Comments on Mormon Stories podcasts on the Givens

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LookingHard
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Comments on Mormon Stories podcasts on the Givens

Post by LookingHard » 02 Dec 2017, 19:32

I think you all know I am a podcast freak - not just LDS oriented ones.

But I did just listen to one of the latest Mormon Stories on Reactions to Terryl and Fiona Givens Firesides

Several times as I was listening to this I had a thought and then that question would be asked. As an example, I started thinking about how the Givens talk about a religion/faith that seems so different from the one I know as Mormonism. I thought, "It isn't quite as different as those that are in the Denver Snuffer movement, but certainly not correlating to Gen Conference talks. Then that very topic was discussed (even calling out Denver Snuffer). They pointed out the main difference was that Denver was dis'n the power of the top leaders and the Givens just stay clear from that (maybe as very educated people they know where they will get in trouble).

Anybody else listen to this one? If so, what did you think about it?

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mom3
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Re: Comments on Mormon Stories podcasts on the Givens

Post by mom3 » 04 Dec 2017, 16:18

Thanks for the link.

I am not a podcast person. Everyone in my family is. I just can't endure them. Even the fun, snazzy ones.

That said - I have a personal gripe with John Dehlin's interviews with people he has labeled as apologists. It's like assuming Sean Hannity is really going to be "fair and balanced" to a Democrat. Not.

A couple of months ago John held a 3 part podcast with Lex deAzevedo, of Saturday's Warrior Fame. I can only assume he chose to do it so that the 300 commentators could have a verbal stoning party. I feel the same way about him now with the Givens. What's the point? The Mormon Stories crowd will just pile on the "apologist" crap and the Givens will have wasted an hour.

On to the Givens. I love their God That Weeps book.

I appreciate Terryl taking on Deseret Book years ago.

Time though has passe. The effect many hoped from the Givens' connection didn't play out. Top leadership didn't get the memo. Any shifts in the sand of our faith were nearly microscopic at best.

I do believe the Givens' helped messenger's like Uchtdorf (and a bit of Holland). Who was first I can not say?

Sadly the Givens' are too close to the church and it's status quo for many nuanced or disaffected members. Yet are too unknown to traditional practicing members to build the bridge that might have been.

The November 2015 policy closed the deal. It's sad because the Givens' are on to something. Or at least they were. Now their voice is tin.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Ann
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Re: Comments on Mormon Stories podcasts on the Givens

Post by Ann » 05 Dec 2017, 02:01

Thanks for the link. It’s not exactly an easy listen because of the sound quality and the slowness of the discussion. But here’s my meandering take:

The interview is with two (of 60-70) people who attended a Givens fireside in Arizona. I think I got it right - their new book is “The Christ Who Heals.”

Kind of weird, I think, that attendance at this thing was generated solely by word of mouth, nothing over the pulpit. If the church is okay with Deseret Book publishing them and with chapels being available to them, I don’t exactly see why they wouldn’t “allow” more promotion. The Givenses walk a fine line and never criticize the brethren, but should appeal to many of the leavers.

The interview was with two attendees because the Givenses have declined invitations to come back on the program. I can think of all kinds of reasons why, but apparently Fiona has said that they don’t want to be seen as “faith crisis gurus.”

Some bullet points from the discussion of their book:
- teachings of Protestant churches at JS’ time
- Joseph Smith’s teachings as contrary on nearly every important point
- we came into this life to ascend back to God
- becoming “perfect” really means “whole”
- baptism is more of an adoption into the body of Christ than for forgiveness of sin
- progression within the three degrees of glory

The attendees take is that the Givenses are trying to educate all of us and reshape a culture that still doesn’t promote doctrines that - in the Bruce R. McConkie/Joseph Fielding Smith era especially - fell out of favor.

Whose right is it to theologize? was the next question discussed. What really constitutes Mormon doctrine? A Thoughtful Faith Facebook group has used the phrase “trickle up theology.”

One of the guys said something pretty funny when I thought about it. “People at church aren’t interested in talking about religion.” One of them, when asked for his final thoughts at the end, what struck them the most, said, “how few people were there.” It wasn’t said to criticize because one of them said his wife is simply not interested in these discussions.

P.S. I’m not a huge John Dehlin fan, but this podcast got me a glimpse of something I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. He noted that a woman had been asked to participate, but it didn’t work out. He invited any woman listening live to call and he’d patch her in to the call.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

nibbler
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Re: Comments on Mormon Stories podcasts on the Givens

Post by nibbler » 05 Dec 2017, 06:20

This may go along with the theme of the thread talking about change. Will the Givens' water reach the end of all the rows in time? Plants can't survive droughts forever. I'll make it personal...

Will the god who weeps visit my area to cry a few tears into a parched, parched ground? I've tried to be that god in my area but apparently my area isn't ready for that.

The Givens' Mormonism is not the Mormonism I experience. I feel like what they present is a vision of what Mormonism could be, something to give people hope. But I feel the actual experience is more akin to wandering through the desert for 40 years in anticipation of that day.

The Givens' enjoy something that most people that struggle at church do not have... an audience. Many people struggling with faith issues just want to be heard, want to be validated, want someone to listen to them. The Givens travel around and wherever they go it's an event where people line up to listen to them. I guess we could all write books and stick our necks out there, roll the dice to see if church leaders will give us the axe or we'll gain followers, but you shouldn't have to become a mini-celebrity in the church to get people to listen. You shouldn't have to risk it all to see if you'll be allowed to be yourself at church.

I'm not a podcast person either but I did pick up a few lines:
  • Judgment isn't to determine punishment, it's to see ourselves more clearly so we can be healed. We're in big, big trouble on that front. IMO our culture is an unhealthy combination of judging others and the perception of being judged by others. It's hard to see ourselves more clearly when there is a lot of cultural pressure to put up a façade. How will this change with all of the talk of "worthiness" and obedience at church? How will this change when we openly apply labels like member in good standing and less active to people?
  • Perfect meaning whole. I'm actually hearing this more and more often in my area but when it's shared it's clear that people's definition of whole isn't any different than the "without flaw" definition of perfection. We're whole when we're perfect, and we're right back where we started.
I think it would help if people got to enjoy having an audience, even if it's an audience of one. Not an audience that seeks to correct, an audience that listens. A god that listens. That much I can do.

Ann
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Re: Comments on Mormon Stories podcasts on the Givens

Post by Ann » 05 Dec 2017, 06:25

I’ll just post separately. I went to Wikipedia because I was curious about their ages. Terryl was born in 1957.

I know from a presentation I heard a year or so ago that she has something in the works, but this is what I’m waiting for:
Givens's wife, Fiona Givens, is a Latter-day Saint who was raised as a Catholic. She has co-authored some of his books and been involved in some theologically related work on her own, such as discussing the possibility of fully developing a theology of Heavenly Mother in a Neal A. Maxwell Institute Podcast.
It’ll be interesting to see if Deseret Book publishes it and what kind of reception it gets. I don’t say that rubbing my hands with glee over some big controversy. I think there’s probably going to be one run at the idea, and nothing more if it can’t get traction. So I’m hoping. Unless there’s some other way to finally have a real hearing on a woman’s place in the restored gospel, the temple, the day to day functioning of the church, etc.

I worry that the generation following the Givenses is being gutted right now, so their work is all the more important.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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LookingHard
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Re: Comments on Mormon Stories podcasts on the Givens

Post by LookingHard » 05 Dec 2017, 07:13

nibbler wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 06:20
... The Givens' Mormonism is not the Mormonism I experience.
That was one of the times listening to the podcast that I did a bit of a yell in my car.

I have read things from those that have been through faith crises, they warn those just now going through their individual faith crisis that the church isn't going to suddenly change because YOU found out it wasn't what you thought it was. I remember feeling, "I am not sure the church is going to make it a few years once this info is out." I have to laugh at myself now for thinking that.

But I do get a sense that the disaffection in the ranks is swelling. I am in a stake calling now and they are showing reports from the top leaders that show the trend in retaining our youth is heading towards <50% in just a few years. Combine that with slowing baptisms (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) and more people leaving or quietly walking away and I wonder what is going to happen while we wait 40 years for some leaders to pass on. I do think the church will eventually make some changes because they will be forced to, but I don't think they are going to be as successful in the next change given the current scrutiny they are under.

And speaking of Moses, I had to laugh at this meme about Moses. I am sure my wife would say, "That's a man for you. If he just would have stopped and asked for directions!"
Image

nibbler
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Re: Comments on Mormon Stories podcasts on the Givens

Post by nibbler » 05 Dec 2017, 07:41

nibbler wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 06:20
The Givens' Mormonism is not the Mormonism I experience.
To clarify, this isn't a knock on the Givens. The Mormonism LH experiences is not the Mormonism that I experience; The Mormonism DJ experiences is not the Mormonism that I experience; etc. We all have our perspectives, our experience, and our differences to work with.

The Givens have a book published in Deseret Book, go on tours, and enjoy a little fame; meanwhile Brother BarelyHoldingOn gets his TR yanked for not believing the BoM is historical but still viewing it as scripture and people start to be stand-offish around him at church. Different experiences on different ends of a spectrum that people are having.
LookingHard wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 07:13
And speaking of Moses, I had to laugh at this meme about Moses. I am sure my wife would say, "That's a man for you. If he just would have stopped and asked for directions!"
But god was busy during those 40 years preparing the promised land for the Israelites. Lulling the Canaanites into a false sense of security I suppose.

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mom3
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Re: Comments on Mormon Stories podcasts on the Givens

Post by mom3 » 05 Dec 2017, 11:01

Lulling the Canaanites into a false sense of security I suppose.
Bless you my friend.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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LookingHard
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Re: Comments on Mormon Stories podcasts on the Givens

Post by LookingHard » 05 Dec 2017, 11:05

Nibbler - your 3 eyes give you a good perspective on things.

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