very careful. They need to make sure that they bring plenty of appropriately sized filters or else something bad can happen.
I am an American. The best man at my wedding is also an American who served a two year LDS mission in the UK. He told me that it was really interesting to go from one village to another even 10 miles away and they would have a totally different accent.
He said that there was even a "pirate village". He said the entire village spoke like what we Americans sound like when we want to pretend to be pirates. One day a member of our church wanted to show off her new automobile. She said, "Elders, come take a look at my new carrrrrrr."
I live 10 minutes from work, 5 minutes from my wife's school, 3 minutes from my son's school, 2 minutes from the grocery store and 5 minutes from church. I live 20 minutes from a major airport and 25 from another one. I am positive that you have heard of the city I live in. This year I ate grapes from my own grape vines, peaches from my own peach trees, asian pears from my own trees, and citrus from my own tree and a vegetable garden. It isn't huge, but I can see the sky above my head.
My wife is from Europe, and I have lived in two European capital cities for a year and half, and pretty much lived a month in New York City. Living in a shoe box surrounded by other shoe boxes is hell. I don't know what is going to happen 10-15 years from now, let alone 100, but what you describe sounds awful, like one of the worst types of dystopia. The funny thing is that the first thing most Europeans do when they get here is buy the biggest Buick or Mercury Grand Marquis they can find.
LDS Welfare is intended to be a temporary thing. It is at the discretion of the Bishop how long to continue, or under what conditions they are to continue. Sometimes the length of the help is a one day thing (like helping a transient get out of the cold, a change of clothes and a shower and bed for the night) or long term help for rent. The intent is to get the person back into a position where they can work. Sometimes there is the expectation that they are supposed to volunteer somewhere, like move boxes at the Bishop's Storehouse. Sometimes there isn't. Like I said, it is up to the discretion of the Bishop.
I have personally seen non-believers receive assistance. Like I said, I was the Ward Clerk, so I saw the financial records at the congregational level. We support local food banks and national and international relief organizations. The idea is to build self-sufficiency. Once you are on a stable spiritual and financial footing then it is your duty to help others. Again, you don't have to be a member. I know that if, (for example) you are looking for a job, then after you speak to your local Bishop then you can get a reference to a job bank. It is staffed by volunteers. The vast majority of work in our church is done by volunteers.
Look, I know that we have a weird image. Part of that is our fault*, but mostly it is because some people want others to think that we are this way. They are very vocal, and want to embarrass the church in any way possible. I don't know if you are aware of some of the weird stuff that goes on but when I was a child my parents took me to the Seattle Temple open house and protesters were hanging two former LDS leaders (Joseph Smith and Spencer W. Kimball) in effigy across the street at a fire station. There is a wall around the temple in Salt Lake, and it is customary for newlyweds to have their pictures taken on the steps. There are some religious groups that actually protested someone's wedding and screamed obscenities. I remember walking to our General Conference at Salt Lake City when a group of people were beating drums outside the walls. I've heard all sorts of things about my religion that if I didn't know the truth would scare me to death. But I know what really goes on, and so it just becomes an annoyance. As for "gay rights", the church leadership supports homosexual civil unions, just not calling it marriage. In the same vein, you can believe me or not, but we don't sit around much and talk about gay marriage. A little, but not much. We are pretty busy with other things.
*For example members in good standing don't do illegal drugs, drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, or drink tea and coffee. While I don't consume any of those things, they don't define my faith. I often tell other members, "if we are known as 'the church that doesn't drink coffee' then we aren't doing our jobs very well." Instead we should be known for honesty, integrity, charity, kindness, helpfulness and love. Sometimes we do a better job than others.
I have first hand knowledge of this, as I saw the checks and food orders* that went out and went personally with our Bishop at times. We almost never just hand people money but rather pay for bills and rent. But, since you can never believe random people on Slashdot, according to that article I linked to:
"That spirit of generosity funds a vast private welfare system, one that serves hundreds of thousands of people each year. This welfare system serves mostly—but not exclusively—fellow Latter-day Saints who are in need. It is intended for people who have lost their jobs, who have been injured, or whose families are going through some other kind of hardship. Self-sufficiency is at the heart of its mission—both for the givers and receivers."
In essence, Mormons believe that if you are going to call yourself a Christian, you must follow His example. Giving of yourself, your time and your resources to "mourn with those that mourn and comfort those in need of comfort" is central. The Book of Mormon is very explicit about this need of helping the poor.
By the way, thank you for the respectful way that you asked your question. Most of the time we don't get that, and it never hurts to ask an honest question. There are some people who dislike our church for various reasons and spread FUD whenever they can. I will never mock atheists for what they believe, because at one point in my life I pretty much was an atheist. I can see how one could arrive at that conclusion. If you are curious, prayer brought me back.
* Food orders come from the Bishop's Storehouse. Basically after you speak to the Bishop, you then speak to a woman who represents what we call the Relief Society. She talks with you about your needs, and fills out a form indicating that you need, say, five pounds of fruit, two loaves of bread, a Turkey, 10 cans of soup, a jar of peanut butter, two cans of peaches, a broom, diapers, etc., then you go to the Bishop's Storehouse where a volunteer helps you fill out your order. No money is exchanged. If you look at the picture in the article, you will see President Reagan talking with two men. One of the men is former LDS Leader Gordon B. Hinkley. Anyway, there is a sign behind them that says "Deseret The Brand Money Can't Buy"
LDS church. Missionaries are mostly self funded. Also, the church has a well recognized welfare system. In fact, there was just an article about the LDS charitable system in a website called "Philanthropy Roundtable"
A Welfare System That Works
The Latter-day Saints are proving that private citizens can support a vast and effective social welfare system.
The LDS church doesn't have a professional clergy, and in fact has relatively few employees. Most of the funds go to buildings, the universities, and charities. Before repeating the common misconception that the LDS church doesn't act as a charity, you should ask a Mormon first.
Please before you repeat your misinformation, this is an article from a website called Philanthropy Round Table. The article is called
A Welfare System That Works
The Latter-day Saints are proving that private citizens can support a vast and effective social welfare system.
Please understand that we have very, very few employees. Almost all of the funds that go into the church go to buildings, the universities, missionary work and charity. It is a common misconception that many people repeat. I had a responsibility in our local congregation and I saw the checks coming in and out. We helped people with rent, electricity, water and medical bills. Some people went to what we call the "Bishop's storehouse" which is kind of like a grocery store where you don't pay for the food.
Seriously, before you say things about the LDS church, first check with a member first. We HAVE to tell you the truth. If we lie, we go to hell. : )
600 grand for copying a cd is too much. But what sort of effect would shining a laser to blind a pilot on landing have? Let me walk this through for you. Pilots fly airplanes. To fly an airplane, you need to see where it is going. If you can't see the runway, then you will potentially crash. Runways are designed so that when the commercial airplane pilot hits the ground at 160 mph, they don't hit any bumps. Hitting bumps that fast would be bad for the plane. Crashing at that speed would very likely be fatal. Hence, attempted murder.
I don't care why he is trying to kill the people, he is trying to kill the occupants of that airplane. That is attempted murder.
analogy. Putting a CD on a P2P network isn't good. If it isn't your song, I don't think that that gives you the right to "share" it with all of your best buddies on the internet. Regardless, I can't but help that shining a laser at a pilot as that pilot is trying to land is tantamount to 200+ cases of attempted murder. Seriously. It is like purposely trying to feel a six story tree onto a busy four lane highway when the cars are going at 70 mph just for the lulz.
The scale of the CD copying and laser pointing is all out of scale.
You ignore evidence. You simply wave your hand that it doesn't apply. Does a poorly educated 19th century American plowman know what Chiasmus is let alone use it properly? What about all the other Hebrew language artifacts that I pointed out in the reply? You ignored it. If you were as familiar with the book as you claim to be, then you would know that the "reformed Egyptian" was chosen because the text was compact, but the writers never felt comfortable in the language. They preferred another. If eleven men were brought into a courtroom and testified in a trial, and they testified of a single thing even if someone of them hated the defendant would you ignore their testimony? Just because you haven't seen God doesn't mean others haven't. Have you ever prayed? Look, I don't insult Atheists because at one point in my life I probably was one. But prayer brought me back.
I'm sorry it seems that your argument boiled down is
I don't believe God exists.
Therefore everyone who believes God exists is lying or delusional.
No other explanation is possible.
I've seen statistical studies done similar to the studies done on the Federalist Papers that identify that James Madison was the principal author that show that Joseph Smith, Nephi, Alma, and Mormon were different authors. I've seen archaeological studies that show the account of Nephi travelling through the arabian peninsula and burying a party member in a place called Nahom was pretty spot on (including the burial place called Nahom). I've read accounts from non-Mormon scholars of how the "Tree with white fruit" fits spot on with what is known of pre-exilic Judaism worship with how symbols are used. I've seen how both Egyptian and non biblical Hebrew people and place names are used throughout the book in appropriate ways. I've seen comparisons between Semitic and Uto-Aztecan languages. There are other evidences. I'd share them with you but you don't want to engage. You tell and shout, but don't want to learn. You don't even want to step from behind the anonymous coward.
You call Him a monster, I call Him Father. He answers prayers and no amount of insults from an anonymous coward can convince me otherwise.
Whenever you want to discuss seriously my faith, I am here. Step out from behind your anonymity.
from the people in Washington state.
they also sell other stuff. I'm more familiar with Ross, but it is the same concept. In addition to clothes and shoes they have crappy electronics, toys, kids books, towels, sheets, some furniture, pots and pans, and yes, "gourmet-ish" food. Think spices, crackers, hot chocolate, hot sauce and probably expensive maple syrup. But for every one aisle for pots and pans they will have ten for women's clothing.
Not the biggest. I haven't been there for years though. They have real (albeit not very scary) roller coasters.
Ignore the fact that Joseph Smith and one of the eight were gunned down by a mob even though they had the chance to run away. Ignore the fact that each of the three witnesses on their deathbed each testified that they had seen the angel and the golden plates. Ignore the fact that more than half of the combined eleven left the church at some point and were offered money to recant, even fifty years after Joseph Smith was dead, and they never took the money. There is physical, tangible evidence of the plates. . . the book itself.
Joseph Smith was an 18 year old with a third grade education on what was then the frontier of the United States. His family had to move several times as a child, his main occupation was clearing stumps, plowing and digging wells. The Book of Mormon has over 260,000 words (over 500 pages) and is a complex blend of history and theology. As Joseph Smith claims to have translated rather than to have authored the book, it has many features that has it compare to more of a Hebraic text than American Frontier English in the early 19th century. These are Hebrew writing styles and artifacts which typically aren't used in English. For example the Book uses chiasmus, colophones, and adverbials. If you know Hebrew, then you might find this article interesting:
As for our creator's interest in our behavior, I feel it is because He is our Father. He loves us, much more than we know. Any father would be interested in the well being of his children, and the instructions given are for our benefit. Please tell me, how does a hangover feel? Or getting pulled over for a DUI? My wife was raised in a broken home by an alcoholic grandmother. His commandment to avoid alcohol has been a great blessing for me. As is the commandment to be faithful to my spouse. She is my best friend, and now that I know her as intimately as I do, it would be a tremendous sin to betray her in any way. Since she has shared with me her feelings, her secrets and her trust how could I waste that trust on another throw away relationship? A deep, abiding relationship with one's spouse is a tremendous blessing. If you don't understand this, then I pity you. I have the best friend that anyone could possibly have. You know, one day I got called to Jury duty. She came down with me to the courthouse and wait in the jury waiting room, just to spend time with me.
I also know that God loves His other children on the earth as much as He loves me, and that they are my brothers and sisters. So, it is my responsibility to love them, even when they insult me.
Oh yeah, Mormons don't believe angels have wings.