Weaving through other's misunderstandings....

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Awakening
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Joined: 08 Nov 2014, 14:19

Weaving through other's misunderstandings....

Post by Awakening » 15 Apr 2015, 11:29

As I have worked through each day, week, month and even years of my own faith journey, I have kept it quietly personal as I know many of you have as well. I would not want to bring "faith crisis" to any of my friends or family members on purpose. I lived ignorantly bliss for many years and may have my whole life if issues hadn't come up for me. I am still trying to figure out the best balance of religious involvement with my own children. I don't want them to be indoctrinated in the ways I was because it is not easy to navigate through all of this. I want to be more open and honest. With that being said, I do want my children to have some exposure and involvement with our church. I am a Mormon at heart and the culture is a part of who I am.

My hubby received a letter last night from an old friend he rarely sees. It included a link to blog from a gal telling members to "stay" It was sweet however, quite misinformed. I get the feeling that the reason people leave are not due mostly to sin and need for repentance. (She suggested people repent and return on her blog) :crazy: As I read the post, my heart sunk a bit as I realize how many members just do not understand many of us on this blog. I think most of us here were TBM for many years. This is not easy to navigate. It is not easy to go to church and listen over and over to misguided and misinformed teachers (although not all lessons and talks are this way) Just had to vent for a minute..........Ok.........I feel better. I am among friends here who do understand. Thank you all for your posts. Although I don't often post, I do read them and benefit. :thumbup:

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LookingHard
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Re: Weaving through other's misunderstandings....

Post by LookingHard » 15 Apr 2015, 13:20

I know going to this friends web site and saying, "You don't understand at all!" probably won't add to their understanding. But I really want to - so bad sometimes.

I do try to leave comments that move the discussion even if a bit. I quote the silver fox when he said not everyone leaves just to sin and it is more complicated than that. I try to make a plea that they have compassion on those that are struggling.

Good luck Awakening

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mom3
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Re: Weaving through other's misunderstandings....

Post by mom3 » 15 Apr 2015, 14:16

This is the toughest part. I recently wrote that I sit through church with a strange duality. Part of me prepped to protect myself, part of me wondering who next or maybe who is but can't speak about it. Like you, I have no desire to hand this to anyone. I also wouldn't bring strep throat to work. However, I can call in to work and say - Strep Throat and the world doesn't topple. I hope someday our church can have someone call in and say Faith Transition and no one freaks out.

A girl can dream.
"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

Awakening
Posts: 37
Joined: 08 Nov 2014, 14:19

Re: Weaving through other's misunderstandings....

Post by Awakening » 15 Apr 2015, 18:52

I knew venting my feelings would be a good thing here. Thanks for the understanding remarks and validation. I appreciate that so much. For those of you interested, here is the blog link my hubby was given in an email from a friend -

http://lemmonythings.com/2015/04/14/why ... -a-mormon/

I did respond on the comment section at the bottom of the blog.....Confession, once again I used an alias name "Carrie" ;) I didn't think "Awakening" as an alias name would really fly on a blog like that! :lol: if you are interested in reading what I replied. I noticed when I went back this afternoon to see if others had responded there were some more comments. I know some people are hurt and feel a lot of anger but I also think it is important to be sympathetic and understanding as well. By the way, once again I have never heard of this blogger. This link was given to my husband in an email from a well meaning friend who obviously shares the viewpoint of this blogger about the reasons people leave. Boy, if only they really knew!!! It takes a lot of courage, strength and understanding forgiveness and patience to go through these types of faith journeys and I am truly blessed by the members here who have shared their stories, thoughts and insights. Wouldn't it be nice if we all could talk more openly in our own wards like this?

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Weaving through other's misunderstandings....

Post by Curt Sunshine » 15 Apr 2015, 21:20

When I read that post, I felt a good, caring, loving person wrote it - who simply doesn't understand.

A big part of learning real charity and finding peace, imo, is being able to see the person behind the words, recognize pure motives that simply lack experiences that breed true empathy, and accept that such a description is true of most or all of us to some degree.

I disagree with her about some of the things she said, but I can handle that without anger because of what I see of her heart. I don't see harshness and judgmentalism; I just see ignorance. I am okay with ignorance when it is uneducated but genuine concern form a good heart.
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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DarkJedi
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Re: Weaving through other's misunderstandings....

Post by DarkJedi » 16 Apr 2015, 02:59

I agree with that Ray. It's sort of like the talks by Wixom and Nielson - there is an undercurrent in both of them that their sisters returned by doing the "prayer, scripture study, etc." thing. That probably had an influence, but the last thing they needed in the height of their crises was a well meaning bishop to tell them they needed to read the BoM or whatever. Some of us have been in that position. Carefully reading the talks reveals that the scriptures and stuff didn't happen until they were ready to return and also something they did on their own. Well meaning ignorance is OK in my book, but can be harmful when done wrong.
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

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Weaving through other's misunderstandings....

Post by Roy » 16 Apr 2015, 13:38

Ray DeGraw wrote:When I read that post, I felt a good, caring, loving person wrote it - who simply doesn't understand.
Yup! I once attended a marriage class in the church taught by a wonderful couple. The bishop's wife asked the instructor how to deal with an issue where she is certain that she is right because her position is the position of the Prophets and the Lord. The teacher said that in order to be effective in our communications we must approach/word things as though we could possibly be wrong.

This was memorable for me for two reasons:

1) I can just imagine our bishop getting a stern talking to from his wife for not being as closely aligned as he should be to the brethren. (Poor guy. I guess serving as bishop isn't enough to get her off his back about being more righteous.)

2) I loved the response even more. As long as we are convinced (and express ourselves to the effect) that our position is absolutely correct then there can be no middle ground - only complete capitulation by the other party. If we start from that position there can be no meaningful discussion - no real sharing of ideas and feelings. It shuts down dialogue.

In my opinion, the author is being as loving and compassionate as she possibly can while still clinging to the idea that her position is unquestioningly right.

I'm actually pretty ok with that in general. Lots of people (probably most) are sure that they are right and they generally don't hurt anyone by it.
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: Weaving through other's misunderstandings....

Post by DarkJedi » 16 Apr 2015, 14:30

Good point Roy. Pre-faith crisis I thought I was absolutely correct about everything church/religion related. Post-faith transition, I'm not so sure I was or am right about any of it. It's all in the point of view.
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

Awakening
Posts: 37
Joined: 08 Nov 2014, 14:19

Re: Weaving through other's misunderstandings....

Post by Awakening » 16 Apr 2015, 15:06

Thank you friends. A lot of thought provoking and insightful remarks have been made and I really appreciate your input. Because of my unwillingness to begin anyone else's faith crisis I navigate carefully when controversies are aroused. I do cringe, however, a bit at the misconceptions that are also aroused. (no one has offended me. I am surrounded by wonderful friends in my ward, etc) I will say, I do admire my brother who is braver than I at his ability to cause others to contemplate in a good way. I hope to be more like this in the future. I am so grateful for brave people who also emulate empathy as well as strength. Probably they are the reasons our LDS leaders are beginning to address tough issues. Bill Reel is another I have appreciated so much. His podcasts as well as his insights shared have been really validating and comforting and insightful.

We moved out of state when this really got much bigger for me and I have easily been able to stand back and take my time evaluating all that I have learned without the added conflict of my ward friends wondering where I am etc. Our TBM family members would probably be very shocked to learn how we feel right now and I am certain there would be much added pressure to get back in the mold. So glad I don't have to deal with that. How do you guys that do have to deal with this do it? Love to hear more of your stories on this topic.....;o)

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mom3
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Re: Weaving through other's misunderstandings....

Post by mom3 » 20 Apr 2015, 13:19

Awakening - I live far away from my family. At best a two days drive, this means our visits are limited. Yet, I become an anxious wreck. I know from personal experience the two different sides can't communicate. Even if everyone wants to, it just becomes difficult. I have brought up a couple of conversations, at the request of a family member, but realized moments into it that it wasn't a discussion. Each of us held our own viewpoint and we weren't budging. No fights ensued, just awareness on my part, so I just let the conversation die out. They had their say and I let it go.

My main goal, much like your OP is not make unnecessary waves, yet still honor our family. Each get together is a different experience. During a family reunion that I am hosting, I am too busy to get into church conversations, I hear them, but I don't get involved. I stay busy in the kitchen or getting the next activity planned. When it's lower key, I usually just listen, if a chance to add a subtle thought comes up, I add it. Otherwise I just try to make memories.
"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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