Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

When we ask in prayer for help, and the answer is negative

July 24th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

The efficacy of prayer is not something which can be established empirically, because there is always another explanation for anything – in extremis anything, no matter how apparently miraculous, can be explained-away by mental illness, mass delusion or lying.

But the validity of prayer does need to be confirmed inwardly and personally by each person – and this is typically by a prayer being grated in such a way that we are convinced (even if, as is usual, we would not be able to convince others – that does not matter, because the prayer was of the nature of a private communication between the prayer and God).

However, not all prayers are granted. Why is this?

In a bigger picture, prayer is one way that we are helped in this life – by the interventions of divine powers. And asking for, and getting, such divine help is one of the important rocks of faith. But why do we not receive more help, since life is so difficult?

Such a question can only be answered if we understand the basic purposes of mortal living, and in particular, why life is some kind of struggle for most people most of the time. If we are able to appreciate that life is a kind of educational process, then we may realize why help is provided, and not provided, in the way it is.

When someone is learning there is a time for help – that is what teachers are supposed to do – and there is a time for solitary struggle – for practice, for grappling with problems, for try, try, try again.

So, one important reason that prayers are not answered will certainly be that we are being required to do something from our own resources, because that is the only way we can learn. In effect, in the unanswered prayer, we were asking the divine powers to ‘do our homework’ – when this homework was vital to our learning.

Now, this is not the only reason, nor is it always the reason, prayers are unanswered – but it is surely one of the reasons, and perhaps a neglected reason: prayers are not answered, help is not given, when it is important that we do something without help, for our own good: when we have asked for help instead of participating in the learning process that is life.

This does not mean we should not have asked for help in the first place, because we can’t always know the nature of the situation (if in doubt: ask); but it does mean that when we have asked for help and received a negative answer, we then acknowledge the validity of that reply, and act accordingly.

**

Note: I feel that the refusing of help to someone who has asked for it, must be one of the most difficult and painful things for the loving divine powers – especially when their refusal to help is misunderstood as indifference or dislike. Parents will know the situation in which they are asked for help by a child, and they could help their child, but the parent knows that such ‘help’ would actually harm the child’s development, and that it is necessary (or, at least, better) that the child is not helped. However, often the child cannot understand this, but feels only a sense of betrayal at being refused help that the parent could have given; and the child reacts with anger and resentment against the parent – may lapse into hatred which may be extreme and lasting. In the end, the parent may simply have to tolerate the situation; in hope that, at some point in the future, the child will recognize that the refusal of help was motivated by love.

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July 24th, 2015 23:31:25

All the Worlds thy hands have made

July 23rd, 2015 by Zen

Instead of just staring down the pessimistic prospects before us, let’s take a look at some of the amazing wonders this age offers us.

The NYT has nice list of discovered solar systems, all shown to scale, with planets moving at appropriate relative speeds.

The last one listed is ours, so you see how these all compare.

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July 23rd, 2015 20:02:38

Sins, Shouting and Housetops

July 20th, 2015 by Zen

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A certain verse about sins being shouted from the housetops comes to mind. Not that I would like to see mine shouted about, still it is hard to have much sympathy for the devil, here.

Hackers are threatening to release names, and all kinds of pervy details and nude photos from pro-cheating website, AshleyMadison. 37 Million different profiles worth, even ones they charged people to officially ‘delete’.

As one twitter commenter put it, It is amazing how much trust untrustworthy people, put into a site for untrustworthy people.

Interestingly, it is a site with more women than men. Odd.

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July 20th, 2015 18:36:35

Following in the steps of the Soviet Union

July 14th, 2015 by Bookslinger

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July 14th, 2015 04:00:47

Maybe means Maybe

July 09th, 2015 by Zen

California, and now New York have signed into law, a new standard in sexual consent, called ‘Yes means yes’, at least until someone decides otherwise.

That is not hyperbole. There are now groups passing out consent forms, and recommending photos are taken, in case you and someone special want to do the dirty, or you know, just someone you met 5 minutes ago.

And if anyone objects mid-procedure, everything must stop. One is forgiven for suspecting many of these involved have not had sex in a very, very long time.

The devil’s cruel irony is that violating the 7th commandment doesn’t mean more sex. It means less.

We used to have formal consent. We called it marriage. This another the Morgoth/Sauron inspired twisted corruption of marriage.

They may have left it, but they can not leave it alone.

 

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July 09th, 2015 20:36:53

No one panic yet, but this is how glaciers and ice ages start

July 09th, 2015 by Zen

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This is a pile of snow in Boston that has yet to melt, and it is July. It is solid ice at this point, and could easily be around until September. Global Warming and all that, but as ugly as it is, this is exactly how glaciers start, particularly if they get another snowfall before it is gone. Get a few of these, and we got an Ice Age. May you live in interesting times!

In other news, new solar models predict a Solar Minimum, in 2030, the same kind that are associated with the Little Ice Age.

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July 09th, 2015 20:04:50

Under-fives indentifed as first age cohort of “minority-majority”.

June 25th, 2015 by Bookslinger

Breitbart reports two things, from the Census Bureau:

“Racial and ethic minorities children under the age of five are now the majority…”

And

“More whites dying than being born.”

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June 25th, 2015 11:30:57

Thomas Traherne for Mormons

June 20th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

Arkle teapot

Thomas Traherne (1636-74) was an English Christian ‘mystical’ writer, whose prose is of unsurpassed beauty (not just my opinion – but this is what CS Lewis said; who had perhaps read more English prose than anyone of his generation).

Traherne – specifically in his prose-poems ‘Centuries of Meditations’ – might be exceptionally appealing and valuable to Mormons.

Appealing because the strongest theme for the reader, the subject of his most incandescent and memorable writing, is the natural innocence and holiness of childhood: a theme which was heretical in the Anglicanism of Traherne’s era, but which fits exactly with Mormon theology.

And valuable, in perhaps encouraging the enormous latent possibilities for Mormon ‘mystical’ writing about the everyday.

In a nutshell, Traherne could be regarded the apotheosis of the Junior Ganymede tag: On the sweetness of Mormon life!

 

Further reading and references:

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=traherne

The illustration is by William Arkle and can be found at:

http://shepton.org/page/the-paintings-of-william-arkle

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June 20th, 2015 01:07:41

It’s Official. Watching Cat Videos is Good for You.

June 16th, 2015 by Bookslinger

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June 16th, 2015 19:24:01

Questions

June 15th, 2015 by Zen

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When I start an algebra class full of students, I tell them to not start with the book.

I tell them to start with the homework. Once they start with the homework, they will have plenty of questions and when they do go to the book, their study will be more meaningful and productive.

I am not saying this to suggest that scripture study is not of primary importance. But the questions that confuse and vex us are more valuable than we might realize. They are not merely thorns to curse.

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June 15th, 2015 00:25:11

Discovering ourselves, vs. Sculpting ourselves

June 15th, 2015 by Zen

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I am always a little worried when I hear people go on and on about discovering themselves. What are you hoping to find? A hidden chest of gold?

Most of what we do is sculpting and building our character.

Or, as Joseph Smith put it,

“I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women—all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty”

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June 15th, 2015 00:18:52

The Junior Ganymede Welcomes Bruce Charlton

June 11th, 2015 by The Junior Ganymede

Long-time Friend of the JG Bruce Charlton has finally decided to join the club.  We are all as pleased as damnit.

Dr. Charlton blogs and continues to blog at the well-known Bruce Charlton’s Notions.  He also has a number of topical blogs listed on his sidebar, which are worth your investigation.

Dr. Charlton could be described as a Mere Christian with strong Mormon leanings.  He describes himself as a “theoretical Mormon.”

Please welcome him.

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June 11th, 2015 08:06:20

Is Torture Good?

June 09th, 2015 by G.

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June 09th, 2015 11:16:31

Vacation pictures from Mr. Pecos Bill’s neighborhood

June 09th, 2015 by Vader

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June 09th, 2015 09:49:04

Bryce Harper, the Gift that Keeps on Giving

June 04th, 2015 by G.

Here.

Apologies for infringing on everyone else’s Las Vegas.

Sacred honor compels me to add that pumpkin spice lattes are the ne plus ultra of manly ways to break the Word of Wisdom.  I feel more rugged and redblooded just thinking about them.

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June 04th, 2015 06:30:21