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Subject: Faith, testimony, etymology and providence rss

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Wray Cason
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Yesterday in church, we discussed the following General Conference address by Robert D. Hales.

Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually

It was an interesting discussion on several levels. Here is my little spin on it that you might or might not find interesting.

"Provident Provider" strikes me as an odd turn of phrase. It initially strikes me as redundant. After pondering it, I think Elder Hales intends to encourage us to think about these words that are easily glossed over.

Our teacher for the hour started off looking at the etymology of the words. It is quite interesting. "Vide" is the Latin root. It means to see or consult(look elsewhere for reference). From that we get a variety of English words including "video", which is vide morphed in the form of "audio". That makes sense but looses much of the essence of the root. "Provide" is also descended from "vide". It means to foresee(see ahead), or more commonly understood, to make preparation for. "Provident" is an English step away from the Latin root and understandably means to provide. "Providence" understandably is the act of being provident and takes on a specifically religious connotation that the other words don't relating to the gifts of God received by man.

Before going further, I want to share a wonderful quip from one gentleman in the class. "Latin is a dead language. As dead as dead can be. First it killed the Romans and now it's killing me". Funny guy. He must have studied Latin.

What really struck me in this little diversion was the idea of seeing ahead. I think our modern understanding of providing neglects the root idea of foresight as a vital part of making preparation. That had never occurred to me. It is so clear though, I wonder how I never picked up on it. That starts my mind racing on many implications of that simple idea, such as what am I looking ahead to? Can I see ahead clearly? Is there anyone who can see ahead more clearly than me? There are many other tangents that occur to me.

Elder Hales talks at some length about some facets of providential living that I would call rather obvious. Live within our means. Save money. Get out of debt. I imagine that anyone would easily see the wisdom of such admonitions. I think that these things take on more meaning when pondered in the light of the idea of seeing ahead. I see that I can do much better than I currently do in seeing ahead and providing physically for my family.

There is another kind of providing that really struck me in the discussion. That is providing for the emotional and spiritual preparation that is dependent on our physical preparation but is ultimately more important than our physical preparation. In this area, I see that I cannot see ahead very clearly at all. In retrospect, I see that when I have sought to be obedient to Gods commands and the promptings of the spirit, I have made very beneficial decisions. When I was not so obedient, my choices were not so beneficial. In light of this discussion, I understand that my ability to foresee what is good for me and my family is severely handicapped. As I look ahead, I can see what I can see but experience has shown that there is much I can't see. Worse than that, I can't even tell what I can't see much of the time. I need the guidance of the Spirit to make the best decisions for myself and my family. That is my testimony.
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Why don't the instructors just stick to the manual and not circumvent the message with a lot of tangential, heady, non-spiritual factoids and feather fanning?

Feh.
 
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Wray Cason
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joebelanger wrote:
Why don't the instructors just stick to the manual and not circumvent the message with a lot of tangential, heady, non-spiritual factoids and feather fanning?

Feh.


That sounds like disapproving familiarity with such meetings. These meetings are best when they stay close to the manual and the spirit. I agree with your sentiment that loose philosophizing around a topic at the expense of the prepared material is tedious and unproductive. The spirit can dictate on a case by case basis however. In this case, I found the etymology detour to be very instructive and in line with Elder Hales' message.

Would you mind explaining what is behind your expressed disapproval?
 
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It wasn't a fifth Sunday yesterday.

Elder Hales talk was off-lesson.
 
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Wray Cason
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joebelanger wrote:
It wasn't a fifth Sunday yesterday.

Elder Hales talk was off-lesson.


In that case I entirely misunderstood your point. This is the established 4th Sunday routine in our ward. We can usually count on heady and tangential, in appropriate ways. However, the factoids are routinely of a spiritual nature and the feather fanning is strictly avoided.
 
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Your ward is off program.
 
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Wray Cason
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joebelanger wrote:
Your ward is off program.

I hope we aren't arguing. This is a pretty minor point.
 
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Wrayman wrote:
"Koine Greek is a dead language. As dead as dead can be. First it killed the Greeks and now it's killing me".


Fixed that for you.

We actually had this little dity in class last week. I guess it doesn't work as well since their are Greeks still around...though I think Icould make an argument for greek killing the Romans, so you know whatever.

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Wrayman wrote:
What really struck me in this little diversion was the idea of seeing ahead.


A timely message when the Congress is debating whether we should take action to control climate change.
 
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Wrayman wrote:
From that we get a variety of English words including "video", which is vide morphed in the form of "audio".
I apologize if I'm reading too heavily into what you wrote, and I'm certainly no Latin scholar, but I am (baaarely) literate in Latin, and video and audio are completely different words, different concepts, and different conjugations. I guess I don't follow your sentence here.
 
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JoshBot wrote:
Wrayman wrote:
From that we get a variety of English words including "video", which is vide morphed in the form of "audio".
I apologize if I'm reading too heavily into what you wrote, and I'm certainly no Latin scholar, but I am (baaarely) literate in Latin, and video and audio are completely different words, different concepts, and different conjugations. I guess I don't follow your sentence here.

I am no Latin scholar either so I am open to correction. I understand that "video" and "audio" are logically linked these days but do not share any etymological root. "vide" became "video" because of it's likeness to "audio".

This is from etymonline.com:

Quote:
audio Look up audio at Dictionary.com
"sound, especially recorded or transmitted," 1934, abstracted from prefix audio- (in audio-frequency, 1919, etc.), from L. audire "hear" (see audience). First used in Eng. as a prefix 1913; audiophile first attested 1951.
video (adj., n., pref.) Look up video at Dictionary.com
1935, as visual equivalent of audio, from L. video "I see," first person singular present indicative of videre "to see" (see vision). Videotape (n.) is from 1953; the verb is 1959, from the noun; videocassette is from 1971; video game is from 1973. Videocassette recorder is from 1971, now usually VCR (also 1971).

 
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Wrayman wrote:
joebelanger wrote:
Your ward is off program.

I hope we aren't arguing. This is a pretty minor point.

Just stating fact.
 
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Wrayman wrote:
I am no Latin scholar either so I am open to correction. I understand that "video" and "audio" are logically linked these days but do not share any etymological root. "vide" became "video" because of it's likeness to "audio".
Sorry, but I don't think this is correct. Video is the second conjugation infinitive, translated as "to see," while audio is the fourth conjugation infinitive, translated as "to hear" (or "to listen"). Vide is the present imperative, which means it is a command. "Vide" might be best translated as "Look!". Those endings (e.g. "-eo" and "-io") are what make Latin Latin, because that is how verbs are modified.
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joebelanger wrote:
Your ward is off program.


That's funny cause my ward also does lessons from the most recent general conference and that's the exact same talk we studied last Sunday. Oh, and it's a church wide policy as clearly stated on lds.org in the link below (see "Fourth Sunday")

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sou...

ZING!

(that felt a little good but now I feel bad about having felt good about it)
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bjlillo wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
ZING!

(that felt a little good but now I feel bad about having felt good about it)


Wow. You Mormans sure are vicious with your attacks. I sure don't want to get on your bad side!


Call me MormAn one more time and you'll be on it .

Joe reminds me of myself a lot, so I go easy on him. cool
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Wrayman wrote:
What really struck me in this little diversion was the idea of seeing ahead.


A timely message when the Congress is debating whether we should take action to control climate change.


The sad, sad truth here is that many Mormons consider the Democratic party to be the party of the devil (so to speak, not literally) and fail to see its many points of alignment with their beliefs (or the many points of misalignment with the Republican party). Don't mean to derail the thread, but you just reminded me of this.

And I'm not talking specifically about Wray, or even about him at all necessarily.
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Wrayman wrote:
Yesterday in church, we discussed the following General Conference address by Robert D. Hales.

Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually

It was an interesting discussion on several levels. Here is my little spin on it that you might or might not find interesting.

"Provident Provider" strikes me as an odd turn of phrase. It initially strikes me as redundant. After pondering it, I think Elder Hales intends to encourage us to think about these words that are easily glossed over.

Our teacher for the hour started off looking at the etymology of the words. It is quite interesting. "Vide" is the Latin root. It means to see or consult(look elsewhere for reference). From that we get a variety of English words including "video", which is vide morphed in the form of "audio". That makes sense but looses much of the essence of the root. "Provide" is also descended from "vide". It means to foresee(see ahead), or more commonly understood, to make preparation for. "Provident" is an English step away from the Latin root and understandably means to provide. "Providence" understandably is the act of being provident and takes on a specifically religious connotation that the other words don't relating to the gifts of God received by man.

Before going further, I want to share a wonderful quip from one gentleman in the class. "Latin is a dead language. As dead as dead can be. First it killed the Romans and now it's killing me". Funny guy. He must have studied Latin.

What really struck me in this little diversion was the idea of seeing ahead. I think our modern understanding of providing neglects the root idea of foresight as a vital part of making preparation. That had never occurred to me. It is so clear though, I wonder how I never picked up on it. That starts my mind racing on many implications of that simple idea, such as what am I looking ahead to? Can I see ahead clearly? Is there anyone who can see ahead more clearly than me? There are many other tangents that occur to me.

Elder Hales talks at some length about some facets of providential living that I would call rather obvious. Live within our means. Save money. Get out of debt. I imagine that anyone would easily see the wisdom of such admonitions. I think that these things take on more meaning when pondered in the light of the idea of seeing ahead. I see that I can do much better than I currently do in seeing ahead and providing physically for my family.

There is another kind of providing that really struck me in the discussion. That is providing for the emotional and spiritual preparation that is dependent on our physical preparation but is ultimately more important than our physical preparation. In this area, I see that I cannot see ahead very clearly at all. In retrospect, I see that when I have sought to be obedient to Gods commands and the promptings of the spirit, I have made very beneficial decisions. When I was not so obedient, my choices were not so beneficial. In light of this discussion, I understand that my ability to foresee what is good for me and my family is severely handicapped. As I look ahead, I can see what I can see but experience has shown that there is much I can't see. Worse than that, I can't even tell what I can't see much of the time. I need the guidance of the Spirit to make the best decisions for myself and my family. That is my testimony.


I think this is a bold experiment, Wray, but I'll bite. The one thing that I found insightful is his mention of the importance of avoiding various addictions when talking about providing for one's family. He specifically mentioned food addiction, which I must say wasn't exactly pleasant for me to hear (truth hurts and all). Addictions can hurt in so many ways, whether it's time or money or health or damaging family relationships, all leading directly back to one's ability to provide for others. Kind of seems like a no-brainer, I guess now that I spell it out like that, but at the time I thought it was a great point.

I also like how he recounted President Monson having lived through the great depression. I think partially as a gentle reminder that there are worse things than losing ones job or house (and countless thousands have survived just that).
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Wray Cason
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JoshBot wrote:
Wrayman wrote:
I am no Latin scholar either so I am open to correction. I understand that "video" and "audio" are logically linked these days but do not share any etymological root. "vide" became "video" because of it's likeness to "audio".
Sorry, but I don't think this is correct. Video is the second conjugation infinitive, translated as "to see," while audio is the fourth conjugation infinitive, translated as "to hear" (or "to listen"). Vide is the present imperative, which means it is a command. "Vide" might be best translated as "Look!". Those endings (e.g. "-eo" and "-io") are what make Latin Latin, because that is how verbs are modified.
I gladly defer to your apparently greater knowledge.
 
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ejmowrer wrote:
joebelanger wrote:
Your ward is off program.


That's funny cause my ward also does lessons from the most recent general conference and that's the exact same talk we studied last Sunday. Oh, and it's a church wide policy as clearly stated on lds.org in the link below (see "Fourth Sunday")

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sou...

ZING!

(that felt a little good but now I feel bad about having felt good about it)


I stand corrected. I've been in Young Mens for so long that I've forgotten how the grown ups roll in the third hour.

That being said, going to the etymology for lesson inspiration makes cliche seem novel. This teacher most likely had his TfOT talks printed out, highlighted and white-knuckle gripped throughout his lesson.
 
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Wray Cason
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joebelanger wrote:

I stand corrected. I've been in Young Mens for so long that I've forgotten how the grown ups roll in the third hour.

That being said, going to the etymology for lesson inspiration makes cliche seem novel. This teacher most likely had his TfOT talks printed out, highlighted and white-knuckle gripped throughout his lesson.

I don't understand the negativity. I am sharing here what might be appropriate for the present company. I am not sharing the whole of the lesson.
 
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Wrayman wrote:
I don't understand the negativity.


I'd say he's got some chip on his shoulder about something. I don't think it has anything to do with what you wrote.
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I wouldn't say that the teacher went off-topic, though it seems like it would have been helpful had she/he followed the line of thought you pursued, as your explanation makes the Latin tangent seem very meaningful.

I didn't grow up in the LDS church, but since joining I have seen how the constant counsel to get an education and enter a career path that will enable you to both provide and serve can be successful. But at the same time, as we enjoy temporal success it is easy to let our egos suggest that we are responsible. From an LDS point of view it is obvious that men like Elder Hales are those that can see further than us.

On a side note Elder Hales' address was my favorite from General Conference. Though debt is often discussed, I think he gave the clearest reasoning I've seen on just why it is so evil. The general authorities are in a perfect position to say "I told you so".
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Wray Cason
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ejmowrer wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Wrayman wrote:
What really struck me in this little diversion was the idea of seeing ahead.


A timely message when the Congress is debating whether we should take action to control climate change.


The sad, sad truth here is that many Mormons consider the Democratic party to be the party of the devil (so to speak, not literally) and fail to see its many points of alignment with their beliefs (or the many points of misalignment with the Republican party). Don't mean to derail the thread, but you just reminded me of this.

And I'm not talking specifically about Wray, or even about him at all necessarily.


Although I am contributing to the derailment of my own thread, this is an interesting point. It is interesting and apropos to note that President Woodruff noted concern for political strife over a century ago.

This is a paragraph from the dedicatory prayer for the Salt Lake City temple delivered in April 1893

http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/saltlake/prayer/

Quote:
O God, the Eternal Father, Thou knowest all things. Thou seest the course Thy people have been led to take in political matters. They have, in many instances, joined the two great national parties. Campaigns have been entered upon, elections have been held, and much party feeling has been engendered. Many things have been said and done which have wounded the feelings of the humble and the meek, and which have been a cause of offense. We beseech Thee, in Thine infinite mercy and goodness, to forgive Thy people wherein they have sinned in this direction. Show them, O Father, their faults and their errors, that they may see the same in the light of Thy Holy Spirit, and repent truly and sincerely, and cultivate that spirit of affection and love which Thou art desirous that all the children of men should entertain one for another, and which Thy Saints, above all others, should cherish. Enable Thy people hereafter to avoid bitterness and strife, and to refrain from words and acts in political discussions that shall create feeling and grieve Thy Holy Spirit.


Mormons are by no means immune to sin of any sort, even hateful politicking. We would all do well to remember that God is neither Republican nor Democrat.
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Wray Cason
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ejmowrer wrote:
I think this is a bold experiment, Wray, but I'll bite. The one thing that I found insightful is his mention of the importance of avoiding various addictions when talking about providing for one's family. He specifically mentioned food addiction, which I must say wasn't exactly pleasant for me to hear (truth hurts and all). Addictions can hurt in so many ways, whether it's time or money or health or damaging family relationships, all leading directly back to one's ability to provide for others. Kind of seems like a no-brainer, I guess now that I spell it out like that, but at the time I thought it was a great point.

I also like how he recounted President Monson having lived through the great depression. I think partially as a gentle reminder that there are worse things than losing ones job or house (and countless thousands have survived just that).


Thanks for biting. Perhaps this is a bit bold for this forum. I hope that there is room in RSP for such.
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