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Messages - Jason

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News of the Church / Re: Church Worthiness Interviews
« on: July 08, 2018, 02:24:03 am »
Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Those that struggle with an addiction of pornography, might be given that addiction so that they can remain humble and closer to God. Addictions quickly become hardwired into our brains, and are nearly impossible to remove. So imagine someone who acquires that addiction, but who then weekly or daily prays to God for help and relief. That person might stay closer to God in all of their other parts of life. That person might seek out the atonement daily and be constantly in a state of grace. That person may understand the atonement better for that experience. If God really wanted to remove that addiction, would he not have done it after years or decades of praying for that relief? Would not some of those thousands of prayers have been sincere enough? Does ignorant experimentation when a youth that causes the hardwiring condemn someone for eternity, even when they really want that burden to be lifted?

Heroin can cause addiction after just one use. Many consider pornography a far harder addiction to break. And breaking the addiction most likely means abstaining, but never having their brains rewired. If 70-80% of men (including LDS men) look at pornography at least once a month, then are the broken homes caused or just correlated to pornography use? It would seem that the vast majority of those that look at it do not let it appreciably affect their family relationships.

General Discussion / Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« on: July 08, 2018, 01:48:08 am »
That article gives no background rates of discharge. Has this increased or decreased recently? Is this consistent with general enlistment discharges? 40/10,000 is a rate of 0.4%, or 1 out of 250 that do not make it through. But are these accurate numbers? I saw an article that said that 7-14% of general enlistees drop out after boot camp, depending on the branch. So would this program be a bigger success than regular enlistment? Or is this comparing wrong things. This article is so frustrating, because it seems to leave out crucial information, but wants to paint a picture to disparage Trump. I think you need several levels of information before you can do that.

General Discussion / Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« on: July 02, 2018, 12:08:14 am »
I think it is common to only be allowed to vote for one party's candidates in an election. In Illinois you chose either a Republican or Democratic ballot. If you choose neither, you can vote only on the non-partisan things, but not for a party's candidates. Washington state used to have an open ballot where the top 2 vote getters were then placed on the general election ballot, but that was deemed illegal by the courts, being argued that people would cross over and vote for spoilers. Now you have to pick which party you want to vote for. The primary system is supposed to be about picking a party's candidate to put on the ballot, but the parties are "kind enough" to allow us to vote on which candidates they run. In Germany, I think you only vote for a party, and the party itself picks the candidates that go into office.

General Discussion / Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« on: June 16, 2018, 09:51:10 am »
I just learned something. There is a difference between "improper entry" and "unlawful presence". Improper entry is a misdemeanor crime. Unlawful presence is not a crime, but a violation of regulations. It is punished with civil penalties, not criminal penalties. The civil penalties may be deportation, and there is an extensive civil process in place. Many people here may have entered legally, but then overstayed their visas or other allowable times. It could be that 45% of those without proper permission entered this way. They are not criminals, as it is not a violation with criminal penalties.

The fine for the misdemeanor crime of improper entry is $50-$250, but gets more if repeated. Many of us have had traffic tickets for more than that, which are also misdemeanors.

I found this in a 2014 Deseret News article. https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865601049/LDS-Church-reaffirms-stance-on-immigration.html

Interestingly, President Uchtdorf speaks of being a refugee twice.

The article also states, "Our principle, I declared to the president, is that we love our neighbor, which means we love all people, in all places and at all times," President Uchtdorf said. "One of the core values we stand for is families. The separation of families (in U.S. immigration policy) isn't helping."


"One of the major pillars is the right to bring and enforce laws, using the rule of law, that enforce our borders," President Uchtdorf said. "First we need a just and caring law balanced with the values and principles that we love our neighbors, that families stay together, and enforce just and compassionate laws."

I think the church would encourage us to find avenues of enforcement that do not separate families. If you get a traffic ticket, you sign the ticket, promising that you will appear at court, rather than being arrested right then.

The article is referencing a 2011 statement from the church which included this, "We recognize an ever-present need to strengthen families. Families are meant to be together. Forced separation of working parents from their children weakens families and damages society".

For many people it is becoming harder to separate their politics from their religion.

2 Nephi 1:5,6 "But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.

6 Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord."

That last line is interesting to me. It might depend on whether you consider the USA, or Mexico, or central America the promised land, but for many, it is the USA. Can you imagine that all of those that are coming here from India, Pakistan, Syria, Mexico, Guatamala, etc, are brought here by the hand of the Lord?

General Discussion / Re: Abuse
« on: May 24, 2018, 11:06:59 pm »
Our brains will order the world so that it makes sense to us. If we do not know what to look for, we will not see it. It takes some training, and then things become bright as day. But you also need to know what to do about it. There are no easy answers. Asking the husband about it might not be the best choice, because he could take it out on his wife later on. Doesn't the church have a hotline that bishops can call for advice on what to do?

Forum and Member News / Re: JOB OFFER!
« on: May 24, 2018, 10:58:12 pm »
Sounds like good, honest work that fits you life. What more can you ask for?

News of the Church / Re: Church severing ties with BSA
« on: May 15, 2018, 03:29:06 pm »
If the world were to end tomorrow (18 months from now), would you still plant a tree?

General Discussion / Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« on: May 15, 2018, 03:27:59 pm »
I think the biggest push for resolution will be when they allow their people to freely travel between the two countries. Families will be reunited. Those in North Korea will see what prosperity looks like. And South Korea can likely learn some things from North Korea, too.

Forum and Member News / Re: Kilauea
« on: May 15, 2018, 03:20:47 pm »
Hawaii's contribution to fighting global warming is to emit Sulfur Dioxide. Thanks Hawaii.

Forum and Member News / Re: I can use your prayers.
« on: May 15, 2018, 03:15:13 pm »
Good to hear things seem to be getting better.

Doctrines & Scholarship / Re: Alternative translations to KJV
« on: May 10, 2018, 01:38:51 pm »
Nephi states that speaking plainly is beneficial. I think he would be happy to have a version of the scriptures that is easy to understand by all that read it. The King James version is beautiful, but is not in our own language. Language changes over time, and it was written at a time of middle English transitioning into modern English.

2 Nephi 25
1 Now I, Nephi, do speak somewhat concerning the words which I have written, which have been spoken by the mouth of Isaiah. For behold, Isaiah spake many things which were hard for many of my people to understand; for they know not concerning the manner of prophesying among the Jews.

7 But behold, I proceed with mine own prophecy, according to my plainness; in the which I know that no man can err; nevertheless, in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.

20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err."

News of the Church / Re: Church severing ties with BSA
« on: May 10, 2018, 01:23:43 pm »
My view is colored by my experiences in scouts. During the last couple of decades I believe that the church has been heavily focusing on improving the various young women's programs, trying to get that up to par with the scouting program for the young men. In the process, the young women's programs have actually become much better than the young men's scouting programs. Severing the ties with the Boy Scouts will allow the young men's programs to try and catch up with the young women's programs.

...However, I have another pressing question. How is it that halfway through the spring semester, a 14-yo does not know the way to his own school? Didn’t his parents train him to pay attention when he first started taking the bus, to learn the route or recognize street names or landmarks? This is just one more of many cases about young people not having the life skills to function at even the simplest level. ::)

Simplest levels are relative. I had to log into Netflix for my mother. Giving her the username and password was not enough. I had to highlight the ON button for my grandmother on a DVD player so that she could watch her Monk collection. She had only wistfully looked at the boxes for 6 months prior to my visit.

General Discussion / Re: Grades in Elementary School
« on: April 10, 2018, 10:40:22 pm »
I have been on the receiving end of grades that I thought were unfair for the amount of work and effort I put into them. I eventually gave up caring about the grade and more about the learning, but that was in medical school.

Also in medical school, I began to see tests that were very statistically driven. They kept track of each question each year and how many people answered it right and wrong. They set up the tests to get a bell curve so that if you answered 2 standard deviations above you received honors, 2 standard deviations below and you received a fail, and everyone else received a pass.

I began to see them phase out bad question writing, such as, "all of the following are false, except...", and K type questions, where the multiple choice answers were A: A and C, B: B and D, C: ABC, D: all of the above, E: none of the above. They phased out the type of questions that people missed for stupid mistakes rather than lack of knowledge. Trick questions.

Instead, I began to see questions that tested what you knew. They could be several steps, like giving some of the symptoms and expecting you to know side effects of the treatment you would have ordered. Some were designed to test small details, but none were really unfair.

It wasn't until I had been exposed to really good testing that I began to identify poor testing.

I would be fascinated to take courses on teaching and testing someday. It could really codify my thinking on the subject.

I do not think the students need to solve all other problems in the world prior to addressing one that is pressing on their minds. Gun violence and suicides are not insignificant. I knew someone that committed suicide with a gun just last year. Those that utilize guns are much more successful in ending their lives.

It is random violence like school shootings that can make us feel helpless, as it is nearly impossible to plan and defend against. And mass school shootings have been increasing in recent years. Listening to audio of the shootings as the shooter wanders around killing anyone he can is truly horrifying. And knowing that your child is now more likely to be a victim to this type of horror can make one reconsider previously held political views.

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