No standing still?

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Beefster
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No standing still?

Post by Beefster » 18 Oct 2017, 17:58

It's pretty common to hear people in the church say that if you aren't progressing in the gospel, you are regressing. There is no standing still.

Of course this is usually applied in a way that suggests the gospel of checklists. They say stuff like if you're not reading the BoM, you'll become less and less spiritual over time.

I think there is some truth to the idea. Stagnation is a real problem to watch out for, but I think that's something that can happen even when you're checking all the boxes.

I would say most members are standing still most of the time.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

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LookingHard
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Re: No standing still?

Post by LookingHard » 18 Oct 2017, 19:41

Is the church standing still? Digging in it's heals and saying, "we are never going to be OK with homosexuality!"?

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nibbler
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Re: No standing still?

Post by nibbler » 19 Oct 2017, 05:11

Beefster wrote:
18 Oct 2017, 17:58
It's pretty common to hear people in the church say that if you aren't progressing in the gospel, you are regressing. There is no standing still.
I hear that said about the business world all the time.

From the movie Tommy Boy:

"Ron, don't tell me the bank thinks we need to wait it out. Any business that tries to wait it out will be just that, out. In auto-parts, you're either growing our you're dying. There ain't no third direction."

Is that how the gospel works though? Something that can be grown, managed, and ran like a business? Is it a cutthroat, limited resource spirit world where if you're late to the game you'll find that the early bird has already eaten up all the worms?

What of scriptures like Mosiah 4:27, "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order." Or D&C 10:4, "Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end." Do they not imply that there can be periods of rest in our progression?

When athletes train for events they work rest periods into their routines. If they do nothing but work they'll end up doing more harm than good.

Another expression I hear often at church is that the church is the rock cut from the mountain, it will move along just fine without you, it's your choice if you want to be a part of it or not. The next time I hear that I think I'll respond, "If you don't need me I guess I can be on my way." ;)

Here's a question. What does it mean to progress in the gospel?

Curt Sunshine
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Re: No standing still?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Oct 2017, 20:48

If progression in this life is your goal, standing still is, at least, losing time to progress.

We lose sight too easily of the concept of "eternal" progression when we talk about this, as well as the need for true rest on a regular basis. Even God rested in the creation narrative.
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.

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dande48
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Re: No standing still?

Post by dande48 » 19 Oct 2017, 21:29

It all depends on where you're going. It's better to stand still, than to head in the wrong direction. They say if you're ever lost in the middle of nowhere, you should STAY PUT; it increases your chances of being found.

There's also the trouble of being focused on the end, rather than the here and now. Are we so distracted by promises of a blissful afterlife, that we don't take time to enjoy the here and now? When we're in such a rush to perfection, can we really enjoy our time here, imperfections and all?
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Roy
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Re: No standing still?

Post by Roy » 20 Oct 2017, 09:32

I suppose I am looking at it somewhat as a pathway. There are paths forward. There are no paths backward. Suppose, I left the church today and then came back after 10 years. I would not be the same person. I would not have "lost" ten years. I would have ten additional years of experience under my belt. The church too would not be the same. It may change more slowly than I but it still moves forward (as an aside, I inwardly chuckle when people speculate about bringing back polygamy or moving church HQ to Missouri. There is no going back!)

However, not all experiences are equally valuable. That is part of the reason why we stress that participants that reduce the church's footprint in their lives "trade up." There are lots and lots of choices along the path. We only get to travel this way but once and there is an opportunity cost for every choice we make. I believe that the key is to be thoughtful and purposeful in our choices as we travel the path.
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Willhewonder
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Re: No standing still?

Post by Willhewonder » 22 Oct 2017, 18:17

Dande48 wrote: It all depends on where you're going. It's better to stand still, than to head in the wrong direction. They say if you're ever lost in the middle of nowhere, you should STAY PUT; it increases your chances of being found.
There's also the trouble of being focused on the end, rather than the here and now. Are we so distracted by promises of a blissful afterlife, that we don't take time to enjoy the here and now? When we're in such a rush to perfection, can we really enjoy our time here, imperfections and all?"

I am becoming increasingly dubious about a blissful afterlife especially in the Celestial Kingdom. People are saying (apostle people, mind you) that life there is the essence of the service that we are asked to do here in the Church. Well, I'm not sure I want to spend the eternities doing home teaching. What about having barbecues on the edge of placid lakes while children play in the background? What about building models and playing what-if scenario alternate history wargames? What about taking long romantic walks with DW?

And another thing, if this life is so short in the eternal scheme of things, how much progression can you really make in the " blink of an eye"? And if we're thinking about the eternities, why are we worried about standing still for a year, 10 years, 50 years?

There's something out of wack here. The one club I can still see they have is the claim that you can always trade down, but you can't trade up.

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