Faith Journey Goal Post - Long Read (You were warned)

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AmyJ
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Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Faith Journey Goal Post - Long Read (You were warned)

Post by AmyJ » 14 Nov 2018, 07:22

I am a prolific writer on the board, but I find it helpful to write out where I am and what I am thinking about (plus, I don't do journals - so this sometimes doubles like that).

Etched in my memory is the moment I realized that I had probably been getting all communications wrong in talking to people, and in how I learned about God (either translating the non-verbal answers from God, and/or not fully understanding the teachings of God because I missed the non-verbal meanings from the teachers among other things). It was a crisis moment in a sense, but it was more an awareness that I was suddenly way over my head in deep trouble then anything. I remember thinking, "Crap, I need to find resources online to Stay LDS because my husband will absolutely flip if I leave." Thankfully, I found this site about 2 minutes later - including resources to weather this so far. The most important part of this community for me has been an explicit introduction to the implicit way things are done in the church (leadership roulette for example), and the potential consequences of actions. It is helpful to learn that I am not alone.

Last fall, I watched an episode of "The Good Place" where the plot focused around a book entitled, "What We Owe To Each Other". I even borrowed the heavy, highly worded tome from the library and got through the Introduction and the first chapter. For the first 6 months of this transition, this was one of the guiding questions - "what do I owe God, owe my spouse, owe my children, owe others?" My concluding answer has 2 parts - the first is "Love God and Love Others" - honestly, I was hopeful that I could get to know God by loving others. It is counter-intuitive since the narrative taught is we already know God, so God can help us love others. The second part is, "Charity Never Faileth" - that I owe everyone (including myself) as much charity as I have the resources to manage. Even if I turned out to be an extreme atheist at the end of this journey, I still owe it to everyone (minus God) to be charitable. My working definition of charity includes mourning, boundaries, acceptance, patience, authenticity, paradoxes, and being a peace-maker through making personal peace with questions/issues/paradoxes.

About 6 weeks ago or so, I stumbled across a "Mormon Matters" podcast entitled, "What do we do with all this?". The title stuck with me as I navigate what I do with church history (what they were talking about), my changing role and/or my perception of my changing roles as mom, wife, the sole breadwinner and a family executive in a patriarchal church, and what do I do with all the information I have acquired so far. There are days when all I can do is send positive thoughts in that general direction. Other days when I can connect using social media and hopefully leave someone's world a better place. The schoolwork is progressing, the house is usually cleaner these days, and we are slightly more organized. There are a lot of paradoxes of living that I am still actively "making peace" with. In all things, I am more motivated to "trade up" in my choices, and do my best to bring my best self forward.

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mom3
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Re: Faith Journey Goal Post - Long Read (You were warned)

Post by mom3 » 14 Nov 2018, 16:52

Amy - The Prolific One?- thank you for writing, for thinking aloud, for contributing. As a viewer of your journey, I am enjoying it. I hope you will keep us in the loop.

On the orderliness thing, I find my life is more tidy, organized, and smooth running when my plate is nearly too full. I don't know why, but it does. Keep going girl. I need your input.
"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

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

Re: Faith Journey Goal Post - Long Read (You were warned)

Post by Roy » 14 Nov 2018, 17:14

Thank you for commenting and sharing your journey. We need each other (both in the global humanity sense and in the specific sense of Mormons going through faith transitions). :thumbup:
"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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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Location: SoCal

Re: Faith Journey Goal Post - Long Read (You were warned)

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 15 Nov 2018, 10:13

AmyJ wrote:
14 Nov 2018, 07:22
Etched in my memory is the moment I realized that I had probably been getting all communications wrong in talking to people,
Hi Amy thanks for your input and words. Could you elaborate on this? I feel like I do not connect/communicate with people let alone understand my own feeling half the time. I would be interested to hear this part of your story.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

AmyJ
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Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Faith Journey Goal Post - Long Read (You were warned)

Post by AmyJ » 15 Nov 2018, 11:37

My daughter (who is a chip of the block of me) has a description of Autism for how she thinks and acts. I was reading up on common manifestations of it, when I came across the statistic that 40-65% of communication is non-verbal, and that a common symptom for ASD is completely missing and/or mis-interpreting the non-verbal communications going on.

EXAMPLE:
My husband and I have been struggling for a bit now. He has been emotionally distant (which I was fine with) for about a month. While I have understood intellectually that he was distant - and assumed that it was because of chronic health problems, he always said he was OK, or that he didn't need anything. I even thought that something was off for the last 2 weeks and made extra efforts to hug him and compliment him and I thought that was enough.
The other night, I asked him how he was and he gave the standard answer. This time, I felt I had enough evidence in my brain to call him on it that I didn't think he was "ok" anymore. He broke down the barriers and we had a good talk. The biggest problem was that I had listened to what he said rather than what he meant. And I do this a lot,

APPLICATION TO GOD:
1) Assuming that God gives prophets instructions - what is the prophet saying that I am not getting because I am hung up on the words and missing the non-verbal meanings? How much are we really missing culturally because we are applying words/concepts across cultures and time? What can I take literally (if anything) regarding the word of God?

2) Assuming that God answers my prayers, what is the possibility that I was mis-understanding what was meant?

Roy
Posts: 5520
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Faith Journey Goal Post - Long Read (You were warned)

Post by Roy » 19 Nov 2018, 12:59

AmyJ wrote:
15 Nov 2018, 11:37
1) Assuming that God gives prophets instructions - what is the prophet saying that I am not getting because I am hung up on the words and missing the non-verbal meanings? How much are we really missing culturally because we are applying words/concepts across cultures and time? What can I take literally (if anything) regarding the word of God?
The recent article, "called to serve, not called to suffer" mentioned several times that certain ways that we do the missionary thing are not doctrinal. IOW it is not doctrinal that all men serve missions, it is not doctrinal that it happen at age 18 or 19, it is not doctrinal that we must leave our families to do so, it is not doctrinal that it last for 2 years.
The doctrinal parts that are found in scripture are to 1) preach the good news, 2) if you desire to do the work, you are called, and 3) to not carry purse or scrip.
To take this a step further, the scriptures themselves are the writings of (primarily) men in anchient cultures as they sought to commune with and understand the mind of God. There are wonderful nuggets of wisdom and spirituality. There are also comments of barbarism, racism, sexism, and prejudice. I personally feel that the latter are "not doctrinal" even though they are found in scripture.
AmyJ wrote:
15 Nov 2018, 11:37
2) Assuming that God answers my prayers, what is the possibility that I was mis-understanding what was meant?
I personally feel that receiving what you interpret to be an answer from God is meaningful and valuable enough (as long as you do not interpret it in an immoral way - like permission to kill somebody). It means that you are significant enough to divine parents to illicit a response. :thumbup:
"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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