Passive attack in priesthood

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DarkJedi
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Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Post by DarkJedi » 25 Jan 2016, 20:53

I don't like the "if I were in that situation I'd do this..." what if scenarios because I have discovered in my life that when I'm really in a situation I usually do something I thought I wouldn't do or never thought of doing at all. I do appreciate all your advice. FWIW, the dark side was already prevailing by the time we got to that point so I was not in a position to do what more more calm friend did for me (or ray would have done). I hope to return the favor for him someday. He might well have felt attacked as well, considering our pasts have some commonalities - and in his speech he did specifically mention a major contributing factor to my own crisis (among several other things). And, I was already playing with my tablet, although I was not fully immersed in anything. I have spoken up before, but as I said the dark side was strong with me at that moment and I might not even have liked what I said. In the room I probably had much more cred (and am much more liked) than the guy teaching. He only teaches 4th Sundays, the HPGLs teach first, we rotate 2nd and 3rd among us and I travel about 2 Sundays a month. I get to choose one of those, so I could always choose to travel 4th if I wanted (next month that one has been chosen for me).

Truth is this guy is the brother of the prodigal - somewhat upset that I can be away 10 years and come back and be a high councilor while he's stuck being GD teacher. And truth is the neighbors I have the most trouble loving are those with whom I disagree the most - he sees no gray, I see no black or white.
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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wayfarer
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Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Post by wayfarer » 26 Jan 2016, 06:07

Ray DeGraw wrote:I speak up regularly - slowly, softly, and in orthodox terms. I do it in any meeting I am attending, no matter who else is there.

Why? The voices that are heard are the only ones that will be remembered.

(Good to see you again, wayfarer.)
good to be seen. Of course you know where you can find me most of the time... :-)

I totally agree with the idea that we need to speak up, and use "orthodox terms" to express the Way as we see it. I think it important that all of us can only perceive things from our own point of view, thus being humble is always in order. As well, when we confront people with language that makes them uncomfortable, they turn off as quickly as we do when we hear what seems to us as being narrow-minded orthodoxy. We all see through a glass, darkly.

I think the Book of Mormon helps us understand how to share the Word as we understand it. I now see the narrative of the Book differently, understanding the humanity of the heroes, and the goodness of the villians. Are we Laman and Lemuel and the active church members Nephi and Sam? Or, is it that Laman and Lemuel are the representatives of Jewish orthodoxy (they are, in fact), and Lehi is more like "Denver Snuffer", and Nephi is more like "Rock Waterman". Realizing this, I can see that the real lessons learned in the Book of Mormon are how miserably Nephi failed in convincing his brethren by being so self-righteous (no offense to Rock -- he isn't self righteous, but Nephi sure was).

We are going to be attacked in our meetings -- no question about it. Our faith journeys are in transformation: we are coming to a new rebirth of our understanding of God and the gospel. We are not "losing faith", but rather, our faith is being refined by the fire of doubt and adversity. This is inherently threatening to our brethren and sisters who find great happiness in what they perceive as certainties of the Church and the comfort of following the leaders without question. Truth be known, our faith journeys are as difficult as Lehi's family was in leaving Jerusalem.

Yet such "leaving" is purely symbolic, at least for me. I have already "left" orthodoxy -- absolutely. But for many reasons, I "Stay LDS" in as full of a sense of being an active member as I can possibly stand. Lately, in the wake of the "Policy Revelation", this has become really hard! Not a week goes by that I don't get negative energy as I try to share what I think is the more loving aspects of the Gospel in response to "we/they" bigotry. So how do we survive?

Again, I think the answer may be in the Book of Mormon. Symbolically, I think of the Church as being the "Lamanites" of the time of Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah. Clearly, the disciples of Alma the elder -- those who lifted each others' burdens, mourned with those who mourn, and comoforted those who stood in need of comfort, had withdrawn themselves from the prevailing culture. Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah were renegades: they had gone through their "rumspringa" and had transformed their faith and identities into an abiding and powerful faith.

The most successful among these was Ammon. While his brothers likely took the confrontational approach with the Lamanites, Ammon chose to serve them, and when asked to teach, chose to use terms that Lamoni would understand. He spoke in the language of the prevailing culture -- he was not confrontational, nor did he call them wicked and insist on their repentance.

I firmly believe that the Book of Mormon was written for and about us Mormons in our times. When it speaks of nephites and lamanites, it is not speaking of "nephites=mormons" and "lamanites=the world", but rather, both nephi and laman were members of the (jewish) church. When it speaks of a great and spacious building, we have to ask ourselves whether our great and spacious conference center and temples are not a form thereof. When it speaks of "king men", we need to contemplate whether our desire to put our trust in the arm of flesh -- authoritarianism ("follow the prophet: he cannot lead us astray") -- isn't a case in point. When it speaks of "secret combinations", we need to consider how the lack of transparency in the church and the secret attempts to subvert the voice of the people in Hawaii in the 90s isn't also a case in point.

In 1986, I sat fifty feet from a Prophet of God, Ezra Taft Benson, when he declared his first words as Prophet: that the Church is under condemnation for not heeding the words of the Book of Mormon. In halting words, as if receiving them right then and there, he spoke without his prepared speech and uttered what became his theme as prophet. Unfortunately, the church decided in response to focus on the Book of Mormon as a tool for proving that we are the "true church" rather than embracing the radical message it embodies.

I guess the point of this long post is to say that the message of the book of mormon to us has to be to lift each others' burdens, to mourn with those who mourn, to comfort those who stand in need of comfort, and to witness of God (who is "love") in all times and in all places we may be. Sure, this means that our church needs to be more loving and the hateful "Policy Revelation" stands in direct contrast to the truth of the gospel -- but here is the deal: if we leave, if we become hateful in response, then we cannot lift our LDS brothers and sisters burdens, we cannot mourn with them, comfort them, and our witness will never be heard. When we become angry, confrontational, silent, or leave, we are failing to embrace our covenant as expressed in the book of mormon. And when we "witness" -- if we do so in a way that turns people off, then we aren't being effective.

Ultimately, the message of the book of mormon is that the lamanites dwindled in unbelief and the self-righteous nephites were killed off. Yet, in the middle of this dynamic, there were moments when a Nephite became a lamanite (Ammon) and a Lamanite became the Prophet (Samuel). And when Nephites and Lamanites became One, as in the case of the Ammonites and in third/fourth nephi, they realized Zion.

We who are trying to stay amidst this horrible division among us are becoming fewer and fewer as we try to hold on. It's very hard to stay LDS right now, at least for me. Yet I remain committed to staying. And if so, then finding a way to be One with the better elements of our LDS community is in order. So, while i feel compelled to speak out against bigotry and we/they divisiveness, how i do so truly matters.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
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azguy
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Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Post by azguy » 26 Jan 2016, 13:50

DarkJedi wrote:I don't like the "if I were in that situation I'd do this..." what if scenarios because I have discovered in my life that when I'm really in a situation I usually do something I thought I wouldn't do or never thought of doing at all...
This is so true. It is so easy for us to "Monday morning quarterback" your decisions, and tell you what you 'should' have done. But when you are in the moment, and a comment catches you off guard, who knows what will happen.

At least you were able to withstand the temptation of the dark side. I'd call that a win!

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nibbler
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Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Post by nibbler » 26 Jan 2016, 14:14

I'm slow to think. Half the time I don't think of something good to say until several days later, the other half of the time I don't even recognize that there was an opportunity to begin with. That accounts for why I'm silent nearly 100% of the time. I don't want to say something and sour someone to a new way of thinking because I'm terrible at communicating. I'm a poor spokesman.

It must be nice to have that gift of Ammon, to speak in a language that can be heard. Not all of us have that gift. I'm sure people that have the gift would say that it takes practice and I'm also sure that some people will take to it quicker than others. Sometimes gifts are gifts.

Here's what I see as the flip side of that coin. My "something good to say" that only comes to mind several days later is still perfectly fine. After all, the comment is more for me than it is for anyone else. The growth came from thinking about it for a few days and coming up with something that I needed to hear in response to something someone said, even if no one else other than me ever gets to hear it.
It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, "And this too, shall pass away." How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!
― Abraham Lincoln

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Heber13
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Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Post by Heber13 » 26 Jan 2016, 16:19

wayfarer wrote:So, while i feel compelled to speak out against bigotry and we/they divisiveness, how i do so truly matters.
The whole post is great, wayfarer. This last sentence is the crux of it.

I'm not sure if my speaking up will do anything to change the church, change the others in the class speaking out harshly, or change the silent folks sitting in the room listening.

But...it is good for me to do so. It is practicing my religion to find kind ways to express my thoughts with others to add to discussions, not derail or take away from others.

It is good for me to find the courage to do it in a safe place like a HPG class where it likely doesn't matter to anyone else but to my character.
nibbler wrote:Here's what I see as the flip side of that coin. My "something good to say" that only comes to mind several days later is still perfectly fine. After all, the comment is more for me than it is for anyone else. The growth came from thinking about it for a few days and coming up with something that I needed to hear in response to something someone said, even if no one else other than me ever gets to hear it.
+1
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

amateurparent
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Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Post by amateurparent » 27 Jan 2016, 22:37

I think I would've been staring at my phone while quietly muttering "A&$hole"
A few days later and I'd have finally come up with an erudite response.

Quick on my feet? Not so much.
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

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Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Post by Heber13 » 28 Jan 2016, 16:23

I also had this thought when I posted the other thread about the dangers of clinging to the Iron Rod.
wayfarer wrote:I totally agree with the idea that we need to speak up, and use "orthodox terms" to express the Way as we see it.
[snip]
I think the Book of Mormon helps us understand how to share the Word as we understand it. I now see the narrative of the Book differently, understanding the humanity of the heroes, and the goodness of the villians. Are we Laman and Lemuel and the active church members Nephi and Sam?
[snip]
We are going to be attacked in our meetings -- no question about it. Our faith journeys are in transformation: we are coming to a new rebirth of our understanding of God and the gospel. We are not "losing faith", but rather, our faith is being refined by the fire of doubt and adversity. This is inherently threatening to our brethren and sisters who find great happiness in what they perceive as certainties of the Church and the comfort of following the leaders without question. Truth be known, our faith journeys are as difficult as Lehi's family was in leaving Jerusalem.
There may be a generally accepted and correlated interpretation that is regurgitated at church, but there is lots of room for interpretations and applications as we
"liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning" (1 Ne 19:23)
and
"we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." 2 Ne 25:26.
The article in the other thread about the dangers of clinging to the rod is a faithful perspective, even if revisiting Lehi's dream and applying it differently.

I see that done a church all the time.

It just depends on how far the new application of all scripture pushes the line for others' interpretations, and how kind it is on their orthodox view.

It requires tact, should have the right timing, and should only be in the right doses that don't hurt others. Or...I keep thoughts to myself. Filters are good.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

marty
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Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Post by marty » 03 Feb 2016, 00:22

Meh Mormon wrote:I all honesty DJ, I would have started to check Facebook or something else on my phone and tuned out. That being said, it would probably be a miracle in and of itself if I actually went. Sorry you had to deal with that.
+100 for this one. I used to feel so guilty for not listening, but now I realize that choosing to not listen (or not attend) makes my experience at Church infinitely more enjoyable. I've enjoyed Church more as a nonbeliever than I ever did as a believer.

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LookingHard
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Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Post by LookingHard » 03 Feb 2016, 12:07

marty wrote:
Meh Mormon wrote:I all honesty DJ, I would have started to check Facebook or something else on my phone and tuned out. That being said, it would probably be a miracle in and of itself if I actually went. Sorry you had to deal with that.
+100 for this one. I used to feel so guilty for not listening, but now I realize that choosing to not listen (or not attend) makes my experience at Church infinitely more enjoyable. I've enjoyed Church more as a nonbeliever than I ever did as a believer.
My choice of seating has changed for this very reason. I am always looking to where I can have some screen privacy. I have my very old iPad that I sometimes pull the lesson up on while looking at my phone (WiFi turned off so LDSAccess won't block or track anything - plus it is too slow anyway). So are electronics a blessing sent from God to allow us to tolerate being in certain classes? :shifty:

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