What do I say in Temple recommend interview?

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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NewLight
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Re: What do I say in Temple recommend interview?

Post by NewLight » 17 Feb 2014, 06:15

Hi fisherman,

Welcome to the forum! One thing that works for me is to accept that just as religion leaves many questions unanswered, science/logic leaves unanswered questions as well. I think back on positive spiritual experiences that I have had in my life that really don't have a scientific explanation that show some form of mercy to me or others. These to me confirm the existence of God. A couple of examples:

1. As a teenager, I was heading out one evening to my girlfriend's house. I had a firm impression like a voice telling me that I should go talk to my father before heading out because it could be the last time I spoke with him. I went into his room and talked to him a bit before heading out to my girlfriend's. Several hours later, I got a phone call out there that he had died of a heart attack.

2. Just this last week, the father of a woman I taught on my mission down in Argentina passed away from cancer (isn't Facebook great -- I can keep in contact with people I knew 30 years ago!). As I read through the messages and postings she had, I had the strong impression that God was comforting her.

Those are the kinds of things that help me. Good luck!

fisherman
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Re: What do I say in Temple recommend interview?

Post by fisherman » 17 Feb 2014, 07:11

You guys are awesome!I wasn't sure what to expect when I came here and have actually only heard negative things about this forum, but now I know that those rumours are wrong. Just FINALLY telling someone instead of keeping it all bottled up inside is such a relief! I've heard so much good advice that I will take.
I love the comment that quoted the new testament. I believe Lord, help thou mine unbelief. I've prayed this many times in tears before getting tired of what I feel is just talking to myself.I've started asking God for this again. I hope he hears me this time. ..
In answer to a question that was asked, I'm having a problem with the existence of any higher power, so it its difficult to answer with my own definition of God. If they asked me about science that would be an easy answer, but so far, after taking a step back from trying to force God into my life I've been able to rationally explain most if not all off spiritual experiences. This is my biggest problem. lack of actual, unique spiritual experiences in the LDS church. Most every belief system, whether it's religious or not, has an almost identical experiences if the people choose to believe it. I've seen a lady year up and bear her testimony of MLM scheme, along with all the good feelings LDS claim are the Spirit. I don't buy the justification that the spirit is universal and bearing witness to truth. It's a multi level marketing trap for heaven's sake!

If my doubts were purely doctrinal I don't think I'd have much of a problem, but my doubts are about the center of religion and how God speaks to us. They day to read your s scriptures and pray to have faith but if you dedicate time, study and prayer to anything in an attempt to believe it odds are you're going to believe it x no matter what it is. So I'm kinda stuck. Do I try self deception, our try to find truth?I understand its a loaded question but that is how I see it right now.
In all my doubts I feel like I either am a doubting Thomas our have the greatest faith ever. Despite all I know and understand I still am trying to choose to believe.
You guys are doing a great work and keeping us doubters a place to vent and associate with others like us. Love you guys!

fisherman
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Re: What do I say in Temple recommend interview?

Post by fisherman » 17 Feb 2014, 07:34

New light, you bring up a good point. There are several instances in most people's lives that are unexplained like the ones you describe. Perhaps there is a power of sorts guiding is occasionally which would help me with the TR question. But, it is difficult to focus on the anomaly as being truth when so many other factors say the opposite.
I'm sorry I'm such a naysayer but this is what goes through my head daily. As soon as I find something for me to grasp onto that would help me have faith, the counter evidence comes rolling in and I realize that I'm focusing on only the10%off the info and not the 90%. But I guess that its what faith is, right? Then what does faith in God look so similar to faith in Santa Claus?
Ugh... So much back and forth, its making me crazy. I guess this is what cognitive dissonance feels like.
Why couldn't there just be -some- evidence of God? Either Satan is doing an excellent job or I'm fishing my way through a fairy tale that I want to be true. I wish God would have given me something when I begged him to let me know he was real.

fisherman
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Re: What do I say in Temple recommend interview?

Post by fisherman » 17 Feb 2014, 07:36

Yeah it's a constant train wreck in my head, I know. But thanks for giving me an outlet for my nonsense.

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Orson
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Re: What do I say in Temple recommend interview?

Post by Orson » 17 Feb 2014, 08:37

fisherman wrote: I'm having a problem with the existence of any higher power, so it its difficult to answer with my own definition of God. If they asked me about science that would be an easy answer, but so far, after taking a step back from trying to force God into my life I've been able to rationally explain most if not all off spiritual experiences.
So why are you trying to force a "higher power" into your worldview? This to me sounds like you are still trying to live by someone else's definitions. Science and nature can be seen as the power of God, they are to me. Just because you can rationally explain spiritual experiences that doesn't mean you have to exclude speaking of them in terms of God. Yes, I understand many of other people's experiences will not be of value, but I don't think God has to be a supernatural being to be useful in the way we express ourselves and relate to other people.

Don't force other people's ideas of God into your life. Let yourself experience everything the way it is "revealed" to you personally. God is what is. How do you see it?
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.

Roy
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Re: What do I say in Temple recommend interview?

Post by Roy » 17 Feb 2014, 10:03

fisherman wrote:Do I try self deception, our try to find truth?I understand its a loaded question but that is how I see it right now.
On thing that has been helpful for me is realizing that we all live inside a personal framework through which we interpret the world. Read up on "assumptive realities" or "functional illusions" for more. The principle of hueristics indicates that humans are hardwired to take shortcuts in interpretation and understanding.

I believe that interacting with other people with different frameworks is a necessary and even beautiful part of the human condition.

What if all the information that you receive from any source were 10% facts and 90% interpretation? What if it was nearly impossible to seperate all the facts from the interpretation because you too are hardwired to interpret?

I am only suggesting that there is some freedom in accepting a very diverse world of different perspectives without trying to identify the "true" or "correct" one.
fisherman wrote: Then what does faith in God look so similar to faith in Santa Claus?
When my kids are at the right age I tell them about the spirit of Christmas. St. Nick was a real person that started a large tradition. In some ways the tradition has gotten out of control, but there is much that is good and noble in the spirit of Christmas. I chose to believe and seek after those things ... and enjoy black friday deals. ;)
"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

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What do I say in Temple recommend interview?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Feb 2014, 14:52

You might like the following post from my personal blog from last March:

"The Danger of Seeing Patterns as Formulas" (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2013 ... ns-as.html)
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Tim
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What do I say in Temple recommend interview?

Post by Tim » 18 Feb 2014, 01:25

You could define God as evolution, science, the unknowns of the universe.?

Follow the path of the greatest amount of happiness for you and your family, and the least amount of pain and hurt for others. This is what God would want. For me that means I just say what I need to say to get a temple recommend and go. I have no desire to harm the church.

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DarkJedi
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Re: What do I say in Temple recommend interview?

Post by DarkJedi » 18 Feb 2014, 04:40

I am like you Fisherman in that I can also explain away any spiritual experiences I have had, and I attribute most of them to emotion. I feel I cannot separate feelings/emotion and the spirit hence I don't know what's spiritual and what's not. With that frame of mind, nothing is spiritual because I can't commit to it being so. It's really sort of hard to describe, actually, and it's a vicious circle. Also like you, my doubts are much more spiritual. I don't care that Joseph Smith translated the BoM looking into a hat or that it mentions horses. I care much more about prayer, revelation, etc. Like spiritual experiences, I believe most "answers" to prayers can easily be explained, and all one has to do is look at someone in the same circumstances who didn't pray. I don't want o become negative, here, so I'll stop there.

There are several others here who have also struggled with the existence of God or a higher power. I was in a state of near atheism near the beginning of my faith crisis, and I was agnostic for quite some time. In some ways I suppose I still am agnostic. From a logical and scientific point of view, I don't see how this all came together by chance - my only real belief that there is a higher power. Beyond that, I do not have a firm belief of anything else about God. To keep my own sanity I have adopted a deist view - God created all of this and let it go (and I do believe evolution is how he did much of it). I'm not sure about the whole creator of spirits thing, that may be or may not be, but I'm pretty sure if it is true it has nothing to do with sex. So you might ask that if God has nothing (or little) to do with us, why a savior? I believe that God did recognize that we would sin when we eventually evolved and would need to be redeemed. My beliefs on that subject are quite vague. I am most unsure about the role (and existence) of the Holy Ghost. I have come to these basic beliefs after years of struggling, some reading, and a great deal of meditation/pondering, and it is an ongoing process. Others like us who struggle with this have come to different conclusions/beliefs. I sincerely hope you, too, can come to a place where you feel comfortable in your own belief.
Last edited by DarkJedi on 18 Feb 2014, 10:10, edited 1 time in total.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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MockingJay
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Re: What do I say in Temple recommend interview?

Post by MockingJay » 18 Feb 2014, 07:03

DarkJedi wrote:I am like you Fisherman in that I can also explain away any spiritual experiences I have had, and I attribute most of them to emotion. I feel I cannot separate feelings/emotion and the spirit hence I don't know what's spiritual and what's not. With that frame of mind, nothing is spiritual because I can't commit to it being so. It's really sort of hard to describe, actually, and it's a vicious circle. Also like you, my doubts are much more spiritual. I don't care that Joseph Smith translated the BoM looking into a hat or that it mentions horses. I care much more about prayer, revelation, etc. Like spiritual experiences, I believe most "answers" to prayers can easily be explained, and all one has to do is look at someone in the same circumstances who didn't pray. I don't want o become negative, here, so I'll stop there.

There are several others here who have also struggled with the existence of God or a higher power. I was in a state of near atheism near the beginning of my faith crisis, and I was agnostic for quite some time. In some ways I suppose I still am agnostic. From a logical and scientific point of view, I don't see how this all came together by chance - my only real belief that there is a higher power. Beyond that, I do not have a firm belief of anything else about God. To keep my own sanity I have adopted a deist view - God created all of this and let it go (and I do believe evolution is how he did much of it). I'm not sure about the whole creator of spirits thing, that may be or may not be, but I'm pretty sure if it is true it has nothing to do with sex. So you might ask that if God has nothing (or little) to do with us, why a savior? I believe that God did recognize that we would sin when we eventually evolved and would need to be redeemed. By beliefs on that subject are quite vague. I am most unsure about the role (and existence) of the Holy Ghost. I have come ti these basic beliefs after years of struggling, some reading, and a great deal of meditation/pondering, and it is an ongoing process. Others like us who struggle with this have come to different conclusions/beliefs. I sincerely hope you, too, can come to a place where you feel comfortable in your own belief.
Hear, hear DJ! How I'm feeling exactly :clap:

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