Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

For the discussion of spirituality -- from LDS and non-LDS sources
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LookingHard
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by LookingHard » 03 May 2017, 10:48

SilentDawning wrote:
03 May 2017, 09:07
ydeve wrote:
28 Apr 2017, 08:47
This is where you get so many exmos who are so angry and bitter towards the church. People they feel should be able to be counted on for love and support instead turn against them when they are most vulnerable. Because their world is built on the system being correct, members become incapable of truly loving those who cannot exist within it.
That's one of the most insightful comments I've considered in the last few weeks...I was that way when I was TBM. And it leads to inviting people to have their name removed from the church, and even feeling offended by them when they have contrarian ideas.

now I'm on the other side of the fence and know the best thing in those situations is to stay loyal to them in spite of their lack of orthodox belief.
Wow. I missed that when ydeve first posted this. Very insightful.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by SilentDawning » 03 May 2017, 10:56

Further to this idea that the Spirit can be unreliable....I remember seeing Colm Wilkinson do this song below, live in a theatre. The song is a prayer -- a fictitious prayer -- about a man petitioning God to bring home a man whom his daughter loves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsYnhVITf9E

The whole story is fiction. The prayer is fiction, yet he moved me to spiritual tears with the beauty of his voice coupled with the words he spoke to God in the prayer he sang.

None of it was true -- but it invoked spiritual emotion. So, the spirit can testify of general principles, whether true or not. And the fact that preachers can invoke the spirit even when they know what they are saying is not true, is further evidence that yes, we should enjoy those spiritual feelings, but be very cautious in interpreting what they mean.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by Roy » 03 May 2017, 11:34

Great comments. I am loving the discussion.
SilentDawning wrote:
03 May 2017, 10:56
None of it was true -- but it invoked spiritual emotion. So, the spirit can testify of general principles, whether true or not. And the fact that preachers can invoke the spirit even when they know what they are saying is not true, is further evidence that yes, we should enjoy those spiritual feelings, but be very cautious in interpreting what they mean.
The pastor at the Assembly of God church told a story of another pastor that was known as a powerful preacher and a spiritual man. This other pastor had been a mentor to the first. It came out that he had been having a long term affair with a woman from the church and there was a big scandal. The first pastor asked the second if he had felt any sort of withdrawal of the spirit as he began the relationship or at any point down that road. The adulterous pastor answered that he continued to feel and preach with the spirit as powerfully as ever. When the first pastor asked how this was possible the second responded that he was able to compartmentalize his private behavior from his role as the church pastor.

What does that story mean? For me it means that feeling the spirit may also not be an indicator of personal righteousness.

I personally am toying with the idea that the spirit may not be indicative of a message from God at all. I am thinking about it similar to feelings of love. There are several references from our church leaders that tell us that one may fall in love with someone that they should not marry. If love does not tell us who we should marry then what does it tell us?
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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SilentDawning
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by SilentDawning » 04 May 2017, 07:04

Roy wrote:
03 May 2017, 11:34
Great comments. I am loving the discussion.
SilentDawning wrote:
03 May 2017, 10:56
.....I personally am toying with the idea that the spirit may not be indicative of a message from God at all. I am thinking about it similar to feelings of love. There are several references from our church leaders that tell us that one may fall in love with someone that they should not marry. If love does not tell us who we should marry then what does it tell us?
It tells us that the Spirit is only one of several inputs into our decision-making. For example, I definitely want to marry someone that I love. But other fundamentals need to be in place. I won't go into them as this is not a marriage thread, but there are factors that various experts have identified that a person should look at, in addition to love. In fact, it is those various factors that keeps love alive.

Also, people have reported being told they should marry person A (that happened to me when I was in my early twenties). Yet person A doesn't feel it or want it, in spite of sincere prayer and consideration. Therefore, if it truly was the Spirit acting on Person A, then what does that tell us about the reliabililty of the Spirit?

The other factor -- people feel they are told to do X by the Spirit. Then they go and do it, and it blows up in their face. It makes them miserable and causes untold hardship. Then they are left having to figure out why they were told to go and do that thing. Often the answers are rationalizations or the recognition of weak benefits that in my life, didn't seem to justify the personal cost of the explosion. And so, you are left without any idea of what the "spiritual guidance" meant.

So, the Spirit alone shouldn't be our guide...I see it as a great source of peace and comfort at certain times, but only one arrow in my quiver of decision-making tools.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

Roy
Posts: 4263
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by Roy » 09 May 2017, 12:14

That is pretty close to my thought as well. Nobody is saying that you should marry someone who you do not love or that you are not attracted to. Those are important (even critical) elements. Who, given the choice, would choose to live without love? But love is only part of a lager picture of whether a particular couple has a good shot at long term success.

Similarly, feeling the spirit is beautiful. It can add mystery, wonder, and even whimsy to our lives. The spirit can help us to color our lives with meaning which in turn makes our lives more purposeful. This is good and praiseworthy.

However, (just like love) feelings of the spirit do not seem to be good indicators for determining objective truth.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

DoubtingTom
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Joined: 22 Mar 2017, 12:13

Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by DoubtingTom » 10 May 2017, 16:23

Roy wrote:
09 May 2017, 12:14
Similarly, feeling the spirit is beautiful. It can add mystery, wonder, and even whimsy to our lives. The spirit can help us to color our lives with meaning which in turn makes our lives more purposeful. This is good and praiseworthy.

However, (just like love) feelings of the spirit do not seem to be good indicators for determining objective truth.
I love this!

Early in my faith transition when I determined that emotions, or feeling the spirit, are not a reliable means for determining truth, I initially determined that I should reject all such emotions. But I'm (slowly) starting to come around and recognize the value in these spiritual experiences for their own sakes, even if they don't mean the same thing I was taught to believe they mean. And, they can still be powerful indicators of subjective truths and certainly can enrich our lives if we allow them to. I just wish I could go back and re-experience my most profound spiritual experiences with this new perspective. I think the experiences themselves would be much more meaningful to me now, even as the objectivity of those experiences would be lessened.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by SilentDawning » 10 May 2017, 23:24

DoubtingTom wrote:
10 May 2017, 16:23
But I'm (slowly) starting to come around and recognize the value in these spiritual experiences for their own sakes, even if they don't mean the same thing I was taught to believe they mean. And, they can still be powerful indicators of subjective truths and certainly can enrich our lives if we allow them to. I just wish I could go back and re-experience my most profound spiritual experiences with this new perspective. I think the experiences themselves would be much more meaningful to me now, even as the objectivity of those experiences would be lessened.
I like the scripture indicates the Spirit helps people understand each other, and everyone is edified together. I have had experiences where being together, and feeling the spirit, is good for relationships. It strengthens people being together, and is almost like approval from God about what the group is doing. Notice I didn't say it's necessarily testifying of truth, only that the people are together with pure motives and good hearts. It has a unifying effect that is of value, and is very real.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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