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I had a random idea the other day.

One of the key principles of being a good citizen is being informed.

Thing is, due to the economy here in the US, a number of people have cancelled their subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals (not just the print editions, mind you, but also the digital editions) as they were "unaffordable luxuries" under the situation.

This is leading me to wonder.

Suppose we have it set up so that the first, say, $50 of however much someone spends on newspaper, magazine, and online news subscriptions each year would be tax-deductible?

Each time a person subscribes to or renews a subscription to such a source, they can show the receipt and have it be counted. If a single subscription is less than what the limit is, then the remainder can be put towards another subscription.

Thoughts?

Thanks. 
[QUOTE=drstevej;66334647]"As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become."

A Response To MRM's "As God Is, Man May Be?"

17 September 2014

www.mrm.org/lorenzo-snow-coupl…

Another day, another article to debunk.

This document opens in standard form for critical material, in that the author's citation of McConkie's "Mormon Doctrine" lacks any sort of date citation for the edition. This is problematic, as even Wikipedia [1] notes that the book was unauthorized and that the original edition contained numerous instances of material that was McConkie's personal doctrine and not church teachings. I did locate the citation in my 1979 edition, and in so doing noted that an extensive section of text had been deleted by the ellipses. The full text from the passage is as follows, with the deleted material highlighted:
"Thus, those who gain eternal life receive exaltation; they are sons of God, joint-heirs with Christ, members of the Church of the Firstborn; they overcome all things, have all power, and receive the fullness of the Father. They are gods."

Not only did the document modify the punctuation (a significant warning sign), we see that the deleted material is key to understanding the context. For starters, to those who are LDS, there is a significant difference between the words "God" and "god", with the latter being used to denote an exalted beings (a usage observed in Psalms 82:6 where we read "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High."). Not only does the deleted material remove the explanation of the LDS theology on the topic, it also obscures the LDS interpretation as well: humans will become exalted, but will not become challengers to God’s title or position.

Next, the author cites a work known as "The Gospel Through the Ages" as if it were authoritative, when it is also not. A check of the work's info on Half.com [2] reveals that the work was published not by the church itself but by Deseret Book Company, which (while owned by the church) operates with autonomy and so publishes as it sees fit; just because a work is published by someone who is a church leader does not make it official church doctrine. Likewise, "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith" and the "Journal of Discourses" are not official, either. I would love to see the author cite a work that was official, as official works do teach the matter. [3]

The author tries to use Biblical citations to answer the church's theology, but his answers fall flat. He first tries to cite Isaiah 43:10 as "evidence" that the concept of exaltation is not Biblical, but he misses 43:12, where we read "I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God." Thus, the passage in question is speaking on the matter of idolatry; presuming it to also speak of exaltation is an inference that is not in my opinion entirely justified. Isaiah 44 also speaks of idolatry and not exaltation, with verses 9 and 10 reading "They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?" In this context, it becomes clear that Isaiah 45 is likewise about idolatry and not exaltation. In that sense, all three verses not only come from the same narrow section, but are also not entirely relevant.

The author then goes to Psalms 82 and John 10 in an effort to "explain" the LDS defense, in the process completely missing what I have noted earlier concerning LDS theology. He also failed to actually cite anything officially sanctioned by the church, which makes me wonder if he actually stopped to investigate the church's own materials. I am quite disappointed.

The author tries to follow it up with a citation from Jeremiah 10, in the process ignoring the fact that the chapter is also about idols and not exaltation. Because of this, his attempt at rhetoric falls flat. Also flat is his assertion that "It would be safe to say that most Mormons do not even know what the "fulness [sic] of gospel law" includes, much less obey it." On what basis does he make this claim? We merely have his assertion.

He also tries to use Isaiah 64 to argue that "works" cannot save, in the process making the same mistake of so many other critics by presuming that the LDS faith uses a works-based salvation system. As noted in the Fourth Article of Faith, "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." Faith is preeminent in the LDS faith, but at the same time we believe that one's faith must be active. We take James chapter 2 quite seriously, in that we regard a faith that is not active as being a faith that is hollow [4]. In that sense, it would be against LDS theology to believe that one can work one's way to salvation. Rather, when we say "We will work out our salvation," we mean "we will obey God's laws and labor to be active in the faith, doing good and remaining mindful of both our promises to the Lord and our standards."

       Given this, I find it ironic that the author derides Dr. Mouw when he himself is, indeed, guilty of just what Dr. Mouw was warning about concerning non-Mormons judging the church without first doing their homework.

The author tries to make it appear that he has done so by quoting from a piece in The Ensign, an official publication of the church, but his effort backfires because he hangs himself on this one. As the author did not see fit to cite where he found Dr. Mouw's specific words on the matter, and I have had no success in finding any sort of reference to his remarks outside of this article, the author has rendered the issue moot because his claims cannot be fact-checked (a very serious academic no-no). Yes, the theology does teach exaltation. But until such time as I can find the supposed statement made by Dr. Mouw on the topic, I cannot presume that the statement has been properly presented given the author's other flaws with accurately presenting material as seen elsewhere in this article.

As far as the author's claims concerning contacting the church’s public relations department, he seems to presume that silence is an admission of something untoward when it could simply have been his e-mail getting lost in the shuffle. He also regards it as untoward that his request to speak to someone from church headquarters was "ignored", but even if we presume that the matter happened as the author claims we have no way of knowing why his request was not responded to. He also seems to presume that all members of the church march in lockstep when it comes to matters of theology, hence his seeming surprise that individual members of the church – including folks from BYU – can have their own personal understanding of matters and so can either be unaware of something or even hold a different POV.

All told, I'm not impressed. If I had handed in such a poorly constructed and poorly-referenced work as this during my graduate work, I'd have been laughed out of the program.

[1] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_D…

[2] product.half.ebay.com/Gospel-T…

[3] For example, www.lds.org/manual/gospel-prin…

[4] www.lds.org/manual/new-testame…
Response To MRM
I was challenged to respond to this one by a critic on another site I go to.
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deviantID

Ironhold
Darren
United States
Current Residence: Central Texas
Operating System: Acer Laptop.
Interests
I'm one of the editors over at TF Wiki.net, a fan-maintained wiki for the Transformers franchise.

One ongoing project we have <a wytiwyg="1" href=tfwiki.net/wiki/User:Tigerpaw2…>involves trying to figure out which US broadcasters aired what season of the cartoon</URL> during those years in which the cartoon was available via broadcast television rather than being broadcast via a cable network.

For a number of media markets, all we have are question marks; either we do not have information concerning who aired what, or the information we have cannot be verified. For other markets, some of the listings are little more than educated guesses or rely on questionable information sources.

We'd appreciate any help that anyone can give us. I've been trying to contribute, but even I've hit brick walls along the way.


Currently, the identified seasons are as follows:

Generation 1
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988

Although it was originally taken for granted that all networks which broadcast the series back in the day debuted the premiere episode on or around 24 September 1984, we were forced to split the chart into individual seasons when it was discovered that KCEN-TV delayed the premiere of the show until January of 1985.

Generation 2

Although the series had two seasons, no irregularities have been noted and it is presumed that all networks which aired the series aired both seasons.

Beast Wars
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3

Season one was broadcast as part of a syndicated block of programs, and when that block was discontinued the show was syndicated on its own. This led to situations in which the show jumped networks between season 1 and season 2.

Beast Machines
Robots In Disguise

Although these two shows were officially supposed to be broadcast by Fox, there have been reports to indicate that this was not the case; some markets did not have these series, while in other markets the Fox Kids feed was broadcast by a different station.

Transformers: Cybertron

Although the series debuted on Cartoon Network, it was moved to The WB Network for four months in 2005 as a Hail Mary play to help draw ratings.

Thanks.

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:iconkaylathehedgehog:
kaylathehedgehog Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fave!
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:iconkrazzulimaii:
Krazzulimaii Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I saw your very intelligent argument on the forum. Good on ya, clearin up stuff for us. Have a llama
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:iconironhold:
Ironhold Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013
Thanks.
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:iconbohobella:
bohobella Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
This will sound really dumb if I'm remembering wrong, but you're LDS, right?

I'm wanting a copy of the BOM to study for myself, but I've found out there's no mission or church on my island, so I was wondering if you had any idea where I could buy or get one otherwise.

Unless you're not a member of the church then this is just strange.
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:iconironhold:
Ironhold Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
[link]

This is the entire BoM, with footnotes, online in an HTML format.

In fact, the entire canon, the current Sunday School manuals, and copies of the official church magazines dating back to ca. 1971 can be had on the church's website for free if you just want to look at digital versions.

If you want a physical copy of any of it, then as a non-member you'll need to place an order with Deseret Book ([link]) or another LDS retailer.
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:iconlady-doll-paige:
Lady-Doll-Paige Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
Hello again... I wish to thank you for the watch... and still 'ouch' for the whole stiches thing... O_o
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:iconshirelg:
ShirelG Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2008
Thank you for the fav! My cats sends a meow :D
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:iconbanga-kun:
Banga-kun Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2008  Hobbyist Artist
thanx for the fave
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:iconzepherus:
Zepherus Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2008  Hobbyist Artist
Thanks for the fav!
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:iconangelcrusher:
AngelCrusher Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Thanks so much for the :+fav: on my Daily Deviated Film, Cecil The Penguin. Cheers mate :D
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