OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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SilentDawning
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OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by SilentDawning » 02 May 2011, 19:39

Part of my multi-facted concerns about the Church (a big part, actually) is the fact that this organization acts like any other temporal organization. In fact, they have, at times, acted in ways that have been worse than the for-profit organizations I have worked with for several years.

This has led to a deep cynicism on my part about our organization we call The Church. So, I"m all ears for those who have counterpoint to contribute:

"Why should I NOT expect the Church to somehow be a kinder, gentler, better, less temporally concerned organization than a for-profit corporation?"
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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cwald
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by cwald » 02 May 2011, 20:42

I wish I had some counter argue for ya SD - but I don't.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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SilentDawning
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by SilentDawning » 02 May 2011, 21:08

Cwald -- I recognize this might be a hard question for many, so I'm not expecting this thread to have pages upon pages of responses.

But I am willing to listen to the arguments against this cynicism; practical, grounded reasons why the Church's claims to such divine connection do not relieve it of all the interests and behavior of any other temporal organization.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

GBSmith
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by GBSmith » 02 May 2011, 21:24

SilentDawning wrote:Cwald -- I recognize this might be a hard question for many, so I'm not expecting this thread to have pages upon pages of responses.

But I am willing to listen to the arguments against this cynicism; practical, grounded reasons why the Church's claims to such divine connection do not relieve it of all the interests and behavior of any other temporal organization.
My first wife worked in the church office building in the 70s and talked about being "church broke." It meant you could work there and still believe the church is true. A hard thing and a hard lesson but they really are two different things.

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SilentDawning
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by SilentDawning » 02 May 2011, 21:41

GBSmith wrote:
SilentDawning wrote:My first wife worked in the church office building in the 70s and talked about being "church broke." It meant you could work there and still believe the church is true. A hard thing and a hard lesson but they really are two different things.
I'm not sure what you mean by this GBSmith -- could you expand upon it a bit? I'm interested.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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mom3
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by mom3 » 02 May 2011, 22:40

Silent - I am going to try to answer this backwards using another religion as an example. It has been my privilege to closely associate with two other religions in my life. Because of that I have been able to see how human nature is a battle unto itself. Often times we all do, say, or act in ways we think are Godly, righteous, etc. We can even quote scripture to support the presentation. We even believe whole heartedly that we are right. It is not until the tables somehow turn on us that we get to glimpse the errors that masquerade in our actions.

Both of the religions I am referencing also claim to be the only real/true religion. Yet one of them finds everyone else unworthy. They pray often, can recite entire books of scripture, write and sing some great pop Christ music. But a Catholic in their mist is unworthy. They believe in Grace. Huge amounts of Grace. But they struggle to give it to others in ways I wouldn't have imagined.

The other religion is based deeply on Old Testament traditions. They too are very insolated. They preach Christ-like principles, and they too have hierarchies, cliques, snubbings so forth.

As an outsider looking in - and as a friend working side by side with them I have learned that humans are humans. We all espouse a higher way. We do it in our homes, in our neighborhoods etc. I think that is why the suggestion to "check the mote in thine own eye" is given. LDS people have the same hurts, personality flaws, hungers, needs for validation as everyone else. The only way that can change is when we as people work to change how we do our part. It's not easy but from all the reading of human suffering I have done the real key to making this life succeed is forgiveness.

It sounds trite and Sunday School answering but more and more stories of people who have truly forgiven their offenders whether it's in prison camps, holocaust victims, rapist or murders. Something happens. Something miraculous. The same stupid human responses still exist in the world - but they no longer hurt. Everytime the offender sincerely forgives another miracle takes place they share, radiate, teach, preach, plead with others to do the same. They reach out to others and find ways to lift them.

Albert Einstein is credited with saying, "A person truly begins to live when he lives outside himself."

I think that is the key in church. Even though we are all trying to get to the Celestial Kingdom we get so wrapped up in our journey we totally stomp on others and don't even see it. Most likely we silently pat ourselves on the back for having said or done something we thought was amazing.

I just don't think we hold the corner on this. It exists in other religions, too.
"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

GBSmith
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by GBSmith » 03 May 2011, 07:58

SilentDawning wrote:
GBSmith wrote:
SilentDawning wrote:My first wife worked in the church office building in the 70s and talked about being "church broke." It meant you could work there and still believe the church is true. A hard thing and a hard lesson but they really are two different things.
I'm not sure what you mean by this GBSmith -- could you expand upon it a bit? I'm interested.
The church is a corporation and a business and run by men who have their management styles, goals and agendas that can be dificult for others to deal with in a personal way. Pres. Henry D. Moyle was a successful businessman who brought that style to church leadership and we all suffered for it. The church is a religion whose goal is to proclaim the gospel, etc. and is based on Christian principles. When the two get conflated, and you're the one caught in the middle it can be hard remembering the church is true.

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 03 May 2011, 09:07

SilentDawning wrote:Part of my multi-facted concerns about the Church (a big part, actually) is the fact that this organization acts like any other temporal organization. In fact, they have, at times, acted in ways that have been worse than the for-profit organizations I have worked with for several years...This has led to a deep cynicism on my part about our organization we call The Church. So, I"m all ears for those who have counterpoint to contribute:

"Why should I NOT expect the Church to somehow be a kinder, gentler, better, less temporally concerned organization than a for-profit corporation?"
I think the main reason the LDS Church sometimes looks even worse than a profit-oriented corporation rather than a bona fide religious organization that honestly tries to be charitable and benevolent is mostly because of the idea that the leaders are almost always right, and not just current leaders either but past LDS prophets and apostles going back to 1830 and adopted and potentially fictional leaders like Moses, Abraham, Noah, and Adam as well. Real businesses typically have to worry about the competition, customer satisfaction, employee morale/turnover, etc. but our leaders think they are above anything like that as if they don't have to answer to anyone other than God. So if God isn't providing them with clear and recognizable feedback then who will?

Basically, they are not held accountable for the end results of their decisions because they are mostly surrounded by people that already agree with them and they don't need to pay much attention to outside information or opinions if they don't want to. They probably rationalize that if it was good enough for them to sacrifice so much and jump through all these hoops for the Church then it is good enough for younger generations as well. In most industries it seems like almost everyone their age would already be retired so maybe they just don't have the energy and/or mental wherewithal to deal with some of the complex problems. If the second coming is just around the corner like they have been saying for decades then theoretically it's the members that need to be resilient and on their best behavior rather the Church organization because the Church is supposedly already perfect even though the members aren't.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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cwald
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by cwald » 03 May 2011, 09:51

A lot of the problems I have with the church is rooted in the deeply entrenched cultural belief that prophets are always correct and are always speaking and making policy on God's behalf. Obviously I am not the only one who has this concern.

Since October GC and a renewal of the emphasis on the 14Fs and the two lines of communication, I have very little hope or faith that the church will evolve significantly in my life time.

Basically because of Costa and Oaks, in the last 30 years we have taken one step forward and two steps back.

The only way we can get out of this is if TSM repudiates those messages, and don't hold your breath that is going to happen.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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cwald
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by cwald » 03 May 2011, 09:58

I think the 14Fs are the single most dangerous and destructive doctrine ever taught in this religion and any others.

I hope it is not the spiritual poison that brings the lds church to its knees. Yes, it will make spiritual roadkill of many of us stayLDSers/NOMs, but hopefully it doesn't entirely cripple the mainstream church and facilitate even more spiritual welfare.

Sad really.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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