Task and purpose transformed

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Orson
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Task and purpose transformed

Post by Orson » 23 Feb 2017, 10:27

Soon after everything came apart for me I realized my new task at church was translation. I needed to phrase virtually everything that I was hearing in a way that made sense to me – taking the core of what was in the speaker's heart, and putting that into words that someone like myself could relate to. Literal interpretations would be dropped, symbolic applications enhanced, human failings and assumptions recognized. It was exhausting at first, but over a few years became more automatic.

Adam Miller's “Letter to a CES Student” acknowledges (in my interpretation) a problem in the culture of the church. It is the focus of “Mormonism on Mormonism” as he puts it, that gets us into trouble. He uses the analogy of focusing only on ourselves in our life, and how it would destroy our meaningful purpose in life. I relate it to growing from a child to adult. Small children are concerned with “me, mine, what do I get” etc. As adults our life becomes more meaningful as we reach out and become connected in a larger purpose.

His thought process and language will be difficult for many to follow, but I take it on like a difficult but important topic in school. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj2Xgvd7FmU&t=176s

The way I see it the church leading us to focus on the validity of itself is an early step, needed to launch just as childhood is needed to produce an adult. What we must be open to is at some point turning our attention outward to a larger purpose. I see the humanness and flaws within itself as necessary to facilitate and initiate this expansion of focus. I see good signs, the expanded mission of the Maxwell institute as one example. The growing awareness of historical issues and flaws of leadership another.

The grand question is can we all help each other in this transition of purpose? We must start with ourselves. I see this as a mission of StayLDS, to help individuals mature in their focus, perhaps leading in the end to help the church as a whole emerge from the cocoon by focusing more on the purpose or destination than the vehicle. In this spirit I can agree with the call to “stay in the boat.”

It takes dedicated study and reflection. All the resources pointed to are vital. Supporting others is critical, my thanks to all in the time that you commit.
My avatar - both physical and spiritual.

I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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mom3
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Re: Task and purpose transformed

Post by mom3 » 23 Feb 2017, 18:23

Orson - Thank you. When I first came here I would copy your posts. Your clarity, love, and hope carried me along on those early heartbreaking days. Not much has changed. I am trying to learn how to be a grown up with God. And how to present that growth need to others.

One of the reason's I stay is I love or adore the hope of the LDS people. Whether all the facts actually point to the outcomes we claim they do or whether they are well-intended but poorly executed versions of man's vision, the people genuinely want to be good. To live good. To contribute good. I want to support, assist, help, and heal where I can.

I want to do for them, what your posts did for me. Thank you for a decade worth of love and insight.
"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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Orson
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Re: Task and purpose transformed

Post by Orson » 24 Feb 2017, 09:13

Thanks Mom3, I just realized your quote from Richard Bushman in your signature is pointing in the same general direction. Your love and care comes through loud and clear.

I am probably peculiar in more ways than I realize, but I enjoy stretching exercises (of the mental/spiritual variety). I keep a low profile at church, but I sometimes imagine getting into conversations where someone reacts badly - transforming misunderstanding into accusation against me. My hope is that I could remain calm and forgiving, working to ease their fears. All the authors in your Llamas post have helped me understand that the same words spoken by two different people are carried with different assumptions and potentially project different meanings. The same point was also made in a recent Mormon Matters podcast. We can speak our truth even when we know it will be interpreted differently by others who see differently. It is actually kind of fun to just sit back and try to imagine the different ways a statement in church may be interpreted.
My avatar - both physical and spiritual.

I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

Ray DeGraw
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Re: Task and purpose transformed

Post by Ray DeGraw » 25 Feb 2017, 16:13

This is beautiful and thought-provoking. It captures the essence of much of my focus in the Church.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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