Did Ed Snowden do the right thing?

Nicholas Leippe nick at leippe.com
Mon Jun 10 22:19:25 MDT 2013

On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 9:48 PM, Sasha Pachev <sasha at asksasha.com> wrote:

> So, anti-depressants among Latter-Day Saints. One problem I frequently
> observe among the members is trying to live the routine without
> understanding the purpose. Usually there is an element of trying to somehow
> circumvent the purpose of the routine - something you would naturally
> expect when somebody follows his understanding of the instructions when he
> fails to understand the principles behind them. This naturally leads to
> frustration, overwork, and eventually depression.


> Happiness. The Book of Mormon contains a recipe to happiness. It is there,
> I found it.  You can find it as well - do not get frustrated by the amount
> of work it takes and give up early. Many people fail to learn how to
> program for the same reason.
So is your answer that it's their own fault for being depressed, because
they are trying too hard to do what they are told, because they lack some
understanding? If the prescribed recipe for happiness is perfect obedience,
and you coach "don't get frustrated by the amount of work it takes and give
up"--that's like telling someone who's depressed to simply "cheer up!"...
sounds a lot like the remedy being recommended is actually the cause of

> Money. Nick - have you considered that the cost of building and running
> temples all over the world, or sending thousands of missionaries that
> cannot pay their way on missions, or numerous other similar things could
> cover the discrepancy in your accounting?

Yes, and no, they do not.


If on average, as estimated, they take in $7 billion/year, and have spent
in *total* since 1985 only $1.4 billion on charity relief, or $52
million/year, that's less than 1% spending on charity. That equates to the
least efficient charity organization on the planet. Good charities can
achieve efficiencies of over 80%, a few even in the high 90%s. I'm not
arguing that the LDS church is primarily a charity, obviously it is
not--the numbers prove that. But with it's proclaimed "lay clergy" (not
entirely true--but a drop in the bucket--at least we hope), you'd hope a
lot more of that $7 billion/year could wind up back in the communities from
whence it originated.

> For me to believe that Joseph Smith was smarter than Marx and Lenin is
> harder than to believe that he learned all this from heavenly beings.
> Believing the latter is facilitated by the many specific prayers that have
> been answered either exactly how I asked or with something much better than
> what I could have thought, and many communications of the Holy Ghost in
> which I was directed to the right place at the right time with immaculate
> precision. I know there are people that struggle to get what I have gotten.
> Thus it is natural for me to assume that I stand somewhere in the middle
> and thus to conclude, that there is the other end of the spectrum - people
> that actually see heavenly beings. They do not talk about it much because
> those experienced are sacred, but we've heard enough to be able to go on
> faith from then on.

My opinion of JS is from well documented historical facts--from the
church's own archives--which are sufficient to demonstrate to any
reasonable, logical mind that he made a lot of stuff up and behaved himself
very appallingly even to current LDS standards. But you believe as you like
of course--it's your choice and I stand by your right to do so.

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