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News of the Church / President Monson has earned his rest
« on: January 03, 2018, 06:48:52 am »
President Monson passed on Tuesday night at home at age 90.

We will remember him for his tireless work as God's servant, a minister to all in spiritual or temporal need, and the face of the Church to millions of people around the world. He  truly lost himself in the service of the Lord and his brothers and sisters. I am sure that as he crossed over, he was comforted by hearing "Well done, thou good and faithful servant; welcome home."

News of the Church / Leave those folks alone
« on: December 21, 2017, 07:18:09 pm »
Here we go again.

It seems some Church members can't be reminded often enough about the Church policy on proxy baptism of Holocaust victims or prominent people/their ancestors. Only a small number slipped through the cracks, but one is still a violation of Church policy & one is enough to draw attention from anti's who leap at any chance to trash the Church. (I didn't look at the reader forum, but this is a San Francisco media source & the area is full of bashers of traditional Judeao-Christian religion & values, so I'm sure they're enjoying themselves there).


Doctrines & Scholarship / Chick-Fila-A opens on Sunday!!!
« on: December 19, 2017, 09:30:00 pm »
Look what has become a big deal in some media accounts.  :D

Chick-Fil-A outlets are closed on Sundays, because the owners are Christian & believe their employees (of whatever religion) should have a day off just for rest & family life. And it’s been all over the media about how they responded when the mayor of Atlanta called last Sunday when all the electricity went out at the huge, busy airport, & the company sent employees to prepare food for thousands of stranded travelers.


This is another case of how some people zero in on one aspect of Christian belief or practice & miss or ignore the rest, whether from honest misunderstanding or an attempt to trap Christians the way the Pharisees tried to do. I like to think most people simply don’t totally understand how the higher law has fulfilled the law of Moses & made us responsible for using our agency & the guidance of the Spirit in matters that aren’t necessarily “black or white.”

The Lord said it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath (it’s one of our 25 #LighttheWorld themes) & the Sabbath was made for man, not the reverse. IOW, the Sabbath was given to us as a blessing from God & not meant to be a burden. Christ healed the sick, & He & the apostles picked corn (or wheat, pistachios, figs, whatever it was that grew in the Mediterranean) to eat on the Sabbath. He taught that the higher law makes it clear that taking care of people (or rescuing your critters from the mire) takes priority even if it may not match the exact letter of the law.

News of the Church / NorCal Regional Conf on Religious Freedom
« on: October 29, 2017, 02:51:55 am »
The 62 stakes of Northern California attended a regional conference tonight on religious freedom. It was in Sacramento, at the stake center next to the temple, & was broadcast to the rest of us. Local Church members attended & several speakers alluded to guests of other faiths or from government. I’m not sure if other regions will also get something like this.

Elder Rasband presided & spoke. We also heard from Elder Von Keetch of the Seventy, Elder Lance Wickman (the Church’s general counsel), & Sister Joy Jones of Primary. Elder Carl B. Cook of the Seventy was also present. (These leaders had also earlier visited wildfire victims in the North Bay & several alluded to it, & to lessons we can learn from disasters that may apply to life as a whole).

We saw a video with some history & context about religious liberty, & presentation by two constitutional law attorneys with California roots (both LDS) about how ordinary people can find ways to be involved in protecting religious freedom & answer tough questions in a gospel-friendly way.

I’m about to go toes up, but I’ll come back & tell more about it later (tomorrow or early in the week). I posted this now mainly to commit myself, so I’ll have to come back & finish what I started. ;)

Doctrines & Scholarship / Can humans sweat blood?
« on: October 24, 2017, 01:32:46 am »
Can human beings actually release blood through their pores?

In KJV Luke 22, the language seems a bit ambiguous about whether Christ actually sweated blood; it could also be interpreted to be merely a comparison: “... sweat was as it were great drops of blood…” The New King James Version says “became like great drops of blood…” The New International Version says “like drops of blood falling to the ground.” The Douay-Rheims Bible used by Catholics says “became as drops of blood…” The wording in all of them is that of a simile & doesn’t explicitly say He did sweat blood. The Revised Standard Version seems not to mention this detail at all.

Only D&C 19 uses language that definitely says His agony was so great that He bled from every pore.

Doubters might ask how Joseph Smith could know such a detail when so many Bible versions are fuzzy about the language, & they might also wonder if this is physiologically possible. Well, aside from the matter of ongoing revelation, it is possible. It even has a scientific name, hematohidrosis. I just read about a recent case in Italy that indicates it does happen, albeit rarely, with this patient experiencing it during heavy emotional stress. This certainly is consistent with the D&C record of what Joseph had revealed to him about Gethsemane.

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/health/blood-cmaj-health-hematohidrosis-disease-1.4365126 (contains photos that may be disturbing to some people).


Book Club / "Mockingbird" shot down
« on: October 14, 2017, 05:54:08 pm »
I actually think this is more of a "Current Event" topic than a "Book Club" one, but I'll follow the rules & start it here. But it is not really about the book itself.

We live in an era when microaggression has become a major issue, professors & students must analyze every word before saying something that could cause psychic injury to a classmate, workplace HR directors write policies & memos about every possible way someone could be offended, & the overwhelming objective in any public action or statement (outside the political arena, anyway) is to avoid causing offense. Here is encouraging news for people who are afraid of having young people exposed to things that make them uncomfortable. To Kill A Mockingbird, a modern American classic, has been pulled from a Mississippi school district’s 8th grade curriculum. The reason given: it “makes people uncomfortable.”


Yes, it is a disturbing story of a time in our country when things happened that still burn our national conscience today. In many ways & for many reasons, the U.S. is a more complicated country today in the matter of race relations. Some of the issues the novel confronts are still not resolved to the satisfaction of anyone or any group represented in the story. Are 8th graders too young to learn about bigotry, justice delayed or denied, & the unspeakable atrocities of rape & lynching? Are their ears & minds too fragile to withstand the n-word without being cushioned by asterisks? In the world we live in, is it safe to presume most 8th graders are not new to any of those?

Other questions worth considering: if people are to regard themselves as educated, doesn’t that require being uncomfortable sometimes? How can anyone learn if they never see or hear anything outside their experience, personal or family belief system, or comfort level?

Is age 13 or 14 too soon for kids to start learning that the world is not entirely as it should be, that it has things in it that need changing, that not everyone in it is good & honorable & it needs more people who are, & the more they learn about it & everyone & everything in it, the better equipped they will be to make it the kind of place it should be?

Youth in the Church / Welcome to the YSA (not what you thought)
« on: October 11, 2017, 10:29:39 pm »
Does anyone continue to entertain the quaint, archaic notion that males & females are actually different creatures? Do you still refuse to believe that young boys & girls are interchangeable, have exactly the same interests, concerns, & needs that can all be met by exactly the same kinds of activities, experiences, & adult guidance, & any single-sex organization or activity is non-inclusive & discriminatory?

I guess the Youth Scouts of America isn’t for you.


Technical Talk / Yahoo accounts hacked
« on: October 04, 2017, 03:24:25 am »
Do you Yahoo? If so, you are one of the 3 billion accounts (every one of its accounts) that was hacked. Good luck. :(


Some people have more than one account, so it isn't 3 billion actual individuals, but still, that's a huge number. Isn't the world's population a little over 6 billion?

General Conference / Absent but not forgotten
« on: October 01, 2017, 01:45:20 am »

News of the Church / BYU on the way to "party school" reputation
« on: September 22, 2017, 05:01:12 pm »
This has been ALL over the news. :D I first heard it on a national network newscast yesterday. Obviously it is a momentous event, finding its way onto media that normally cover major world events.



Technical Talk / "eBay International AG"
« on: September 06, 2017, 11:10:19 pm »
I got an email in my spam box with a sender address of eBay and a title of “Your invoice for eBay purchases.” Since I don’t even have an eBay account and have never ordered from them, I didn’t open the e-mail, but right-clicked on it for “View Message Source.” It opened a long page of gobbledygook, which I perused to see what I was supposed to have done. I found this link, with an invoice number that I am supposed to pay for a set of luggage that I ordered, which I did not:

http:[double slash]alu-bel.com/invoive[dot]html

I doctored the address here, replacing the symbols with text, so no one will accidentally open it. “Invoice” was misspelled.

Reading further, I found the company name of eBay International AG, with an address in Bern, Switzerland. AFAIK, the real eBay is still in San Jose. The eBay Community, a forum that seems to be sponsored by the San Jose eBay company, has had several discussions about eBay International AG being shady & even a scam.

Has anyone else had experience with this supposed company? Can I just delete the spam e-mail & not worry about paying them & not respond?

Forum and Member News / KetchupQueen
« on: September 02, 2017, 01:49:02 pm »
Hi, KQ - are you in the wildfire area? You're near Montrose or La Crescenta, aren't you?

Stay safe.

This is a scary story. It was a major Bay Area story last month & some folks here likely heard about it. An Air Canada flight from Toronto, arriving at SFO around midnight with 140 passengers & crew, mistakenly almost landed on a taxiway on top of 4 airliners that were waiting to take off. The taxiway is parallel to the runway that it was supposed to land on. The other flights were bound for Orlando, Singapore, Sydney, & presumably another trans-Pacific destination (Philippine Airways) – IOW, all big long-range airliners with maybe 30,000 gallons of fuel and hundreds of SOB, literally sitting ducks.

The NTSB determined that after the controller ordered the AC flight to pull up & go around, it was so low that it flew over & missed one or more of the waiting planes by as little as 59 feet before it began gaining altitude.

Investigators mentioned design aspects at SFO that may have contributed to the mistake, plus the fact that one runway parallel to the one meant to be used was closed for repair & the AC pilots may have mistaken the parallel runway & taxiway for the two parallel runways despite the different lights. Maybe they mistook the lights of the waiting planes for runway lights?





General Discussion / New Weird News Thread
« on: July 28, 2017, 06:35:02 pm »
I closed the old "Weird" thread because it was getting old & it was time for a fresh start.

Here was the old one, in case anyone wants to see what we once considered weird:

If you had just bought a $288,000 vehicle an hour ago, how would you handle it on the way home? Would you be eager to put it through its paces & see what it was capable of, or would you be extra cautious? If you chose something specialized like a turbo-charged high performance car, a 4wd vehicle, a vintage car, or a car with (for Americans) a complex manual transmission or (for non-Americans) automatic transmission, by any chance would you have asked the dealer for special instructions or practice time in a safe area before going out on the street?

I don't know what this new owner did, but something went awfully wrong. :(


Doctrines & Scholarship / "It mattereth not what ye eat or drink"
« on: July 11, 2017, 08:32:39 pm »
Here is an interesting small item I just stumbled on.

The Vatican has been mulling over the use of gluten-free or low-gluten wafers for Holy Communion (their equivalent of Sacrament). The wafers, also called the host, come from manufacturers approved by the Catholic archbishops, just as kosher food producers are certified by organizations of rabbis. I imagine just as with all Christian churches that take Communion, it’s been challenging for the Catholic Church to accommodate people all over the world with a wide variety of health, allergy, cultural, or other concerns about food. We know there are people who latch onto nutritional fads, but celiac disease is a major concern for many.


We’re blessed to have the gift of continuing revelation, & a prophet who was tuned in enough to God’s voice to hear that He doesn’t care what specific items we use to represent the body & blood of Christ. All He wants is that we recognize the symbolism & take the Sacrament with an eye single to His glory & remember His Son's sacrifice (D&C 27).
The revelation included both the bread & wine, adding that we should not use wine purchased from enemies but only “new made” among us. He did not specify why, & we could come up with a number of reasons. In 1830, it might have been literally dangerous for the Saints to buy food or drink from enemies. We would have no control over the potency or alcoholic content of such a drink, or it could have been tampered with. It might simply be unhealthful because it wasn’t made properly or in sanitary conditions (the best way to know that anything is done right is to do it yourself). Maybe, recognizing that the use of wine or spirits is often for unrighteous reasons like getting drunk, seduction, or building up the courage to do evil, He did not want us to be complicit in those purposes. Or perhaps by “new made among you,” He meant fresh grape juice or plant extracts or infusions, not fermented beverages.

I hope the Catholic Church comes to a solution that helps all their folks who want to renew their covenants & remember the Lord’s sacrifice in a way that’s healthy & they don’t have to worry about side effects. In taking the Sacrament (or Communion) more than in any other situation, people need to feel safe.

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