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448 weeks ago @ This Week in Mormons - Episode #169 - Soul Ki... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm sure you guys have seen this, but you should watch it again: http://youtu.be/iG9CE55wbtY Then watch this one, which you may not have seen: http://youtu.be/h11u3vtcpaY

I had a pretty bad experience being homeschooled for a couple years. In spite of that, I think there's some very good arguments that the very best education can be obtained through "hack-schooling" or "unschooling" which are some very cool movements that are trying to get away from the stigma attached to "homeschooling," partially by taking a very different approach than traditional homeschooling.

455 weeks ago @ This Week in Mormons - Episode #161 - Revised... · 1 reply · +1 points

The KJV is not the most correct, necessarily. The reasons we use it is something along these lines: 1) Tradition - it's what Joseph used and has been standard in the Church since Joseph's time. 2) Joseph corrected it - he didn't correct the NIV (obviously) or something else. So the JST only fits with the KJV. Thus it canonizes KJV to an extent, because with the JST it becomes the most corrected [not most correct]. 3) It's what Joseph used - the KJV Bible was so prominent in Joseph's time that it heavily influenced the language of America at that time. Though it was intended to be "lofty" language when it was translated, so many American's in Joseph's time learned how to read from it, were read to from it, etc, that their language incorporated "lofty" English of 200 years prior to their own day. Therefore Joseph's vocabulary was heavily influenced by it. Thus the similarities in language style, verbiage, phraseology, etc, in the BoM and to some extent the D&C. So by reading the KJV, just merely through familiarity, we'll be better able to understand the cannon of the Restoration. But by all means, use other Bible's if you really want to understand it. I hate it when Mormon's act like it's wrong to read anything but the KJV. Wrong.

480 weeks ago @ Sacred Symbolic - The Fallacy of An Expe... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm sorry to hear. You've done the right thing in returning. I hope you're able to just ignore the what other's think of you. As Bro. Christensen taught, we simply cannot expect perfection in our Church. We're glad you can see that, past all that you've been through. Isn't it great that all the Church magazines and a lot of other official resources are now available for free online? Plus there's lots of great blogs and other resources. I wish you all the best in your return to Church. Don't let imperfection in the Church distract or detract from the Gospel.

480 weeks ago @ Sacred Symbolic - The Most Important Cha... · 0 replies · +1 points

Janice, thanks for your reply. My understanding is that this ordinance is not offered based on calling or position. There are nearly 3000 stakes in the Church right now. I'd be extremely surprised if all the currently serving Stake Presidents, and all those who've previously served, had received this ordinance. There's several reasons for this, but the main ones are that the prophets seem clear: 1. responsibility in the Church is not a designation of one's righteousness or blessings ("lift where you stand"), and 2. receiving his sacred ordinances is guided entirely by revelation.

I'm sorry to hear the state of things in your area. I've heard of such things before. Your attitude of "we'll do our best to serve and be as righteous as we can" is the right one to have. Just remember that we don't know the whole story, but God does. And as you say, he'll make it all right in the end. Also remember that there's no such thing as "rank" in the Church. A Stake President or Bishop is only as good as their own closeness to Christ. Other's might find themselves much closer, and those given those callings are given them to help them in their personal progression as much as anything.

487 weeks ago @ This Week in Mormons - Episode #129 - The Gre... · 1 reply · +1 points

Again, there may be the occasional misstep, but don't you think it's a little silly to condemn a whole organization and all it's publications (many, many written and submitted by scholars, amateurs, and enthusiasts that had nothing to do with the organization, beyond submitting articles to it) based on that? The vast body of work publiched by FARMS/MI does not contain ad hominem attacks or anything else. People just like to accuse it of that, based on one or two papers that got through their careful peer review process, to printing.

Your last paragraph is entirely false. But you don't have to believe me. Scott Gordon said, "here's one I run into a lot: 'there is no peer review at the Maxwell Institute. [It] doesn't exist.' This is not only false, but it's quite ironic. The Maxwell Institute does have a very rigorous peer review, while most Anti-Mormon websites do not." (FAIR Podcast 5/11/2011 - which you should listen to, as he specifically addresses your accusation of the ad hominem attacks. Find it here: http://goo.gl/22RUy )

It would seem JohnE that you're not very familiar with FARMS/Maxwell Institute, but rather wrote it off and have false ideas about how it was setup and run, based on the opinions of other people.

487 weeks ago @ This Week in Mormons - Episode #129 - The Gre... · 3 replies · +1 points

I guess you have some inside info. And if GA's were involved, that still doesn't automatically make it the correct decision.

As for FARMS itself, you mention the same supposed problems with the organization that many people claim. Yet, aside from the occasional misstep (none of us are perfect), nobody seems to be producing hard evidence of these supposed "ad hominem" attacks. The simple fact is, if somebody blatantly lies, makes stuff up, or otherwise commits grievous errors of rhetoric and logic, it's going to sound like you're attacking them when you point those out. The author has to take responsibility. That can appear like an ad hominem attack, when there are serious problems with the work, but it's not. When it's really truly bad scholarship, adding a little humor to drive home just how bad it is, still does not constitute an ad hominem attack.

For me, and many others, FARMS has provided an excellent source of knowledge, information, and insight that have 1. strengthened and increased my understanding and testimony of the doctrines of the restored gospel, and 2. occasionally provided an offsetting view of anti-Mormon attacks. I just don't see how those results can so quickly be labeled as negative, and therefore merit the dissolution of FARMS.

487 weeks ago @ This Week in Mormons - Episode #129 - The Gre... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thanks. Good points. I agree. Let's stop trying to appease everyone. Though I think some strong statements in General Conference from the Brethren have been fairly "this is where we stand, and we won't apologize for it" type comments.

No, you got apologetic right, that quip was intended for everyone who still things apologetics is about apologizing.

488 weeks ago @ Sacred Symbolic - Restore FARMS · 0 replies · +1 points

The guys who do the "This Week In Mormons" (or TWiM) podcast questioned why we were doing this? They didn't see what it was that had changed. You might like to read my comment on their site for more details (if the above isn't enough for you).

488 weeks ago @ This Week in Mormons - Episode #129 - The Gre... · 2 replies · +1 points

On the FARMS issue: first, I think your idea that the Prophet is involved is wrong. He can't be involved in everything every dept of BYU does. If he is involved, then he need only say something. Currently the appearance is that a few lower-level admins at BYU made and/or facilitated this decision and that's it.

Daniel Peterson's job at Maxwell Institute was the head-editor for what used to be the FARMS Review. FARMS used to publish this, and several other publications on a fairly regular basis. It also worked with Deseret Book to publish all of Hugh Nibley's writings, as well as CD recordings of his lectures, etc. In short FARMS was an excellent resource for learning about all kinds of great scientific, historic, and anthropological research that's related to the restored gospel. Along with that, or perhaps as a natural side-effect, much of this was also apologetic in nature, or served an apologetic purpose even when that was not the purpose of the author.

Because it published all this, and did so regularly, it was also an excellent place to get your work published if you were an academic, researcher, or just an amateur that had really done his research. It didn't need to be apologetic in nature, just interesting to it's primary audience: Mormons. If it helped or was interesting to outsiders as well, great, but that wasn't the point.

The rate, and to some extent the quality, of published research from FARMS has declined in the past decade (according to Bro. Peterson, because Bro. Bradford often delayed publication without explanation). This seems to be because of decisions on the part of Bro. Bradford, who wants to eliminate not only the apologetic nature of FARMS but also any publishing that's LDS-centric. His goal seems to be (based in part on his own article in the FARMS Review: http://goo.gl/Kk5zO ) to get away from apologetics (which is actually defending against, or responding to, critics--look it up) and actually start apologizing for the Church! He wants to publish stuff that would argue for a softer (or appear to soften the) moral and doctrinal stance of the Church. In short: he wants to appeal to everyone, except people within the Church.

FARMS was originally founded to appeal to, and serve, people within the Church, while adhering to academic and scholarly set by academia. Plain and simple: it's audience was Mormons first, and everyone else second. People within the church are mad, because they feel like he's taken that away from them. And has been doing so, by slowing publication over years. They're also mad because many of them have been helped, when confronted with anti-Mormon attacks, by the apologetic work FARMS has done.

Here's more I wrote on the subject: http://sacredsymbolic.com/restore-farms/

EDIT: On a lighter note: thanks for the shout-out! I was alone in my office and it kinda creeped me out to suddenly hear "hi Tevya." :)

490 weeks ago @ This Week in Mormons - Episode #125 - Donut D... · 0 replies · +1 points

Myself and Bryce (of TempleStudy.com) setup a site to "Restore FARMS" see here: http://restorefarms.com