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 Post subject: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:01 pm 
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I've got enough self-esteem that I'm going to open myself up and publicly acknowledge that reading some of the comments directed towards Will Schryver in this forum caused me to literally shed a tear.

I feel bad that my public comments have led to more public demonization of Will Schryver. I do not agree with his rhetoric, nor the way he labels non-traditional believers, and Will has wounded me personally on more than one occasion. But Will Schryver is not an evil person. He is deeply committed to his religious beliefs and holds a strong desire to defend Mormonism publicly. I admire him for those qualities.

I'm going to share what I posted on a thread I started on" Kindness in LDS Apologetics" at the other board so that my feelings can be known here:

Quote:
We as believers hold the greater responsibility to respond to critics with kindness. Many critics posting in these forums are former believers, experiencing considerable pain. They feel hurt over the fact that they believe they have been deceived, and that they have wasted major portions of their lives living a lie. Many of them feel pain over the fact that their disbelief has caused problems in their relationships with spouses, parents, friends, children, etc. Some have experienced painful divorces and loss of jobs.

Hence, when given an opportunity to vent as an anonymous poster in a public forum, these people are going to express condescending remarks about matters that we as believers hold sacred. Given my love for the Prophet Joseph, and this Church, I'll admit that I have a hard time reading many of these attacks (there are some forums that I simply choose to avoid). Given these facts, perhaps those of us who cannot respond with kindness to non-believers should either avoid reading their posts, or at least avoid posting responses to their attacks and/or questions.

Not only do attack-centered apologetics fail to convince critics to join our ranks, but I'm quite confident that they leave a bad taste regarding Mormonism in the mouth of the casual observer who happens to land upon an LDS forum.


From my perspective, Will's wit and passion make it very difficult for him to interact with non-believers in these public forums. This does not make him an evil person. It makes him a fallible human being who cares deeply about his religious convictions, and as such, I would ask that he be given a little bit more compassion.

Due to my own passions, I get a little bit riled up on occasion myself, so I do not hold any grudges against Will and would ask that all of us who participate in these forums try to remember that whether they are believers and/or critics, these are real people behind these posts, with real feelings, and real life stories; people that no matter what our perspective, deserve our respect.

I have learned a lot over the years from many of the critics in this forum and consider many of you my good online friends. As a believer, please know that I don't care if any of you ever come back to Church, I still care about you people and sincerely hope for your long term happiness and peace.

It may not come across that way sometimes to you, but Will is a good person, and I truly care about his long-term happiness as well.

Sincerely,

--DB

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:10 pm 
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You're a class act, David, and by far a better man than I am.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:13 pm 
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consiglieri wrote:
You're a class act, David, and by far a better man than I am.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri


Not at all Consig. You keep questioning everything and searching for truth. If God didn't want us to follow that course we wouldn't have been endowed with the gift of reason. Sincerely, I think your ability to question makes you a great member of the Church.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:28 pm 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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Consig is right, Dave---you're a mensch. But I wonder about your remarks. How much of this is going to sink in with the Mopologetic elite? I've felt for a long time that the reason Will is able to thrive in the Mopologetic environment is due to precedent set by Mopologetic leaders. You write:

Enuma Elish wrote:
Given these facts, perhaps those of us who cannot respond with kindness to non-believers should either avoid reading their posts, or at least avoid posting responses to their attacks and/or questions.

Not only do attack-centered apologetics fail to convince critics to join our ranks, but I'm quite confident that they leave a bad taste regarding Mormonism in the mouth of the casual observer who happens to land upon an LDS forum.


I generally agree with what you're saying, but apologists like Dan Peterson have put forth some rather assertive arguments that directly oppose what I've just quoted from you. It was DCP, after all, who maintained for a very long time a set of quotes culled from angry/grieving posters on RfM, and he used these quotes as a means of ridiculing and mocking them---plus, he was one of the main contributors of such material to SHIELDS.

So, I'm curious: how do you plan to persuade the Old Guard that your views are right? The old FARMS way of characterizing critic/apologist interaction was in the rhetoric of warfare. "Well will not back down," and that sort of thing. Do you think you *can* persuade the Midgleys and Tvedtneses of the world? Or are you just waiting for them to kick the bucket so that a Kinder, Gentler Mopologetics can prevail?

In short, do you think that DCP, Hamblin, Gee, Smith, Midgley, et al. should "either avoid reading [critics'] posts, or at least avoid posting responses to their attacks and/or questions"? And does this just apply to messageboards, or to publications like the Review as well?

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:30 pm 
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Quote:
But Will Schryver is not an evil person. He is deeply committed to his religious beliefs and holds a strong desire to defend Mormonism publicly. I admire him for those qualities.

Those are hardly admirable qualities, especially when his beliefs and means of defending them, run contray to the teachings of the LDS Church. I don't think Will is "evil" per se, but then I doubt anyone ever made that argument. He is, however, a coward and a compulsive liar, as I have demonstrated on numerous occasions. He should be held accountable for his lies, the same way anti-Mormons should be held accountable for their lies. I already know he irks more than a few Mormons, and that to them, he is viewed more as an embarrassment than an asset. I believe this view will dominate the more his antics become known. Thus, the few defenders he has on the forums are trying to downplay or reinvent his antics as "parody" or what not.
Quote:
It may not come across that way sometimes to you, but Will is a good person, and I truly care about his long-term happiness as well.

If only Will and most other LDS folk had the love and charity you frequently exhibit, I doubt there'd be a tendency for people to criticize the Church at all. I'm pretty sure we're all "good people" in real life. I doubt there are any ax murderers or child molesters among us. The issue is how we deal with criticism. Will cannot handle critical responses to his theories, from believer or non-believer. And he absolutely hates the apostates, frequently condeming us for having left the fold. He is essentially the most unChristlike Mormon I have ever met in my life, and that is saying a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:50 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Consig is right, Dave---you're a mensch. But I wonder about your remarks. How much of this is going to sink in with the Mopologetic elite? I've felt for a long time that the reason Will is able to thrive in the Mopologetic environment is due to precedent set by Mopologetic leaders. You write:

Enuma Elish wrote:
Given these facts, perhaps those of us who cannot respond with kindness to non-believers should either avoid reading their posts, or at least avoid posting responses to their attacks and/or questions.

Not only do attack-centered apologetics fail to convince critics to join our ranks, but I'm quite confident that they leave a bad taste regarding Mormonism in the mouth of the casual observer who happens to land upon an LDS forum.


I generally agree with what you're saying, but apologists like Dan Peterson have put forth some rather assertive arguments that directly oppose what I've just quoted from you. It was DCP, after all, who maintained for a very long time a set of quotes culled from angry/grieving posters on RfM, and he used these quotes as a means of ridiculing and mocking them---plus, he was one of the main contributors of such material to SHIELDS.

So, I'm curious: how do you plan to persuade the Old Guard that your views are right? The old FARMS way of characterizing critic/apologist interaction was in the rhetoric of warfare. "Well will not back down," and that sort of thing. Do you think you *can* persuade the Midgleys and Tvedtneses of the world? Or are you just waiting for them to kick the bucket so that a Kinder, Gentler Mopologetics can prevail?

In short, do you think that DCP, Hamblin, Gee, Smith, Midgley, et al. should "either avoid reading [critics'] posts, or at least avoid posting responses to their attacks and/or questions"? And does this just apply to messageboards, or to publications like the Review as well?


Hello Scratch,

No disrespect to the others, but given my relationship with Dan and Bill, both of whom I have known personally for years, I will offer a couple thoughts. First of all, I hold both of these men in very high esteem. They are both friends, and former professors who have inspired me to pursue ancient Near Eastern studies. We've broken bread and BBQ together, and I have solicited both of them for presentations to my Institute students and have always been deeply impressed with their knowledge, wit, and spiritual convictions.

I love these guys, Scratch (even though Bill would be grossed out to read it).

In sum, Dan and Bill are in all sincerity two of my favorite people in the world. Both of them have a strong wit and can be a bit sardonic, a quality that I deeply enjoy.

I think it's important to remember that with the start of FARMS, that LDS apologetics was a brand new field and that despite their best efforts, some mistakes were made. I don't hold it against any of the early founding fathers, because I have no doubt they did a much better job of getting the ball rolling than I could have done.

Yet to be honest, Scratch, none of these people have made nearly as many mistakes in their apologetics efforts as I believe you assume (and I think I've read most of it). Still, no doubt these brilliant, well-meaning persons could have done a bit better in some regards, and I suspect that when push came to shove, that each of them would be the first to admit it.

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Last edited by Enuma Elish on Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:53 pm 
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I am, perhaps, not a good candidate to respond, since I am frequently the target of Will's supposed wit and what you loosely term as passion. Me, not some unknown target. Will has a special hatred for the poster known as harmony (unlike Daniel, who has never in all our years of interaction, lowered himself to anything near to what Will produces. Thus I respect Daniel, even when I don't agree with him--which is often).

Will's attacks on me are personal... both in context and in content. He calls me vile names, some of which are quite filthy; he introduced filth into my life, the likes of which I had never seen; his hands are unclean and his mind produces filth found only in the lowest gutters... and then he compounds his sin by denying his actions when called on it. He not only refuses to repent, he continues along the path of destruction he now runs along. He doesn't attack my ideas; he attacks me. Were he able to find out who I am, he'd do his best to insert himself into my life and destroy it if he could. By his actions, he jeopardizes the church and gives ammunition to those who would destroy it.

If such a thing as the priesthood exists, Will has forfeited his, by his words and the intent of his heart against me and against the church. The instant he apologizes for each individual attack he has made on me personally, I will not stand in the way of his repentence. Until then, I will stand as a witness before God that Will is a man who is alive in his sins. God knows what Will has directed at me; God knows Will's attacks were and are unprovoked. No amount of erasing can change what God knows. God knows what I will say at the Judgment Bar. Will cannot hide behind the Atonement he refuses to use. God's will will not be thwarted and then... when it's too late... Will will remember... and he will tremble.

The church can withstand the vile crudeness and crass stupidity of one Will Schryver. Me? I am patient; I will wait. God knows; that's all I care about.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Kevin Graham wrote:
Quote:
But Will Schryver is not an evil person. He is deeply committed to his religious beliefs and holds a strong desire to defend Mormonism publicly. I admire him for those qualities.

Those are hardly admirable qualities, especially when his beliefs and means of defending them, run contray to the teachings of the LDS Church. I don't think Will is "evil" per se, but then I doubt anyone ever made that argument. He is, however, a coward and a compulsive liar, as I have demonstrated on numerous occasions. He should be held accountable for his lies, the same way anti-Mormons should be held accountable for their lies. I already know he irks more than a few Mormons, and that to them, he is viewed more as an embarrassment than an asset. I believe this view will dominate the more his antics become known. Thus, the few defenders he has on the forums are trying to downplay or reinvent his antics as "parody" or what not.
Quote:
It may not come across that way sometimes to you, but Will is a good person, and I truly care about his long-term happiness as well.

If only Will and most other LDS folk had the love and charity you frequently exhibit, I doubt there'd be a tendency for people to criticize the Church at all. I'm pretty sure we're all "good people" in real life. I doubt there are any ax murderers or child molesters among us. The issue is how we deal with criticism. Will cannot handle critical responses to his theories, from believer or non-believer. And he absolutely hates the apostates, frequently condeming us for having left the fold. He is essentially the most unChristlike Mormon I have ever met in my life, and that is saying a lot.


Kevin, as I have said before, you have a impressive gift for debate and analytical thinking. Honestly, I have learned a lot from you over the years about the BofA and politics and appreciate your amazing ability to dissect an issue. I look forward to the day that you and I can get together sometime and share a Guarana!

I don't blame you, cause I'm sure it's been a tough road, but I think you'd be happier if you could extend Will a bit of compassion.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:04 pm 
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harmony wrote:
I am, perhaps, not a good candidate to respond, since I am frequently the target of Will's supposed wit and what you loosely term as passion. Me, not some unknown target. Will has a special hatred for the poster known as harmony (unlike Daniel, who has never in all our years of interaction, lowered himself to anything near to what Will produces. Thus I respect Daniel, even when I don't agree with him--which is often).

Will's attacks on me are personal... both in context and in content. He calls me vile names, some of which are quite filthy; he introduced filth into my life, the likes of which I had never seen; his hands are unclean and his mind produces filth found only in the lowest gutters... and then he compounds his sin by denying his actions when called on it. He not only refuses to repent, he continues along the path of destruction he now runs along. He doesn't attack my ideas; he attacks me. Were he able to find out who I am, he'd do his best to insert himself into my life and destroy it if he could. By his actions, he jeopardizes the church and gives ammunition to those who would destroy it.

If such a thing as the priesthood exists, Will has forfeited his, by his words and the intent of his heart against me and against the church. The instant he apologizes for each individual attack he has made on me personally, I will not stand in the way of his repentence. Until then, I will stand as a witness before God that Will is a man who is alive in his sins. God knows what Will has directed at me; God knows Will's attacks were and are unprovoked. No amount of erasing can change what God knows. God knows what I will say at the Judgment Bar. Will cannot hide behind the Atonement he refuses to use. God's will will not be thwarted and then... when it's too late... Will will remember... and he will tremble.

The church can withstand the vile crudeness and crass stupidity of one Will Schryver. Me? I am patient; I will wait. God knows; that's all I care about.


I know, Harmony and for the record, the way you've been treated is one of the primary reasons I've been so upset. I have never found such treatment of you funny. It bother me beyond words. It is wrong and unacceptable.

I've known you online now for I don't know, five six years and for what it's worth, and I mean this sincerely, I love you. Thanks for being my friend.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:21 pm 
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Enuma Elish wrote:
I know, Harmony and for the record, the way you've been treated is one of the primary reasons I've been so upset. I have never found such treatment of you funny. It bother me beyond words. It is wrong and unacceptable.

I've known you online now for I don't know, five six years and for what it's worth, and I mean this sincerely, I love you. Thanks for being my friend.


My two cents: Will's wit comes across to a lot of people as crude and sophomoric. Will's passion likewise comes across as contempt, anger, and disdain. In the same way, I understand that often my posts come across as insincere and underhanded. At least that's how Will, Nomad, bcspace, and a few others view me.

I suspect that how Will is perceived bothers and mystifies him as much as how I am perceived saddens me. I know Will enough to believe he is a good man with good intentions (though I do not understand why he wants us wretched believers out of the church). I just don't think he's good at understanding boundaries.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:31 pm 
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To be frank, Will's own words demonize him. All we have to do is quote them.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:39 pm 
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beastie wrote:
To be frank, Will's own words demonize him. All we have to do is quote them.


That's just it, beastie. I never understood Will until he said once that he was using clever wordplay like Oscar Wilde. I was flabbergasted, but I think that's how he sees his wit; that anyone might find it ugly or offensive means that they don't have a sense of humor or understand skillful repartee.

Will is obviously no Oscar Wilde, but he aims high.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:01 pm 
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Enuma Elish wrote:
I've got enough self-esteem that I'm going to open myself up and publicly acknowledge that reading some of the comments directed towards Will Schryver in this forum caused me to literally shed a tear.

I feel bad that my public comments have led to more public demonization of Will Schryver. I do not agree with his rhetoric, nor the way he labels non-traditional believers, and Will has wounded me personally on more than one occasion. But Will Schryver is not an evil person. He is deeply committed to his religious beliefs and holds a strong desire to defend Mormonism publicly. I admire him for those qualities.

As far as I recall, Will has never attacked me personally. But I do have a dog in this fight in that he viciously attacks my friends. I tend to agree with you about what drives him, but I don't find these admirable qualities.

It makes me think about the term “Christ-like.” “Christ-like” has become a euphemism for being a good Mormon. And clearly, the single-most important quality of being a good Mormon is, practically by definition, being loyal to the institution of the Mormon Church. Since being deeply committed to his religious commitments and having a strong desire to defend Mormonism publically are signs of intense loyalty to the Church, one might say that Will is being Christ-like in this loyalty.

But is being fiercely loyal to the institution of the Mormon church really the same thing as being like Jesus? Jesus hung out with sinners, and he made them feel loved. He didn’t cast the first stone. He preached forgiveness, and doing good to those who use you and persecute you. Love one another. He literally commanded us to love our enemies.

While it’s true that Jesus on rare occasions got angry, it wasn’t with those on the margins of his religion—it was with the people with church authority, the self-righteous, and those that had business-contracts with the officers of the Church. Who are the Pharisees, Sadducees, and money-changers of the modern church? Certainly not Harmony, Runtu, and Consiglieri.

When Will’s fierce loyalty to his religion causes him to act in a way that is the opposite of the central tenets of Christianity, one can forgive him for holding values that are so anti-Christ-like, but I don’t think one should admire him for that.

For a truly Christ-like attitude, consider the words of Walt Whitman:

I hear it was charged against me that I sought to destroy institutions;
But really I am neither for nor against institutions;
(What indeed have I in common with them?—Or what with the destruction of them?)
Only I will establish in the Mannahatta, and in every city of These States, inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, and above every keel, little or large, that dents the water,
Without edifices, or rules, or trustees, or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:06 pm 
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Enuma Elish wrote:
I've got enough self-esteem that I'm going to open myself up ...

/snip remainder/

An interesting, if not entirely surprising, gambit.
.
.
.
Runtu wrote:
I suspect that how Will is perceived bothers and mystifies him ...

I can assure you that your suspicions are unfounded--at least in the context you hold them. I have both learned to expect and understand why I offend a certain class of people. If it truly bothered me, I would forthwith cease to do those things that offend them.

Those who have come to mistakenly believe that these message boards constitute a representative sample of all people undoubtedly also conclude that I offend most people. That would be an unwarranted conclusion.

Those who have come to mistakenly believe that these message boards constitute a representative sample of all people undoubtedly also conclude that those who are praised here are praised everywhere. That would also be an unwarranted conclusion.

While it is undeniably true that these message boards reveal much about some people, they reveal very little about most people, and therefore the broad conclusions frequently championed here have but limited application.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:21 pm 
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Will Schryver wrote:
An interesting, if not entirely surprising, gambit.


Indeed, I love you Will, and I'm sorry for my part in contributing to this public foray. I sincerely wish you nothing but happiness and success.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:38 pm 
God
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Will Schryver wrote:
I can assure you that your suspicions are unfounded--at least in the context you hold them. I have both learned to expect and understand why I offend a certain class of people. If it truly bothered me, I would forthwith cease to do those things that offend them.

Those who have come to mistakenly believe that these message boards constitute a representative sample of all people undoubtedly also conclude that I offend most people. That would be an unwarranted conclusion.

Those who have come to mistakenly believe that these message boards constitute a representative sample of all people undoubtedly also conclude that those who are praised here are praised everywhere. That would also be an unwarranted conclusion.

While it is undeniably true that these message boards reveal much about some people, they reveal very little about most people, and therefore the broad conclusions frequently championed here have but limited application.


Well, forgive me for trying to understand where you are coming from. I know what you think this board reveals about me, and that's fine. I will have to take your word for it that I do not understand you.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:44 pm 
God

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Will Schryver wrote:
Runtu wrote:
I suspect that how Will is perceived bothers and mystifies him ...

I can assure you that your suspicions are unfounded--at least in the context you hold them. I have both learned to expect and understand why I offend a certain class of people. If it truly bothered me, I would forthwith cease to do those things that offend them.


No doubt it's Runtu's fault that he's such a nice guy.

Quote:
Those who have come to mistakenly believe that these message boards constitute a representative sample of all people undoubtedly also conclude that I offend most people. That would be an unwarranted conclusion.


No one said this.

Quote:
Those who have come to mistakenly believe that these message boards constitute a representative sample of all people undoubtedly also conclude that those who are praised here are praised everywhere. That would also be an unwarranted conclusion.


And no one said this.

Quote:
While it is undeniably true that these message boards reveal much about some people, they reveal very little about most people, and therefore the broad conclusions frequently championed here have but limited application.


And no one said anything to the contrary.

You stand condemned by your own words, Will. God knows what you wrote; God is the one you need to worry about offending. Procrastinate not the day of your repentence. Take that first step towards the Atonement... acknowledge your sin (I know you won't, so I'm patience personified.)

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:44 pm 
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The trouble with the shrill screamer is that what he posts is not posturing nor an act. He truly is a mormon ass who threatens people with bodily harm.

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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:55 pm 
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David

I never have said Will is evil. All I have said is the way he treats persons he disagrees with, critic, NOMer such as myself and so on is certainly not in keeping with what I perceive the LDS gospel to teach nor with what I hear the LDS leaders saying about this. Even when I was an apologist I rarely if ever would treat those I disagreed with with such venom and spite. I know at times my anger got away with me but typically I would apologize when it did. Maybe my sympathy for the plight I found many honest and good Ex LDS people in was my undoing and maybe Will needs to treat such badly to insulate himself. But to curse some one, use vulgarities and so on...well I would think apologists would want to reign someone who behaves like that in.

Oh and you might want to watch yourself. Sympathy with NOMers or Ex LDS is your first step down a dark road....:-)


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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:57 pm 
God

Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:35 pm
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Location: Shady Acres Status: MODERATOR
Jason Bourne wrote:
Oh and you might want to watch yourself. Sympathy with NOMers or Ex LDS is your first step down a dark road....:-)


I'm willing to share my flashlight!

_________________
(Nevo, Jan 23) And the Melchizedek Priesthood may not have been restored until the summer of 1830, several months after the organization of the Church.


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 Post subject: Re: My Defense of Will Schryver
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:00 pm 
2nd Counselor
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:12 am
Posts: 438
Enuma Elish wrote:
Will Schryver wrote:
An interesting, if not entirely surprising, gambit.


Indeed, I love you Will, and I'm sorry for my part in contributing to this public foray. I sincerely wish you nothing but happiness and success.

If there is one thing I have learned in this life--often by way of personal experience--it's that sincerity can be bought, but it cannot be sold.

_________________
I thought myself the wiser to have viewed the evidence left of such a great demise. I followed every step. But the only thing I ever learned before the journey's end was there was nothing there to learn, only something to forget.


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