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Roper

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #45 on: June 04, 2021, 05:35:06 pm »
Taalcon, I'm not going to argue semantics, past practices, future possibilities, etc. The law of chastity, as it currently exists, specifies number of concurrent partners and biological sex of partner. One restriction is not inherently more onerous than the other restriction.

I reject the notion in LDS culture that homosexual desire is somehow in a special class which is so much harder than everything else.

I am an addict. I have a genetic disposition for chemical addiction. My grandfather was addicted to alcohol, and his addiction finally cost him his fortune, his family, and his life. Praise be to God that my father did the overwhelmingly hard life-long work of recovery so that the alcoholic lifestyle didn't destroy his life and get passed on to his children. I found out about my tendency when I was a teen. I fractured one of my vertebrae playing flag football. The doctor prescribed Percocet. I was addicted in two days. I physically craved the pain relief and the buzz it gave me. When my dad saw what was happening, he put my pills down toilet and I alternated acetaminophen and ibuprofen for the next week. I love the smell of alcohol. Even when I smell it on someone's breath, I want a drink. I want to taste which wines compliment which foods. I want to experiment with psychedelic drugs, because I want to know what it feels like--how it affects creative things like art and music. I had friends who drank alcohol in high school, repented, and went on their missions. I didn't dare. On military deployments, I longed to go to clubs and drink with my buddies after a long day. Instead, I stayed in my room and talked to my wife on the phone, because I know what would happed if I went into a bar. I have completed 12 step programs, not because I was using, but because I need to know in my core that God can help me endure this. If I give in even once, my life is done.

So when I hear the argument that those who have homosexual desires deserve increased understanding and compassion because they have to live a life of denial that is different from every other challenge, my response is, "You have no idea what you're talking about."
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. - John Dewey
 
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Taalcon

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #46 on: June 04, 2021, 06:37:34 pm »
I think I've been misunderstood, and I'll take responsibility for that.

I didn't make any comparrisons with addiction. In fact, when you suggested I was comparing it against every other challenge, I tried to make clear I wasn't attempting to do that. I said:

Quote
It's not a greater challenge than all in Mortality, but it is a greater challenge in the Church than a heterosexual who hasn't found a spouse yet.

This was the narrow comparrison I was working with. I hate to think what I was saying was meant to be as broad as it was, or to give any indication I'd find addictions or other issues comparable.

I was specifically trying to narrow like-to-like, specifically so such comparrisons WOULD NOT be made. That was the purpose of the semantics and drilling down.

I was specifically talking about issues that uniquely become an issue because of its relationship to the Church (many who are gay would go ahead and have a happy and fulfilling same-gender marriage if they were not seeking to be compliant with a specific Church-specific covenant).

Addiction is a horrible potentially life-destroying thing to deal with no matter what one's religious obligations.

I didn't think such a comparrison was even in the same ballpark, and wouldn't have thought anyone would be MAKING such a comparrison. Clearly I misread the situation.

So I was drilling down and being super pedandtic not only because I think those details and questions matter, but because I specifically DIDN'T want to be misunderstood.

Looks like I failed at that, and I apologize for my lack of clarity.

I'm sorry, Roper.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 06:39:46 pm by Taalcon »
 
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dyany

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #47 on: June 04, 2021, 10:08:27 pm »
Thank you, Taalcon, for your apology. I read your previous post in the same way Roper did.
As someone who was never able to have kids, have good health, or have a good marriage, I find the arguments that it is especially insufferably unfair for those with SSA to be asked to trust in the Lord that things will be worked out in the next life to be pretentious. A vast number of the Lord's children have had insufferable conditions in life. It's part of the point, is it not, to learn to grow stronger in the areas we are weakest? If you are starting a strength building regimen and find that your quads are super weak while everything else is fine, it makes sense that not only would you have to put extra work into your quads to catch up, but it would be much, much harder than working on your other muscles.
Those struggling with SSA or feeling uncomfortable in their gender have a tough row to hoe. But so do those with debilitating chronic illness. And those who have been abused. And those with mental illness. And those who never marry. And those who can never have children. Most of these situations can contribute to strong desires to break covenants, from things as seemingly small as being kind or reaching out, to hurting others or committing various sexual sins.
The Lord knows what is hard for each of us and why. He holds each of us us only as accountable as necessary. But he still commands that we TRY. And that does NOT mean that we get to label the parts of covenants which are hardest for any group as 'unfair' and then not have to keep them. Life is unfair. It has ever been so. The more we overcome or sacrifice to obey and listen to the Lord, the more we will gain. And while I do believe in asking good questions (we are COMMANDED to ask and knock), I think that we need to do so with the Spirit and be able to accept the occasional and necessary 'no.'
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it
If only we're brave enough to be it
 
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nitasmile

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2021, 10:07:01 am »
I have notvresd all the comments yet but as a single, never married heterosexual gal, I disagree..I think we need to not say that thenhomosexual/ etc as a greater challenge because theyncan.never marry whereas a single has hope. It is hard no matter what,  let's honor this and not say that those with SSA deserve to be higher ranked on the life challenges scorecard..we are in our individual battles and in a quest to be better for ourselves and the Savior..let us not compare.
My most painful life experience has been being 52 and single with no kids, adding to the pain is the church members devaluing my disenfranchised type griefs, as well as the last few years where people imply it is harder for those who are gay etc. Life is hard for.all of us.

.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #49 on: June 06, 2021, 10:29:07 am »
While my intent was to push against what I saw as downplaying, I understand that, out of frustration, I responded using language that was not as constructive or precise as I should have. Again, I apologize.

I think we're all tired of seeing personal experiences compared, and appearing to be diminished.

I think it's possible to notice and acknowledge that there are unique challenges and barriers that are presented by the way the Church runs and sets policy for individuals in different circumstances without having to grade those who experience them comparatively. That is unfair, and while I didn't intend to, I still did it, caused hurt, and will try to be even more careful going forward.

Part of this thread was designed to express empathy and proactive steps forward for a specific challenge. I responded to what I saw as trying downplay those experiences as not unique, and not uniquely affected by existing Church policy, which I interpreted as downplaying. I likely got that wrong.

We should develop deeper empathy for those with Addictions.
We sholud develop deeper empathy for those who can't find a spouse who can love them back.
We should develop deeper empathy for someone whose spouse abuses them.
We should develop deeper empathy for someone with chronic illness.
We should develop deeper empathy for someone who loves someone the Church doesn't permit them to marry.
We should develop deeper empathy for someone without a desire to marry, who is feeling undue pressure to do so.
We should develop deeper empathy for those unable to have children, who want them.
We should develop deeper empathy for those who experience depression.
etc,
etc,
etc,
The list doesn't end.

Part of life experience, and part of emulating the savior is developing deeper empathy, PERIOD. Dismissing anyone's problem as, 'well, they just need to get over it, life is hard for everybody' is also unproductive.

I appreciate Adam Miller, who said everyone is a Pioneer, because nobody has navigated the plan of salvation in their body before. There's a lot to ponder in that. And as we clear the path for ourselves, sometimes its helpful to make sure we're not placing a log in someone elses' path, or suggest that because a log wasn't a problem for me, it shouldn't be a problem for anyone else.

So we can perhaps allow this thread to get back to it's original focused topic, I think I have an idea for another thread I'm going to start regarding helping us develop empathy and sensitivity for other circumstances.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 11:16:45 am by Taalcon »
 
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Taalcon

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #50 on: June 06, 2021, 03:38:47 pm »
I looked back into this thread. It looks like the downturn and talking past each other began to happen when, after going into a theological discussion of the issue, and subject of 'fairness' began to be breached, and specifically in relation to the policies of the Church (IE, it wouldn't be fair for an incorrect policy to be allowed by God that would affect so many people, therefore a policy that appears unfair must be allowed by God and have a truly just reason), and I had a fairly strong response to a comment that seemed to me to express that those who are having difficulty seeing their place in the plan of salvation due to Church policies and doctrines on marriage were equated with those who just nilly willy want to randomly dump their covenants.

Well, that's not exactly what Andrew did. He seemed to be saying in frustration that if things are changeable, we really didn't know what we think we know, and things will all just work out, then he should just break all of his covenants to get the same result.

Andrew said:
Quote
If it's all going to work out in the end I might as well abandon my covenants, and live a more enjoyable life.

This stuck out to ME as being more specific, and trivializing an experience, and comparing "wanting to have a loving happy and successful marriage accepted by the Church" to "abanding [a happy and successful marriage] to [go do some random other stuff because one can]."

That's whay I reacting to, and I wasn't having that.

It looks like Roper then jumped on to affirm something that Andrew said, which was not something that had actually been argued by me or anyone else in this thread:

Quote
"But this this challenge (having homosexual desires but not being able to act on them) is so much harder than all the other challenges in mortality." I'm not convinced.

Okay, looks to me like this became a defensive position over something nobody here was arguing. I certainly didn't. I believe that this is an argument you have had presented to you in the past, and likely the present. I believe it is unhelpful, and hurtful.

But I see in my response to it, I went wrong. While I was following the specific aspects I had been focusing on, I see how it could appear to be me trying to defend the general position Roper said he had experienced expressed before, and 'didn't buy'.

This is where I made my biggest mistake. I said:

Quote
It's not a greater challenge than all in Mortality, but it is a greater challenge in the Church than a heterosexual who hasn't found a spouse yet. A heterosexual person simply can't flatten the comparison of their experience (and that includes me) and relationship to the Church with someone who is Gay.

As it stands, that's wrong. Full stop.

What I should have said, and what is true to my actual belief, is, "It's not a greater challenge than all in Mortality, but it is a distinct and different challenge in the Church than a heterosexual who hasn't found a spouse yet. "

That was the point I was trying to make, And I stand by that. Distinct doesn't mean greater. It doesn't mean lesser. It means different. It means something that requires a different approach of understanding, and creates a different approach to comforting.

Ultimately, my point is that this all comes down to one of my favorite quotes about the Book of Job:

"The more that Job presses his claim to human compassion, the more abstract [his friends'] arguments become until, in the end, Job ceases to be a human being who needs comfort and becomes simply a theological problem that needs a solution."

Which I think brings us back to what cook's actual purpose in starting the thread was.

So I, again, apologize for the derailing.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 03:45:29 pm by Taalcon »
 
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Enochscion

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #51 on: June 08, 2021, 08:13:38 am »
I wasn't sure how much I wanted to get involved in this thread, but there are three things I don't see brought up that I think could be helpful in provoking thoughts.

Taalcon gave an excellent hypothetical example of imagining being told that if you endure life faithfully and don't marry someone you want to because it's against God's law, you'll have the privilege of God changing your attitude in the next life so you'll want to marry someone you can--rather than him actually giving you what you want.

I hope what I'm going to say doesn't come off as dismissive, because, believe me, that very scenario Taalcon proposed is something I have pondered and think about every time I think about anything to do with this stuff. But here goes.

I think homosexual attraction is psychologically different, and spiritually off-kilter. I think it literally is not the same experience. We might not be able to demonstrate that in mortality, and an individual (say someone who is bisexual or who changed their sexual preference) might believe it feels exactly the same--but it still might not be true. There are all sorts of subtleties to our minds and spirits--and we've only barely scratched the surface to understanding either. Our tiny knowledge of the human body is masterful by comparison. We don't actually know ourselves as well as we think.

If this is accurate, I believe it totally changes all sorts of elements of how we should understand the phenomenon, compared to assuming that it actually is the same experience (or an equally healthy experience). About the only things it doesn't change is how we should love, serve, and attempt to make welcome our brothers and sisters struggling with such issues.

I'd encourage anyone to put it into their mental file of things to consider, if nothing else.

The second point I wanted to bring up was about the law of chastity. I'm not aware of any doctrinal point defining chastity as confined to a marriage between one man and one woman (including the temple phrasings). I'm not convinced it is actually the lack of authorization that makes polygamy sometimes unchaste. The truth seems closer to it being made unchaste by an attitude that is often found when it is practiced by the world, and definitely when it is practiced against the light and knowledge of God, as the element of (perhaps hidden from one's self) pride inherent in such an act is related to unchastity. I believe there are polygamists in some cultures who are not violating the law of chastity. (I think break-away polygamist fundamentalists are violating the law of chastity however, even if they were raised in it, though accountability will be less for them than their parents depending on their degree of exposure to the fulness of the Gospel.) It is probably a lot less fuzzy than it seems with our current viewpoint.

Third, I think Heavenly Mother is vitally concerned with our lives. I think she is there with Heavenly Father in everything he does, and we cannot pray to him without her hearing. I think the Divine Feminine is something we all inherently have a need for a connection with, just as we have a need for a connection with an earthly father and mother. In some future day, I believe this will all be made clearer, and she will be further and completely revealed through our doctrine and practices.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #52 on: June 08, 2021, 10:14:19 am »
Thanks for your thoughts, Enochscion. I can't help but think, though, that this:
Quote
I think homosexual attraction is psychologically different, and spiritually off-kilter. I think it literally is not the same experience. We might not be able to demonstrate that in mortality, and an individual (say someone who is bisexual or who changed their sexual preference) might believe it feels exactly the same--but it still might not be true

For me feels to be in the same category as explanations given for other restrictions that ultimately get disavowed. Something that "must" be true, otherwise, current practice seems unjust or out of character with what is also believed and understood about God and humanity. Speculating as to why God allowed a restriction to be in place can tends to go to inherently offensive 'assumptive' places. Things one can't prove, but must be true for the rest of the paradigm to 'fit'.

"This person must have done something wrong in the pre-mortal life, or else this treatment would have been unjust."

"This person must not really be happy, or experience the same wonderful thing I am, or else this treatment would have been unjust, or the general interpretation of x scripture must be wrong."

It does create a problem for the Church, as they are well aware of the problems of propagating theoretic constructs that end up being wrong, and encouraging prejudiced, and in fact potentially bigoted mindsets. This leaves some of the most radical policies without any explanation or defense, and with attempts TO defend them being incredibly fraught.

I mean, the restriction on Priesthood and Temple covenants for those with Black African ancestry was announced with an explanation. But the explanation has been disavowed, leaving the policy historically there, and still affirmed as 'right', without any defense or reason, and specifically stating that the defenses Church leaders, including the first leader offering the policy, presented are disavowed.

So I acknowledge it absolutely places those who feel the necessity of defending these policies at a deeper level at a much greater disadvantage. You want to defend a policy because you believe it must be divine, but you don't want to fall into the trap of creating a working explanation that, if wrong, ends up being harmful, hurtful, counterproductive to empathy, and offensive to God and man in order to do so.

Anyway, because I am usually pushing against such explanations, I wanted to make clear I understand that often times, the defense really often is at a rhetorical and historically fraught disadvantage, and I don't really know what one can do about that.

I enjoy your thoughtfulness and in-depth explorations of these matters, Enochscion. I know you take them seriously. I might not agree with all of your conclusions (although you absolutely have some ideas in there that do resonate with me!), but I respect your process and motives.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 10:19:28 am by Taalcon »
 
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AndrewR

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #53 on: June 08, 2021, 11:00:45 am »
Quote
I mean, the restriction on Priesthood and Temple covenants for those with Black African ancestry was announced with an explanation. But the explanation has been disavowed, leaving the policy historically there, and still affirmed as 'right', without any defense or reason, and specifically stating that the defenses Church leaders, including the first leader offering the policy, presented are disavowed.

And to add further issues with that, although not explicitly this idea can be seen in the scriptures. And so, how much else in the scriptures is just plain wrong, and is about to be disavowed?

Since BY got it fundamentally wrong with the priesthood. Was making the WoW a commandment, and ultimately a factor in going to the temple, also wrong?

And do I have to comfort those in need of comfort if I am not a particularly good comforter? Surely that is for those with a pre-disposition to comforting. I am OK with mourning, so I'll double that.

Don't ask me, I only live here.
Nauvoodle since March 2005 #1412
 
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Taalcon

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #54 on: June 08, 2021, 11:44:31 am »
Quote
And to add further issues with that, although not explicitly this idea can be seen in the scriptures. And so, how much else in the scriptures is just plain wrong, and is about to be disavowed?

Canonized scriptures don't tend to be disavowed as much as they are added to and revised, though! Joseph felt that if God would allow him to learn from and revise and update the revelations that came directly through him, it was no different authorization than learning from and revising the scriptures of the past.

A belief in an 'open canon' is a declaration in a belief that not only is there more to add, but some ideas as expressed, understood, and reported were not presented with a complete understanding or perspective, or were wrong, and are open to clarification and revision. This belief and understanding can be seen in the earliest revelations in the Church, including the Book of Mormon. This isn't a bug, it's a feature. Scripture is a conversation, and patterns and principles discovered in them over time are just as useful (at times more) than the specific declarations within them. I find myself in the scriptures. I see the world I experience in the scriptures, even as I follow the writing of those who lived in a very different world. I see the writers experiencing God, and making sense of their experience in the context of their past experience, and in their own world. Our experiences ADD to that record, and that conversation.

I love the scriptures, and study a variety of them everyday to challenge me, and to learn more about how God interacts with the writers, why they believed what they did, how different contemporary messengers of God had different worldviews and perspectives, and how that clash is part of the message of the scriptures. The Job poet directly challenges clear doctrinal statements in Deuteronomy.

Not only are both Job and Deuteronomy canonical, but the CONFLICT between the two is canonical. I think that's important to recognize. When we try and smooth out and reconcile the conflict, and assume they must both be right, we're missing a big part of the message I think God wants us to get. He trusts us and gives us more responsibility than I think we often give him credit for.

And I think a big part of it is that we are regularly taught humility by needing to learn we've been wrong, and how we respond to it. I don't just mean 'we' as a Church, I mean 'we' as in me. I need to learn how I've been wrong. And to assume that I will likely yet be wrong. It actually directly affects how I approach these discussions.

What if I'm wrong? My assumption is often that there's a chance that I am. It's how I approach these questions, and my responses to them. If I AM wrong, who/what would I be hurting unnecessarily? Am I willing to stand before God and say 'I couldn't believe this, and did or didn't act this way, and this is why?' honestly, and with real intent? - this motivates a lot of my approach to stuff, and WHY I question things that don't jive with my experience. Sometimes, questioning has led to me to a stronger conviction of the pointI had questioned and pushed back against. This happens more times than you might think. Other times, it has given me a very different perspective that I seek to remain true to. But I want to do right. I want to get it right, because I WANT to be true to my covenants, and do the most good.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 12:09:45 pm by Taalcon »
 
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Roper

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #55 on: June 11, 2021, 12:53:35 am »
Taalcon, thank you for sorting through this and noting where things got off track. I don't know exactly when I started to see the discussion turning to comparison, but I understand now that's exactly what you didn't mean to do, but I took it that way. I apologize for interpreting it that way and for pulling the discussion off track. You're an amazingly thoughtful and fair-minded person, Taalcon.

Returning to the original topic:

I've been helping with girls' camp for the past two days. I've had some time to think about gender identities. When we moved here about four years ago, my daughter became good friends with another girl in the ward. A couple of years ago, the girl began to identify as non-binary and stopped coming to church. Then the whole Coronavirus shutdown happened, and we haven't seen their family for almost two years. Then Abby and I saw her at girls camp. We were overjoyed that she was re-connecting with her previous friends. She still identifies as non-binary, but it looks like she's made peace with it. She's not militant about it. The one concern I had is that she really really wanted to spend time with Abby, away from the other girls. They were going away from the group and watching stuff on her phone (they weren't supposed to have them at camp.) I gently ushered them back to the group a couple of times. But every time I would turn around, they were off again. I finally had to lay down the law to Abby and told her that if she wasn't going to participate with the group, then I would take her home. I also told her that she could invite her friend over after camp, but while she was at camp, she needed to be engaged in the group activities. Things improved.

Honestly, I don't know what to think at this point. I'm glad that the other girl has returned and is making an effort to socialize. I'm concerned that she singled out Abby, and wanted to do things exclusive with her, and started to get a petulant when I told Abby she had to engage with the group.

I've been doing the Dad thing for 30 years. I still don't have it figured out.
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. - John Dewey
 
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Scruffydog

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Re: about gender identities and the rest
« Reply #56 on: June 17, 2021, 12:28:51 pm »
Quote
I've been doing the Dad thing for 30 years. I still don't have it figured out.
I am with you there, Roper.

Here is my tuppence worth (I only just caught up with this having tunnelled my way out of end of year marking and exam boards):

It is not my business who anyone else is attracted to. I am a Judge in Israel, but the whole issue of sexual identity is for the Lord, not me. I have no idea whether non-standard identities are unnatural aberrations or natural events. I can speculate, but that is all it is. It is the Lord's business and nobody else.

Interpreting the word of the Lord (ie deciding what is right and what is wrong) is only pertinent within my stewardship. If it is not my stewardship, it's not my business. If it is not my business, I might be tempted to speculate about it, but it isn't my business and any speculation I have or conclusions I draw have no particular authority and I need to remember that. I have a tendency to think that my opinion matters more than it does, and I need to work on that.

While we are talking about interpreting the word of God, we have been told pretty plainly by the Lord that we are to mind our own business. We are not told to go around telling people that they can't do something. We are to teach people what the Lord has told us and otherwise mind our own business. Jesus said on a number of occasions, "What is that to thee?" Pretty plain.

It was said some way back by Cook (terve, Cook!) that it is possible that a lot of the issues around gender are really caused by something else, some underlying trauma, etc. I think (and my pondering has no authority outwith my ward) that is very much the case and that there are quite a lot of people who are declaring changes to their gender because they see it as the magic wand that will fix everything. If the problem is more than how they identify, then it will be a crushing blow when they realise that they still have the same problems. There are other people, some that I know very well, for whom it was what they needed. I won't debate that. What I will say is that everyone, LDS and non-LDS, needs to stop obsessing about people having sex and needs instead to concentrate on loving them unequivocally.

Bottom line is, don't worry about doctrine changing. One of the fundamental's of the Church is that doctrine is something that Heavenly Father updates, we don't have a closed book church, but that changes that come about do so in the Lord's time and not ours. Speculating about why or when is ultimately futile. As long as we follow the guidance given via the Prophet and we keep our Covenants, that is all we have been asked to do. Anything more is our own issues
 
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* Recent Posts

Re: COVID-19 by Taalcon
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Re: Major league dilemma! 😀 by AndrewR
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Major league dilemma! 😀 by Curelom
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Re: COVID-19 by Curelom
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Re: COVID-19 by Sweet William
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Re: COVID-19 by Roper
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Re: COVID-19 by Roper
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Re: COVID-19 by N3uroTypical
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Re: COVID-19 by Taalcon
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Re: COVID-19 by Curelom
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Re: iggy by Iggy
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