In 2007 and 2008, I gave a few presentations in the virtual world of Second Life. Yeah, Generation Z, virtual worlds have been around a long time. The third presentation was on "Mormonism: A Religion of the Future" at the Conference on the Future of Religions and Religions of the Future, held 4 June 2008 on the island of Extropia. After the conference, my friend Giulio Prisco provided a good write-up. But I've not previously published my transcript from that conference. So why not publish it 10 years later? Enjoy.
[10:30] Delia Lake: Cannon is a founding member, director and president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. He has thirteen years of professional experience in information technology, working primarily for companies in the systems management industry, such as Symantec and Novell.
[10:30] Delia Lake: He holds a masters degree in business administration and a bachelors degree in philosophy from Brigham Young University. Lincoln served a mission to France for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is married with Dorothée Vankrieckenge, a French national, and is father to three bilingual children.
[10:31] Ahman Hax: Good morning, everyone. My first life name is Lincoln Cannon, and I’m president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. I’m also a proud member of the World Transhumanist Association, as are all voting members of the Mormon Transhumanist Association.
[10:32] Ahman Hax: Before proceeding with my presentation, I’d like to thank Sophrosyne for inviting me to participate in this conference. I’d also like to thank Giulio (now Eschatoon Magic) for kindly recommending my participation to Sophrosyne. I feel honored to share your time with so many interesting presenters, whose experience and views I admire and value.
[10:32] Ahman Hax: My presentation, today, is on Mormonism as a religion of the future. I’ll begin by providing, briefly, some background information on Mormon origins and denominations.
[10:32] Ahman Hax: Subsequently, I’ll reference currents in Mormon demographics, culture and theology to explain why we should expect Mormonism to thrive amidst accelerating technological change in coming decades. Finally, to illustrate what the future of Mormonism may look like, I’ll provide a profile of Mormon Transhumanists.
[10:33] Digiseq Miles: hi gino
[10:33] Ahman Hax: Mormonism originates with early nineteenth-century American, Joseph Smith. Joseph, as he liked to be called, claimed to communicate with God through visions and other experiences, beginning in his adolescence and continuing throughout his life.
[10:33] Ahman Hax: In 1830, Joseph published the Book of Mormon, which tells of interactions between God and ancient inhabitants of the American continent, including a visit from the resurrected Jesus Christ. Soon after publishing the book, Joseph founded the Church of Christ as a restoration of the original Christian church. Following years of violent persecution, Joseph was killed by a mob in 1844, and the already-strained church fractured.
[10:34] Ahman Hax: In time, Brigham Young emerged as the recognized leader of the majority of Mormons, who he led across the plains and mountains of the American west to settle in the valleys of what has become the State of Utah. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was incorporated in 1851, and now consists of over 13 million members around the world.
[10:34] Ahman Hax: Simultaneously, most Mormons that did not follow Brigham eventually coalesced around the leadership of Joseph Smith III, the oldest surviving son of Joseph Smith. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established in 1860, changed its name in 2001 to Community of Christ, and today consists of over 200,000 members worldwide.
[10:34] Ahman Hax: In addition to these major Mormon denominations, there are numerous small denominations, such as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which continues to practice polygamy, unlike most other Mormon denominations.
[10:35] Ahman Hax: Mormons may number as high as fourteen million worldwide and six million in the United States, making them approximately as numerous as Jews, both worldwide and in the United States. In the United States, only Catholics and Protestants outnumber Mormons.
[10:35] Ahman Hax: While overall birth rates in developed nations continue to drop, Mormons in those nations continue to reproduce above replacement levels. For example, 21% of adult Mormons in the United States currently have three or more children in the home – more than any other faith tradition in the United States.
[10:35] Ahman Hax: Of those children, 70% are likely to identify as Mormons into adulthood, compared to 80% of Hindu children at the high end and 37% of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the low end. As a consequence of their fecundity, Mormons have a relatively youthful age distribution, with 66% of adults below age fifty, surpassed in the United States only by Hindus, Muslims and the religiously unaffiliated.
[10:36] Ahman Hax: Although the number of Mormons worldwide continues to rise, the number of Mormons in developed nations is slightly declining, perhaps reflecting the broader trend of overall declining religious affiliation in these nations. For example, in the United States, 1.8% of the adult population identified as Mormons in childhood, whereas now 1.7% identify as Mormons.
[10:36] Ahman Hax: Protestantism has declined similarly, with a notable trend shift in the mid 1990s away from a stable to a decreasing percentage of the population of the United States; and only a high rate of immigration has prevented the number of Catholics in the United States from declining during this period of time.
[10:36] Ahman Hax: However, Mormonism’s average annual rate of growth, at 2.97% since 1995, remains above sustained historical lows – from 1918 to 1945, the number of Mormons grew at an average annual rate of 2.53%. The religion will most likely continue to grow steadily and diversify geographically, and its adherents will probably maintain their fecundity and relatively youthful age distribution.
[10:37] Ahman Hax: Also, as I will explain in more detail, Mormon culture and theology contain within them the seeds from which renewed growth in developed nations may arise, if recognized and nourished. The same cultural changes that are challenging more traditional religious views have produced an environment amenable to resurgence of unique aspects of Mormon culture and theology.
[10:37] Ahman Hax: The Book of Mormon contains an intriguing story about a man named Lehi, who in ancient times sought guidance from God while journeying in the desert with his family to find a new home. One morning, upon opening the door of his tent, he discovered on the ground a fine brass ball of “curious workmanship”.
[10:37] Ahman Hax: On inspecting the ball, Lehi saw that it contained two spindles, and soon learned that one of the spindles would move to guide him through the more fertile parts of the desert. From time to time, messages also appeared on the ball, providing additional assistance during the journey.
[10:38] Ahman Hax: When Lehi and his family arrived at the sea, his son, Nephi, climbed a nearby mountain to seek further guidance from God. He was inspired to make tools and build an unusual ship, the likes of which he had never before seen. When completed, the ship served to carry them across the sea to their new home.
[10:38] Ahman Hax: For me, this story epitomizes the importance of education and technology in the Mormon worldview. Mormons do expect inspiration from God, but we do not expect God to do what we can do for ourselves. We can learn and we can build, and so we do.
[10:38] Ahman Hax: Mormonism has long emphasized education, both religious and secular. Joseph Smith taught early Mormons that “the glory of God is intelligence”, which later became the motto of Brigham Young University (BYU). Founded by Brigham Young in 1875, BYU now has campuses in Utah, Hawaii, Idaho and Israel, servicing upwards of 50,000 students.
[10:38] Ahman Hax: The Wall Street Journal ranks BYU #1 among regional graduate business schools, and US News ranks BYU #3 among undergraduate accounting programs. In the United States, BYU is the #1 producer of dental school-bound students, the #6 producer of law school-bound students, a top 10 producer of medical school-bound students, and the #10 producer of graduates who go on to earn PhDs.
[10:39] Ahman Hax: The LDS Church also operates a “Perpetual Education Fund” that provides student loans to members of the Church, generally in less-developed countries. Students are expected to repay the loans according to their abilities. Since its initiation in 2001, the fund has provided loans to 27,000 students in 39 countries.
[10:39] Ahman Hax: Some may wonder whether the Mormon emphasis on education is counter-productive to activity and retention in the LDS Church. As it turns out, there is a strong positive correlation between years of formal education and active participation among members of the LDS Church. Mormons also tend to be more highly educated than average among persons in their respective nations.
[10:39] Ahman Hax: For example, in the United States where 14% of the general population has less than a high school education, only 9% of Mormons have less than a high school education; and where 50% of the general population has some college education or more, 61% of Mormons have some college education or more.
[10:39] Ahman Hax: Mormons are avid technological innovators and adopters. My own father, Layne Cannon, was one of the inventors of the word processor.
[10:40] Ahman Hax: Mormons invented the television, hearing aids, the transistor radio, video games, CD/DVD technology, the electric guitar, department stores, repeating rifles and automatic shotguns, the artificial heart and various bionic body parts, synthetic diamonds, and (for you full-body tanners) the photopermeable swimsuit. The creator of Battlestar Galactica, Glen Larson, and the author of Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card, are both Mormon.
[10:40] Ahman Hax: You’ll find Mormons all over the Internet. The Mormon blogging community, known as the Bloggernacle, consists of thousands of sites, of which one of the most popular is run by a group of women that call themselves the “Feminist Mormon Housewives”.
[10:40] Ahman Hax: Mormons in Second Life are running a thriving community, consisting of at least 600 members and six islands with residences, gardens, chapels, temples, shopping centers and recreation areas. The Mormon Transhumanist Association recently established a conference center in the dome of a space station orbiting above the “Inspired Technologies” office tower on the main Mormon island of “Adam ondi Ahman”.
[10:41] Ahman Hax: In addition, the LDS Church has a world-class online presence at lds.org and mormon.org. Behind that, the Church leverages technology all throughout its operations. For several decades, the Church has outfitted its chapels with satellite dishes, enabling members to participate in Church-wide conferences. Computers can be found throughout chapels and temples.
[10:41] Ahman Hax: The Church even uses technology as an enabler for some of its rituals. Massive genealogical databases store information regarding members’ ancestors, for whom they perform religious ordinances by proxy. Consequently, the LDS Church is the largest provider of genealogical information on the Internet at familysearch.org.
[10:41] Ahman Hax: Mormons also tend to maintain moderate stances in bioethics. For example, while the LDS Church explicitly takes no position on stem cell research, one of the political champions for stem cell research in the United States has been the Utah senator, Orrin Hatch, who is a Mormon.
[10:41] Ahman Hax: The LDS Church’s position on abortion is somewhat unusual for a Christian church in the United States, in that it opposes abortion for personal or social convenience, but it explicitly recognizes the practical benefit of abortion in some cases and so implicitly supports its legality.
[10:42] Ahman Hax: The LDS Church explicitly takes no position on capital punishment, endorses reasonable means for extending human life, and opposes euthanasia except as the result of removing artificial life support. These and other LDS Church public policy statements can be viewed at newsroom.lds.org.
[10:42] Ahman Hax: Mormon metaphysics (a description of the basis of reality) does not rely on the immaterial or supernatural. Spirit is fine matter or light. Miracles do not contravene law. God organized the world from matter according to law.
[10:43] Ahman Hax: Mormon metaphysics is fundamentally consistent with that of modern science. Like Mormons, although explicitly in deference to the scientific method, scientists generally reject or ignore appeals to the immaterial or supernatural.
[10:43] Ahman Hax: Even so, some computer scientists share Mormons’ faith in a material spirit, although described in different terms as experimentation on the hypothesis of substrate independent consciousness, which they recognize as a basis for the feasibility of futures including mind uploading and computed worlds.
[10:43] Free Radar HUD v1.1 by Crystal Gadgets
[10:43] Ahman Hax: Mormon theodicy (an explanation for the mutual existence of God and evil) separates from theologies that postulate a monolithic God of absolute omnipotence. While God is powerful, the possible is limited. God did not create matter or law, but emerged within and sought to reorganize them to exalt other intelligences to godhood.
[10:43] Ahman Hax: Evil is not absolute, but arises from conflict between wills, desires and laws. To overcome evil, God calls us to be saviors, of whom Jesus Christ is the example, reconciling in atonement our wills, desires and laws. Similarly, evolutionary science holds that our pain and misery reflect limited fitness in relation to our environment, and may be overcome in time through adaptation.
[10:44] Ahman Hax: Moreover, an increasingly common evolutionary view, that technological adaptation eventually supersedes biological adaptation, corresponds with the Mormon view that each of us, including God, first passively emerges within an environment before actively working to reorganize it.
[10:44] Ahman Hax: Mormon eschatology (a vision of the future) begins by identifying our time as one of wonderful progress and extraordinary challenges, and proceeds rapidly to a millennial paradise and beyond to yet greater challenges.
[10:44] Ahman Hax: Through ordinances, mortals will be transfigured and the dead resurrected to physical immortal bodies, differing among themselves as do the stars. Immortals inhabit worlds without end of diverse kinds and degrees, and some of their inhabitants become gods, with power to organize new worlds.
[10:44] Ahman Hax: Mormon eschatology clearly parallels a common a view of the future espoused by futurists examining trends in technological change. Both expect our acquisition of knowledge and power to continue accelerating, and that a time of dramatic change is imminent, with unprecedented risks, as well as opportunities for material abundance and indefinite life extension leading to transformative change.
[10:45] Ahman Hax: Some futurists argue that if we ever use advanced computing power to simulate a significant number of worlds indistinguishable from our own, we are almost certainly already living in a computed world, as are the neohumans computing our world, and so on in possibly infinite regression. Anyone trusting in the feasibility of such computing is, in different words, sharing the Mormon faith in eventual godhood in worlds without end.
[10:45] Ahman Hax: Mormon soteriology (a description of salvation) focuses on happiness, individual and communal, spiritual and physical, attained through both grace and works, according to our wills, desires and laws.
[10:45] Ahman Hax: The grace of God provides opportunity, without which we would be less than dust. In this context of grace, we are saved through faith, not passively, but rather through action and power. Faith in Christ manifests as will to truth and friendship in eternal reconciliation with each other, extending love not only to the living, but also to persons past and future.
[10:45] Ahman Hax: In worlds without end, all enjoy that which they are willing to discover and create, with full happiness in eternal progression of physical and spiritual exaltation. Such pursuits will be increasingly facilitated by our emerging technological capacity for shaping better minds and bodies through mental and physical enhancement.
[10:46] Ahman Hax: Although surprising to many who are unacquainted with one or both, Mormonism and Transhumanism parallel and complement each other quite satisfactorily. I’ve mentioned some of the reasons for this, and there are many others that time will not permit me to share now.
[10:46] Ahman Hax: Suffice it to say that, in my estimation, Mormonism was a religious Transhumanism a century before the term “Transhumanism” was used by Julian Huxley, and the ideological origins of Transhumanism are far more ancient than and not entirely so secular as Enlightenment philosophy.
[10:47] Ahman Hax: The Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) today consists of 74 members. Approximately 80% live in the United States, and half of those (or approximately 40% of the total) live in the state of Utah. There are also members living in Australia, Germany, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan.
[10:47] Ahman Hax: Most of us are comfortable identifying as “Mormons”, “Transhumanists”, “Mormon Transhumanists” or even “Transfigurists”, at least some of the time. Rather unique among Transhumanist groups, we are generally theists and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[10:47] Ahman Hax: We also have a few members with other or no religious affiliations, and some that are agnostic and atheist – for some of whom god doesn’t exist . . . yet! Politically, we are diverse, with members identifying across the political spectrum, including a healthy conservative representation, which is also rather unique among Transhumanist groups.
[10:48] Ahman Hax: In 2007, the World Transhumanist Association (WTA) surveyed its members for their responses to ten “Are You a Transhumanist?” questions. Recently, we surveyed MTA members for their responses to the same questions. 51 members responded.
[10:48] Ahman Hax: 96% think people have a right to use technology to extend their mental and physical (including reproductive) capacities and to improve their control over their own lives. 89% do not think human genetic engineering is wrong because it is "playing God". 98% think that by being generally open and embracing of new technology we have a better chance of turning it to our advantage than if we try to ban or prohibit it.
[10:48] Ahman Hax: 87% think human progress will result from human accomplishment in addition to (or rather than) divine intervention, grace, or redemption. 91% think it would be a good thing if people could become many times more intelligent than they currently are. 70% think it would be a good thing if people could live (in good health) for hundreds of years or longer. 63% think women should have the right to terminate their pregnancies.
[10:49] Ahman Hax: 78% claim an ethical code that advocates the wellbeing of all sentient beings, whether in artificial intellects, humans, neohumans, or non-human animals. 61% would consider having their minds uploaded to computers if it was the only way they could continue as a conscious person. 57% think parents should be able to have children through cloning once the technology is safe.
[10:49] Ahman Hax: A couple of the results from the MTA survey are higher than the results from the WTA survey, but most are lower, reflecting both differences in ideological emphasis and substantial indecision. In most cases, twice as many MTA members are undecided than are in disagreement regarding the “Are You a Transhumanist?” questions from the WTA.
[10:50] Ahman Hax: Reflecting Mormon compatibility with Transhumanism, the Mormon Transhumanist Association affirms, in its own words, the Transhumanist Declaration:
[10:50] Ahman Hax: 1) We seek the spiritual and physical exaltation of individuals and their anatomies, as well as communities and their environments, according to their wills, desires and laws, to the extent they are not oppressive.
[10:51] Ahman Hax: 2) We believe that scientific knowledge and technological power are among the means ordained of God to enable such exaltation, including realization of diverse prophetic visions of transfiguration, immortality, resurrection, renewal of this world, and the discovery and creation of worlds without end.
[10:51] Ahman Hax: 3) We feel a duty to use science and technology according to wisdom and inspiration, to identify and prepare for risks and responsibilities associated with future advances, and to persuade others to do likewise.
[10:51] Ahman Hax: I’m a Transhumanist, today, principally because my Mormon faith led me to it, and continues to provide deeply moving reasons to engage actively in the Transhumanist endeavor.
[10:51] Ahman Hax: Before encountering Transhumanism, my associates and I were already persuaded that our faith mandated the application of technology to the work of human exaltation, and we nearly organized an advocacy group to be named, “Foundation for Immortality and Resurrection Science and Technology”.
[10:52] Ahman Hax: Fortunately, however, we discovered Transhumanism at the right time, and chose to align ourselves accordingly. We founded the Mormon Transhumanist Association on 3 March 2006 and affiliated with the World Transhumanist Association on 6 July 2006.
[10:52] Ahman Hax: Some have criticized Transhumanism as a quasi-religious cult, to which many Transhumanists have responded with stern denial – too stern, and revealing. I don’t share the denial. In the Mormon tradition, we seek to recognize God in all that is good, by definition – not just hypothetically. I don’t hesitate to say that I see God at work in Transhumanism.
[10:52] Ahman Hax: Indeed, if Transhumanism substantially affects the world for the better, it will do so only subsequent to our trust in the power of its meme and our faith in the strength of its spirit. The risks before us are too great and the opportunities too wonderful to confront with anything less than the best we can muster, both sharply rational and sublimely emotional.
[10:53] Ahman Hax: In the words of Pragmatist philosopher William James: “The capacity of the strenuous mood lies so deep down among our natural human possibilities that even if there were no metaphysical or traditional grounds for believing in a God, men would postulate one simply as a pretext for living hard, and getting out of the game of existence its keenest possibilities of zest.
[10:53] Ahman Hax: “Our attitude towards concrete evils is entirely different in a world where we believe there are none but finite demanders, from what it is in one where we joyously face tragedy for an infinite demanders' sake.
[10:53] Ahman Hax: “Every sort of energy and endurance, of courage and capacity for handling life's evils, is set free in those who have religious faith. For this reason the strenuous type of character will on the battle-field of human history always outwear the easy-going type, and religion will drive irreligion to the wall.”
[10:53] Ahman Hax: The future needs religion, and Mormonism is a religion of the future. Its relatively young and reproductive demographics, high cultural retention, emphasis on education, theological compatibility with science, moderate stances in bioethics, and persistent adoption of new technologies will be drivers.
[10:54] Ahman Hax: I expect Mormonism to thrive amidst accelerating technological change in coming decades, and consider Mormon Transhumanism to be a window through which to look at that future. Thank you for your time and interest. Are there any questions?
[10:54] Muslima Questi: Thanks Ahman :)
[10:54] Sophrosyne Stenvaag: Thank you, Ahman!
[10:55] Rupert Uriza: So interesting!
[10:55] Ahman Hax: you're welcome, of course; thank you for the invitation
[10:55] Eureka Dejavu: thanks for taking the time to be here
[10:55] Grayson Redstar: Ahman - this is a bit far afield, but something I've been wanting to ask for a while -
[10:55] Ahman Hax: shoot
[10:56] Grayson Redstar: The Mormons have a record of avidly manipulating the environment - you've been terraformers of the Southwest -
[10:56] Ahman Hax: indeed
[10:56] Grayson Redstar: has there been any Mormon work in terraforming studies applied to other environments?
[10:56] Ahman Hax: i know some Mormons who work for nasa that have investigated such ideas
[10:56] Ahman Hax: i don't know much of the details
[10:57] Maggie Haas: can everyone afford to persue that level or personal enlightenment it all sounds great but education at a basic level is expensive and many do not qualify for loans how call all your people reach that level?
[10:57] Grayson Redstar: thanks though - I''ll track down references!
[10:57] Ahman Hax: certainly, however, there is theological place in mormonism for terraforming
[10:57] Ahman Hax: maggie, we do our best to help educate each other
[10:57] Muslima Questi: I have a question - Mormons value education and science greatly, do u think the religions that do so have a better chance in surviving in the future than others?
[10:57] Ahman Hax: certainly it's a challenge
[10:58] Ahman Hax: but we are a rather integrated and giving community, generally speaking
[10:58] Maggie Haas: perhaps
[10:58] Ahman Hax: i do think that religions that value science and education have a better chance of surviving and even thriving
[10:58] Maggie Haas: if they mirror the world too much people may think why bother im already living that life
[10:59] Ahman Hax: mormonism certainly is about improving this life
[10:59] Ahman Hax: brigham young, whom i mentioned as one of the early mormon leaders, taught that heaven is what we make it and we'll attain to no other than that which we work to create
[11:00] Ahman Hax: and that if we don't do such work, our professions of religion will amount to nothing
[11:00] Maggie Haas: do you offer to help anyone all humans who are not mormons reach that level of education?
[11:00] Ahman Hax: mormons are nearly universalist in their perspective on salvation
[11:00] Ahman Hax: all should attain to that which they desire and work to create
[11:01] Ahman Hax: only those who desire no salvation are excepted -- but our moral duty is to assume there are none such
[11:01] Gino Yuya: They have a fun polynesian cultural center in Hawaii...
[11:01] Ahman Hax: so, yes, we should be seeking to offer assistance beyond the borders of our religion
[11:01] Khannea Suntzu: Stop dragging cargo cults into it
[11:01] Ahman Hax: and we do -- the lds church is a major humanitarian contributor
[11:03] Soren Ferlinghetti: ahman, in your opinion, are there other religious groups that have a strong trend toward transhumanism like mormonism has in your interpretation?
[11:03] Ahman Hax: not as strong, in my observation
[11:03] Soren Ferlinghetti: other groups that could forge an equally effective bond between the two?
[11:03] Ahman Hax: there are unique aspects of mormonism that resonate strongly with transhumanism
[11:04] Ahman Hax: however, that doesn't mean i've observed them all
[11:04] Maggie Haas: so people would have to join you or allow you to religiously instruct them in order to get educated in one of your centers?
[11:04] Ahman Hax: certainly mormonism has more in common with transhumanism than other large groups within christianity
[11:04] Interviewer Wilber: What about Scientology? They don't cooperte with anybody, but they do seek to transcend current human limits through what they regard as religious technology.
[11:05] Ahman Hax: maggie, no; there are many non-mormons at byu, for example
[11:05] Khannea Suntzu: Inshazathoth
[11:05] Grayson Redstar: and more Mormons at Arizona State than at BYU! :)
[11:06] Ahman Hax: from my extent of familiarity with scientology and islam, neither has a theology so close to transhumanist perspectives related to neohumans
[11:06] Khannea Suntzu: Yah they call them houri I hear
[11:07] Ahman Hax: mormons explicitly believe that we should become like god, in knowledge, power and benevolence
[11:07] Ahman Hax: that we may create worlds without end
[11:07] Interviewer Wilber: Transhumanists tend to be liberatarian, whereas Scientology is self-addmittedly authoritarian.
[11:07] Ahman Hax: and that god emerged naturally to such a station before us
[11:07] Ahman Hax: some mormons are quite authoritarian, too
[11:07] Ahman Hax: however, many are not
[11:08] Interviewer Wilber: But Scientology has no god - except in the hope that your yourself can become god, which sounds like many Transhumanists.
[11:08] Ahman Hax: the political perspectives of mormon transhumanists are about 25% libertarian
[11:08] Ahman Hax: it is highly improbable that we will become gods and create many worlds unless we are already living in a world created by a god
[11:09] Maggie Haas: as opposed to christians always saying its impossible to know what god knows even after adam and eve ate from the tree of knowledge as the story goes...
[11:09] Gino Yuya: I thought it was all about inner experience....
[11:10] Ahman Hax: inner experience is important to the mormon religious view
[11:10] Moz Barthelmess: whats opposed to that, maggie? sorry
[11:10] Ahman Hax: we advocate meditation and prayer in pursuit of wisdom and insight, inspiration on spiritual matters
[11:10] Ahman Hax: we also claim that the insight can extend beyond spiritual matters
[11:11] Ahman Hax: as in the ancient jewish tradition, we posit the existenceof prophets
[11:11] Ahman Hax: current and fresh with the word of god
[11:12] Ahman Hax: no end of revelation
[11:12] Maggie Haas: moz the devine level where they aspire to take education
[11:12] GNE Greene: So, there will be more prophets in future?
[11:12] Sophrosyne Stenvaag: Three more minutes for discussion with Ahman!
[11:13] Ahman Hax: greene, we believe we are all called to be prophets
[11:13] Ahman Hax: that prophets live now
[11:13] dandellion Kimban: is the prophet "god-given" or one can achieve that state?
[11:13] Ahman Hax: it is a relation with god
[11:13] Ahman Hax: grace and works
[11:13] Ahman Hax: most mormons also believe some prophets are called to unique positions of authority
[11:14] Sophrosyne Stenvaag: Thank you, Ahman!
[11:14] Ahman Hax: thank you
[11:14] Sophrosyne Stenvaag: Back to Delia to introduce our next presenter -
[11:15] Delia Lake: Thank you very much, Lincoln. This morning is proving to be a most stimulating discussion. Our fourth distinguished speaker today is Robert Geraci.