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Author Topic: Semi-annual LDS Conference
Occasional
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It is that time of year again. For those who might be new to Hatrack, because OSC is Mormon there is always a fan of the same faith who opens a thread about the semi-annual event where LDS leaders give talks. Mormons, and sometimes those not of the faith, write about important or their favorite moments.

So far three things have stood out for me, and not to do with any of the sermons. The first is that the First Presidency (highest leadership of the LDS Church) replaced Elder James E. Faust, who had died, with Elder Henry B. Eyring. The second was that an Elder Quentin L. Cook replaced him in the Qourum of the 12 Apostles. It also appears that the beloved Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin might not be here in mortality for long. He had to be held up to finish his speech.

As is usual, anyone who wants to print quotes or make comments are invited to do so.

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Lanfear
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When he was being held up during his talk, I could barely handle it.
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advice for robots
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That was the least amount of fanfare I've ever seen for announcing a new Apostle. I wonder if we'll hear more about him later on. I'll bet a lot of people missed the announcement completely and still haven't found out who the new Apostle is.

Thank goodness for Elder Nelson. He looked so strong and capable standing there supporting Elder Wirthlin. It was very moving.

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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by Lanfear:
When he was being held up during his talk, I could barely handle it.

It was killing me, and I'm not even LDS. I can't say I heard most of what he said during the end of his talk though, I was too concerned that we was going to collapse.
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DaisyMae
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
Originally posted by Lanfear:
When he was being held up during his talk, I could barely handle it.

It was killing me, and I'm not even LDS. I can't say I heard most of what he said during the end of his talk though, I was too concerned that we was going to collapse.
Me too. I kept saying, "Get that man a chair!" I was so touched by his determination to deliver his message despite his obvious struggling. I was feeling quite anxious about it though. Sweet man.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Is it just me, or did Eyring look a lot older today than I remember him looking?
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Brinestone
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I don't remember seeing enough of him to tell if he looked older.

Out of curiosity, MattP, why did you watch conference if you're not LDS? Just curiosity?

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mr_porteiro_head
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Yeah, we saw a lot more of him in the Priesthood session.
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Tatiana
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I thought the morning session was awesome, and so powerful. I loved the young womens' choir in the afternoon session. A lot of really amazing talks, starting with this morning's first talk about how the General Authorities are just like all of us. A healthy counter to the sometimes unrealistic expectations and weight place on every word proceeding out of GAs' mouths.

This afternoon was amazing too, for the strong defense of our faith and the Book of Mormon, and the frank discussion of our doctrinal differences from other Christians. I found it wonderful and thrilling.

MattP were you formerly a member of the church? I know you blog on Mormon Mentality, and I had assumed because of that that you were LDS.

This is the very first time I've listened to General Conference as it happened, preferring to read the talks in the Ensign later. But it was great to hear it live. I felt a powerful witness this morning that God lives and is present with us, that our work is vitally important, and that we have powers far beyond our ken available to us. Just the plain and simple knowledge of the restoration of the gospel, that the heavens are open and revelation is pouring out to guide and prepare the earth, that struck me with such power this morning that I was very moved. I feel extremely lucky to be a member of this church, right now, in these times.

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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by Brinestone:
I don't remember seeing enough of him to tell if he looked older.

Out of curiosity, MattP, why did you watch conference if you're not LDS? Just curiosity?

My wife is LDS. I watched it with her.
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MattP
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quote:
MattP were you formerly a member of the church? I know you blog on Mormon Mentality, and I had assumed because of that that you were LDS.
I don't blog, so you're thinking of someone else. Maybe that MattB guy?
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Uprooted
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On the first session I was having trouble with the video so I just listened to the audio and didn't catch the names of the speakers. Who was it who gave the talk about faith, promises, Abraham and Sarah and all that? I really liked that talk.

And Elder Wirthlin reminded me so much of my Dad in his later years -- I could just picture him standing there saying "I'm going to finish this talk if it kills me!"

Elder Nelson was a rather vivid visual aid to Elder Wirthlin's talk about charity and what type of people we should be.

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katharina
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MattB and MattP are separate people. MattB is an active member and blogs at Mormon Mentality.

I thought it was great - Elder Wirthlin's talk was great, and the visual was underscored the content beautifully. *warm fuzzies*

I really loved the heavy doctrine talk on the nature of the godhead. I also loved the talk on how to answer people's questions - some are seeking, some are curious, some are mildly interested. Not all questions are appropriately answered with an invitation for a visit from the missionaries, and we should be prepared to answer simple questions with simple facts and statements of faith. Especially, that if people are confused about us, it's our fault for not communicating clearly enough. As a communicator, I am completely behind that.

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katharina
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MattB and MattP are separate people. MattB is an active member and blogs at Mormon Mentality.

I thought it was great - Elder Wirthlin's talk was great, and the visual was underscored the content beautifully. *warm fuzzies*

I really loved the heavy doctrine talk on the nature of the godhead. I also loved the talk on how to answer people's questions - some are seeking, some are curious, some are mildly interested. Not all questions are appropriately answered with an invitation for a visit from the missionaries, and we should be prepared to answer simple questions with simple facts and statements of faith. Especially, that if people are confused about us, it's our fault for not communicating clearly enough. As a communicator, I am completely behind that.

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Occasional
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For once I enjoyed the Priesthood session. Almost always it is geared toward the younger group who are preparing for missions or marriage, with one or two "adult" talks.

This time was different. I really liked the general emphasis on how to be a better Priesthood holder, no matter where you were currently at in your life. My favorite was Elder Eyring talking about his reactions to getting called to the First Presidency. He said the way to prepare for a difficult assigment is to remember those other times we felt inadequate for a task and yet survived. Also, to be prayerful and worthy. There was a lot more than that, but it was one I can't wait to read in print. Funny thing was that scriptures continued coming to my mind that were prefect for what he was describing, and yet he didn't mention any of them.

Of course, as usual, Pres. Hinkley had a wonderful short talk. He urged people to control their anger. Having "road rage" or any other kinds of anger lead to uncontrolled behavior. worst of all, it can lead to violence and murder.

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Scott R
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katharina:

I enjoyed Elder Holland's talk, too, but I'm afraid I found it a bit too Mormon-centric. His points, while well-supported within the Mormon view of the gospel, don't hold up well against other views-- for example, resurrection.

When Mormons say resurrection, we mean the binding of the body and spirit eternally, to never be separated. That's how Holland used it yesterday, and implied that that view is held by non-Mormons as well.

But it is not, in my understanding. Ressurection means something completely different, and perhaps opposite.

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Lanfear
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President Hinkley's talk at the Priesthood session is always my favorite. It seems like thats when he gives us very specific counsel, ie gambling and the recent anger address.
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Samuel Bush
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That’s a good point, Scott R, but the way I look at is this:

The fact that there is such a disparity of understanding about resurrection is precisely why that message is so important. When I consider how much of the New Testament covers the ministry of the resurrected Christ and how much He emphasized the fact that He had overcome death and has a physical body, I’m amazed how vague the Bible is on just what resurrection is and why it is so important to people. It’s as though half of the good news about Christ’s Atonement has been obscured for most of Christendom. Most Christians already understand and have always understood that Christ suffered for and made intersession for everyone’s sins and sicknesses and that He is our personal Savior. But if we are going to understand just how perfect, universal, and eternal His victory over death really is, we are going to have to also understand resurrection. And if, as Christ said, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent,” then I think a true understanding of resurrection, as well as an understanding of Christ’s intersession, is essential to that.

So I think it was a very timely and important sermon.

As for the Priesthood Session, I’m glad I took the trouble to get cleaned up an attend the broadcast. I really needed to hear Pres. Iyring’s sermon. I needed to be reminded that any success I’ve had as a clerk is nothing short of miraculous for I have neither the aptitude nor inclination for clerical work.

I also needed to hear Pres. Hinckley’s sermon. I’ve pretty much had my anger under control for a lot of years now. I was sitting there thinking how nice it was for a change not to have a conference talked aimed directly at my own inadequacies. But then he had to go and mention road rage. Now, I don’t DRIVE like a drunken sailor, but . . . well let’s just say that my language and anger management skills still need some work when I get behind the wheel of a car.

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:

When Mormons say resurrection, we mean the binding of the body and spirit eternally, to never be separated. That's how Holland used it yesterday, and implied that that view is held by non-Mormons as well.

But it is not, in my understanding. Ressurection means something completely different, and perhaps opposite.

I'm not sure that I would use the word "binding," but credal/trinitarian/classical/nicene/whatever-the heck-you-want-to-call-it Christianity does believe in bodily resurrection. Could you clarify what you think is different and perhaps opposite about the LDS definition?
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Samuel Bush
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As always, they have given us a lot to think about for the next six months. What President Hinckley just said reminds me or what President Harold B. Lee said in his closing remarks in the Oct. 1973 conference. “If you want to know what the Lord would have the Saints know and to have his guidance and direction for the next six months, get a copy of the proceedings of this conference, and you will have the latest word of the Lord as far as the Saints are concerned.”
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Tatiana
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
I don't blog, so you're thinking of someone else. Maybe that MattB guy?

My apologies! I had indeed confused you two. From now on I will keep you straight by remembering that the B stands for blogger and the P stands for personwhodoesntblog. 0:-)
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Brinestone
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I loved the entire second session today.
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Scott R
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dkw:

Specifically, the resurrection of Christ-- we believe that Christ's spirit is bound to a perfected body of flesh and bones, and cannot be separated from it.

(It's the "cannot be separated" thing that I *think* is doctrinally different)

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dkw
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Hmm. I don't know that the idea of it being separated is something I've ever heard. So I guess I know of no doctrine that says it cannot be separated, but also no reason why it would be.

Unless of course you count the more modern theologians who shy away from the idea of a real, bodily resurrection at all in favor of a "his spirit lives on in his followers" kind of thing. They're definitely not following the orthodox tradition in that, though.

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mr_porteiro_head
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Dana -- you don't believe that Christ currently has a physical body, do you?
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Samuel Bush
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When ScottR mentioned that there are other Christian folks who have a different belief about resurrection than we do, I thought, “Yup. That has been my experience too.”

Granted, I am aware that many Christians believe about resurrection pretty much the same as we do. That is to say that every person who has ever lived or will live on Earth will be resurrected and that means that their immortal spirits will eventually be reunited with a physical body but one which will be perfected and incorruptible. And will live forever in that condition as resurrected beings. And that this is a free gift to all mankind through the atonement and resurrection of Christ as part of His ultimate victory over death.

But I gotta tell you that I have also heard several other different definitions of “resurrection” from various Christians. One group does not believe that people have immortal spirits which leave our bodies at death. They believe that there will be a physical resurrection, or restoration to life, of the righteous but that before that happens there is just oblivion. They also lump such restoration-to-life miracles as the daughter of Jairus and Lazarus as “resurrection.” (I’ve never been able to find out how they reconcile that with the Biblical teaching that Christ was the FIRST to be resurrected. Some might accuse me of nit picking on semantics. But oh well.)

I’ve heard other folks teach that only the righteous will be resurrected.

Others, that it is only a temporary condition.

Others shrug and say that it must not be very important or God would have been more clear about it. After all, He is just a spirit anyway so those who go to heaven must be spirits too.

I’ve even been told that Christ got rid of His resurrected body after His forty day ministry when He ascended into heaven. And that, after His resurrection, He appeared to His disciples with a body of “flesh and bones” and ate with them and stuff only for their benefit at the time, but that now He is a Spirit being again.

There are other definitions I’ve heard that I don’t recall right off hand.

I don’t know which definition of resurrection constitutes the “orthodox” Christian view though.

If there is a “unity of the faith” in most of Christendom it is the concept that Jesus is our personal Savior who atoned for the sins of mankind so that we can be forgiven and reconciled to God. Or put another way, He paid the price and satisfied the demands of justice and all that. Most Christians believe this doctrine. Indeed it is pretty much what defines what being a Christian is. But there does not seem to be such a “unity of the faith” when it comes to how to define resurrection and explain why it is so important.

And yet resurrection is a huge part of the atonement, an integral part of Christ’s mission. So you’d think it ought to be better understood among Christian and that there would be more “unity of the faith“ about it.

So anyway, I was pretty thrilled by Elder Holland’s sermon and feel it is quite important. I wish all Christians everywhere could have heard it. Of course it is still available to be listened to online and will be available online to be read after Thursday, and published in the “Ensign” magazine next month. So there is still hope. [Smile]

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stihl1
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Dana -- you don't believe that Christ currently has a physical body, do you?

Jesus was resurrected with a physcial body and physically ascended into heaven. Why wouldn't he have a physical body?
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BlackBlade
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Elder Oaks talk was to me the most practically valuable. I'm glad he told priesthood leaders not to just fill up people's schedules for the sake of using all the church prepared programs. Then quickly cautioned people that if they are given more time as a result of cutting back that they should spend it with their families or doing "best" category things.

I'm sad I missed Elder Wirthlin's talk, also Eyring seems as old as I remember him being. If you ever get a chance to meet his son who is president of BYU Idaho he is his spitting image.

I was sad President Hinckley's closing remarks were so brief, but if he did not feel inclined to say more he shouldn't. I hope he makes it to 98!

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katharina
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I think Pres. Beck's talk was very straightfoward and fearless. I also think that it could very easily make many women feel bad, that their best isn't good enough.

It, of course, does not apply at all to me, and I have very few feelings about it. Maybe a little bit of relief that it doesn't apply at all to me.

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Dana -- you don't believe that Christ currently has a physical body, do you?

Jesus was resurrected with a physcial body and physically ascended into heaven. Why wouldn't he have a physical body?
^
|
|

What Stihl said.

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pooka
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We just get a lot of flack from people for saying God has a body, is all. I guess the understanding of how God is not Jesus in the idea of the Trinity probably needs some clarification.

I also missed all of conference due to being away at a wedding. I'm looking forward to catching up.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Dana -- you don't believe that Christ currently has a physical body, do you?

Jesus was resurrected with a physcial body and physically ascended into heaven. Why wouldn't he have a physical body?
^
|
|

What Stihl said.

I would have thought that the doctrine of God being immaterial would mean that according to your beliefs, Christ does not currently have a physical body.
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Samuel Bush
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BlackBlade, you probably already know this but just in case: You can still watch any or all conference talks at BYU TV web site. (I love the internet! I grew up being lucky if we could listen to one session on the radio much less actually see it on TV because most TV stations would not carry it. (And we had to walk five miles to school every day. In the snow. Barefoot. Uphill both ways.) Now I don’t even have to put on my shoes and leave the house. I love it. Technology has sure come a long ways.)

posted by stihl1
quote:
Jesus was resurrected with a physcial body and physically ascended into heaven. Why wouldn't he have a physical body?


The notion that Jesus does not have a body does not seem reasonable, yet I have heard and read that belief expressed several times by various Christians. I don’t think it is the majority belief however. My guess is that it is an attempt by some to reconcile parts of the Nicene Creed with the New Testament.
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dkw
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mph: In the Incarnation God, who is immaterial, took on a physical body. Part of the point of the Incarnation was to unite the physical (temporal, corruptable) and the immaterial (eternal, incorruptable) see: Athanasius, On the Incarnation.

quote:
Originally posted by Samuel Bush:
My guess is that it is an attempt by some to reconcile parts of the Nicene Creed with the New Testament.

??? Taking away Jesus physical body would reconcile with neither the Nicene Creed nor the New Testament.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
In the Incarnation God, who is immaterial, took on a physical body. Part of the point of the Incarnation was to unite the physical (temporal, corruptable) and the immaterial (eternal, incorruptable) see: Athanasius, On the Incarnation.
Right. You believe that Christ had a physical body.

Do you believe that he currently has one?

Do you believe that he is currently incarnated?

Forgive me for repeating myself, but I don't understand why I'm not getting a straight answer. It's not supposed to be a trick question, and I'm not playing any "gotcha" game.

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dkw
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I wasn't trying to dodge, I thought it was pretty clear that the answer is yes, I believe that Jesus currently has a physical body. That veiw is, as far as I know, shared by catholic and orthodox theology.

We beleive that it's different than our current bodies, but still a body.

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Samuel Bush
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posted by dkw:

quote:
??? Taking away Jesus physical body would reconcile with neither the Nicene Creed nor the New Testament.
Ok. Thanks, dkw, for clarifying that point. Like I said I was only guessing that that is the rational behind that particular version of resurrection (ie that Christ got rid of his body). Frankly, I don’t know why some people believe that. I just know that I have encountered that belief - as unreasonable as it seems. Have you ever encountered that belief, and do you happen to know why some Christians might believe that? Do you know what their reasoning is?

If it isn't to reconcile the Nicene Creed then I'm at a loss to explain it. And now I'm all curious as to why. [Dont Know]

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pooka
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quote:
Part of the point of the Incarnation was to unite the physical (temporal, corruptable) and the immaterial (eternal, incorruptable)
Isn't the ideat that matter is bad and spirit is good otherwise known as the Manichean heresy? A dreadful simplification, I know, but that is an essential difference in our view, that Christ's body does not make him corruptible. His original body did, but he's resurrected now.
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dkw
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Corruptible as in "able to rot" not "able to sin."

Samuel, I would guess it is because that way they completely avoid the "okay, then where is it?" question.

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Brinestone
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
I think Pres. Beck's talk was very straightfoward and fearless. I also think that it could very easily make many women feel bad, that their best isn't good enough.

It, of course, does not apply at all to me, and I have very few feelings about it. Maybe a little bit of relief that it doesn't apply at all to me.

My problem with President Beck's talk was that she kept saying "mothers who know." Which implied that if I know the gospel is true, I will make dinner for my family, do laundry, do dishes, and accept that this is the best use for my talents.

My problem is that I can imagine plenty of women who happen to be great mothers who have firm testimonies of the Church but who do not cook well and thus delegate that to their husbands. Does that mean they are not "mothers who know"? To me, nurturing means being there to teach, comfort, inspire, and even heal my children. Yes, it also includes feeding them and keeping them warm and clothed, but the details (doing laundry and dishes) to me are not the essential part of being a good latter-day saint mother.

Beyond that, I can accept that I am needed in my home to ensure that my children grow up wise and strong and good. That doesn't mean that my individual talents are "best suited" for that work. I'm definitely better at editing than I am at doing dishes; my kitchen is often a mess. But I accept that home is where I'm needed, and I do my duty happily. I even find joy in it. Don't tell me there's nothing else in the world that would better fit my talents, though.

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pooka
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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corruptible as in "able to rot" not "able to sin."

Samuel, I would guess it is because that way they completely avoid the "okay, then where is it?" question.

But Christ was able to sin, or else why the fasting and temptation in the wilderness? (this was something I stared past for a long time, wondering if mortality was a trap where we, who do sin, must rely one someone who was exempt from sin.)
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dkw
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Sorry, I did not mean to imply that he wasn't able to, only that that is not how I was using the word in this instance.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:

Samuel, I would guess it is because that way they completely avoid the "okay, then where is it?" question.

Which is a really good question. Along with what will we do with them? Eat? Process food? Have sex? Have babies? (What good are bodies if we can't do the good stuff.) Will I be fat in the next life?

My personal belief (if it can even be called that) is that what happens to us in eternal life (for us and for Jesus) is sufficiently different enough from our temportal experience that even terms like "physical" and "body" need some exploration.

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katharina
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Brinestone,

I think the trouble there comes from the difference between an all-encompassing testimony and a testimony of individual parts.

You can have a firm testimony in Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith as a prophet, the veracity of the BoM, the efficacy and miracle and verity of the Atonement and still never have gained a testimony of doing dishes as the divine path.

Some would say that gaining a testimony of one part (BoM is true, for instance) automatically equals a testimony of everything else. I don't think it quite works that way. It's a convenient step, but I think gospel principles should be aquired and personally tested and prayed over each individually. I think that's what the precept on precept part means.

Anyway, this is a long way around for me to say that I DON'T have a testimony of cleaning the house being the whole of what the Lord wants for me.

In her defence, I don't think that's what Pres. Beck was saying. I do think, however, that that's all of what a lot of women will hear.

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pooka
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quote:
Which implied that if I know the gospel is true, I will make dinner for my family, do laundry, do dishes, and accept that this is the best use for my talents.
Aaahhh.

So far I got through the hymns, prayer, and more hymns and then President Hincley introducing who was to speak for Sunday. I forgot my glasses today so I shouldn't really read it on screen.

Let me see if I can describe what has recently happened to me, though.

I went to a conference this summer and my talk was only attended by two people. One day I was thinking about this and feeling kind of hurt. Then I received the impression that I wasn't there to impress the other conference attendees or advance my ego. I was there, or at least said I had been, to serve God. And then I felt a strange feeling I had never felt before in my heart. I think it was a good thing.

I realized something similar in regard to housework. It is not whether the housework glorifies me, but that I am calling on God to endure it well that matters. I don't know if this is what President Beck was talking about. It was probably an extension of what she talked about last Saturday, I'm guessing.

She started out talking about how the family is under attack blah blah blah and then *ears perk up* the women of the church must act as one to defend the family. I thinking she's about to unveil some massive guerilla PR campaign (although I never did anything about the last one that was suggested). But no, she just said we should be the very best at nourishing, upholding and protecting families. She did mention, or I made note, of "Knowledge, talents, and resources".

Well, the sad part is I don't think my house is any cleaner as a result of this change of heart. But I feel differently toward it. The statement that we shouldn't just tell our children to help out but work along side them was particularly eye opening for me.

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pooka
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quote:
Will I be fat in the next life?

If only you knew the heartache this question causes young Mormon women. I'm not being at all facetious. Yet no one talks about it.

As it happens, we do believe the heirs of the Celestial Kingdom (the infamous highest heaven that you "have to be mormon to get into") will have bodies in that sense. But we will have ceased to be at war with our bodies as we are in this life. I think one can, through God's grace, cease to be at war with the body in this life.

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sweetbaboo
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I listened via internet so I'm not sure if I got it right but I loved the first Sunday morning speaker (Elder Eyring?). When he spoke about writing down the ways the Lord works in our lives...that the things we learn through the spirit aren't necessarily just for us personally, perhaps for our children, grandchildren. It was a perfect encouragement to "Count Your Many Blessings" on a daily basis by recording them, in order to recognize blessings that may have previously gone unnoticed.
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Tatiana
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Yeah, that was President Eyring. He is so awesome! I'm really glad he was chosen to join the first presidency because now we will get to hear more from him.
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stihl1
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
[QUOTE]But Christ was able to sin, or else why the fasting and temptation in the wilderness? (this was something I stared past for a long time, wondering if mortality was a trap where we, who do sin, must rely one someone who was exempt from sin.)

As a human, He was able to sin, but as God, He did not sin.

Catholic theology states that Christ's resurrected body is called the glorified body, one that we will all have after the second coming. Everyone, whether or not they go to heaven or hell. Those who end up in hell will live forever in torment in a physical body. Those who end up with salvation will live in their glorified body in Christ's kingdom on earth. What we will do with these bodies, whether or not we will eat, what we will look like, etc, no one knows.

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Samuel Bush
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Thanks for that last post, stihl1. I never knew that about Catholic theology. I'm always glad to learn that I have more in common with other Christians than I had supposed.
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