the church history

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Roadrunner
Posts: 890
Joined: 25 Sep 2012, 15:17

Re: the church history

Post by Roadrunner » 20 May 2014, 10:25

The aspect of church history that bothers me most is the fact that many prophets claim things as "doctrine" straight from God. I'm much less afraid now to believe certain things were mistakes and were not inspired.

keepswimmin
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Joined: 15 May 2014, 16:43

Re: the church history

Post by keepswimmin » 20 May 2014, 10:37

I think I have a "rare" bishop.. him and his wife have been a blessing to my life and though they are TBM to the core I feel confide t he would be understanding and not do more than let me surrender. I kind of feel I need to be honest about it to not feel guilt if they see me without my garments. But I will pray and make that move slowly.

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

Re: the church history

Post by Roy » 20 May 2014, 11:30

keepswimmin wrote:I think I have a "rare" bishop.. him and his wife have been a blessing to my life and though they are TBM to the core I feel confide t he would be understanding and not do more than let me surrender. I kind of feel I need to be honest about it to not feel guilt if they see me without my garments. But I will pray and make that move slowly.
I hope so... unfortunately it would not be uncommon for a bishop to see these steps as signs of apostasy. It is also not uncommon in such cases for a bishop to become less interested in helping or understanding you and more interested in protecting the rest of the congregation FROM you.
nibbler wrote:I view the situation as mostly being the result of mistakes made by imperfect leaders with good intentions; imperfect leaders with good intentions in the more recent past controlling the story of other imperfect leaders with good intentions in the distant past. I believe that some of the issue is the result of imperfect leaders with selfish intentions but I view it as the lesser contributor.
I very much agree with Nibbler's statement on this.
keepswimmin wrote:NewLight.. what are your thoughts on earning your salvation through works and not faith? I never realized our church focuses alot on that which is something surfacing for me.. isn't that why Jesus was sent? To atone for oir sins? We will never be peefect so why do we try so hard to be and why are learning symbolic gestures keys into heaven? I'm a little baffled.
Unfortunately we are a lifestyle religion. We also tend to teach that the better you live the Mormon lifestyle the more acceptable you are to God and the higher your reward in the afterlife. I especially dislike how we as a group seem to have redefined "grace" to be the "enabling power" that helps us to better live the Mormon lifestyle. I have experienced flashes of Love and Grace that I choose to believe came from God. To diminish this grace to an enabling power would take the heart out of those experiences for me. I do not claim to have all the answers, but my experiences suggest that there are more possibilities than what I previously believed.

Keep on swimmin' :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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mackay11
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Joined: 01 Nov 2012, 18:01

Re: the church history

Post by mackay11 » 20 May 2014, 12:47

nibbler wrote:I think it's important to analyze why we got to where we are with church history. Here's a few thoughts that occur to me, they are all opinion:

I believe people are imperfect, very imperfect. The characters in church history are no different from you and me in that regard. I like to imagine just how bad I would goof things up if I were placed in similar circumstances.

Without naming names some time ago church leaders decided it was best to only present the faith promoting side of church history. I believe that they did this with the best of intentions. I'm guessing that they felt like including the foibles in the narrative might cause some people to be led astray, impede the process of developing a testimony in important events pertaining to the restoration due to the imperfections of the people participating in said events, then there's de mortuis nil nisi bonum (culturally we only talk about the good aspects of the deceased), or some similar justification. Let's also not forget that some leaders may not be up to date on the latest version of church history, they simply parrot the version of history that they know.

Unfortunately this decision robbed us of something very important, the human element. I think it's helpful to see people struggle. Why? If these important figures in church history struggled then it's okay for me to struggle too. It's also an example. They make a connection with deity despite their shortcomings, perhaps I can use their example to do likewise. I think (lots of "I think" in this post) that the decision also created an environment where it's easier to idolize people, imperfect people. That's just a setup for disillusionment.

Some may look at the situation and see a deliberate attempt by leadership to hide truth out of fear. Fear that leadership will lose power or control, fear that the authority of their office will be diminished, or fear that the truth will make people run for the hills. They might not be incorrect in this assumption.

I view the situation as mostly being the result of mistakes made by imperfect leaders with good intentions; imperfect leaders with good intentions in the more recent past controlling the story of other imperfect leaders with good intentions in the distant past. I believe that some of the issue is the result of imperfect leaders with selfish intentions but I view it as the lesser contributor.

BTW, I can see the ship turning. Maybe the leaders see the bad fruits of telling a whitewashed version of history, maybe they've got their backs against the wall. Either way I see a more positive direction. It will take time to bear fruit.
I agree with nibbler. All of it :)

When I go for a job interview I always tell them about my best attributes and never my bad attributes (even when they ask a question like "what are your weaknesses"). They still find out my weaknesses later, but much later. I don't think that makes me dishonest... just normal.

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mom3
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Re: the church history

Post by mom3 » 20 May 2014, 14:34

Just to add confusion. The history didn't bother me. I come from a history oriented family, my brother became a High School history teacher, and we have a son who loves history because of that I learned early on that history is always revisionist. Depending on who is telling the story, what they desire to present, and the circumstances of the disclosure.

For me it was more of scriptural or spiritual shock. The idea of "drinking down stream from no man" really hit home as a youth. I attended institute, education week, EFY, Women's conference with full intent on getting the meat. Even at 18 while attending EFY I totally skipped the "dating and eternal mate classes". My faith believed we had some special tunnel of truth, and our insights into scripture were accurate and so on. As I helped a spouse with his faith crisis, I found myself short changed in the spiritual/scriptural side of our faith. It's too long to explain here my point is if faith crisis were only on history the problem could be sewn up. Its just not that simple.

Good luck with your history processing.
"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

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: the church history

Post by DarkJedi » 20 May 2014, 15:33

Amen Sister!
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."

My Introduction

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NewLight
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Joined: 04 Feb 2014, 05:18

Re: the church history

Post by NewLight » 21 May 2014, 04:58

Wow -- what a lot of activity on this thread over the last day. I comment early, head to work and some other high school activities last evening and notice there's a lot of commentary here. This is good stuff too. I hope I can reach a point where I can deal with the history issues better and it is insightful to see the view of others.

I do need to comment to your question about earning salvation through works and not faith. It is an excellent one. I do think that works are important and essential to our spiritual growth. But I think our attitude toward them and what we feel in our hearts as we fulfill them is a defining characteristic of how much good the works are doing for us. Maybe an example will help.

As a TBM, the list would come around to sign up to fulfill welfare assignments. In my mind I would find myself saying "It's about my turn to help out. I guess I better sign this sheet get off work and go". Earlier this year, a sign up sheet came around for a welfare assignment that we learned of only two days before it was to happen. The man who announced it was obviously worried -- a very kind older retired man I'll call 'Karl'. This time I thought "Wow, Karl is stressing out about this - I hope he's okay. I ought to sign up to help him out. Besides, it's a good chance to help some people in need.".

So works are more a manifestation of living a Christlike like and they certainly don't have to revolve around doing everything the church is saying MUST be done. It is virtually impossible to do that and live a perfect life. This is why the grace component is needed, but we in the church as a group don't completely understand this. No matter how much we do, the Savior still has to fill in the gap. The challenge is determining for yourself what is good enough in the "works" area without feeling guilt.

I'm kind of getting from some of your earlier comments that what other people think plays a role in what you feel you have to do. I believe it will help you if you can worry less about that and determine by yourself what you can do while keeping your sanity. Go slowly -- you have plenty of time to figure it out. And remember that God wants us to be happy -- that's impossible if you are stressing too much about what you are not doing.

Hang in there!

Curt Sunshine
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Re: the church history

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 May 2014, 12:02

I've taught history. It's messy. None of us understand it well, and lots of people misunderstand it badly.

That pretty much suffices for me.
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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