General Conference Discussion

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Re: General Conference Discussion

Post by Orson » 08 Oct 2009, 12:30

Ray Degraw wrote:Fwiw, I interpret Elder Holland's talk and intent largely based on his interview for the PBS Documentary - in which he said very clearly that the Church has room for many members to view the BofM differently - even to question its historicity.
That's interesting, because I thought of that same PBS interview through his talk. I kind of wondered if he may be trying to regain some ground with the strictly orthodox views that may have questioned his sympathetic words in that interview. (That's just me)

At any rate, I'll try to understand his talk in a better light - but at the time his emotions did not exactly strike me in the most positive way. I had a hard time understanding what he felt so worked up about. I guess from my personal view the side with the undeniable truth has the most confidence, and can speak with the most love and understanding. I know people are just human, and often get quite emotional - this is just how it strikes me.

I DO appreciate Elder Holland's words from the PBS interview very much.
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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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Re: General Conference Discussion

Post by RuthandI » 08 Oct 2009, 18:59

I appreciate the insight expressed here about Elder Hollands talk. I really tried hard to not let any of my struggle with defensiveness get in the way of my REALLY hearing and listening to his witness in this talk. I'm perfectly okay with the testimony that he bore but I did feel a lot of disdain for and even scoffing at people who don't find it absolutely obvious that the Book of Mormon is completely true. I really enjoyed your opposite interpretation, Ray. Really and truly, it helped me, but you really have to read between the lines to get that message. I was really hoping, praying, that in this conference, the apostles would stir some compassion and understanding for the very hard issues that are to be dealt with by someone who studies the history. I hoped that they would say something like unto the end of the "Why People Leave" presentation that John Dehlin put together. NOt the history parts but the end that talked about how to deal with people that struggle. I hoped that they would even mention that struggle and doubt doesn't mean bad or weak or displeasing to God. I think that this could be done in a way that is faith promoting. Don't you? I'm anxious to hear the PBS interview that you guys talked about. If anyone else is interested, here is the link:

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Re: General Conference Discussion

Post by just me » 08 Oct 2009, 22:30

I wanted to mention that two different talks had lines in them that just made me so happy to hear.

One was that anyone can pray. No matter what you are worthy and able to pray.

Forgiveness is for everyone. Or was it repentance?

Either way, I enjoyed the message of inclusiveness. No one is beyond reach, hope and love. So many people need to hear that message of unconditional love.
Most of us, sooner or later, find that at critical points in our lives we must strike out on our own to make a path where none exists.~Elaine Pagels

Ultimately, you are the path-the path begins and ends with you.~Stephan Bodian

He who think he knows, doesn’t know: He who knows he doesn’t know, knows.~Sanskrit proverb

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Re: General Conference Discussion

Post by bridget_night » 09 Oct 2009, 02:02

Poppyseed wrote:Bridget, Thanks for sharing a little more of your story. I hope I didn't sound like I was dismissing your H's concern. It sounds like he has carried much personal heartache over it. I hope he doesn't feel too alone as I think there are many who struggle with the same problem. I have lots of concerns with the church myself. One of them is situations like the one your H had with the GA who didn't really address his concern. I am sorry that happened. I frankly expect more from the GA population in terms of loving and spiritually helpful invitations. My only "church-ish" answer is that perhaps some are to believe the testimony of others, as the scriptures suggest, but that prolly isn't very comforting as other scriptures promise that if we seek God will answer.

Hi Poppyseed, Thanks for your reply. Your answer about believing on the testimony of others is what my husband did when he relied on the testimony of Paul Dunn. After that disilluionment, he felt he had to have his own personal testimony in order to go on. The peace I have come to about this, is when I felt the spirit tell me that God has withheld a testimony from my husband until he learns to find some balance in his life. When he was active in the church, he neglected me and the kids so much and used the gospel as a hammer to keep us in line. He was so strict (like his parents were) without a testimony, that I fear he would have been a real tyrant with a testimony. Through couple therapy and almost loosing his family, he has learned that he needed to change. He was somewhat of a control freak before. Perhaps as he learns to relax and find this balance a testimony will come. This is the wonderful thing about our Heavenly Father; like a loving parent he withholds things that we are not ready to handle yet. Kind of like a 12 year old who pleads his parents to allow him to drive a race car. Until he matures and can handle such a vehicle, it would harm him and all around him.

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Re: General Conference Discussion

Post by mr_musicman » 09 Oct 2009, 11:35

Peaceandjoy wrote:Bridget,
Thank you so much for your reply. It really helps to know that others are struggling as me. I, too have read the Book of Mormon and have had no answers. I am so frustrated and lost lately. So his talk didn't help me any. I really wish I had such a strong testimony. It would certainly be easier. I'm just so tired of the whole thing. I don't know what to do.
Because this is something that comes up a lot, I wanted to comment on this. I have never had one of those experiences where I am overcome with the spirit and know that the BOM is true. Rather, over the years I have tried to understand it and live the principle taught in it. By living those principles, I have found greater joy and peace in my life. In that way, I find it to be a book from God that teaches the truths we need in life. In otherwords, my testimony of the BOM is a whole bunch of little experiences that combine into one whole.

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Re: General Conference Discussion

Post by mr_musicman » 09 Oct 2009, 11:40

Ray Degraw wrote:Peaceandjoy, I would read Elder Holland's talk slowly - focusing carefully on parsing exactly what he said and, most importantly, to whom he said it. Frankly, you weren't his target audience. It's really, really easy to feel attacked when some of the statements are isolated, but the overall talk was addressed to those who 1) don't even try to understand the BofM on a spiritual level but dismiss and attack it anyway and 2) those who intentionally twist its words to attack Joseph as a fraud.

This is one talk that comes actoss VERY differently when it is read and parsed carefully than when many people initially listened, since it's hard when listening to remember what he said along the way when a particularly blunt statement is heard. MANY people think he was talking to them when he just wasn't.

My wife was commenting on things like this in regards to many of the conference talks. Sometimes because we struggle with things, we tend to take it seriously when the brethen or the scripture comment on those things. If we are sincerely trying to follow God and seek his will, then most of these warnings don't really apply to us. They are directed to those that are working to destroy the works of God. Like Elder Holland speaking directly to the detractor of the BOM and not necessarily to those that are just having a hard time developing a testimony of it. I had never thought of conference talks this way before, but it was a good thought. The idea is that maybe we are harder on ourselves than God is at times.

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Re: General Conference Discussion

Post by Peaceandjoy » 09 Oct 2009, 13:07

It's true. I'm sure that I was a bit defensive when listening to Elder Holland's talk. I am struggling right now so just ignore me. I talked to my husband last night. My youngest daughter is still at home so I will continue to fake it until she is on her own. I don't want to take her out of her happy place! After that? Hopefully I will have figured out what to do.

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Re: General Conference Discussion

Post by Peaceandjoy » 10 Oct 2009, 08:49

Sorry, bad day yesterday. I was feeling sorry for myself. So just ignore the last post! I'm much better today!

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Re: General Conference Discussion

Post by CrazyCatWoman » 11 Oct 2009, 16:26

Thanks everyone for your comments on Elder Holland's talk.
I felt (when I listened to it) and still feel that the talk was a put down to those like me who have sincere, grounded doubts about the church. However, I recognize, particularly after reading these posts, it is not viewed of as a universal put-down. Two sides to every coin and all that. :D
I think he did sound angry, and instead of feeling the Spirit (which apparently most TBMs did, since I have heard multiple comments on how powerful and undeniable Elder Holland's talk was), I felt sick and heartbroken. I think that feeling was really triggered by this quote:
"I submit this as yet one more evidence of its truthfulness. In this their greatest—and last—hour of need, I ask you: would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth?"
I recognize that some detractors to the church do try to play the "intentional fraud card." I for one am more than willing to believe that Hyrum and Joseph believed the Book or Mormon was true, but does that really provide "evidence of its truthfulness"?
I was watching Conference alone, since my spouse no longer believes the church is true, and when he heard this quote, he was especially upset: "For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands." It seemed to him (and I admit to me as well) that it only "stands" to those who are determined it is true. The fact that it stands is of course very important to those that believe the church is True, and perhaps should be lauded, but the statement seems, overly optimistic, or possibly even disingenuous. (But then, he believes it, so I guess "disingenuous" can't be strictly true). I assume Elder Holland means that the Book of Mormon stands solidly in the religious community, because I don't actually know of any non-Mormon scientists or archaeologists who believe the Book of Mormon to be history.
I guess this talk just hurt so much because it gave me the same feeling I had when my BYU Book of Mormon teacher told us that The Simpsons was an evil show, and when he heard it, he could "feel the spirit drain out through my feet." Then he proceeded to say that he might offend some by saying that, but "the wicked taketh the truth to be hard." I know that Elder Holland (instead of my teacher) as a General Authority has WAY more right to speak powerfully about the Book of Mormon (rather than a television show) since it is an important part of the gospel. But the feeling I got from both was the same, which at least explains why the talk rubbed me the wrong way.
As an individual who fluctuates in her certainty that it's really a good idea for me personally to "Stay LDS," take my words with a grain of salt. ;)
Mostly, I just wanted a place to be able to state what I thought of the talk without being reprimanded for it (as I would be if I had mentioned this in church today). I appreciate the thoughtfulness and openness of this board so much.

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Re: General Conference Discussion

Post by soulcages » 12 Oct 2009, 13:25

Thanks for the comments on Holland's talk. I need to go back and reread. But upon first reading it, the talk made me feel very alone. Every once in awhile I think I should confide some of my doubts about the church to people - to help them know that I and others struggle... for reasons that are important to us. Even more than before, that talk made me feel like any TBM I might try to share that problem with would never hear what I was saying - they would only be thinking I was foolish and trying to trample on the BOM. It is nice to know that I'm not alone. I'm glad forums like this internet group exist. But sometimes I wish there were more tangible people around me that I could talk to. I'm glad Holland has a strong testimony of the BOM. I just wish he could express it without demeaning people who are not sure about it.

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