Saturday, February 1, 2014

Rodcast 137: Falling Slowly

Just in time for the Super Bowl.

Apologies in advance if you hate long things, but I think this one had even funner conversations than usual. The miracle of Skype allowed a better connection with Rhett and the bulk of discussion centered around some of the really far out Sunday school stuff from the Pre-mortal life, Creation and Fall. The result is a merry Mexican standoff of circular logic, disagreements and switched loyalties.

Quick note from Jon: While we were talking about lesson 2, I mentioned that we'd speak more of foreordination "two lessons from now." I meant to ask if Adam and Eve were foreordained to transgress, but I think I neglected to. Does this idea lend credence to what Rhett joked about in Judas being foreordained to betray Christ?

Here is that link from By Common Consent going of the Sunday school lesson on The Fall.

Here is the link about tithing that Rhett was talking about.

Click this link to find out what kind of Mormon you are (I got "Idaho Mormon" so it's probably not the most accurate quiz).


0:00 -- Audio explanation
1:17 -- Minutes
2:25 -- Rhett's take on legal marriage stuff
5:22 -- Rhett's card (2/6)
12:43 -- Sunday school (Lesson 1: "This Is My Work and My Glory," Lesson 2: "Thou Wast Chosen Before Thou Wast Born," Lesson 3: The Creation, Lesson 4: "Because of My Transgression My Eyes Are Opened")
64:27 -- Tools and annotations
70:17 -- New new temple videos, etc.
73:31 -- Rhett's good report on his and the wife's talk
77:13 -- Rhett's controversial stance on tithing
84:38 -- Polls
92:43 -- The decision to not do second topic this time around
92:50 -- Rhett's 49ers story
100:10 -- Listener comments

Download here!

Next Rodcast: Food storage (maybe)!


  1. Moroni Mormonsen...haha.

    I think foreordination only applies to the major things one is meant to the Savior, be the prophet, be a bishop or stake president or RS president or something like that. My patriarchal blessing says I was foreordained to be a member of the Church. I think major, life-altering aspects of one's time on earth are foreordained. The rest of it, to me, including being PFR or which kind of pizza you order at Papa Murphy's, isn't/aren't.

    Also, my p-blessing says that many things were promised to me in the pre-earth life so that I could more fully understand my responsibilities once I came to earth. This leads me to believe our circumstances here are not by chance. We may not have been able to choose everything about our earth life, but I do think we made certain agreements before we were physically born.

    I do not believe that God set us up to fail, nor do I believe that the difference between sin and transgression are insignificant. God set Adam and Eve up to choose. Granted, it was one of the most important choices of all time, but it was still a choice. They could have decided to follow the rules as He laid them down, but He knew them well enough and knew of their intelligence and that it would be realized that what He wanted them to do could not be accomplished if they followed all the rules as He explained them to Adam and Eve. I was telling my roommate recently, after doing a session at the temple, that they must have had a really amazing relationship with God, as they partook of the fruit with no guarantee (at least none that they could remember) of what was going to happen next. They were not assured of the Atonement at that point. Only after they partook were they reminded of the Plan they were taught in the life before this and only then were they able to really 'breathe' again.

    Also, I believe that the difference between sin and transgression is important and not just semantic. Sin is a willfully made choice to do wrong. It is out-and-out choosing against the light, against God and His plan. Transgression is different in that it does not necessarily constitute a complete break with known truth. It does not indicate a disregard for God or law. It is possible to transgress while in the process of following the Plan, as Adam and Eve proved. It is against the letter of the law, true, but it often is in keeping with the spirit of the law or the greater plan at work in a given situation. Not always, but sometimes...again, as proven by the Fall.

    The fact that God's plan was still accomplished though Satan was involved in its accomplishment is, to me, another microcosm situation of life. It is proof to me that Satan is a fool and God is a planner...omniscient. Throughout the temple movie (and throughout our lives), Satan keeps trying to frustrate the plan and get one over on God and he never will unless we let him. Adam & Eve didn't let him and neither should we. There is always hope...the plan is never completely frustrated unless we take ourselves out of the process.

    I personally dislike live-acted sessions alot in the wake of the new movies. I don't like the errors the actors make (bless their hearts), I don't like the lack of backgrounds or environmental elements...I'm just really not a fan. Do I love seeing Dallyn Vail Bayles playing an important part in one of the movies? No, but I like it being done 'right' every time, whereas it's not with live acting. Call me a perfectionist who drives a fine line...because I am.

  2. Mosiah 18:27 states that to him who has not should be given. When I was on Church welfare, I didn't have job, and so didn't have income. I did not pay tithing, but I had paid tithing while I did have a job, so I came to see the fact that the Church was paying my rent and student loans as me kind of taking out a loan on the contributions I had made in the previous years. I did not feel that I was not getting blessings because I wasn't paying tithing. Trust me, you feel like the most blessed person you can imagine when you know that you don't have to worry about how you're going to put food on the table or keep a roof over your head. The verse in Mosiah does not pass judgment on the person who has not. It does not say that they should be deprived of blessings because they're not contributing to the system. I don't think that God would be so cruel as to have us think that those whose only source of sustenance is Church welfare 'deserve' to be deprived of the blessings of paying tithing. I think He would have us feel blessed that we can support them through a system that encourages them to do what they can to help themselves and to get back on their feet again, and not through a government-administered welfare state that does not encourage such behavior. Never did it cross my mind while I was on Church welfare to feel like I was being deprived of any blessings even though I wasn't paying tithing. Truthfully, the blessings of the fact that you have claim on Church funds and resources make you more grateful for the way the Church works than you ever thought you could feel before you had such a need. It makes the blessings more real, more concrete, because they actually are. They are rent checks and Smith's gift cards and stuff like that. Being on Church welfare was one of the most spiritually enriching and meaningful times in my life for that reason.

    Also, by the way, I ended up on Church welfare because I had quit my job without another one to go to (and so didn't have unemployment benefits available to me, either). You could say it was my fault that I ran out of money as I did, but yet my bishop still thought me genuine and trustworthy enough to get help paying my bills. Bad decisions on the individual's part shouldn't disqualify them from being eligible for assistance. What should disqualify a person is if they join the Church clearly because they see it as a way to get their bills paid (which definitely happens) or if they really don't care to try and find a job or do extra service or stuff like that while they're in such need...the ones who glory in their situation should not get near as much as those who are really trying to change their circumstances. No, you as the bishop don't want to come off as a bad guy, but the funds you are expending are sacred and deserve to be spent on those who aren't taking advantage of them with no effort at return.
    (Can you tell I have a lot of thoughts and strong feelings about Church welfare?)

    I laughed and laughed abt Jn's comment about releasing someone (like Vernon Davis) from this life while giving a blessing. That.was.awesome.

    Pd: Yes, I listened to the whole thing. I should get a prize for your underestimating my endurance to the end.

    [End...long podcast, long comments!]

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  4. I think the iOS podcast app is screwing up the album art. I usually shows the really cool art as the episode is playing, this time I only saw the "default" art for the Rodcast. No big deal, the artwork for each show doesn't always get the props it deserves.

    First off, Pete needs to review 2 Nephi 2, and learn about agency and how it relates to the fall. There has to have been something to entice Adam and Eve one way or the other. They were immortal, but also innocent, and did not know how to act for themselves until they gained knowledge. I hope Pete is not to upset with me for calling out his ignorance.

    Foreordination is a difficult doctrine to understand. It gets close to false doctrines like determinism and predestination. We need to remember that agency is still important, and we still have the option to shirk our responsibility and not do our duty. God know all, and has "backup" plans in place if someone should fail to do something important.

    I also like the notation functionality on the Church website. I've even taken more notes in Church classes, when the teacher writes something on the board, I write that in my notes. It really helps me to remember powerful lessons later. I don't have any suggestions to pass along, anything that makes it easier to take notes is a good thing.

    There are pros and cons for both "live" temple sessions and the movies. The live sessions are usually quicker because a lot of the music and drama in the movie is gone, but the movies are great because you can see a dramatic representation. So it really depends on my mood as to which I like better.

    I don't think Rhett's ideas about tithing are all that controversial. One of my Bishops told me that if you have no income, you don't have anything to pay, but you are still a full tithe payer. You have to be willing to give back to the Lord. I've heard other more crazy ideas about tithing, like only paying tithing on interest or increase. Under this plan, you would deduct the amount of basic living expenses, and only pay after all other obligations are met.

    The podcast is about as long as it has always been. When you were recording every week it was usually 45 minutes. These days where you only record once or twice a month, the podcast can be longer. The average over a month is actually less than you used to do. So from that point of view you could double the length of the podcast.

    Thank you for injecting some levity into the discussion at the end. It is good to have a big laugh every now and then.