be a huge change, but I suspect they would make that change if they felt digging their heels in was hurting their cause. Who knows? 

Believing as I do in the divinity and authority of the Church of Jesus Christ, I’m confident it would never make such a change, whatever public outcry or pressure might come to bear within or outside of the membership. I used the descriptor “baseless” advisedly to characterize the expectation of such a change. 

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