Is religion-induced fear integral to Mormonism?

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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HiJolly
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Re: Is religion-induced fear integral to Mormonism?

Post by HiJolly » 01 Aug 2009, 17:04

MW,

That strikes me as a kind of an orgy of fear. And it feels like you're engaging in it in an effort to suggest (or compel) the reader to leave Mormonism.

Some may need to do so, to escape fear, but that is only if they fail to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have met people who spent years in the Church and never caught the vision of god's goodness ---- but they are far fewer, in my experience, than those who learned to love and to hope in Christ WITHIN the Church.

Faith driveth away all fear. MW, have faith in Christ, and none of these need consume you. Whether you're Mormon or not.


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

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just me
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Re: Is religion-induced fear integral to Mormonism?

Post by just me » 01 Aug 2009, 17:10

Sadly, there is a lot of fear in my LDS friends. We have forgotten the grace of God. Every lesson is on obedience and works. I hear in class frequently that people are afraid of judgement day. Makes me sad.

I hope I can help people to feel God's mercy. i agree with HiJolly that the gospel of Jesus Christ clearly teaches faith and mercy, love and hope.

You are right that the church will change and adapt. It always has and it always will.
Most of us, sooner or later, find that at critical points in our lives we must strike out on our own to make a path where none exists.~Elaine Pagels

Ultimately, you are the path-the path begins and ends with you.~Stephan Bodian

He who think he knows, doesn’t know: He who knows he doesn’t know, knows.~Sanskrit proverb

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quietblue
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Re: Is religion-induced fear integral to Mormonism?

Post by quietblue » 01 Aug 2009, 17:39

HiJolly wrote:
Faith driveth away all fear. MW, have faith in Christ, and none of these need consume you. Whether you're Mormon or not.
AMEN
"Those few members who desert the cause are abandoning an oasis to search for water in the desert." - Neal A. Maxwell

LadyWisdom
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Re: Is religion-induced fear integral to Mormonism?

Post by LadyWisdom » 01 Aug 2009, 18:41

i do think many of the church's teachings are fear based, but the the gospel's message is one of hope and love....sometimes we have to go elsewhere to get the message of Christ because the fear based thinking in the church is so strong or tends to dominate...that has been my experience. So in answer to your question, I would have to say yes; but it is not integral to the message of Christ or the good news. I think of the church and the gospel as two different things, I don't think they are one in the same.

swimordie
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Re: Is religion-induced fear integral to Mormonism?

Post by swimordie » 01 Aug 2009, 19:11

I've gotta agree with others especially just me and lady wisdom.

The church is fear-based, the gospel of Christ is hope/love based. I would guess most of us here are here for more or less this exact reason: the church has not demonstrated an ability to deliver the gospel message satisfactorily enough over time, and now we are figuring out how to stay in the church while getting that satisfaction from many other places (as well as the little or lot that the church does deliver).

As to the question, I think this was a little exchange on another thread, but hawkgrrl pointed out that all organizations have this type structure, using fear as a primary method of cohesion/function. Think politics: fear is number one tool used. Think of your job: most of us have felt our livelihood threatened by a manager/supervisor at some point. Think of your parents: easy to use fear to coerce behavior.

It's human nature, I suppose, but, of course, you hope that your religion is above that. Hence the need for a forum called staylds.com.
Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it. -Poppyseed

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Orson
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Re: Is religion-induced fear integral to Mormonism?

Post by Orson » 01 Aug 2009, 19:49

just me wrote: I hope I can help people to feel God's mercy. i agree with HiJolly that the gospel of Jesus Christ clearly teaches faith and mercy, love and hope.

You are right that the church will change and adapt. It always has and it always will.
Ditto.
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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.

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Brian Johnston
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Re: Is religion-induced fear integral to Mormonism?

Post by Brian Johnston » 02 Aug 2009, 12:51

What other church do people think they are going to go to escape fear and judgment-based methodology? *boggles* The LDS Church doesn't even have a major market share in that arena of ideas.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

Poppyseed
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Re: Is religion-induced fear integral to Mormonism?

Post by Poppyseed » 02 Aug 2009, 18:24

Maybe I am just weird, but I don't see a lot of fear based teaching in my wards. I see most teachers and words from the brethren at GC to be heavily weighted on the joy, happiness, mercy, etc side of things. But I don't think anyone can read and understand the scriptures without coming away a little sobered at times -- which I think is good. We all need a good reminder not to justify our sins because God is full of love.

I do however see parents or perhaps counsel from bishops laced with coersive fear when perhaps a hopeful perspective might work better. I tend to think that this is just human frailty. And then again, maybe a wake up call is needed from time to time. God will not be mocked. I mean we hope in Christ, but we are all still learning what that means at lots of different levels. I mean, fear is part of the earth life deal. Are you really telling me that any of us has mastered fear?
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

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Brian Johnston
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Re: Is religion-induced fear integral to Mormonism?

Post by Brian Johnston » 02 Aug 2009, 19:54

Here in the bible belt south, you can't drive a mile or two without passing a church. They all have a sign out front with a cliche' saying that gets changed by the pastor every couple weeks.

Most of them have a clear message -- you are going to burn in hell for all eternity if you don't get with the program...
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Is religion-induced fear integral to Mormonism?

Post by hawkgrrrl » 02 Aug 2009, 20:22

I think fear is a big part of the human condition. People fear different things, but everyone fears something. There are some fears that are considered innate to all humans (from an internet site):
- death
- embarrassment
- loss of love
- rejection
- falling (heights)

An acronym for fear that I've heard before is False Evidence Appearing Real. Of course, fear is healthy if there is a real danger, and fear can cause us to protect ourselves from it.

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