What is considered disobedience??

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Lovemylife17
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What is considered disobedience??

Post by Lovemylife17 » 22 Aug 2017, 18:24

I posted my introduction today and thought I'd continue here in the "support" forum. Without repeating all of the thoughts in my intro post, I'll try to sum it up . . . raised in the church, LOVE IT, married young civilly, sealed 11 years later, STILL married to the love of my life! We have 3 awesome kids who are adults now, our oldest son married in the temple, my second son worships God by meditating and our youngest, our daughter quit going to church because she feels" there are too many scare tactics to keep you on the straight and narrow." The greatest thing is we all respect where the other is and love each other very much!

We went through the temple when our children were 10, 7, and 2. We were the typical Mormon family, attended church every Sunday, carried out our callings faithfully, full tithe payers, respected and used the priesthood power often in our home. NOT real great with FHE, but prayed as a family more than not and blessed our meals. Our 2 children who are inactive at this time have thanked us for raising them in the church and says that it taught them values and that they are loved by God.

A short intro to my childhood; I am sealed to my mom and step father but also very close to my biological father who is not LDS but has been a huge influence in my open mindedness. He is a very spiritual man and looks at life in such a beautiful, non-complicated way and this has ALWAYS appealed to me. Nevertheless, I lived with my mom and step dad who were active in the LDS faith and lived my life accordingly. All the while discussing any issues I had regarding my thoughts on faith with my real dad because I could do so without feeling like I was "being deceived by the adversary."

All I ever wanted was to be a mother! When I started having children, I was not active in the church. This weighed heavy on me because I had been taught all my life that if I wasn't married in the temple and sealed to my children, I wouldn't have them forever and that scared me. So you can imagine what motivated me to go to the temple. My husband and I drank coffee and alcohol occasionally, neither of us smoked, so this seemed like a pretty easy task at hand. As mentioned above we eventually were sealed as a family. I joked all the time, with family and friends that if I could find a religion that allowed me to be with my family forever, drink coffee, wear sun dresses and didn't required me to go to church every Sunday, THAT'S the church I would belong to! haha! (just being honest here)

Well, fast forward to today . . . our children are gone, they are happy in their lives and I am struggling being active in church. My love for my Heavenly Father hasn't change nor my testimony of my Savior and his atonement. I and have felt the power of forgiveness, I know it's real. I listen to the spirit and serve others according to his will. I am honest, faithful and trustworthy. Then what's the problem?? I simply don't want to attend church.

I miss the smell of coffee brewing in the mornings, makes me happy. I miss having a glass of wine with friends at dinner. I LOVE my garments and the feel of them on my body, however, don't want to feel "unsafe and/or unprotected" if I choose NOT to wear them for whatever reason (again, fear tactics). I want to attend sacrament meeting and take the sacrament and commune with my God and not feel guilty for the things I've mentioned above (WOW). I have friends who hold temple recommends who drink coffee (but don't rely on it to get the morning started like some coke drinkers I know) and who have an occasional drink of alcohol (but not enough to even speak about), and after hearing this my thought was, "Really!!! I didn't know this was an option!" Their response was, "Of course it is. The WOW is to protect you from abuse of any kind of substance and to promote healthy living. It is a personal choice and if I'm not addicted to or abusing anything, why then I am worthy of a temple recommend." Because I've NEVER wavered from strict adherence of the WOW, this came as a shock to me. These are friends that are VERY active in the church! They hold callings, they attend the temple, we have spiritual discussions with them and they are GREAT people . . . All of a sudden I felt this liberating feeling come over me that I too could live my life the way I choose and still be close to my Heavenly Father. . . Is this possible?? Am I justifying and is this considered disobedience. I saw this picture of Christ the other day hugging a man and the caption read, "Welcome home son, I'm so glad you didn't drink coffee." Sounds so ridiculous, but it's the principle of the whole thing. I feel like I'm captured in this culture of people who are not focusing on the real work at hand here . . . LOVE GOD, SERVE HIM BY SERVING OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS and who the heck cares if you drink coffee.

THIS is where my heart is heavy, I'm admitting that I want it all. . . I want to choose my lifestyle and my worship habits and I don't want to conform any longer to a "group or culture". BUT, huge but here, am I giving up eternal life with my family to do so . . . is this being disobedient or am I normal? Please, I have tough skin, I'd LOVE to know your thoughts!

Shae

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What is considered disobedience??

Post by Curt Sunshine » 22 Aug 2017, 18:34

"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience . . ."
Joseph Smith famously said he preferred someone who swore all day and night over a pious hypocrite - whatever the actual wording was, since I am too lazy right now to find it.

Otoh, do you want to attend the temple? I don't agree completely with the current attendance standards, but they are what they are. I also don't think you forfeit eternity with family if you don't attend - as long as you are living according to your conscience. However, part of a solid, whole conscience includes understanding one's responsibilities regarding family and community.

A good life is a matter of balance, in my opinion - and balance is hard at first. Understanding and accepting that is important as a first step - and learning solid balance requires that first step.
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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dande48
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Re: What is considered disobedience??

Post by dande48 » 22 Aug 2017, 19:27

Hey Shae,

I think what it comes down to, whether you believe the LDS Church is the one true Church, and the path to salvation? If you believe it, live it to the fullest. Go to Church, pay your tithing, keep the Word of Wisdom. It's tough, and requires sacrifice, but it's though the refiner's fire that we are saved. If you honestly don't believe in it, or have doubts, I think God will be more understanding than we give him credit for. Whatever you decide to do, follow your consience with an honest heart, and it'll all work out for the best.

Personally, I have aligned with the Buddhist "faith" (although I remain active in the LDS Church). You might want to check to see if there is a temple or congregation in your own. What I appreciate about it, is that they have most of the same standards we do (LoC, WoW, don't kill, don't take what's not given, and don't lie/hurt with your words). They're also more focused on practical things; finding peace and happiness within our selves, service to others, self progression and betterment. They worship no gods, and expect no heavenly reweards; They take no "truth" at face value, and are willing to adjust beliefs as better information presents itself. And they have an actual lay ministry. It has really helped me in my faith "transition", come to a place of peace, empathy, and understanding. If there is a life after this one, wherever I go, it doesn't matter. If this life is all I get, I will be happy still.

On the topic of the WoW,
Gordon B Hinkley, April 1990 Conference wrote: "I recall a bishop telling me of a woman who came to get a recommend. When asked if she observed the Word of Wisdom, she said that she occasionally drank a cup of coffee. She said, “Now, bishop, you’re not going to let that keep me from going to the temple, are you?” To which he replied, “Sister, surely you will not let a cup of coffee stand between you and the House of the Lord.”
The textbook answer is, if you occasionally drink a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, you're in violation of the Word of Wisdom, and most bishops will deny you a temple recommend. Of course there's repentence, but if you're intent on breaking it again, that's not really repenting. As with anything, you can justify almost anything if you try hard enough. But I figure it is better not to have a temple recommend, than to have one under false pretense; some people on here disagree.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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DarkJedi
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Re: What is considered disobedience??

Post by DarkJedi » 23 Aug 2017, 04:09

I guess I'm one of those people who disagrees with Dande in this case. I agree with your friends who seem to think an occasional cup of coffee, beer, or glass of wine is in keeping with the WoW (all things in moderation, of course). I eat meat in summer and during non-famine times - lots of it usually. Unless the majority of your friends are vegetarians/vegans they likely also do and also can be active temple recommend holders.

Your question isn't just about the WoW, though. Like tithing on gross, net, or something else, the real answer is that it's between you and God. I believe seeking and finding at least some the peace Christ promised helps us to know whether we are on the right path. I believe Jesus tried to teach us that intent (love God and love each other) is more important than lists of rules.
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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nibbler
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Re: What is considered disobedience??

Post by nibbler » 23 Aug 2017, 05:26

This may or may not have been the case decades ago but I'm finding that many, many Christian people I know default to believing that families are eternal. These are Christians that have never been exposed to anything Mormon, they just believe that they'll be together as family in heaven and it's their baseline belief. If you look at Mormon teachings from that perspective first we're taking away the concept of the eternal family and only giving it back when a series of hoops have been jumped through or all the boxes on a list have been checked off.

What is disobedience?

My cynical definition is any behavior that goes against the established societal/community norm. In other words behaviors that are considered to be disobedient depends more on the company you keep that on adherence to a rule god wrote in stone.

Extreme case time: thankfully the overwhelming majority of societies, cultures, and communities have adopted 'thou shalt not kill' as a standard. What if you were in some ancient tribe that performed regular human sacrifice to appease the gods? Would not killing a person in ritualistic sacrifice be considered disobedience?

Yeah, it's an extreme case but at least a part of me says that obedience/disobedience is relative to one's tribe. In Mormonism the tribe has deemed drinking tea to be disobedient. I don't really know but I've got to think that in most other tribes in the world no one thinks twice about drinking tea. So is drinking tea being disobedient to god? What does the tribe say god said?

That's just one angle to look at things, and I did mention earlier that it's a particularly cynical view. It's easier to fit in the Mormon tribe if you live by the tribe's definitions of obedience/disobedience.

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SilentDawning
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Re: What is considered disobedience??

Post by SilentDawning » 23 Aug 2017, 08:22

Lovemylife17 wrote:
22 Aug 2017, 18:24
Then what's the problem?? I simply don't want to attend church....

THIS is where my heart is heavy, I'm admitting that I want it all. . . I want to choose my lifestyle and my worship habits and I don't want to conform any longer to a "group or culture". BUT, huge but here, am I giving up eternal life with my family to do so . . . is this being disobedient or am I normal? Please, I have tough skin, I'd LOVE to know your thoughts!
Here's where I sit on this one. I don't believe you can have both at the same time in full doses. I have made the decision not to hold a TR because there are certain commandments my personal happinees/inner peace won't let me keep anymore. I leave myself open to keep them at any time in the future, but I won't claim the full priviledges of membership (TR holding status, temple admission) if I choose not to live the standards. At least, choose not to live them to the point I can answer the TR questions without some kind of conscience problem. My conscience won't be a casualty of my personal happiness.

Case in point, my only daughter is getting married in the temple and I have chosen not to be in there with her and her new husband at the time. For the last few years, we've been talking about it, and although I'm vague about my reasons, she knows we won't let the church come between us on this or any other issue.

I also have to forgo the respect that comes from being a "righteous man" in the church, holding priesthood leadership positions, and the esteem of the local priesthood leadership. To a certain extent, I'm not a full part of the community any longer without a TR.

This is the price I'm paying though. I feel more at peace with it than I do either lying about, or temporarily living certain commandments to get a TR.

For me, your plight is about preserving as much of those things you love about the church, while maintaining your personal happiness and integrity at the same time. It's like there is an optimal equilibrium between the two, where you forgo certain Church things, and forgo certain non-church things so you can optimize your happiness.

Those areas of the church you leave behind as a result of your decisions need to be dealt with in some way. I have accepted a certain lack of respect from my daughter. Check the Falling off that Pedestal thread I posted from two years ago that I think Amy revived recently. Falling off the pedestal was hard for me. But I accept I am an island now in that respect. I have accepted that I don't have a full community in the church anymore -- but I have nurtured one outside the church. I have accepted that I won't have fulfilling leadership experiences in the church now -- at least, not in priesthood leadership callings, but have found such experiences in the local community.

There are brief blips in the peace that comes with this -- I know it will be a hard day when I stand outside the temple and my daughter gets married. But it will pass as she's in a different state now. And her communication has gotten less and less the more independent she comes. Eventually, it will be a non-issue except perhaps when she reads her journal....and her life is full with other things now. After the wedding, I'll go back to my peaceful relationship with the church, and keep on, keeping on.

Hope you find your own equilibrium and that my comments help in some way.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Lovemylife17
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Re: What is considered disobedience??

Post by Lovemylife17 » 23 Aug 2017, 09:57

SD,
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. You confirmed some things I was already thinking. I have not attended the temple for quite sometime because I know, in my heart, that I'm not "respecting or living" certain requirements to be there. You are right, I guess I can't have it all and there will be some give and take, "establishing an equilibrium" and deciding what that will be that creates happiness in my life. I really enjoyed ready the Essay on the main page of the StayLDS entitled "How to stay in the church." I needed to hear those things. Mostly because they didn't tell me what I "wanted to hear" but rather what I needed to hear. That they believe in clean living and paying some kind of tithe. I'm such an ALL or NOTHING kind of person and I'm learning that growth takes place in the middle and that harsh decisions are made when made too quickly and it's okay to take some time and really think things through. That is what this group has offered me . . . without feeling sorry for me because I've "fallen for the cunning ways of the adversary", but rather respecting the process of discovery!

Your thoughts really made me stop and think for MYSELF, not follow in the ways of my friends, but really decide what is important to me. I love the Lord SO much, so for me being dishonest isn't an option. . . not that they ARE being dishonest, maybe in their eyes they aren't and that's the beauty of this whole thing . . . That's OKAY . . . not being so engulfed in the "culture" is allowing for these learning processes without repercussion.

Thanks again!
Shae

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On Own Now
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Re: What is considered disobedience??

Post by On Own Now » 23 Aug 2017, 12:24

lml17,

When I was younger, I used to say "I can't drink alcohol." Now, I say, "I don't drink alcohol." The interesting thing for me is that while I still am following the same 'rule' it used to be someone else's and now it is mine. I think there is value in following rules of our community, but the value is limited. I think there is tremendous value in following our own self-determined rules. I also think it's good to stretch the boundaries of our capability a bit. For me, I think not drinking has made me a better person, not because there is anything wrong with drinking, but because I have made a commitment for my own reasons and I have stayed with it.

My suggestion is to remain respectful of the community rules, but to find the self-directing discipline that works for you and live by it. Doing so means more and costs less.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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mom3
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Re: What is considered disobedience??

Post by mom3 » 23 Aug 2017, 12:39

Image
"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

nibbler
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Re: What is considered disobedience??

Post by nibbler » 23 Aug 2017, 13:27

Yeah, a guy like Uchtdorf would say something like that.

;)

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