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A Believing Latter-day Saint Community

2012.06.14 22:23 onewatt A Believing Latter-day Saint Community

Welcome to /latterdaysaints, a sub for members and friends of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (formerly known as Mormons). This sub is dedicated to faithful discourse on church topics.

2021.02.01 00:05 InteractionFit6934 themillennialkingdom

Jesus Christ, Christianity, Church, Youth, Ministry, Fellowship, Praise, Worship, New Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Bible, King James Version, Apostles, Priests, Disciple

2008.07.16 18:22 Christianity by grace through faith in Christ alone.

A non-denominational subreddit for the encouragement of Bible-believing Christians, to the glory of God. We place an emphasis on sharing biblically sound advice and content with one another. /Christians is also a Protestant-based forum upholding the Five Solas of the Reformation, including salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. "In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity." Discord:

2023.06.04 07:00 AutoModerator Daily Readings

1.) Pray the Nine Psalms of the Diaspora (123-131)
2.) Study Proverb 3
3.) Contemplate Matthew 4:4

Pray the Psalms of the Diaspora, and when you do, consider replacing the word "LORD" with "Jesus Christ" and "Israel" with "Church." Like Israel in Babylon, we are the Church in the world, apart from our holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Their Temple was built of gold and silver, but ours of God Himself — the Temple of Jesus Christ.
Then study the wisdom of Solomon and use it throughout your day to love all people just as Christ has loved you. Finally, if you are able, contemplate the words of our Lord — what He said, what He meant, what it means to us, His Church.

God be with you all!
submitted by AutoModerator to SonsOfSolomon [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 06:59 last-unicorns [QCrit] Adult Gothic Romance THE MOUTH IS THE FIRST WOUND (85k, v1)

Hi all! I've been reading this site for a while and finally decided to post my own query. I made an extra account for privacy to post this and I hope that's okay. This query is for a manuscript that's still a WIP, but after several totally scrapped drafts I think I'm finally onto something... maybe. I'd really appreciate any and all feedback, up to and including that this concept will never sell and I should go work on something else, haha.
A couple of immediate questions I have, also:
Dear [AGENT],
When Catherine Taylor dies, she wants to stay dead. Having been exposed to ressurectionary consumption as a child, Catherine will become a vampire upon death unless she enters the convent and earns a church burial. Despite her ostracization from the other sisters, Catherine believes God has chosen her to set a good example for other consumption survivors – until the discovery of the tuberculosis bacillus in 1882 suggests vampirism may be a medical, not metaphysical, condition.
If vampirism is simply a disease, Catherine’s suffering has been meaningless. Eager to reclaim her martyrdom, she begs to be involved when the parish hospital organizes the vivisection of a vampire, aimed at discovering the mechanism of resurrection.
When Catherine arrives in New Westminster, she expects bloodshed, not her reluctant but growing fondness for Sarah Hill, former prostitute, politician’s mistress, and vampire. Sarah is a coward who will do anything to survive, regardless of its moral implications. Catherine should loathe her, except, she’s never been so jealous. But Catherine is determined to die, even if the completion of the experiment means her death may come sooner than God intended.
THE MOUTH IS THE FIRST WOUND (85,000) is an adult gothic romance that combines the religious undertones and LGBT+ vampires of A Dowry of Blood with the bioethical themes of The Death of Jane Lawrence. I have a BA in religion from [UNIVERSITY], where I wrote my honours thesis on the theology of tombstone symbolism, and am currently a mortuary student at [DIFFERENT UNIVERSITY]. I have also published poetry in [STUDENT ANTHOLOGY].
submitted by last-unicorns to PubTips [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 06:46 Slaught3rMelon [M4A] Realm Of Golden Dreams A Treasure Hunter RP

Spanish occupation of Lima, Peru in the 16th century led to a large amount of wealth amassed in the city during the centuries thereafter by the Roman Catholic Church. In the early 1800s, Spain began to experience difficulties in its South American colonies as revolts took place. Peru followed suit and an evacuation took place in 1820. During the evacuation, the viceroy of Lima ordered the riches collected there to be transported to Mexico for safekeeping.
Captain William Thompson of the Mary Dear was entrusted with this cargo and agreed to transport it. However, it never reached its destination. Captain Thompson and his crew killed the Spanish guards onboard and set off for Cocos Island off the coast of present day Costa Rica, where they were said to have buried their cargo and split up to later reconvene and divvy up the spoils.
After the cargo was offloaded, the Mary Dear was captured by the Spanish and the crew was executed for piracy. Thompson and his first mate were spared in exchange for the location of the treasure, but when the Spanish took them to the supposed place it was hidden, the pirates escaped into the jungle never to be seen again.
It is said that no clues were left behind as to the location of the treasure, lost to time. However, what if there were? What if the pirates left clues so discreet that they could only be found and deciphered by the most clever of treasure hunters? Well that’s where this story begins.
Hello! First of all, if you’ve read this far, thank you. I’ve gotten the itch for a globe-trotting, action-packed treasure hunting story in the last couple of days and this is my attempt to scratch it. I realize this is a little barebones, but I was hoping we could flesh out the details together!
I am a literate roleplayer, usually typing around 3-5 paragraphs in 3rd person past-tense. On days I am off work, I can get multiple replies in as I usually don’t do much. However, on days I’m working replies may be more sparse depending on how busy work is. I’m a bartender who keeps an odd sleep schedule so it really just depends.
As far as what I’m looking for, mainly just someone who can supply a good time writing a cool story as well as someone I can get along well with ooc. It’s always a plus to make a new friend.
18+ only, and preferably 21+ as I am 26.
Look forward to hearing from you!
submitted by Slaught3rMelon to Roleplay [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 06:44 Forward-Form9321 I’m afraid I’ll never find love after leaving because of all my trauma from Religion, domestic violence, and having depression to the point of attempted suicide.

This is probably going to be an mini essay because there’s so much to unpack that I could honestly make an part 2. This isn’t to just to share my story to make myself feel better, but also, I want this post even after I leave to give strength to other PK’s to push past the stigma of not being able to leave because of generational ties. I’ll try not to rant, but I’m sure you guys are okay with that, so without further a due here it goes:
I was born and was diagnosed with heart disease at 2 days old. Eventually they inserted an pacemaker to help my left ventricle pump properly. I’ve had about 12 surgeries since then and I’m probably coming up on 13 surgeries in an few years. I also started college at 15 and now I’m graduating with my Bachelor’s degree at 19 years old in an month. So it’s amazing how much I’ve managed to accomplish in an short time. I’ll probably go into 911 Dispatching since it has good benefits plus I always wanted to do police work but my health issues stopped me from that.
Being Pentecostal, I got labeled an “miracle child” by my home church and I hated that spotlight so much. This faith goes back to my great grandmother back in the early 70’s so my roots are deep in this. I did everything you could think of: I sang in the choir, I sang an solo at 6 years old in front of 300 people, I helped stack chairs and clean the church, I ushered, and I even did bible quizzing for 6 years (I could make an post about that wormhole). My dad is also an preacher and now my pastor for 7 years since we moved to start our own church after he felt called to do so. Which spoiler alert, the church hasn’t grown at all plus we got kicked out of our building so we don’t even have an church.
Now that I’ve given my life story, this is where it gets fun and I delve into all the trauma I’ve had in order. Religion gave me trauma because there were days I would wake up, my parents wouldn’t be home and I thought the rapture happened. Then the double standard would show when I messed up, one time I got grounded of everything at 15 for looking at instagram profiles of girls from my school on my ipod, but yet other pk’s could sleep around being promiscuous and nothing happened to them.
I got depressed after we left my old church. Literally no one would come (no still does) and every Sunday that went by, I got more and more depressed looking at all the empty chairs. But if I complained, my dad was say stuff like “sometimes God’s will is hard” or talk about how many opportunities I had. Around the same time, I was starting high school and my first semester wasn’t bad at all, I had tons of confidence after buying some new clothes, my first crush at the time even showed some signs that she liked me. So despite my crappy situation, I felt like I was on cloud 9.
Then in the start of 2018, everything just spiraled downward and I experienced what I look back on as the darkest time in my life, I honestly don’t even know how I made it out. My grades started to drop to where I had D’s and F’s in essentially all my classes, no one was coming to church, and life just sucked. My parents though I was acting out and that wasn’t the case. After getting home one day, I was ready to end it and somedays I would ask God to take me off the face of the Earth. I grabbed an sharp pocket knife, prepared myself for the immense pain, but my parents opened my door and stopped me in time.
They then gave me an long lecture about how I would go to hell and whatnot so that was the end of that. But even after attempting suicide, I would have suicidal and depressed thoughts for the end of the year and even into spring 2019 where I was so mentally exhausted that I could do nothing but sob in the car ride home when my mom picked me up. That summer, I found an charter school that helped me fast track graduation and started college classes early which was great because my mom didn’t need to pay for it because I was an high school student. The downside is I’ve never been the same since, I’m also very quiet now to where I don’t like being around people. Meatheads online like Andrew Tate who say depression isn’t real are just one bad day away from being me.
My dad’s had mental illness for most my life and it runs on both sides of the family (one side is genetic and the other side got it after going to Vietnam). There’s been times he’s gotten physically violent with people during manic episodes such as assaulting an old lady in the hospital, punching my grandpa in the back of the head, threatening my older brother with an walking stick, and probably would’ve ripped my mom’s scalp out if my brother didn’t stop him. Then an couple years ago he tried to come after me and my mom when we were trying to hide from him during his manic episode. I’ve had PTSD nightmares of him screaming his head off ever since along with vivid
This gets to the title of my post. Because of all this trauma that I have, I stopped pursing Pentecostal girls since I feel like none of them would accept me because they don’t understand my trauma along the burden of carrying so many physical and emotional scars, not to mention being 5’6 because of my heart issues made me feel insecure going to conferences because every girl towered over me with heels. Especially with how much purity culture there is where some couples can’t even hug each while dating, I’m not going to be stuck in an marriage like that for 60 years.
Now that I’m closer to leaving, I feel a similar way about not pursuing non Pentecostal girls because I don’t feel like I can let anyone in, I got rejected so many times by Pentecostal girls who were also stuck up and that’s messed up my confidence. I’ve never even had my first kiss or first time because of the purity culture. But even without that and being so young at 19, I’m so screwed up and have so much trauma that I feel like no girl would ever want to love me or date me in the long run.
How do I get past all this trauma and navigate the world of dating once I leave Pentecost? Every time I’ve tried to pursue even an semi romantic relationship, they crumble because I suck at building relationships thanks to my religious upbringing and life long trauma.
submitted by Forward-Form9321 to ExPentecostal [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 06:40 Encirclement1936 An empire for all you crusaders out there

An empire for all you crusaders out there

The Knights

Traits of my favorite people, the Maltese

R5: A custom made empire for all of you folks out there going for the Crusader achievement, based on the greatest and longest lasting of the crusading orders of knights. I did syncretic evolution Origin because it was the only way to get two different "species" (really representing the two different classes of free men in lands owned by the knights). The syncretic "species" is of course, the Maltese, whose incredible bravery, ingenuity, and faithfulness were responsible in large part for the Knights' most famous military victories.
Goals for a campaign for the Knights should be to run a militarized society based around crusade.
A key point is to take the Acquisition perk to capture enemy aliens as slaves. In addition to their charitable work, the Knights were ruthless warriors of the sea for most of their active political history, who manned their galleys with their enslaved enemies.
The midgame goal should be to create a federation of Crusader States from former enemies liberated in war (slave aliens should also be freed / integrated over time, either making them indentured servants or full citizens, especially when their original planets are converted/liberated by the crusade).
Happy Crusading!
submitted by Encirclement1936 to Stellaris [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 06:37 HoldOnLucy1 Nephite and Lamanite Museums?

I visited the Church History Museum today and was told by a very nice guide that the Nephites and Lamanites were skilled metallurgists. How do we know this? Gold and other precious metal artifacts have been discovered all throughout the eastern United States. In fact, there are many Nephite and Lamanite museums in the New York area where we can go and see these Lamanite and Nephite artifacts. I’d love to go! Has anyone come across these Nephite or Lamanite museums?
submitted by HoldOnLucy1 to exmormon [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 06:03 Beneficial-Web2310 As an atheist how to I tell Christian I don’t want their Jesus ??

Yesterday, I was approached by a lady inviting new comers to her church. I explained to her that I am an atheist and not interested in accepting this religion, however, we talked for about 30 minutes and she asked about my struggles and how god wants to “help me”, I then burst into tears and told her how I had to borrow $10 just so that I could get milk and bread and how I want to work but no one wants to employ me! next thing, she’s signalling over another lady walking around and she comes over, they both pray for me and suddenly the First Lady told the Second Lady to take me food shopping right now and get my resume later to help me get a job! I was shocked. The First Lady said she would also give my son some clothes because she wants to gift us something. I was shocked and started crying again. They told me about their church and where they are located and I said look, I’m not interested and due to my medical condition I am not able to drive and public transport on Sundays is horrible! Next thing the Second Lady announced she would pick me up and today that’s what she did!
I attended the church which felt like a brain washing service, the First Lady that approached me yesterday was here today and really pushed me into accepting Jesus in to my life. I told her I’m not ready and I still don’t want to. The Second Lady wants to pick me up on Sunday next week, what’s a kind way of saying no?
submitted by Beneficial-Web2310 to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 05:56 Riprex Just Byzantium things

Just Byzantium things submitted by Riprex to eu4 [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 05:44 DreadPirate777 PIMO bingo for Mormon Open Mic

PIMO bingo for Mormon Open Mic
Hopefully this will get you through Sunday with a smile instead of cringing at all the confirmation bias.
You can click on the individual links portion and send them to your friends.
Happy open mic day.
submitted by DreadPirate777 to exmormon [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 05:43 NeoPlutoist Visiting CoC Church?

I’m considering visiting a CoC congregation but don’t know if it’s right for me. I’ve been interested in LDS movements for a few years, both as a believer and skeptic. Recently I’ve wanted to give CoC a chance with all the different new LDS restoration groups, though I’m having doubts about faith in general. Should I still give the church a chance?
submitted by NeoPlutoist to CommunityOfChrist [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 05:39 Samragya2007 unexpectedly my bjj life turned around

unexpectedly my bjj life turned around
Please read my story!
My name is Samragya i’m a 15 year old blue belt from Nepal. I started training jiu jitsu in Abu Dhabi on November 21 2021 (roughly 1.5 years) I got my grey belt as a junior on May 2022 and Recently got my blue belt on Jan 2023. Things were going good for me, I played for a national club in Abu Dhabi called al jazira and previously I played for another national club called al wahda. I used to train almost everyday and would compete pretty often and even got third place on the Abu Dhabi world pro. Life was good, training was good, jiu jitsu was good and i was improving everyday, this year seemed so promising for me. Until I had to move away unexpectedly to Rochester, New york on Feb 13 2023. It left me at my lowest point of my life because moving at this age and leaving everything behind was so hard for me, i started binge eating A LOT. I gained almost 20lbs and became the heaviest i’ve ever been at 190lbs. I couldn’t train at all as I didn’t have transportation to get to training and my parents were busy. Moreover they wouldn’t even let me ride a bicycle to training because they think it’s unsafe. By April I had given up on jiu jitsu until I met a friend in school who took me to jiu jitsu training at his friend’s dad’s church gym. My friend took me there for one day and never came back to training but the coach and his son decided to give me a ride whenever we trained. We train gi on Tuesday and no-gi on Sunday as the training is free and it’s coach does it as a hobby, which feels so less compared to what I used to do but it’s something. A few weeks after we started lifting on the days we didn’t do jiu jitsu, this was new to me as I didn’t lifted before. I felt like I had a purpose again and realized I could either be sad about everything I had to leave or make the best out of what I had. Now 2 months with them I’m slowly starting to build muscle and get back in the game, i also receive my first blue belt stripe last week. I want to get back to competing but the only problem is I can’t lose weight no matter how hard I try. Im at around 200 calories deficit per day from my diet and more from lifting or jiu jitsu but still seem to be at the 190lbs range. It’s frustrating and I wish losing weight was as easy as gaining it, but i will do my best to cut down to 180lbs and compete at least once within the next few months. I wanna be one of the best, and I really believe I can.
That’s all sorry for the rant.
If anyone is interested I will share a monthly post about my progress and also if you would like to follow my journey i’m on instagram @samragya_rk
submitted by Samragya2007 to bjj [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 05:22 lookinforadviceanon Need Some Advice

So I've been seeing my partner for about a year but we've been talking for about 6 years. My partner has been poly for a while now and the second time we spent time together last year I admitted I wanted to be in a poly relationship. Before our first time hanging out last year I didn't know much about polyamory but the way my partner talked about it and described how beautiful it was the more interested I got, before I had considered being part of a throuple but I always had doubts about it. As I learned more about polyamory the more i felt like it was me. We had sort of a situationship going on for a while but things quickly got serious. I knew that when I wasn't with them they would have another guy there staying with them. I asked multiple times if they had been doing anything more than friendly (like kissing or sleeping together) but was constantly shut down and accused of being jealous and getting shamed for it. After a few months my partner confided that they weren't ready for me to see other people and I agreed not to for a short time for the benefit of their mental. Come summer I find out that she had been asked to date the guy they were seeing when I wasnt there and found out they had been kissing and sleeping together and slowly getting more serious.
They expected me to be happy for them but I only felt hurt and betrayed, polyamory should be open and honest and yet everything between them had been kept secret from me. I didnt like this guy to begin with because anytime I called my partner they would be rude on the other end or manipulate them into ending the conversation as fast as possible. The way my partner talked about the way he treated her screamed mental and emotional abuse (they even got in fist fights) so I always tried telling them he was no good for them but again I was accused of jealousy and screamed at for not being polyamorous. So when I found out they were dating I expressed my hurt and betrayal, they seemed very apologetic and made loads of excuses for not being honest with me but eventually doubled down and said they were going to see the guy that weekend while i was in their city (2 hours from where i lived) i eventually agreed but come the day they went to hang out I was made to hide in my partners bedroom because their new partner didnt want to see me. What was supposed to be a day out excursion between them became them staying out until 4 or 5 the next morning. The entire time I was worried sick but eventually I was excited to see them pull up in a taxi, only the second their partner saw me in the window of the door they turned around and didnt want to come inside. So again I was made to hide in my partners bedroom while her new partner waited inside and hung out with them until his mom picked him up. I felt outcast and not welcome in my own partners life because of their new partners jealousy. I had considered leaving the city that day but decided to stay because I really do love them.
The next weekend I left abruptly after a couple more arguements about getting cheated on, I tried to convince them to break up with the new guy because it was a huge betrayal to me. Later on I eventually agreed to leave it be, they claimed they loved me and our relationship wouldnt be affected by their new partner. After I got used to them being with this guy I decided not to move to their city, I just couldnt bring myself to live in the same city as them after being betrayed like that but after a while I got over feeling betrayed. I decided to try and bring up me seeing new people, maybe go on dates, have a new partner or even just some casual fun. I was immediately met with unbridled rage, they said I was just looking to replaced them, that I just wanted to be a man whore and sleep around and that I got tired of them so I was gonna move on to the next. The more I tried to explain I just wanted more love in my life and that our relationship wouldnt be affected by anyone else (the same thing i was assured of after being cheated on) the more accusations and hate was thrown towards me. I kept trying to bring up that I wanted to actually experience polyamory and be myself but each time I was met with the same reaction, more accusations, them being jealous, throwing hateful words at me and saying that they arent doing well so I can't. Each time I eventually got worn down and backed out because it's very taxing.
Today I eventually sent a message saying that I couldn't keep drowning myself so they can feel better anymore, I explained how I wanted to be me and not feel so repressed like I've always felt first by the church and then by them. I explained that I wasn't going to be not poly for them anymore and it wasnt up for discussion, I want to be me and they should love me. I also asked how they would feel without their current partners, being unable to see anyone except for 1 person. I was immediately hit with hate and accusations again. Asking who I wanted to be with, saying that I'm a terrible person for not being manipulated into being monogamous for them. They said that it wasnt the same because they were already with their partners before they were with me. I doubled down and explained I wanted to be me, I wanted to give more love in my life and recieve more love in my life. They said I could get that for friends which I said was different but anyway they keep accusing me of wanting to replace them and saying that I'm being terrible and not being poly because I'm forcing them into a situation that they're not comfortable with (ironic because I wasnt super comfortable not being able to see other people and wasnt comfortable with them dating the person they cheated on me with).
Some advice or help would be really appreciated, keep in mind I really do love this person even though they have bpd and other mental health issues and I really want this to work. I'm just tired of our relationship only being about them, I feel walked over like never before and just want them to see my perspective but no matter how I word things or explain how i feel it always comes back to how they're feeling.
Is this relationship salvageable? Is there anything you can think of to say or do to make them see the light? Or will this always be a one sided situation where I keep sacrificing myself with the only fix is to break things off?
I havent been poly for long and havent really been able to explore that side of myself so again any help or advice appreciated.
Thank you
submitted by lookinforadviceanon to polyamory [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 05:21 RedGravetheDevil Missionary Scam they don’t tell you

In many poor foreign missions, in order to have native missionaries serve they are PAID a salary monthly while the Americans are forced to pay their own way. Many natives ship most of this money home to their parents and then proceed to leech off of the Americans for food etc. I lived with this for years, I think I had ONE native companion that didn’t do this and used the money properly.
I just had a dream that this was expanded to hire hard sales people to use every trick and scam in the book to get baptisms and then threaten them if they don’t stay in the church. All because the global exposure of the church crimes is drying up the new member pool. It’s in the church history and I wouldn’t put it past them to do it again.
submitted by RedGravetheDevil to exmormon [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 05:09 Rt_66 The bastardization of the Christian Church in general, and the Baptist Church in particular.

submitted by Rt_66 to tulsa [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 05:09 a1139530 Help Understanding Vatican II

Hello Catholicism!
I am a Protestant who is interested in the differences between my Baptist Church and the Catholic Church.
I am having trouble understanding Vatican II.
Is there a resource I can read that explains the breakthroughs of the conference in easy to understand terms? And is there a few different issues from Vatican II that are particularly of note to study?

Thank you,
submitted by a1139530 to Catholicism [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 04:41 Aggressive_Future921 I’ve Seen What lies Beyond the Gates in Blackwood Forest

The Blackwood Forest has always been a source of legend in our town. Not for anything good, though. Everyone here fears it. They always remind newcomers to “Never go into Blackwood Forest.” Nobody who enters it ever comes back. At least, that was how things used to be.

One of the most famous incidents surrounding the forest occurred around 1989. A family of 6, the Franks, moved into a house not far from the forest. It had an expansive backyard, stretching up until the edge of the dense clusters of trees that make up the boundary of Blackwood Forest. One evening, they decided to eat dinner in their new backyard. They weren’t going into the forest, just the fire pit about halfway between their house and the trees. Another family of 3, the Andersons, joined them. At around 8:30, screaming was heard by nearby neighbors. The police were called. When they arrived, they found that the benches, tables, and chairs were soaked in blood. The grass was smeared with it in a path leading into the forest. There was no sign of either of the families. The police confirmed the blood of 9 individuals was present at the scene. Enough blood was lost to assume the deaths of all 9 individuals.

After that day, a massive fence was built around the forest, to keep us out, or keep other things in. The fence is 11 feet tall and designed to be impossible to climb over, with almost no footholds. A gate is kept locked tight, located at the end of a worn path leading out of the side of town. Nobody goes in, and nothing gets out. Not that anyone knows what took the Franks or Robinsons. Except, of course, for me. I’ve seen what lies beyond the gates of Blackwood Forest. I’ve seen the beasts that took those families, all those years ago.

The fence wasn’t really necessary to be perfectly honest. There aren’t really any trails to hike through the forest, and we don’t have many issues with kids doing stupid things like trying to sneak in for “fame.” Even if we did, the fence keeps them out. Therefore nobody has any reason to go into the forest. Everyone is too afraid.

But, although I listened to what everyone always said; “Never go into Blackwood Forest,” I was curious. My morning run took me past the fence and gate, and I would sometimes glance in to see what was in there. I thought it looked like a normal, albeit dark, forest. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was very off. There weren’t many animals, like birds or squirrels, and you couldn’t hear the ones that were there very well. It was oddly quiet. At night, no crickets would be heard. No fireflies during the summer. It was oddly devoid of animal life for a dense forest with so many places for a small critter to live or a bird to make a nest. However besides that, it really didn’t seem that dangerous.

A few weeks ago, my curiosity got the best of me. I decided to see if there were any openings that I could slip into. Sure enough, on the very far side of the fence, opposite the side with the town, I found a small gap I could squeeze into. I decided that the next morning, I would grab my phone and camera and explore some of the forest close to the fence. I was excited to see what lay within, and wondered about what sort of stuff I might find. After all, nobody ever went in there.

The next day came, and after eating breakfast, I jogged to the small opening I’d found the previous day. I had a backpack with some water and food, as well as the camera and phone. I pushed my backpack through first, and then squeezed through the opening.

The first thing I noticed upon entering was how dark it was. The trees blocked out much of the sunlight. It was hard to see very much. Thankfully, I could use both my phone’s flashlight and the one attached to my camera. As I walked, the quiet of the forest around me felt eerie. There should have been the sounds of animals beginning to wake up and start their day, but instead there was silence. Every sound I made, like stepping on a tree, quickly was dampened out, as if swallowed whole by the trees.

After a few minutes of walking and taking pictures, I came upon a worn path. I was confused, since there was no reason for any path to have been here because nobody had ever lived in the forest. I took another photo, and decided to follow the path. After another few minutes of walking, I noticed a clearing with sunlight pouring into it ahead. In the very center of it sat an old, decrepit stone building. Off to the side, there was an old well. The building had a very weathered but readable sign, identifying it as “Blackwood Church.” I took a photo of the church and well and decided to enter. I was very curious, as nobody should have ever lived out here, this deep into the woods. There was a church that had been built as part of the original town, so it didn’t make sense for this one to be there.

I walked through the place where the doors would have been, had they not rotted off of the hinges. I could see the space around me because of several holes in the roof allowing sunlight in. It seemed like it was once fairly normal, though weeds had sprouted up through the floorboards which were falling apart. I stepped outside after snapping some photographs. I was going to leave back along the path and get out of the forest. As I walked, I noticed that there seemed to be several old buildings, almost destroyed, spread out on the edges of the clearing. I began to see the old worn paths made of cobblestone and dirt, almost invisible, having been reclaimed by nature. This wasn’t just some church, this was an entire town.

I was both shocked and excited. I spent the next hour taking photographs of all of the somewhat intact buildings and their rubble counterparts. I spent around an hour exploring the town, exploring a butchers shop, clothes store, and general store. I finally made my way to the path I had come in on. I noticed, underneath all of the foliage, there seemed to be a sign. I brushed some of the growth away and read the faded words; “Welcome to Blackwood, Population: 349, c. 1903.”

At this point, on top of the confusion, there was a growing feeling of nervousness in my gut. I’d never heard of any town in Blackwood Forest. Our town, Greyrock Springs, was founded in 1909. I searched the other houses on the outskirts of this ghost town. In one of them, I found the journal of a 19 year old girl named Ellie. She had moved into the town with her family, the Wilsons, and another one they were close friends with, the Millers. They had moved in 1905. The first dozen pages were normal entries about life around the town, her friend, 19 year old Janie Miller, and her older brother, 21 year old Shaun Miller. She and Shaun were apparently set to get married in a year, something Ellie wrote almost endlessly about. The 20th entry, dated September 17, 1905, however, was different.

The 20th entry said that 7 townsfolk and gone missing suddenly overnight. It read, “Last night 7 of our neighbors vanished. The Smith family and Mr. H. The Sheriff doesn’t know what happened to them. Their beds appear to have been slept in, and their homes appear normal. But nobody has seen or heard of any of them since 8:00 last night. I’m getting worried, some of the other neighbors are talking about dark shadows in the trees snatching them away. I hope they’re alright.”

After reading this, my anxiety started growing. What could have happened to the people who lived here? I looked at the next entry, 6 days later. It read “Almost everyone has vanished. The night after the first disappearances, 14 people vanished. The numbers got worse from there. The Sheriff, the butcher, the schoolteacher, all gone. Last night, 34 people, including the Millers, vanished. There are only 115 of us now. Janie and Shaun are gone, their beds unkempt, everything else in place as if they just got up and walked out. It’s 7:52 at night according to my clock. There are things making weird screeches out there. I can see the shadows outside. They’re drawing closer. I think I’m going to join Janie and Shaun tonight. At least I won’t have to live on without my friend and love.”

Terror was beginning to take hold now. I looked around the room. I realized that it was now noon. I had been reading for so long I had lost track of time. I got up, grabbed the journal, and ran out of the house, the feeling of being watched nearly overwhelming me. I got to the path I had walked in on. It was then that the screeching and wailing began.

It started as an inhuman, deep, gravelly sound, and then cracked and sounded like a dying person giving a final cry for help. Soon, a chorus of these other-worldly howls filled the forest. Terror shot through my body. I felt chills. I turned and scanned my surroundings, searching for the source of the sounds.

That was when I saw one of Them for the first time.

I don’t know how to describe Them here, but I will do my best to give you an idea of what lurks in those woods.

They are tall, around 7 feet, with pure black skin. No light reflects off of any part of Them, except for their milky white eyes. Brown veins reach for the center of the eye, where the iris and pupil would have been. Instead, there was just more white. In some places, Their flesh clings to Their bones as though they have been vacuum-sealed. In others, the flesh is gone, and only bone remains. Their entire body has pulsating, grey veins spiderwebbing from place to place. And Their mouths stretch from one side of the head to the other, nearly to the hinges connecting the jaw to the skull. Their teeth are thin as a needle, and they have hundreds of them.

One of Them was standing close to me, looking at me. It let out a screech-wail and started to run towards me. I turned and bolted, running towards the church, hoping to escape through an window-opening. As I reached the church, I turned and glanced back, only to see It standing near the well, not moving. Instead, it was growling at me. As we stared each other down, more of Them began to appear. They formed a ring around the church. I was now trapped. Panic began to set in more deeply, as I looked through the window-openings, trying to look for a weakness in the circle I could use to escape, and there was one. Directly behind the church, there was a large opening in the ring of monsters surrounding me. Taking several deep breaths and becoming as calm as I could given the circumstances, I took my opportunity and ran. I jumped out the window and sprinting with more force than I have ever used in my life.

I made it to the trees, hearing their horrible screech-wails following uncomfortably close behind. I didn’t stop, running through the foliage like my life depended on it, which I could tell it did. Most of Them remained behind, but a few followed me deeper and deeper into the forest, not letting up. The trees and brush whipped at me, stinging and cutting my skin, but a continued, even going faster. I finally stopped when I couldn’t hear Them behind me anymore. By this point, it was closer to 2:00 P.M. I had run in the opposite direction I had entered Blackwood from. The adrenaline I had felt began to wear off, and I wanted to collapse from exhaustion, but I knew those things would keep looking for me until they found me.

I spent the rest of the day cautiously searching for the fence, but no matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find it. By the time it got dark, I was exhausted. The adrenaline from the whole day had turned into a mix of emotions, namely fear and anxiety. I decided to hide in a tree, in the event They found me. As I sat there, looking, I began to hear that screeching wail and those deep growls and grunts. They were close. I held my breath as the first one approached. It looked around, peering through the forest, searching for me. I got the feeling it knew I was close.

It started to scan some bushes near the tree I was in, when It looked up suddenly. I fell from my spot in surprise, hitting the ground hard and with a grunt. It let out a wail, and started to approach me. I searched for something to use as a weapon, and found a sharp rock. I looked at the large veins covering It’s chest area. It seemed like the perfect target. It began to run, screeched and then lunged. I pulled the rock from behind my back and sliced with ferocity, cutting through the veins like paper. It screamed and shrieked, black ooze shooting out of the wound like a hose until it stopped. The creature let out a final wail before collapsing to the ground. I looked at it. I could hear a sickly breathing coming from the thing. Before it died, I heard a distorted but human voice mutter a weak “Thank.. you..” and then the breathing stopped. I was stunned. I didn’t have much time to think about it, because more wails could be heard approaching fast in the distance. I continued to run through the forest, more adrenaline pumping through my veins, fear at the back of my mind. I ran for a long time until I ended up back in that town. I hid in the church, underneath the floorboards. At some point, I fell asleep from exhaustion.

The next 6 days were awful. I spent most of them hiding, slowly running through my food and water I had packed. One morning, as I reached the last of my water, I realized I had to escape. Although They searched the forests for me, I thought I could slip past Them and make it to the fence. But after a few minutes of preparing, I heard those wails approaching from the distance yet again. I grabbed my backpack and stepped outside again. I looked, seeing the creatures from before step out from the trees. I prepared myself, and ran. All of them began to follow me, their screeches cutting through the quiet of the forest and reminding me of how close I was to death. I went down that same worn path, sprinting through the woods. One jumped out in front of me, forcing me to veer off the path and into the forest. I ran, nearly tripping and getting cut on the branches. That was when I saw it. Ahead of me, finally, lay the fence. I took off the backpack as I approached. There was the gap. I was about to escape. They were close now, just a few yards away. I forced the backpack through the opening, forcing myself through it just as they reached the fence.

I turned to look back at them, snapping one final photograph. I’m not entirely sure why I did that, but maybe I just wanted proof of the truth. That I wasn’t crazy. What I saw was real. I grabbed the backpack and ran back towards town, towards safety, towards home, their growls and wails fading behind me.

I want to say that I’m safe now, that everything is ok, but it isn’t. A week ago, I started to hear whispers from my neighbors of wails, screeches, and growls coming from the fence. If anyone looked in the direction the sound was coming from, it stopped. I had to walk past the fence a few days ago, and I heard it. I was all alone. The fence started to rattle as well. I turned to look, but only saw a tall shadow slipping into the darkness of the trees.

Last night, two people who were walking past the fence vanished.

That brings us to today.

I know what They want. They are angry. I wasn’t supposed to escape. I don’t want to do this, but I won’t endanger anyone else who lives here.

I’ll leave the photos, camera, and journal in my desk for safe keeping. That way people will understand what I saw, at least partially. People will hear the story of the townspeople of Blackwood. That is the reason I’m posting this. So more of you know.

I have accepted my fate. After I post this, I will walk to the gate, and I will be taken. I don’t know for sure, but I think I will become one of Them, cursed to walk Blackwood Forest forever. My consciousness will be left a fragment, my humanity gone, as I walk the forest and wail, screech, and growl. This is the end for me. If anyone cares, my name is Daniel. I am 29 years old. I live in Greyrock Springs. If you come here, to find me or Blackwood or those things, or maybe even the pictures and journal, remember one thing.

Never go into Blackwood Forest.
submitted by Aggressive_Future921 to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 04:23 gen-attolis Thoughts about partisan comments from the pulpit during elections?

So, my province (Alberta) has just gone through an election. The ruling conservatives (UCP/United Conservative Party) remained in power, however the cabinet was decimated and few former ministers will be returning to government, and the opposition left-leaning (NDP/New Democratic Party) gained a significant number of seats.
The pejorative in right leaning newspapers is to call the United Church of Canada “the NDP at prayer”. As the largest Protestant denomination, it’s taken with varying levels of irony by its members.
Anyway. Long story short, my lead pastor spoke (after the election had started) strongly in favour of the NDP, including urging people to change their votes, and dedicated time both on Pentecost (the day before the election) and the week before. On Pentecost, two people came dressed in the attire of a far-right campaigning group and sat in the front. This happens frequently, people coming in dressed to provoke people by having homophobic clothing or (bizarrely) American MAGA attire. They’re always left disoriented and uncomfortable as practically everyone approaches them for the passing of the peace with sincere smiles and questions of their well-being, and rarely come back
I agree with my pastor. I’m upset at the political results. But I felt really uncomfortable about him preaching politics with such a partisan appeal. He didn’t say anything factually wrong or nasty, but I still felt like, if it had to be said, it could’ve been said during the announcements, right? Not during the sermon? I don’t know how to feel.
How do you feel about partisanship from the pulpit? Is it conditionally permissible? What would those conditions look like? Should there be any restrictions?
submitted by gen-attolis to OpenChristian [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 04:00 IronDumpty Are my pastor interview questions too strict?

Once, I had a man that wanted someone to have a home Bible study house church with. He was a minister like myself.
As is my regular practice, I like to interview any pastor that I will subject myself or my family to. Seeing as online text was the only way I could communicate with him at the time, I sent him the following:
Before you read, do you think I was a bit too picky? I mean, I am a minister myself and can rightly divide the Word. I have been a pastor myself. So was I going overboard with asking these questions?
Questions for a minister
1) Who is Jesus to you? What I mean by this question is: Who was Jesus in relation with the Father before becoming flesh?
My Response: Jesus is and was the incarnation of God into a form. A tangible manifestation of the intangible. Logos in John 1:1 by definition means "manifestation of words and thoughts into substance".
Therefore, before becoming flesh, Jesus was the manifested form of YAHWEH. Whenever a person from the old testament saw God, they saw Jesus because God has never been seen and cannot be seen as it says elsewhere in scripture.
2) What place does The law of Moses have in the body of Christ?
My Response: The Law serves as a guide leading people to repentance.
Originally, it served as the stipulations of a covenant between Israel and God. The intention from the beginning was always to teach Israel that no matter how good they are, they would keep having to offer sacrifices for sin. They would be constantly reminded of their sin and under law would seek the forgiveness the law provides. This forgiveness kept having to be renewed.
In the body of Christ, the law serves to teach what is sin and to point out Gods will about many different subjects. It teaches what sin is and this knowledge brings people to seek forgiveness in Jesus.
The law has power over a person as long as they live, but like Paul says in Romans: We have died through baptism with Him into His death so that like Him, we may also walk in newness of life. We have died with Jesus on the cross and those baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus are not under the stipulations of Torah.
We must always be aware that we must learn from Torah and understand that it is inspired by God but we have died to it and are under the laws of a New Covenant instead of the laws of Moses which has power over carnal man not in Jesus.
3) What is your view on holidays commonly celebrated by Christians?
My Response: I consider it blasphemous to associate God with something originally demonic.
People like to quote scripture about not being judged for holidays but fail to actually read what they quote to defend themselves. The verses they quote are talking about Jewish holidays. Notice that Paul was writing to the church in Galatia and that he condemns them for trying to force circumcision on the gentles.
The people of Israel made a Golden calf not in honor of a foreign deity but as it written "Behold. Yahweh, who led you out the land of Egypt."
They were sanctifying a pagan practice and venerated an image in order to worship God in a way they felt comfortable with and their intentions were good. Yet, it cost Arron his place in yhe holy land and 3000 people their lives.
4) What is your view on the subject of Once Saved Always Saved?
My response: I believe that salvation is by grace because of faith. The Greek word for "through" means "because of" or "by reason of". This simple understanding of the language makes this scripture in Ephesians so much easier to understand.
This makes scripture like this easier to understand: "those who endure to the end will be saved. But those who backslide: My soul will take no pleasure with them. Says The Lord" (Hebrews).
To further answer any other implied question, I disagree with Calvinism and Calvinism-light (reformed).
There are too many scriptures that teach that one can fall away. Salvation may not be by works but that does not mean that evil works won't condemn. The very definition of the greek word for "believe" means to commit to obey in trust. One can not be a believer in Jesus while knowingly disobeying Him. And faith that does not endure does not save. So, salvation is by grace because someone has enduring faith.
Why would Jeaus in Revelation tell a church that He will not blot out their name out of the book of life if it couldn't be done in the first place?
I suppose this partially answers any question as to my soteriology.
5) What is your beliefs regarding Gifts of The Spirit in these modern times?
My response: There is nothing preventing God from giving a gift to a person. People use a scripture about looking through a glass and point out the phrase "when that which is perfect shall come" and think it talks about the Bible.
Not only were gifts recorded as late at the early 4th century, there are many references to other books in the history books? Like the book of Iddo the Seer mentioned in 2nd Chronicles 12:15.
So to actually answer, i would say that i believe that God still gives gifts, but that many people fake them and even evil spirits fake them. So discernment is needed.
I do not agree with the Charismatics with almost everything, so please do not confuse me.
submitted by IronDumpty to TrueChristian [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 03:55 OrdinarySelf9970 I just came out to my missionary baptist family

TW: suicide and religious trauma
This is a rant post, I don’t expect anyone to interact. I just want to scream into the void. I (21F) have known I was gay since I was fifteen. I first learned what gay people were in church, when my preacher said (screamed) that they were an abomination to god. That started literal years of denial and, eventually, ptsd. I have spent years terrified of how my family would react to my coming out, and preparing for the worst. I first decided I would come out after my grandparents died. I have a gay cousin, who, according to my father, “at least had the decency to come out until after his grandparents died.” On top of this, my church’s preacher screamed about how much he hated gay people for years. I was suicidal from the time I was 12 until I was 18, largely due to this. My life was a hellscape for years, and my parents didn’t even notice. Flash forward to being 18. I studied my ass off for the ACT and got a full ride to a college out of state. I’m studying law and have been financially independent since I moved out. People tell me that’s something to be proud of but it was a survival mechanism. When I think about the 35 I got on the ACT, I don’t feel pride. I feel disgust at the fact that I thought I had no other choice but to pull all-nighters once a week for two years. I thought if I didn’t make it out I would be trapped forever. I know that sounds dramatic, but my life was dramatic at that time. I’m 21 now, and I have grown up and healed a lot. I decided a year ago that I would come out to my family in May of 2023. I did that last weekend. Both of my parents took it amazingly well, considering our history. I am so happy and grateful, but I am so angry. Where was this understanding when I was having panic attacks weekly because I thought I was going to hell? If I had come out five years ago (thank god I did not), I know I would’ve been sent to conversion therapy. I am so thankful for my parents now and I recognize it could be so much worse, but I’m angry. They let me marinate in internalized homophobia for a decade and let me feel so alone. I don’t want to be angry. I want to forgive them and love them for the people they are now. But I don’t know to do that.
submitted by OrdinarySelf9970 to comingout [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 03:52 Whose_my_daddy I feel like I’m losing my daughter

I don’t know if I need advice, need to vent or just need a hug. My (61, F, exmo) daughter (19) joined in November. She was raised mainstream Christian: church, Christian schools, and now Christian university. Her first semester there, she joined. We had a near-perfect relationship up til them. Now she lies or omits things to do with the church. She has all the textbook comebacks to arguments about church doctrine. And when she’s in over her head, she walks out. She thinks missionaries are her friends. I know kids change when they go off to school, I get it. But this has got me so off-kilter and depressed. The dreams I had of her wedding, gone. The thought of her being in a male-dominated marriage just curdles my blood but she says “that’s not true”, “the church has changed”. I’m probably as broken hearted about this as TBM moms are when their kids leave which I recognize is so stupid. I know I need to back off but I am a person who despises dishonesty so todays lie set me off.
Thanks for letting me vent.
submitted by Whose_my_daddy to exmormon [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 03:38 mysticasha Question about Jesus as Boddhisatva

Nsfw: because of suicide mention.
Hey, so I'm an ex Christian, and was actually in an evangelical cult (New Apostolic Reformation, i.e. a similar cult to Bethel Church and IHOP). Most of my spiritual experiences growing up were shamanistic (seeing spirits and manifestations), and one time there was a profound satori/awakening that lasted a while. The satori was so profound that it shedded my connection to any Christian faith. I realised that the ground and source of all life is the Untouched Eternal, the formless. It was pure bliss and non-duality, I did not even exist. In an instant my self dissolved, awareness dropped into the body and then expanded outward, and all things were one whole perfection. After this happened, due to a spiritual experience with Jesus, I remained Christian and tried to incorporate the awakening, but the sheer truth of it has destroyed the illusion of separation between all things, so the idea of Jesus as God is vanquished. God is formless. The Jesus experience waa like a spiritual cleansing fire, when I called to Jesus as a refuge from suicidal compulsions. I tried to make sense of it but it has confused me, because I keep wondering, how can I believe in Christ after directly experiencing the formless? Nothing needs saving, there is no one to save. So it has been a mystery. I am not versed enough to understand how these coexist. I can only suggest that maybe Jesus is a Boddhisatva, but I don't know enough to make any worthy assessment. Can anyone tell me if my experience of Jesus as a refuge might be in alignment with the Buddhist teachings and cosmology? I am new to Buddhism but very eager to learn. It helped me so far understand the spontaneous satori (is that the right word?).
Edit to Note: the experience was in 2011 and I have not experienced suicidal compulsions for years.
Thank you so much for your help 😇
submitted by mysticasha to Buddhism [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 03:36 DireDecember Proselytization and colleagues even when it's well meaning

I have a lady in my training group for work where we typically end up in the same computer pod for our online courses. I got the sense that she might be lonely and perhaps didn't feel very included in our group. She's from a different country, and I think the cultural differences here may feel a little overwhelming to her, too.
Of course, when she asked, 'are you christian?' I said, 'no', but my silly self didn't leave it there. I am famously a bit of an oversharer when I'm nervous. I continued with 'not anymore', and explained a few of my reasons for leaving the church.
What it boiled down to (but only scratches the surface) was that I didn't feel like what the church taught was in my best interest or what I wanted for myself, nor did much of it seem true when I left and started living my life. I felt like it would put her at ease to share that I'd been in almost every denomination imaginable - which is true. I've been in southern baptist, catholic, anglican, lutheran, and blended churches, etc. The list goes on.
She shared that believes in god, but that she didnt feel like many of the churches she had been to had really promoted love or acceptance (She even wrote a letter to one of her pastors about his attitude and hypocrisy towards some people outside the church, which made me chuckle. At least she values authenticity).
I shared that I thought that any spiritual experience, or lack thereof, is such an incredibly subjective experience and that it's not really for anyone else to decide what it should look like. Moreover, I suggested during our chat that hopefully we'll all find out the truth eventually and maybe we should be content to do our best along the way.
She also shared an incredibly personal story with me about a near death experience and thinking that god came to her in the form of a doctor. Which does not convince me that god exists any more than when I first deconverted, but it felt respectful to listen. I think people experience all kinds of things in near-death experiences, and I believe that she believes those things happened, even if some of the people she interacted with weren't who she thought they were (aka, 'god').
I'm sure that the doctor who visited her was a regular doctor (possibly a traveling one) even if the nurses didn't know him and insisted that no one would spend that much time with her in the ER. I got the sense she hadn't been able to share this story (she herself said 'people might think I'm crazy, I don't think they would believe me') and the possible trauma of being clinically dead for upwards of a few minutes.
She's a very sweet woman, but she still hit me with the 'you're like I was, you just spent time around the wrong group of people. You just need to give it another chance and find a good church because god exists'. She shared other details of her life with me on a more personal basis since we first met (she told me about her kids, her divorce over the past few years, possibly facing homelessness, feeling depressed, etc.) probably more than she should have shared with a technical stranger, but I'm glad that we connected and that I could be a listening ear, even if I rent out my attention to people way too much. But that 'you should come back to christianity' is physically painful for me to hear. I have an almost physical reaction to it. I wish I knew how to respectfully disengage from those conversations.
submitted by DireDecember to exchristian [link] [comments]