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Passive attack in priesthood

Posted: 25 Jan 2016, 11:56
by DarkJedi
I have not encountered this yet and wondered if others have and how you have dealt with it. I am admittedly sensitive to such things and I also tend to stew on things sometimes.

here's what happened: yesterday in HPG the lesson was on Pres. Uchtdorf's talk "It Works Wonderfully." I should note that this same talk was the high council topic for the previous Sunday. The teacher is probably the most black and white guy I know and someone I generally avoid at church (there is some bad blood between us). Near the beginning of the lesson he was off script and talking about how high priests tend to want to delve deeper into stuff but that maybe we shouldn't - but then began to speculate on some doctrines about the afterlife after a question was posed. I put in my two cents that we shouldn't speculate about things we don't know about (the conversation was drifting toward those who reject the church here not ever getting a future opportunity and exactly how temple work fits in there) . Things were going along fine after that until he got to the part about those for whom it doesn't work wonderfully. Even then it was fine but he went off script again and started talking about those fully active members who suddenly "go off the deep end" and stop coming to church (he is very well aware of my history, as is everybody else in the room). I was about to walk out when another guy who had been inactive for a long period of time many years ago spoke up and gave a pretty good two minute speech about how we shouldn't judge anyone else because we have no idea what's going on in their lives and he described some real challenges some of us have faced. (He was in the bishopric when I stopped coming to church and knew some of the circumstances.) I thanked him afterwards.

What would you have done?

Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Posted: 25 Jan 2016, 12:20
by Meh Mormon
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.

Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Posted: 25 Jan 2016, 12:22
by azguy
I think the "judge not" approach is probably the best combination of taking the high road and being effective at the same time.

Then again you could always walk out and slam the door. But that would be neither effective nor the high road, and I like the high road myself.

Recently my mom has had some mental health issues that have caused her to be institutionalized twice in the last two years. It has been incredibly stressing on my dad, and all of us for that matter. I have seen my dad become a much less judgmental person over the last two years. Trials and struggles will do that to a person. With everything my wife and I have been going through my dad has told me that he loves me and my wife, and that he doesn't judge us in any way. He says he knows he is not qualified to judge us.

Actually, I think that is the best response you can give. Point out that none of us are qualified to judge each other. He (capital H) is the only one that can do that. He has a perfect knowledge. We do not. He knows each of us completely. We do not. To presuppose that we know the outcome of how someone will be judged is presumptions and usurps His power and authority.

Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Posted: 25 Jan 2016, 12:24
by LookingHard
Who knows what I would have done.

Being here and not using my reactionary limbic brain, I would want to say that I don't know if we know. And all I know is that Christ told me to love them and the longer I have lived, the more I realize we don't know what someone else is going through (as was said in your class).

Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Posted: 25 Jan 2016, 13:13
by hawkgrrrl
I would have pointed out that some "sins" are easier to see than others, and that we know that there are many so-called active church members who won't merit the eternal reward that everyone thinks. Just because someone attends church doesn't mean that they "get" it. Sometimes those who are active are the least Christ-like of all. Everyone has to travel their own path and work out their own salvation with fear & trembling. Everyone.

Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Posted: 25 Jan 2016, 13:43
by Heber13
I would have 2nd the man who spoke up and said something like...
I agree, with individual circumstances, things are never so simple that we know all the reasons why the church isn't working for some people at some periods in their lives. I've experienced it myself, and I can tell you, there are lots of reasons people don't feel comfortable coming to church with us in our ward. I appreciate many of the General Conference talks that support this idea...that there are a myriad of reasons, and it is not easy to understand. For example, Pres Uchtodorf said in 2013:
One might ask, “If the gospel is so wonderful, why would anyone leave?”

Sometimes we assume it is because they have been offended or lazy or sinful. Actually, it is not that simple. In fact, there is not just one reason that applies to the variety of situations.
So our job is to make a safe place for everyone to come, no matter where they are in their journey. It's never simple, as Pres Uchtdorf taught us.
I guess I would make it very clear that I am open to people's thoughts about it, but that they should be speaking respectfully to people like me that have had times the church has NOT worked for me.

They need that reminder to speak that way in classes and filter their comments, even if I know at times people have judged me and from their point of view see my position as a sign of weakness in faith because they think one should never doubt. It is just how they see it. They think they would never stop coming to church...they can't imagine it. And maybe someday they'll see a broader vision or maybe life will compel them to see things differently when they face their own issue someday. Or maybe not...and I am find with allowing them to see it their way. But I appreciate more tempered comments and open statements that are more welcoming to those who have stopped going to church and then returned.

Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Posted: 25 Jan 2016, 14:56
by Minyan Man
I agree with Heber13. I would of 2nd the brother who spoke up.

Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Posted: 25 Jan 2016, 15:05
by wayfarer
If we don't speak up, they win.
If we walk out, they win.

if we do speak up, then we might get censured. But it's a price worth paying.

I have come to realize that in the wake of the "Policy Revelation", I need to stay, witness, and above all, love.

I don't think we can go wrong if we focus on love. Every time someone throws off a judgment of others - as was the case here -- they are not loving. But as well, if we nail the teacher's butt, we're not loving either. So it boils down to, "I don't know, it seems to me that stories of leaving get a lot less interesting when we learn both sides. And as LDS, we are called to lift each others' burdens, mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. In other words, we are to love unconditionally as god loves us. How, then, is our conversation here, ridiculing those who are struggling with beliefs and faith, consistent with God's love? How effective are we when we reject others? Does that help bring them back to our community?"

Well, perhaps our community has become so judgmental that bringing them back may not be in their interests. But, I have to say, we can do a lot better.

just my 2c

Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Posted: 25 Jan 2016, 16:50
by SilentDawning
I would have considered a few things..

a) looked disinterested and pulled out my kindle, or started reading the book intently.

b) pulled out an unrelated quote from the book to get the conversation back on track.

c) posed a question -- I have one question, in whom does the greater sin lie -- the person being judged, or the person doing the judging?

d) I probably wouldn't have walked out. But I might not return for a few weeks, preferring to do something more edifying. If the guy was consciously doing what he was doing, my absence may send a message.

Now, is this guy narcissistic? If so, he was doing it probably to get your goat. In which case, I would show no emotion, and go with option a) or b) or c). If he knows he's bugging you, he gets satisfaction from it and feels absolutely no remorse. If he was normal, but just judgmental, than any of the ideas above would work for me...

I like to set up situations where I win no matter what happens. If someone is insulting in priesthood? Great, I win by using the time to read my favorite novel in a classroom or my car. If priesthood is edifying, then I stay and enjoy it...no lose situation there!

Re: Passive attack in priesthood

Posted: 25 Jan 2016, 17:57
by Curt Sunshine
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.)