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Messages - Roper

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General Conference / Re: April 2021 General Conference
« on: April 10, 2021, 02:49:20 pm »
Yep. It's like all the lessons based on the Family Proclamation about divine roles of mothers and fathers, and almost everyone ignores the part which follows: "In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation." And when those parts are brought up, they are dismissed with, "Well, what that really means is (insert dogmatic interpretation to reinforce exclusive roles.)"

Selection bias is strong in Mormon culture.

Crafts / Re: Card Making
« on: April 09, 2021, 09:05:02 pm »
Thank you, dear Jana, for the beautiful Easter Card. Sam was especially thankful for his extra "High Five" from Oma.

News of the Church / Re: Changes in the handbook
« on: April 08, 2021, 04:05:23 pm »
It was a thing as well in Texas 20 years ago. Single men could only serve as counselors in the Bishoprics of YSA wards They could not serve as Bishop of any ward and could not serve as counselors in family wards. Additionally, single men could not teach Seminary and could not serve in Primary. I don't know how much of that was policy and how much was cultural. But it was definitely practiced.

General Conference / Re: April 2021 General Conference
« on: April 07, 2021, 12:25:49 pm »
I was incredibly happy to watch Elder Oaks' talk Sunday.  It was like a refreshing breath of normalcy, after a pandemic-and-social-unrest-fueled year of grief.
I absolutely agree. Here are a few things which really stood out to me:

"In these remarks I do not speak for any political party or other group. I speak for the United States Constitution..." It's a reminder that the foundation which unites us is stronger than partisan division.

"The Constitution was not 'a fully grown document,' said President J. Reuben Clark. 'On the contrary,' he explained, 'we believe it must grow and develop to meet the changing needs of an advancing world.' ... However, we do not see inspiration in every Supreme Court decision interpreting the Constitution." I think we need to tone down the rhetoric from both sides--those who want to replace the constitution AND the uber originalists.

"The Constitution established a constitutional democratic republic..." Again, I see this as a clarification for both sides "It's a republic, not a democracy!" and "No, it's a democracy first!" to tone it down. It's both.

"Another inspired principle is the separation of powers." For me, this is a big one. I have been concerned about the growing power of the Executive branch for the last 20 years. Both parties in the Oval Office have taken more and more power from the Legislative branch.

"We are to be governed by law and not by individuals, and our loyalty is to the Constitution and its principles and processes, not to any office holder."Can I get a Hallelujah?

"There are many political issues, and no party, platform, or individual candidate can satisfy all personal preferences. Each citizen must therefore decide which issues are most important to him or her at any particular time. Then members should seek inspiration on how to exercise their influence according to their individual priorities. This process will not be easy. It may require changing party support or candidate choices, even from election to election."

"Such independent actions will sometimes require voters to support candidates or political parties or platforms whose other positions they cannot approve. That is one reason we encourage our members to refrain from judging one another in political matters. We should never assert that a faithful Latter-day Saint cannot belong to a particular party or vote for a particular candidate. We teach correct principles and leave our members to choose how to prioritize and apply those principles on the issues presented from time to time. We also insist, and we ask our local leaders to insist, that political choices and affiliations not be the subject of teachings or advocacy in any of our Church meetings."
I wish this would become required reading before every Elders Quorum meeting.

We already have a definition of using violence to create fear. It's terrorism.

General Conference / Re: April 2021 General Conference
« on: April 05, 2021, 11:40:12 am »
The partisan judging and divisions in the Church in the United States are incredibly toxic, and there IS a regular rarely contested suggestion that only one political party is alligned with the Church. Oaks, of all people, to come out to very, very, very directly quash that is actually very important, and I only pray it will make a difference, or at least lead to some introspection.
Agreed. I also liked how he emphasized the purposes of constitutional government--to establish and to limit. I'm constantly hearing about the limit part.

Health and Wellness / Re: The 1 true diet
« on: April 02, 2021, 03:13:15 pm »
I got a fitness watch and I bought a subscription to MyFitnessPal. I started living a more healthy lifestyle at the beginning of March. I have consistently lost about 2 lbs / week for the last four weeks. Here's what I'm doing:

1800 calories per day - 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat
- Replaced soda with sparkling water
- Replaced chips with cucumber slices
- Replaced fries with carrot sticks or celery sticks
- Drink at least 72 ounces of water each day

Half hour of exercise each day
- MWF body weight exercises: Jumping Jacks, pushups, pullups, planks, stretches
- T Th alternate walk/run for 30 minutes
- Every day about 10,000 steps as a normal part of my job

Sleep 7 hours each night
Saturdays are "free days." I eat whatever I want, and I don't do structured exercise.
Afternoon nap on Sundays  :D

So far, I'm feeling that this is totally sustainable. I'll make more healthy food substitutions as I progress. By the end of the summer, I will be right in the middle of the "normal" zone for BMI if I keep progressing like this. The best part: I've had more energy each day this past month than I have felt in probably 10 years.

I believe Curelom was making the point that hate is similar to or part of intent and that intent is an important part of determining crime and punishment. She was making an argument by example--showing that if we don't consider intent, then the consequences are ridiculous. And since hate is similar to or part of intent, it is equally to ridiculous to remove hate as a consideration. She wasn't advocating to remove intent. I understand the argument. I agree with the argument in some ways. My concern about the growing trend of punishing people for their thoughts outweighs my acknowledgement of the analogy. While hate can definitely motivate a person's intent to commit a crime, hate is distinctly different from intent. People can hate others (because of race, religion, culture, etc.) without intentionally acting to hurt them. I'm not in support of punishing people for their thoughts.

Politics / Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« on: March 30, 2021, 08:58:18 pm »
Yeah, I read about the second event. Others stood by and watched the guy kick her in the stomach and stomp on her head. I don't understand how people can be so apathetic about such cruelty. The events of these past few weeks have made me consider carrying a sidearm everywhere I go.

Doctrines & Scholarship / My fum hurts, Daddy.
« on: March 29, 2021, 09:54:07 pm »
Last week, Sarah-Grace had lunch with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma clipped Sarah-Graces fingernails. At one point, Sarah-Grace moved unexpectedly, and Grandma clipped a tiny bit of skin on the end of Sarah-Grace's thumb. When I got home after work, Sarah-Grace approached me with her thumb sticking up. It had a purple Band-Aid on it. She said, "My fum hurts, Daddy." I asked her to tell me about in and then kissed it better. She went off to play.

About 15 minutes later, Sarah-Grace came back and showed me her thumb. "My fum hurts, Daddy," she said. I sat down with her and we read a story to get her mind on something else. After the story, she went off to play again.

A few minutes later, Sarah-Grace came back and showed me her thumb. "My fum hurts, Daddy," she said again. This time, I heard her voice start to shake. I asked, "Do you want a different Band-Aid?" She shook her head and big tears appeared in her eyes. I realized that she expected me to make it better. I held her and let her cry for several minutes. She fell asleep and I gently covered her with a blanket.

When we experience anguish, whether as the consequences of our own choices, or because of the actions of another person, or because of the path we have chosen, and we go to our Father seeking relief, his capacity to heal us is infinite--far beyond what I could do for my four-year-old daughter.

In Alma 36, we learn of Alma's anguish and of our Father's response: 17) And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. 18) Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. 19) And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

When we cry out in anguish over the things we have done, our Father hears us. He can heal us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ so that we remember our pains no more.

In Liberty Jail, Joseph Smith cried out in anguish over the plight of the saints. Our Father answered in section 122 of the Doctrine and Covenants: 5) If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; ... 6) If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; ... and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb; 7) And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; ... and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. 8 ) The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

I have to admit that I find that answer to be of little comfort. It's seems especially undeserved for someone as faithful as Joseph. That could well be the conclusion if we stop there. Verse 9) Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.

Our Father knew that Joseph's mission was not complete. Joseph still had much work to do in building the Lord's Kingdom. Our Father communicated to Joseph that He had heard Joseph's cries in every detail. He gave Joseph perspective. And then He promised Joseph that evil would not triumph.

When we cry out in anguish over the things others have done, our Father hears us. He can strengthen us by giving us perspective and promise: "Fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever."

In Gethsemane, as the weight of the atonement began to descend on our Savior, he cried out, "... Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42) Our Father responded. 43) And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Our father knew that His Son, our Savior, would purchase our freedom and our redemption with His life. Our Father knew that His Son, our Savior, would not shrink from that choice--that He would finish the work he was sent to do. And so, during those hardest first steps of the atonement in Gethsemane, our Father sent an angel.

When we cry out in anguish because the path of obedience we have chosen seems completely overwhelming, our Father hears us. He can send angels to strengthen us.

"My fum hurts, Daddy." I could kiss it better. I could put some Neosporin and a new Band-Aid on it. I couldn't immediately heal it. I could tell her about the pain of broken bones and surgeries and how I recovered in time. I could tell her about the pain of losing a loved one or of being betrayed by someone I trusted. I could offer her that perspective and promise her that she won't even feel it in two more days. I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be helpful for a four-year-old. I did the only thing I really could do to help. For a while, I was her angel. I gave her strength and comfort so she could make it through the hardest part at first.

"I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people leading ordinary lives..." - Tracy Chapman

Be an angel. Our Father will lead us to a sister or a brother who desperately needs an angel. We just have to ask for directions.

Thanks for the analysis and explanation, Taalcon. It is fascinating to understand the process as well as the context. It illustrates how vitally important continuing revelation is not only to deliver guidance as we progress, but also to correct past errors and to provide clarification.

Politics / Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« on: March 26, 2021, 05:32:03 pm »
A very reasonable assessment, NT. I agree (mostly)  ;D

General Discussion / Re: Stuff that rocks!
« on: March 22, 2021, 10:31:18 pm »
Last month, I hired a school counselor. We haven't had one since the school opened. I was able to get a grant specifically for mental health services for students. It pays for about 25 hours/week. Anyway, she is amazing! She started using a behavior report card system with some of our students. It's focused on improving one thing at a time with a strong rewards/recognition component. I used to get one or two discipline referrals each day. Now, I get one or two each week. And the kids I used to see in my office almost every day--I see them coming out of her office with huge smiles! I am beyond grateful! School counselors rock!

What if some forward-thinking person in the 1830s had called out those hate crimes for what they were?

What if someone actually had done their job and prosecuted those crimes for what they already were--crimes?

Here's one of the reasons I oppose adding the "hate" intensifier: The time is not too far distant (the trend has already begun) when opposition, based on religious convictions, to a new law is branded as "hate." Then religious denominations will get defined as "hate groups." Then legislation will get passed outlawing religious groups, not based on actual practices or behaviors which harm others, but based on the religions doctrines, teachings, and beliefs which are branded as hate. Yes, people are going to dismiss this idea as a "slippery slope" argument, and claim that constitutional guarantees of religious freedom are not and will never be threatened, and that this is all a bunch of alarmist rhetoric. Well then, why have President Oaks and religious leaders from many denominations been talking about it for the last ten years?

Crime is crime. Punish actions and behaviors which harm other people. Don't punish people for their thoughts and beliefs, even when you believe they're wrong. Alma 30:7-11 is instructive:

7 Now there was no law against a manís belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds.

8 For thus saith the scripture: Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve.

9 Now if a man desired to serve God, it was his privilege; or rather, if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve him; but if he did not believe in him there was no law to punish him.

10 But if he murdered he was punished unto death; and if he robbed he was also punished; and if he stole he was also punished; and if he committed adultery he was also punished; yea, for all this wickedness they were punished.

11 For there was a law that men should be judged according to their crimes. Nevertheless, there was no law against a manís belief; therefore, a man was punished only for the crimes which he had done; therefore all men were on equal grounds.

I'm less concerned about that aspect of his crime than I am about the day-to-day racism I see all around me that people write off.

+1, and a billion more.

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