You should have known better!

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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LookingHard
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Re: You should have known better!

Post by LookingHard » 20 Nov 2014, 14:11

Interesting post that touches on "you should have known." It also touches on the generation(s) before that started correlation didn't see the fallout for a generation raised in that. We may also be blind in preparing our kids/grandkids for their faith crisis.http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/20 ... th-crisis/ Makes me think a bit.

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DarkJedi
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Re: You should have known better!

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Nov 2014, 14:27

Good point, LH, and interesting article. I am only just realizing this. Having "grown up" (I was baptized at 21, I'm in my 50s) with the knowledge that Joseph Smith was a polygamist, etc., I more or less assumed that my children were being taught the same things or were absorbing them through conversations with others as I did. I have learned from my missionary son in recent exchanges that such is not the case. While he knew Joseph was a polygamist (probably learned at home, I now realize), when the NYT article reached his mission in South America it caused a bit of a wave, even among the missionaries. He actually said there was some concern of faith crisis or shaken faith among some of the missionaries because this info was new to them and some were having a difficult time with it, and enough of a concern that the mission president plans to address it in conferences.

I now wonder what my children (adults and late teens) actually do know and if I screwed up as a parent by not teaching them the truths I know so they could make their own informed decisions about what they believe and at least be a bit inoculated by having some base information. With my missionary son I used the example of the several videos over the years about Joseph Smith - all showing him reading from the plates in one way or another. The essay makes it pretty clear that he never actually did that - but that image is burned into everyone's mind. Were my children all at home now and teens or at least tweens, I'd have discussions about the essays in FHE or otherwise. I'm considering initiating online discussion among us, actually, and I will most definitely bring up the essays when the two who can come home for Christmas do.
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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hawkgrrrl
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Re: You should have known better!

Post by hawkgrrrl » 20 Nov 2014, 15:40

That piece by Dan Peterson is reprehensible.
I could create a hot key for this since it's said so often.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: You should have known better!

Post by Curt Sunshine » 20 Nov 2014, 16:21

That piece by Dan Peterson is reprehensible.
I could create a hot key for this since it's said so often.


Yep. We ought to create a "Dan Peterson" icon for really bad comments. Maybe this one will do for now. :sick:
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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nibbler
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Re: You should have known better!

Post by nibbler » 20 Nov 2014, 19:48

I'm fairly certain that he just wants to get a rise out of people. Your classic troll, spirit of contention.

---
DarkJedi wrote:I now wonder what my children (adults and late teens) actually do know and if I screwed up as a parent by not teaching them the truths I know so they could make their own informed decisions about what they believe and at least be a bit inoculated by having some base information.
I don't know what to feel about this. If you expose them to certain "truths" they may struggle to fit in with peers that haven't been exposed. I've seen black and white thinking lead to bullying among adults, it's probably more pronounced when it's youth. The truths you teach your children may appear very black to their peers. Tolerance vs. intolerance is a good truth to instill regardless. Stones and hats aren't as important.

Is the ability to shed hurtful comments coming from peers (not fitting in) something that can be taught or do we grow into that? In other words something that only comes with time, experience and maturity? The approach may work better with older youth. As a teen, heck even now, it hurts to feel like you don't fit in... even if intellectually you know better.

I hate to draw the Santa comparison but it's there. Many parents tell their children about Santa, the parents know it's one big story. At some point the child grows out of it. Ours did at an early age. When they asked the question: Is Santa real? We were up front about it. We explained how things worked and why the story of Santa exists. We figured if we weren't honest and forthcoming about Santa (continue the ruse for a few more years) then how would our children have confidence in Jesus? We also took the time to explain how it was still an important thing for other children and to not go blabbing to other kids to destroy their illusions. Respect other's beliefs, even if we "know" they are incorrect.

Our kid asked very early on, I didn't have to worry about it getting to the point where I felt like they were too old and decided to come clean and force the truth on them. They got to a point where they were ready. And for the record it took more than one simple, passing question about Santa to determine that they were ready.

Here's where I struggle. I needed a faith crisis. Hindsight 20/20 and all, but I truly did. Let's say my main issue was the rock in the hat vs the Urim and Thummim. Let's say the rock in the hat narrative was with me from the beginning, the missionaries taught me that in the 1st discussion, I prayed about the rock in the hat and received my testimony of the rock in the hat. Would I still be in my black and white world today? I suppose that if I truly needed that faith crisis then a crack would have formed around another issue. Would that issue be harder or easier to get over than a rock in a hat?

Of course the question is... would I have been happy staying in my black and white world? The black and white nibbler would say yes, the faith crisis nibbler would say yes, the faith transitioning nibbler would say... I don't know. :think:

The faith crisis came because I needed to change and it only came when I was ready (lol, again hindsight). Still, I could have been exposed to all the same information a long time ago and if I wasn't in the right frame of mind I'd just handily dismiss it as anti like I did so many times before. I got to a place where I started asking about Santa or Urims and Thummims or whatever.

So in re-reading my mess of a post it sounds like I'm advocating continuing the old myths, maybe even set up a little synthesized faith crisis in the process? I certainly don't feel like that's the path. Lots of words to say do the best I can to teach them the best that I know and let them live in the world of their choosing. If a faith crisis comes their way, geek over their triggers and recognize that the world has moved on, it no longer spins on the cycles that I got caught up in.
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

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DarkJedi
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Re: You should have known better!

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Nov 2014, 20:13

All I was trying to say, Nibbler, was that I assumed (and we know what happens when we ass.u.me) that just because I was taught some basic facts about things while "growing up" in the church that everyone was taught these same basic facts. It turns out that's not the case - it appears there is a sizable number of members, both those who were BIC and those who are converts who do not (or did not) know Joseph was a polygamist. Hidden history and faith crises aside, have we failed the next generation by not teaching what we assumed they were being taught (because we were taught them)? There was no presumption of contention whatsoever in my generation - we all bought it hook, line and sinker. Post faith crisis I can see that some of it was preposterous (Africans being less valiant in the pre-earth life, for example), but knowing that Joseph Smith was a polygamist is knowledge of a different sort - it's verifiable and it's even mentioned in D&C. (In the conversation with my son I did a quick search, Joseph's polygamy is not discussed in any detail in the current Gospel Doctrine manual.) Post faith crisis I can let go of the McConkie era "doctrine" that I hope my children never embraced, but they should have embraced the facts/truths that will save them from their own faith crisis. I don't see it as contentions, nor do I see it as causing them to be contentious, to have taught them that Joseph was a polygamist. It's just a fact like many other facts they are bombarded with. We weren't contentious about it 30 years ago because "everyone" knew it, and I think if the same were true today there would be little to no notice of the essays. From another point of view, there is little or no notice of the essays, but from that perspective I think it's mostly a bad thing (but nevertheless understandable).

Using the title of the thread, I agree - they should have known. (Of course the title of the thread is referring to something different that we couldn't have known.)
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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nibbler
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Re: You should have known better!

Post by nibbler » 20 Nov 2014, 21:14

Yes, I agree.

A few things come to mind. Whenever someone says Joseph Smith and polygamy in the same sentence people start to get uncomfortable, someone coughs uncomfortably, someone else scowls, someone might even accuse the person that brought up JS and polygamy of something or other, and the subject is quickly changed. It's hard to expect a generation to learn about something when the subject becomes taboo. Polygamy was/is a taboo subject.

Another thing. I feel like at least a part of this can be chalked up to one big misunderstanding. "You should have known about Joseph Smith and polygamy." Should have known that JS practiced polygamy or should have known all the details surrounding how it was practiced? People asking the question might be thinking the former, people troubled by the question might be thinking the latter.
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

Awakening
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Re: You should have known better!

Post by Awakening » 20 Nov 2014, 23:14

NewLight wrote:I'm in the same court with SD - Truth Restored was the history. That and a handful of other church approved books were the only ones I was allowed to study on my mission (and I faithfully followed the rules). I got loud and clear from leaders and teachers to keep away from the "anti-mormon" stuff (which was virtually anything that talked negatively about the church). And since our leaders will never lead us astray, I towed the line.

The sad part is that his post and others like it are the type that encourage people to get all riled up and defensive. I wish that would stop and we could just go forward and work through this. If the Church and its staunch defenders would just back off a bit on the "it's true no matter what" approach and just focus on the truth and the goodness that we can do now, it would be quite refreshing.

BTW, Loved your explanation, Bill.
Well said "Brother Newlight" ;o)

Geoff finishes though by saying, The Church did teach you stuff about even controversial topics. Perhaps you were distracted or didn’t pay attention or were not curious enough to explore on your own.

It seems to me that these men, Dan and Geoff are the ones that are naïve. Their remarks are very mean spirited and condescending. If my child is having a hard time, I would not be kicking him when he is struggling, trying to understand, etc. How were we to know these things when many of us stumbled across this information accidentally. I have faithfully attended church for many, many years and I have never been taught many of the things mentioned in the article. I have had access over the years to many leadership material manuals and there is no mention of many of the controversial things that have surfaced that the church now validates only when absolutely necessary. I have faithfully listened to years and years of General Conference and participated in all kinds of church service and leadership. I, too, followed the prophet and leaders without much question as that was what I was taught and believed I should do for most of my life. We are left to find peace and resolve now with this new information we are processing and thankfully we have been able to find others searching for answers too as we move forward.

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Ilovechrist77
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Re: You should have known better!

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 21 Nov 2014, 20:01

Thanks for sharing the article, Bill. It's irritating that there are still many members of the church out there that believe that if you didn't know these historical things then it's all your own fault. The truth was I didn't learn about most of these things until I began having a faith crisis several years ago. I do remember hearing briefly about Brigham Young practicing polygamy in sacrament and Sunday School, and I do remember hearing briefly in seminary about the different versions of the First Vision, but that was about it.

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Gerald
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Re: You should have known better!

Post by Gerald » 23 Nov 2014, 08:59

I must say I agree with most of what has been said here. Before the Internet, you had to really search out to find these topics. Many historians may have known but most of the articles and books published about these issues in the 70s and 80s (my growing up years) were simply not available. I can still remember after my mission and attending college (nonLDS) coming across the book "From Housewife to Heretic" by Sonia Johnson. I read it and was fascinated by the new perspective on an organization that I adored. I didn't agree with much and viewed her opinions skeptically but it was certainly paradigm-shifting to see the LDS Church painted as the villains of the piece. I remember speaking with an institute teacher about a couple of things that she brought up (minor points really in the big scheme of things). I still remember the gist of his answer "Oh that was something that was done because of tradition not doctrine." It was probably the first time that I separated the two in my mind: the doctrinal Church and the cultural Church. From that point on, I looked at things a bit differently. But it was only because I had HAPPENED to come across the book that any of this occurred. At that time, you had to be lucky to have such experiences. And even though the Church has appropriately tried to deal with some of its troubling history, I still don't hear anyone urging the members to find these things out for themselves.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

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