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

Post by SilentDawning » 06 May 2011, 06:04

Yes, it would be interesting to read about the M&G, and how you got to where you are now. You seem to epitomize Stage 5 thinking which is an enviable position. I hope my personal Articles of Faith might help me get there. I've had some spurts and starts over the last year and can't seem to get going for the long-term like you have.
"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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mercyngrace
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by mercyngrace » 06 May 2011, 06:50

Because this involves another person and because I post under the same username on other LDS forums and some people know who I am, this will be very succint.

An individual committed a grievous sin against me. Through a series of intense spiritual experiences, I was given the ability to forgive. I frankly forgave. At the same time, my offender was experiencing a true change of heart and this was evident to all who knew him. The SP decided to follow the letter of the law and push for discipline even though at this point it served no purpose. Not only did the offense not merit such a response, the discipline was arbitrary and designed only to satisfy the desires of the hard-hearted SP for retribution.

I very nearly walked away from the church out of sheer disappointment. My offender, now my friend, helped me stay by saying "This man (the SP) is also progressing. The only way he will learn is if I stay and he's forced to see his zeal was excessive and his 'justice' was unjust."

He stayed. I stayed. We each experienced an outpouring of love from God and increased strength, wisdom, and spirituality and realized that administrative acts by the church mean much less to God than the church would have people believe.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

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

Post by SilentDawning » 06 May 2011, 07:12

Wow -- that's all I can say -- Wow. Thanks for sharing this M&G. That took strength of character for both of you, and I admire it. I have trouble with forgiveness. Frankly forgiving is really hard for me. Over time, I can do it, although trust is never restored. So, how do you get to wholehearted forgiveness? What do you to do achieve it? I find prayer empty in that respect; perhaps you have more to offer than simply saying to pray about it.
"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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HiJolly
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by HiJolly » 06 May 2011, 07:52

mercyngrace wrote:Thanks for that response, SD, I wasn't sure exactly how to take your question and I was traveling along a completely different line of thought.

Same. I was afraid SD was coming from a different place, and I wanted to comment, but was afraid I had misunderstood something. M&G, you request for clarification is what was needed.
mercyngrace wrote:I'm not sure if I sacrificed my idealism or if my ideal simply changed.

What, you're *humble*, or something? :clap: I take your meaning, though -- and I think personally that changing the idealism not only requires humility, but also and concurrently, sacrifice.
mercyngrace wrote:I will say that I've faced a couple of difficult situations where the institution of the church seemed to contradict the teachings of Christ. These moments felt to me like Abraham standing over a bound Isaac. The hardest thing ever asked of me has been to submit to policies that were clearly written for a telestial people while I was willing to abide a celestial law.

Yes! Although I must say that I keep finding telestrialism within myself, at the most inopportune moments. Sadly. having children really put that on the fast track, I must say. Love 'em, but sometimes what my kids reveal about myself is scary.

There are a couple of ways this thought has been brought out by various people. One is that the Church is not for celestial saints as much as it is for convalescing sinners. I like that view, because when I really get down to brass tacks, I *am* a sinner. Still. Over & over. So the Church works.

The other is that the 'regular' saints are caterpillars, crawling along at a ghastly, low & slow gospel level. And the enlightened saints are those that have gone into chrysalis (dark night of the soul?), have internally changed into new beings, are are now ready to fly. I can relate to that. I had to lay down, sacrifice if you will, my internal view of the Church and its leaders as this wonderful can-do-no-wrong monolith, and adapt it to the reality of what I'm experiencing. The downside to this in my view is that some butterflies forget their fellow caterpillars and leave the Church, thus slowing the progress of the slow to an even slower rate. We miss their awesome example and company.

I sometimes feel like crying for those I've known that could have done so much within the Church, but just didn't have the patience (or ?) to remain. That's not to say I think that they did something terrible, I know they may have needed to flee, within themselves. That's ok in principle, but when I see what they could've done, then it does sadden me. Maybe I'm just selfish.
mercyngrace wrote:The church is just a vehicle clattering along a bumpy road through the wilderness with a meandering course plotted toward the promised land.
Yep. It has to be. But we *all* have the possibility of flight.

HiJolly
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus

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

Post by cwald » 06 May 2011, 09:58

HiJolly wrote:...The other is that the 'regular' saints are caterpillars, crawling along at a ghastly, low & slow gospel level. And the enlightened saints are those that have gone into chrysalis (dark night of the soul?), have internally changed into new beings, are are now ready to fly. I can relate to that. I had to lay down, sacrifice if you will, my internal view of the Church and its leaders as this wonderful can-do-no-wrong monolith, and adapt it to the reality of what I'm experiencing. The downside to this in my view is that some butterflies forget their fellow caterpillars and leave the Church, thus slowing the progress of the slow to an even slower rate. We miss their awesome example and company...
This is actually pretty well said IMO.

I won't blame anyone for walking away from it all. i would love to do that to be honest. I'm still clinging on - but if the church doesn't make more of an effort to make NOMish folks feel welcome.... the church has done a great job making NOMish folk feel unwelcome and in some cases just pushing them out, which is contributing to the progress of the the slow to an even slower rate.
  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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mercyngrace
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Re: OK, I'll try to listen with an open mind

Post by mercyngrace » 06 May 2011, 10:31

SilentDawning wrote:I have trouble with forgiveness. Frankly forgiving is really hard for me. Over time, I can do it, although trust is never restored. So, how do you get to wholehearted forgiveness? What do you to do achieve it? I find prayer empty in that respect; perhaps you have more to offer than simply saying to pray about it.
It was always hard for me, too, and I think the reason was that I was trying to accomplish it as an act of sheer will. That's not what forgiveness is, though.

Forgiveness is a natural outgrowth of two principles: Humility and Love.

Humility means that you look at the other person and feel in the depth of your bones "There but for the grace of God go I." You recognize that without mercy, you could very well be just as lost, just as damaged, just as hurt and just as hurtful. Maybe, in fact,you already are all these things but your culture, your traditions, your beliefs inhibit you from acting out in depraved ways. Maybe your hurt comes out as gossiping, whining, judging, or cross words. Spencer W. Kimball gave a brilliant discourse once in which he explained that the Savior sees all sin as the result of a deep unmet need in the sinner. As someone who has needs that go unmet from time to time, can you understand how those hurts drive us to fill the voids in our lives? Even at the expense of others? I certainly can. So when I look at someone who has caused another great injury, I think "That could've been me."

Love means that you look at the other person and decide that you care more about his/her redemption from the hellish pain that drove them to act in the first place (now multiplied by the searing pain of a guilty conscience) than you care about being recompensed for your own pain. You feel like Alma and the Sons of Mosiah that you can't stand the thought of another perishing - especially just so you can receive justice.

The problem most people have with forgiveness seems to be that we want justice. We want the other person to suffer as we have. Christ didn't do that. He said "I'll suffer so you don't have to." He loved us enough to bear an infinite and eternal injustice. He said essentially "I love you more than I care about getting the treatment I deserve." Can you love another person that much? I bet you already do.
Last edited by mercyngrace on 06 May 2011, 10:50, edited 1 time in total.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

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

Post by mercyngrace » 06 May 2011, 10:47

HiJolly wrote: -- and I think personally that changing the idealism not only requires humility, but also and concurrently, sacrifice.
I think the reason I don't view it so much as a sacrifice is that it felt much more like an awakening. You and SD are both right, though, there were moments when I felt like I was the one on the altar.
Yes! Although I must say that I keep finding telestrialism within myself, at the most inopportune moments. Sadly. having children really put that on the fast track, I must say. Love 'em, but sometimes what my kids reveal about myself is scary.
I think that for the first 8 years of my parenting, I put the same pessure of unrealistic perfectionism on myself as a mother that I did in my first 30 years in the church. As an unexpected consequence, the trial I described above allowed me to relax and learn to trust in the plan rather than trying to control everything. Quite honestly, what I went through in that experience changed my life for the better more than for the worse. I am an infinitely better human being now than I was and in spite of all the suffering, I am happier.
There are a couple of ways this thought has been brought out by various people. One is that the Church is not for celestial saints as much as it is for convalescing sinners. I like that view, because when I really get down to brass tacks, I *am* a sinner. Still. Over & over. So the Church works.
Me: Hi! (waves) My name is MnG and I'm a sinner.
StayLDS friends (in unison): Hi, MnG.
The other is that the 'regular' saints are caterpillars, crawling along at a ghastly, low & slow gospel level. And the enlightened saints are those that have gone into chrysalis (dark night of the soul?), have internally changed into new beings, are are now ready to fly. I can relate to that. I had to lay down, sacrifice if you will, my internal view of the Church and its leaders as this wonderful can-do-no-wrong monolith, and adapt it to the reality of what I'm experiencing. The downside to this in my view is that some butterflies forget their fellow caterpillars and leave the Church, thus slowing the progress of the slow to an even slower rate. We miss their awesome example and company.

I sometimes feel like crying for those I've known that could have done so much within the Church, but just didn't have the patience (or ?) to remain. That's not to say I think that they did something terrible, I know they may have needed to flee, within themselves. That's ok in principle, but when I see what they could've done, then it does sadden me. Maybe I'm just selfish.
Love these comments!
mercyngrace wrote:The church is just a vehicle clattering along a bumpy road through the wilderness with a meandering course plotted toward the promised land.
Yep. It has to be. But we *all* have the possibility of flight.

HiJolly
AMEN!
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

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

Post by HiJolly » 06 May 2011, 11:46

cwald wrote:I won't blame anyone for walking away from it all. <snip> - but if the church doesn't make more of an effort to make NOMish folks feel welcome.... the church has done a great job making NOMish folk feel unwelcome and in some cases just pushing them out, which is contributing to the progress of the the slow to an even slower rate.
I agree.


HiJolly
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus

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

Post by timpanogos » 06 May 2011, 13:11

SilentDawning wrote:You seem to epitomize Stage 5 thinking which is an enviable position. I hope my personal Articles of Faith might help me get there. I've had some spurts and starts over the last year and can't seem to get going for the long-term like you have.
Ah don’t fret about M&G, They never taught you that one of the three Nephite’s a woman.

Here is another thought. As an old friend used to teach me, the church is a construction set. It is temporary; It is Aaronic in nature and purpose (to cry repentance and to provide a path to the Inner Church). Remember that all through the Reign of the Kings, there was not a Church, but only the Holy Order (Kings, Priests, and a community of Patriarchal families).

As a vehicle, the church will someday rust, and break down. I suppose our hopes lie in if the vehicle has brought us close enough to our desired destination to continue there from on foot.
Last edited by timpanogos on 06 May 2011, 14:20, edited 1 time in total.
Push to the Peak!

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

Post by Thoreau » 06 May 2011, 14:15

mercyngrace,

Thank you for those thoughts on forgiveness. I needed them. I asked a GA about forgiveness and all I got was a scripture quote and maybe I should to talk to my priesthood leader. Your thoughts are the answer I was looking for.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Henry David Thoreau

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