Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Embers

March 15th, 2017 by The Junior Ganymede

Friend of the Jg Handle and G. both work in large bureaucracies.  Handle, who is Jewish, wrote this reflection on the experience, which he has graciously agreed to allow as a guest post:

The funny thing is that not all government is like that.

 

Not yet.I feel in a reflective mood this morning.

 

Many philosophers ask, “Why is there evil?”  Some say free will, others original sin.

 

My religious tradition says, “Evil is in the very nature of things.  Suffering, predation, disease, decay, decrepitude, entropy, these are all parts of life and nature and have been features from the very beginning, since the creation, and will be with us until the end.  The real question is why is there any good?  That is new, rare, surprising when less rare, and that is the mystery the answer to which, and the implications of that answer, is where we will find rewards.”

 

We are all poor sinners.  And yet, somehow, also there are saints. (more…)

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March 15th, 2017 05:53:42

Replacing Christ

March 13th, 2017 by Vader

… for a free people, there’s nothing more dangerous than a government agency hellbent on saving the world.

Thus Stephen Green

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March 13th, 2017 11:30:23

Straining at gnats

March 13th, 2017 by Vader

And swallowing camels.

(more…)

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March 13th, 2017 09:51:58

What is Due

March 13th, 2017 by G.

I have seen the sunrise and the sunset. I have held my child’s hand.  That is recompense enough.  God owes me nothing.

Yet with both hands He will give.

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March 13th, 2017 06:02:35

Isaiah ch. 19

March 12th, 2017 by Zen

I have been working on a kind of translation of Isaiah for a while now. Too many of us don’t read it, and liken it to ourselves, because it is hard to understand. My goal is to remove as many as possible steps between reading and understanding. This entails a significant degree of simplification (for instance, where I give modern equivalents to ancient things), but it also makes it easier to understand on the first read through. At least I hope it does.

Notice, that Isaiah is the master of the prophecy with dual fulfillment. This is a legitimate prophecy of socio-political events in Egypt in Isaiah’s time. But the more interesting and more complete fulfillment is a country in the last days that is the modern equivalent of ancient Egypt. Namely, the greatest world power, the center of education and culture but waning as to its influence. The center of education and culture. This is America.

Isaiah 19

1 The prophecy about America. The Lord will come swiftly, like a sudden storm into America and those things idolized by Americans will quake in terror. The Americans will be terrified.

2 I will set the Americans to fight against each other. Brother will fight against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city and state against state.

(more…)

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March 12th, 2017 22:54:42

The Youth of the Church

March 12th, 2017 by G.

On the sweetness of Mormon life. (more…)

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March 12th, 2017 19:55:19

His Majesty snarks

March 12th, 2017 by Vader

At headlines and other slogans:

(more…)

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March 12th, 2017 15:05:24

The Lord’s Mirror.

March 11th, 2017 by Bookslinger

I was in my mid 40’s when I came back to church in the early 2000’s.  Since then I’ve occasionally met flawed people with both obvious and non-obvious problems or challenges, though the exact nature or cause of their problem/challenge was not always clear.  Either immediately or at some point after meeting such a person, it occasionally dawned on me … “Oh, no. I have/do that too.”  And later… “Ahhhh. So that’s why people hate me.”  And later… “Eeek. I’m disgusting.” (more…)

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March 11th, 2017 10:32:29

You Low-Statusin’ Son of a Low Class Person

March 10th, 2017 by G.

Cussin’ isn’t about what they told you it was about. (more…)

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March 10th, 2017 06:59:04

Obamacare Replacement Stinks

March 09th, 2017 by Pecos Bill

Taint no secret that I don’t cotton to the spectakle of womenfolk engagin’ in brawls and sichlike.  Taint natcheral.

For sich reasons, its a durn shame to see this pert little gal pummelin’ the everlivin’ snot out o’ the GOP’s Obamacare replacement, right out in the opticals o’ the public ‘n’ all.  Yessir, its a durn shame.

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March 09th, 2017 06:45:21

Notice of the new Logan (X-Men) movie from Fox/ Marvel

March 09th, 2017 by Bruce Charlton

(No spoilers.)

First of all: This is a 15 certificate movie and thoroughly deserves it! There is a lot of bad swearing and nasty, explicit, close-up violence.

BUT if you have appreciated some of the previous X-Men movies then you will not want to miss this one – which follows several themes from the first movie incarnations (before the recent alternative-timeline ‘reboot’ with new Xavier and Magneto actors), and brings them to a satisfying closure.

And the reason I write about it here is that there is a strong implicit theme of repentance and redemption in several character arcs; and several explicit and positive Christian references – at the beginning, middle and end.

(This may – perhaps? – have something to do with the fact that the lead actor – Hugh Jackman – is apparently publicly a Christian, from an evangelical home.)

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March 09th, 2017 04:19:11

Step 3

March 08th, 2017 by G.

A friend said, forget politics, the basic program for righting the world is

1. Get your act together, get an income.
2. Make a good family.
3. Get your kids to do steps 1-3.

He’s right.

 

(more…)

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March 08th, 2017 06:53:58

Literal Selflessness

March 07th, 2017 by G.

The gospel has a universal message.  Breathtakingly universal.

Here is the opener from a First Presidency proclamation that Elder Benson read out in conference:

 

To all the Kings of the World;

To the President of the United States of America;

To the Governors of the several States;

And to the Rulers and People of all Nations:

The message goes on to say that the church and the priesthood are for all of them. (more…)

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March 07th, 2017 08:30:56

Charles Murray on the need for men’s choices to be consequential

March 05th, 2017 by Vader

Echoing a theme heard here at the Junior Ganymede many times before. Towards the end of this interview, but worth the wait.

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March 05th, 2017 22:06:10

Joseph Smith and personal revelation

March 05th, 2017 by Bruce Charlton

I have seen it said that the universal availability of personal revelation is the core feature of Mormonism.

I believe this is a reasonable – albeit incomplete – statement, as I will try to show. Yet personal inspiration from God is not what the outside world sees when they observe the CJCLDS. They see a clear and strong hierarchical organisation, a seemingly exact doctrine, and a lot of rules and social practices. Being a Mormon superficially looks like a lot of externally-imposed obedience and not much inner-driven individuality.

(And this may of course, in the real world – in practice – actually be the case; but if so, it is an erroneous or at least sub-optimal situation.)

I think that the way personal revelation works can be seen in layers. Personal revelation is indeed primary – but one’s own personal revelations cannot work-out a complete religion in all its details, a complete way of living and understanding. Yet completeness is what is needed.

To put it another way; we cannot make sense of personal revelations without a context – some basic framework within-which revelations have meaning, and some way of linking multiple revelations together into coherence.

Therefore, Joseph Smith also provided a set of basic metaphysical assumptions about reality, and a basic narrative of the nature and intentions of God and the purpose of creation (The Plan of salvation), in-the-context-of-which personal revelations can have meaning. Mormonism therefore – and necessarily – has a different theology than previous Christianity; and one which is well suited to the goal of ‘everybody’ having multiple personal revelations.

But to have only a theoretical structure would not suffice for the establishment or survival of a religion – especially in face of persecution and attempted eradication. Therefore Joseph Smith also established a church – to teach, preserve and defend the revealed truths and an interpretation of the scriptures. The CJCLDS, with its hierarchy of revelators with widening scope of responsibilities, from the individual to the whole church via intermediate levels – as the hierarchy ascends between the rank-and file members, through steps and layers, up to the President, Prophet and primary Revelator.

This structure provides a necessary context for personal revelations; a way of making sense of them without the near certainty that a multiplicity of open-ended and unstructured revelation would (as happened in many Protestant groups) lead to chaos, schism and self-destruction.

In sum, it can be seen that Joseph Smith – in his multi-faceted work of presenting doctrines, providing inspired scriptures and founding a church organisation – provided exactly what was necessary for a religion based-on personal revelations to survive in the real world; a religion based on the ideal that personal revelations (including revelations of the validity of generalities such as scripture, leadership, authority) should be at the centre of all evaluations and decisions, and be the major form of guidance.

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March 05th, 2017 02:25:31