Dan Wotherspoon interview

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doug
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Dan Wotherspoon interview

Post by doug » 22 Feb 2011, 09:11

I spent most of my holiday listening to nearly four hours of the latest mormonstories interview with Dan Wotherspoon. It's a pretty detailed look into someone who is staying LDS with a very non-traditional outlook. John asked some really good questions. For those who want to invest the time, I thought it was really helpful and thought-provoking.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -- Mark Twain

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Orson
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Re: Dan Wotherspoon interview

Post by Orson » 22 Feb 2011, 09:31

I don't think I've seen that one. Thanks for the tip! I did enjoy his points and questions to the two athiests.
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Brian Johnston
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Re: Dan Wotherspoon interview

Post by Brian Johnston » 22 Feb 2011, 10:58

I'll go download it tonight. Was looking forward to hearing this interview. I like Dan in other podcasts.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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Cadence
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Re: Dan Wotherspoon interview

Post by Cadence » 22 Feb 2011, 19:30

Spent the day in the skiing in the backcountry so I listened to the whole thing. I thought Dan had a unique outlook that I could appreciate. He simply took the good he found in Mormonism and basically does not worry about the rest. Sort of the same approach I am trying to take. The church may be all made up and the history is a mess, but that does not mean that there is not some value in the current organization for me and my family.
Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope. Thomas A. Edison

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Orson
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Re: Dan Wotherspoon interview

Post by Orson » 22 Feb 2011, 22:50

I enjoy all of Dan's insights and knowledge. I think his opinion is valuable. He has obviously done much research and has had a long history in the church with all different kinds of personalities. Like anything else in life -- I don't think his experience necessarily speaks with more authority than someone else's.

The part I am focusing on with the above comment is where he was talking about StayLDS and the timeframe it takes to pass through "stage 4" and find some genuine peace again with the church. I agree with him on every point except where he specifies a time frame. I think some people can accelerate their "living" and "processing" to get through that stage in less than 7 years or whatever he stated.

I do agree that it takes A LOT of effort, "living", and mental process, etc. And realistically will probably take at least a few years to honestly get settled into a new semi-stable world view.
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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.

doug
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Re: Dan Wotherspoon interview

Post by doug » 23 Feb 2011, 08:16

Cadence wrote:Spent the day in the skiing in the backcountry so I listened to the whole thing. I thought Dan had a unique outlook that I could appreciate. He simply took the good he found in Mormonism and basically does not worry about the rest. Sort of the same approach I am trying to take. The church may be all made up and the history is a mess, but that does not mean that there is not some value in the current organization for me and my family.
Jealous about the skiing thing :evil:

I agree about Dan's outlook. Since I'm not going to be Eugene England anytime soon, something like what Dan presents is my current goal. Appreciate the positive, insert myself where I think I can do good, ignore the nonsense.
Last edited by doug on 24 Feb 2011, 08:31, edited 1 time in total.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -- Mark Twain

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Brian Johnston
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Re: Dan Wotherspoon interview

Post by Brian Johnston » 24 Feb 2011, 08:04

Orson wrote:The part I am focusing on with the above comment is where he was talking about StayLDS and the timeframe it takes to pass through "stage 4" and find some genuine peace again with the church. I agree with him on every point except where he specifies a time frame. I think some people can accelerate their "living" and "processing" to get through that stage in less than 7 years or whatever he stated.
It could be a shorter time period ... or also people might be in stage 4 longer than they realize. Stage 4 doesn't have to track along exactly with a conscious crisis of faith, or even doubts about the factual nature of a religious narrative. I think one of the key characteristics is moving the center of authority from outside in the group (group consensus or group authority figures) to the internal. I think this can happen to people and they only later make that big step out of "the water" of the fish tank to see.

Also, I don't think someone is all of a sudden completely Stage 5. Like it just happens one day with a single realization. If I step back and think about my thoughts (in a form of meditation), I find myself sometimes deconstructing some stories more often and sometimes allowing myself to just live inside other stories more easily. I think it depends on my mood, stress level, or sometimes just my personal dislike for some faith stories.

But in the end, I agree with Dan's observation. Stage 5 is experienced much more than talked about. It is something more holistic and felt than thought.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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Orson
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Re: Dan Wotherspoon interview

Post by Orson » 24 Feb 2011, 09:08

Yes, I agree with your points Brian. I do see stage movement as experiential and taking place gradually over a period of time.

My thoughts were not precisely along stage lines, but can be difficult to discuss without some similar point of reference. I was simply pondering the difference between Dan's personal experience, and my own. If I understood Dan correctly he spent several years in "deconstruction" mode, where it was difficult for him to sit through church. I understand it is human nature to see your own experience as typical, and it very well may be. He also talked about his current "state" - in words something like "feeling comfortable both inside and outside of the symbol."

I feel like I can really relate to what he is saying. I feel perfectly comfortable "jumping back into the fishbowl" and I have not felt much stress sitting in church for almost a couple years now. The entry point to my faith crisis was four years ago this month, before that point I had no significant deconstruction. I feel like the process of my deconstruction in crisis was fairly complete, at one point I was staring atheism in the face.

What was the road from there to here? Hours and hours of daily reflection - contemplating and contrasting all my personal experiences with various possible interpretations and spiritual ideas. Also reading much from Mormon intellectuals and other sources such as Fowler and Campbell. I did have a strong - read that no other option - desire to figure out how to make it work. I wasn't going to watch the disintegration of my family and life. Maybe such motivation can accelerate experience. I simply had to be comfortable in the church, and I would settle for nothing less than authentically comfortable - true to my own feelings. Maybe I'm living an illusion, who's to say?
My avatar - both physical and spiritual.

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: Dan Wotherspoon interview

Post by George » 28 Feb 2011, 23:05

I listen to the entire interview several days ago. I returned today to read the comments. I was surprised to learn (approximately two hours ago) that John Dehlin has announced he is no longer active in the LDS church, nor is likely to attend again. I was shocked, but then maybe not so much. Life is like a box full of chocolates, you never know what you are going to find. I wish John the very best, on whatever path he follows...

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Tom Haws
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Re: Dan Wotherspoon interview

Post by Tom Haws » 28 Feb 2011, 23:40

I guess like you, George, I don't find it too surprising. It's hard to say where we may find ourselves at any moment. The part that does surprise me is if he actually is saying he is unlikely to "attend again". Are you sure you quoted him right?
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
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Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
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