Advice is just that: advice

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Beefster
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Advice is just that: advice

Post by Beefster » 19 Jan 2018, 09:11

When I was on my mission, zone conferences had their way of making me feel like crap for all the things I did "wrong" During one of these, my companion (actually my favorite companion) noticed that I was taking it all really hard (they were really drilling in obedience) and started writing something in my notebook.

When he finished the 2-page wall of text, I read it (naturally), and it made me feel a lot better. I thought it was pretty wise (especially for an 18-year-old) at the time, but I realize now that there was even more wisdom in it than I thought. He talked about his time when he was inactive and the difficult time he had quitting weed and porn. He said a couple times that nobody is perfect. He said that despite what anyone else thinks and regardless of what you do, God will always love you. One thing he said that didn't resonate with me at the time is something I understand better now. And that is to take advice given by leaders as just that: advice.

I think this goes all the way up the hierarchy. I don't answer to the bishop or stake president, at least in the sense of doing everything they say. What they ask me to do is really just advice. Advice that might be inspired or well-thought-out, but advice nonetheless. We don't answer to any of our church leaders in the end, just to ourselves and to God.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

AmyJ
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Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Advice is just that: advice

Post by AmyJ » 19 Jan 2018, 12:36

Beefster wrote:
19 Jan 2018, 09:11
One thing he said that didn't resonate with me at the time is something I understand better now. And that is to take advice given by leaders as just that: advice.

I think this goes all the way up the hierarchy. I don't answer to the bishop or stake president, at least in the sense of doing everything they say. What they ask me to do is really just advice. Advice that might be inspired or well-thought-out, but advice nonetheless. We don't answer to any of our church leaders in the end, just to ourselves and to God.
I have always been more interested in learning things for myself than just being told to do them blindly. Logical obedience - sometimes, I believe in not rocking the boat and in being a good human being and doing my part. I did go through a developmental phase where I had blind(ish) faith in the leaders and what they said - and why they said it. It probably saved me some heartache and bad decisions as a teenager.

One of the side effects of my general identity and faith transition is that I am getting to take a second and third look at my actions and motivations - and allowing myself to recognize that leadership might be giving some really good advice that applies to me, some really great advice that helps others more than me, or the best advice that the leader can give from within their narrative and the narratives of their listeners - and that might not be me anymore (if it ever was). And multiple states can apply at any given time.

The good news is that I don't have to burn any bridges or do anything about it really. If cornered by TBM's in making specific points, I can always redirect to something that resonated with me, speak respectful sheepese, or politely disengage.

Roy
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Re: Advice is just that: advice

Post by Roy » 23 Jan 2018, 16:23

One principle that I have learned here is that general authorities tend to share "general principles".

That means that any advice that might be given probably applies pretty well to the group generally. If looked at with a bell curve the advice would tend to serve the "average". The farther you are from the average the less the advice applies. I love that the proclamation on the family makes clear that "individual adaptation may apply."

However, It should be noted that for many Mormons the words spoken by the GA's are not merely a source of good advice but rather commandments from the Lord. They may look at conforming with the advice given as "obedience" and deviation from that advice as "disobedience."
"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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Heber13
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Re: Advice is just that: advice

Post by Heber13 » 23 Jan 2018, 19:09

It takes a maturity level to grasp that idea, I think, and not use it recklessly.

But I believe God wants us to develop our sense of discernment to choose for ourselves despite the advice of others, and own our choices.

When we don't know what to do...the advice of others can help us.

But at some point you take off the training wheels and feel the freedom of your own ride.

Strict obedience is the lesser law, the plan of Lucifer. Choosing out of love is the higher law. We have to learn that without beating ourselves up, or expecting others to spoon feed us.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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