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Author Topic: Mormon Question
Scott R
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>>I'd like to see a single post I've ever made recommending that someone not research a religion.

Scientology doesn't count, does it?

The problem is, Tom, you've said that you are an evangelical agnostic.

quote:
1) I am, as I declared earlier, an evangelical agnostic. [Smile] This was a conscious decision, designed to hopefully reduce the number of people in the world who are willing to worship a God who intends to kill me.
Given this, I find your last statements rather suspect. But that requires me to judge your motivation, which I already said I didn't do.

:shrug:

Can you see why, given your quoted opinion above, someone who has been on this site for more than a month might draw the conclusion that you are attempting to persuade believers one way or the other?

Just in case you try to transform into TomDavidson, the Amazing Pariah-man (see efforts above-- reference 'Mormon terriers')-- just remember NO ONE, but NO ONE, beats out Mormons when it comes to persecution complexes. We'll out do you every single time. You're a babe in the woods in that area, Tom, I can't see a single reason why you think you can take our schtick for your own. . .

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TomDavidson
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quote:

Given this, I find your last statements rather suspect. But that requires me to judge your motivation, which I already said I didn't do.

*grin* Just so we understand each other, then, Scott.

But, seriously, I don't consider Mormons a threat to my way of life. As far as I can tell, they're not worshipping a God who intends to kill me and seem to enjoy self-segregating their society anyway, so it's no particular concern of mine.

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katharina
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Tom, could you resolve the apparent conflict between your last posts and the quote Scott presented?
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TomDavidson
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Katie, is it your contention that you attempt to convert people to Mormonism with every single post you make at Hatrack, despite the fact that this is clearly in violation of the user's agreement? Would it be reasonable to assume that every comment you make on any religious issue is intended to drive more people to your faith, which is a banning offense? As Anne Kate has pointed out, it's perfectly possible to live a good example and have faith that the Truth -- which has the advantage of being the Truth, after all -- will out.
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katharina
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WTH?

Is that a no?

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TomDavidson
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No, it's a "yes." [Smile] But it's also a "if you really give it a moment's fair thought, Katie, you can resolve it on your own without any difficulty, and I shouldn't have to do it for you." I didn't deign to do it for Dagonee in that thread, either, you'll notice.
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King of Men
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Hmm. Religions do change. Granted that the Mormons are not particularly aggressive at this moment, I would not care to make any bets on their position in twenty years, especially since, as I understand it, they believe in ongoing revelation and are therefore susceptible to charismatic demagogues.

quote:
Originally posted by Sergeant:
You are assuming that because the Book of Mormon is set in America that the religion is based only on the Book of Mormon.

I believe my post did actually mention the Bible, with which I'm way more familiar than the Book of Mormon; I was merely explaining why I didn't think there could be any olive oil in the BofM, even though I haven't actually read it. Rephrased to be less polite but more direct, it might have said "Where are you guys getting olive oil in the Bible? I'm pretty sure there isn't any in the BofM."
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katharina
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I don't want to speculate as to your motivations. [Wink] Why don't you tell me.
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TomDavidson
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Sure. *grin* I think most organized religion is a huge mistake, although I'm more partial to Mormonism than most of its competitors. And when I'm in a thread about theology or philosophy or the historical context of the Christian church or even something on the nature of faith, I'll go ahead and explain what I believe and why I believe it. Like most of us do, of course.

But I don't go around starting new threads on why religion is a fool's errand. I don't post in threads by earnest seekers of faith trying to convince them to look elsewhere, or not to look at all. And I won't randomly email people or knock on doors or even initiate conversations on my beliefs without first being invited to do so, because I don't consider it my business -- and neither am I particularly concerned with the final decision reached by any particular seeker, because the mere act of seeking is something that I deeply respect, and which I think renders most people immune to the most obvious failings of faith.

I'm politely evangelical, in other words; like I say, half-winkingly, I'm an evangelical agnostic, in that I seek to promote the idea that God may or may not exist. What bugs me, what scares me, what I actively try to challenge where possible, is certainty of all kinds; I don't think it's healthy. There are considerably less polite -- and less open-minded -- evangelicals of all stripes and several faiths on this forum. It's no more charitable and no more accurate to assume or imply that I'm posting a salient, pertinent observation in order to dissuade someone from entering the church than it would be to imply that all the Mormons posting on this thread are doing so because they want to convert somebody.

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BaoQingTian
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As an aside Tom which God is trying to kill you? I must have missed that thread, and it sounds like an interesting one [Frown]
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TomDavidson
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The God of Revelations seems to be actively seeking my death, for one. I'm not fond of Him, should He exist.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
if you really give it a moment's fair thought, Katie, you can resolve it on your own without any difficulty, and I shouldn't have to do it for you.
If you have to go to the effort of saying that something is obvious, it probably isn't.
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Sartorius
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No, he's right, it is obvious.

I think.

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pfresh85
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quote:
Originally posted by Rico:
I think both katharina and Tom were giving sensible advise. I'll just throw this out there, but maybe you can put off the missionary visit until you get back from Christmas break. While you're on the break, you could perhaps mention the fact that you're going to be looking into the faith to your parents. They might not approve, but they should certainly support your decision and if they don't, what's the worst that could happen?

It's best to get that cat out of the bag as soon as possible Andrew. If your parents decide to support your decision, you might actually be able to talk to the missionaries while you're on your break. If they don't, then you'll at least feel better when you come back and it won't feel like you're sneaking behind your parents backs when the missionaries come visit you at Richardson.

The reason I don't mention to my parents now (even just to speak to missionaries or read up on it) is I know it will upset them. Even just research would probably upset them. I don't feel the need to upset them when I'm not even positive it's something that I will go into. I feel there will be a right time (probably if I decide to start attending the church) to tell them.

On a side note, when Amanecer first recommended I talk to missionaries, I did mention it as an aside to my father while talking to him on the phone. This is part of the reason I know his seemingly anti-Mormon feelings. I considered telling him though over Thanksgiving (since we did have a few moments alone together) that I still had thoughts about looking into the church and the reasons why I had these thoughts. I never did though because again I didn't want to upset him unnecessarily.

If you guys think the best bet is to be upfront about it now, then I will be. It just doesn't seem the right course of action in my mind at the moment.

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TomDavidson
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That's not a truism I've ever believed, Porter. That something's obvious if someone gives it a moment's thought does not mean that it's safe to assume, for example, that people have necessarily given it a moment's thought.

-----

pfresh, based on what you've said here, I wouldn't actually worry about telling him yet; there's no need to upset them unnecessarily, and you haven't committed yourself to anything that would require some degree of skullduggery to conceal. But I'd tell him before the third visit, if things go that far.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I have found over and over that things that I cannot imagine others not seeing -- things that are blatantly obvious -- can still be extremely difficult for others to see, even after thinking about it.
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advice for robots
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I don't think it's a violation of forum policies to encourage pfresh to contact the missionaries when he's the one who brought it up.
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Scott R
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>>If you guys think the best bet is to be upfront about it now, then I will be.

:shudder:

No, no, no. We don't know you or your parents even though we may like to pretend we do.

The advice we give is biased and slanted-- you can't trust it.

It may not be best at all. . . this is one of those times where you have to make the decision all on your own.

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Sergeant
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KoM,

I kinda glossed over the mention of the Bible because it was in reference to baptists (in the bible).

I might clarify that the anointing with oil as mentioned in Lost Boys would not be considered baptism. We still use water for that [Smile]

Sergeant

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JennaDean
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quote:
The reason I don't mention to my parents now (even just to speak to missionaries or read up on it) is I know it will upset them. Even just research would probably upset them. I don't feel the need to upset them when I'm not even positive it's something that I will go into. I feel there will be a right time (probably if I decide to start attending the church) to tell them.
This really sounds like the right course to me.
quote:
I might clarify that the anointing with oil as mentioned in Lost Boys would not be considered baptism. We still use water for that
I didn't even realize some people might mistake this blessing in Lost Boys to be an infant baptism. It was a blessing for the purpose of healing the sick.
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tern
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The olive oil is symbolic of the Savior's Atonement for us. If I recall correctly, "Gethsemanae" translates roughly as "Place of the Olive Press", and apparently when olives are pressed (with great pressure), the oil comes out looking like blood. I'm not sure if that's exactly right (referring to the specifics of the olive press), but there is the symbolism.

Pfresh, I'd recommend waiting until after Christmas break for the simple fact that investigating the Church takes time if you're serious. If you do decide to join, be prepared for your family to be very upset. It is often a sacrifice to join.

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katharina
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Taalcon didn't tell his parents until about three months after he was baptized. They took it well, despite his dad being a minister for another church. There are a range of experiences.
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TomDavidson
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quote:

Taalcon didn't tell his parents until about three months after he was baptized.

While I can sympathize with this, and trust Dave to know what's best for him and his situation, I can't even imagine it. My family would feel staggeringly disrespected in that situation; telling them months after the fact would be far, far worse than the actual decision itself. As Scott observes, any generalization -- even that one -- any of us make has to be taken in the context of our own experiences, and then filtered through pfresh's.
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katharina
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Dave knows what he's doing. [Smile]

I'm not sure what my family would think. I don't know that they really would. My brother had been inactive for almost two years before he finally admitted it, and last time I checked (a while ago), he still wouldn't talk about it.

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TomDavidson
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I think going inactive is a little different than switching, actually. I'm not sure WHY that is, but I think it has something to do with perceived competition. Certainly most of the people I know who simply left a faith waited longer to tell their families than people in otherwise equivalent situations who actually switched faiths.
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katharina
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He did switch - not to a different faith. More to Ayn Rand.

*desperately restrains herself from expressing what she thinks about that particular swap*

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TomDavidson
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*laugh* Does he actually think of Objectivism as a religion, though? Most Objectivists don't admit to doing so.
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JennaDean
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quote:
I think going inactive is a little different than switching, actually. I'm not sure WHY that is, ... Certainly most of the people I know who simply left a faith waited longer to tell their families than people in otherwise equivalent situations who actually switched faiths.
If you drift into inactivity you can avoid discussing it with your family, and let them keep hoping you'll come back, if you want. If you actually make a decision to switch, you'll have to admit it pretty soon if you have any close relationship with your family at all - since your activities and beliefs will now revolve around a different church.
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El JT de Spang
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The reason it's different is because switching religions is a decision. Going inactive is more apathetic. You're still making a decision, but it's passive rather than active. Lots of time people don't even realize consciously that they're withdrawing from their church -- that's how it was with me.

I got to college, and suddenly my Sundays were mine, and I decided there were places I'd rather be. Other than sporadic holidays to make my parents happy, weddings, and funerals, I haven't been back. And I probably won't until I get married.

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pfresh85
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No luck with the number Coccinelle provided me with. I may try the number listed on some of the other sites linked. We'll see how it goes.
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dkw
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I'm not quite clear what the hurry is. If you've only got a few days, why wouldn't you just wait until the next semester starts rather than trying to rush to fit a meeting into the next few days?
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katharina
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I sent an e-mail to the listserv for D11 ward for the missionaries' phone number. I should have something in m inbox soon - I'll send it to you then.
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pfresh85
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There is no hurry. I'm just bored at the moment (I have two finals Thursday and that's it) and I thought doing some productive research might be a good way to pass the time. I thought talking to some people about the church and their beliefs might be a good starting point for some pondering of my own over the break. Maybe I'm wrong though. *shrugs*

EDIT: katharina, thanks for doing that. I wasn't quite positive where to look.

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katharina
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I got the number and sent it to the address in your profile. If that doesn't work, there are a few more people I can ask.
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pfresh85
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It's not the same number as Coccinelle sent me. I'll wait till tonight to call it though.
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Taalcon
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I was Baptized while away at college.

I returned to my Pentecostal-Minister-Father's house post-graduation, and lived there for several months afterwards, attending my own Ward the other side of town while my Father's church was right across the street from our house.

My parents didn't approve of my decision, and when I initially told them of my decision, they were initially hurt and confused - but they respected me enough not to hassle me too much about it. There were no major problems. I'm still on wonderful terms with my loving parents.

However - while I see no problem in learning from the missionaries and doing your own research and reading from the LDS Scriptures on your own, I would still highly, highly, highly recommend telling your parents if you ever decided to be baptized into the Church.

I knew why I didn't, but part of me wishes that I had.

quote:
While I can sympathize with this, and trust Dave to know what's best for him and his situation, I can't even imagine it. My family would feel staggeringly disrespected in that situation; telling them months after the fact would be far, far worse than the actual decision itself.
That, actually, I believe is what hit my Father the most. And why I would highly, highly recommend talking about it before the actual act of Baptism.

This from one who'se been there, FWIW.

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ketchupqueen
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Umm, buddy? Just a suggestion, having lived in your area: stay away from the Garland 3rd ward (misleadingly named, most of it is in Richardson.) My in-laws are in it, but the whole ward has a weird feeling to it. You're better off in the Richardson 2nd (probably closer anyway) or the Garland 4th (further away, but really really wonderful)-- or just stick with another stake altogether (most of the ones in the area are overall lovely. Just the Richardson stake that has a couple really "off" wards.)
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Storm Saxon
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While you're talking to the Mormons, I think you should make sure you talk to everyone else, too, and give them the same consideration and time, just to make sure you make the right decision.
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Taalcon
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Also, FWIW, I took 2 years investigating the Church, going from an Anti-Mormon to a Baptized and Confirmed vigorous ward missionary *grin*.

Don't let anyone (yourself included) let you feel rushed into making any decision until you know for yourself that it is the right one.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning my personal experience - my email addy is in my profile.

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pfresh85
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I've looked into most other things (Catholicism, other Protestant religions, etc.). I've sat in on a Catholic mass. If you guys recall, I went to a Methodist church for two weeks (and will probably continue to go while I research the Mormon church). I'm giving everyone a fair chance, I'm just trying to explore my options (and trying to figure what is right for me and what I want out of life).
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Bob_Scopatz
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Does the LDS keep records of the conversions from other Christian denominations to theirs? I was just wondering if there's an over/under representation of people going into the LDS from one or another denomination?

Other comments:

katharina, I was sort of bothered by the "booth" analogy you used early on this thread. I guess it makes some sense (I'm picturing competing sects as if they were hawkers at a carnival), but I found it just a little troubling from the POV of someone who actually did seek a new denomination actively not that long ago.

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katharina
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I was thinking more of a career fair. Information, no money taken, no barkers, maybe some free candy.
quote:
Does the LDS keep records of the conversions from other Christian denominations to theirs? I was just wondering if there's an over/under representation of people going into the LDS from one or another
No. There's no record taken of anything like that, at least for each member.

It's possible the social statistics department at Church headquarters has conducted some studies, so they might have an idea.

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Silent E
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Bob:"Does the LDS keep records of the conversions from other Christian denominations to theirs?"

I don't think so. I've never seen anything like that. There is, as far as I remember, no space for "former religion" or the like in the records that are completed at baptism.

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Bob_Scopatz
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Ah the old free candy ploy!

Why not just hit people over the head and wisk them off to a programming session?

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Bob_Scopatz
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quote:
no space for "former religion"
Shouldn't that read "former religion or denomination?"

I'm just sayin'...

[Wink]

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advice for robots
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"Does the LDS keep records of the conversions from other Christian denominations to theirs? I was just wondering if there's an over/under representation of people going into the LDS from one or another denomination?"

That's a good question. I'd be inclined to say no. There is certainly no "Change of Religion" form that people have to fill out upon joining the church, at least not that I'm aware of. If the church does collect that kind of information it would have to be based on surveys of church members, and I've never seen anything like that. Personally, I don't think the church puts a lot of stake into that kind of thing.

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Bob_Scopatz
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Silent E & afr,

Thanks for the info.

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katharina
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*sniff* [Wink]
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Silent E
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Wow, it threw me off for a second to see myself referred to as Silent E.
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advice for robots
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You may be silent, but you make the vowel say its name. That's an important job.
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