The Rescue is Back on The Menu!

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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gospeltangents
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Re: The Rescue is Back on The Menu!

Post by gospeltangents » 28 Jan 2018, 20:35

I remember when my kids would be told to apologize to a sibling. They would give this flippant, "sorry."

No sincerity or ownership.
I understand what you are saying and agree to a large part. On the other hand, our current POTUS never learned that skill. In other words, even if "sorry" is not sincere, it's still better to teach your kids than not.
See my latest interviews on Mormon History, Science & Theology at www.gospeltangents.com

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mom3
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Re: The Rescue is Back on The Menu!

Post by mom3 » 29 Jan 2018, 11:10

Thanks Everyone -

After mulling this for a day, I realize this one is going to be a personal sort through issue. Even though it was a 7/8 good day, the 1/8 is really troubling me. What I am concluding though is that it's not just the "being a project part". It's the unfairness to the other side. To leaders and standard church members who have no idea why someone left. Yes some may just want social connectedness. Most won't.

2 scenarios then come into play. I have experienced both.

#1 - The bridge everyone is hoping to build only gets more damaged. Whether it's gung ho missionaries or well meaning members - the person who wants to be heard won't be heard.

#2 - (I have seen this twice in my family), the well meaning still devout member works so diligently, sincerely to bring back the lost sheep. In the process they get caught in the cross hairs of their own faith crisis. Now they are the project. They are the estranged family member. They become the nuanced (or even angry post mo), stuck going to church, having an ucler or worse. Eventually leaving and the whole tide turns on them.

Which brings me back to the responsibility of the people asking for the project to be performed.

Years ago I renewed my CPR cert. During the class the instructor repeated the admonition. If you get to a scene and have forgotten how to do CPR - don't try it. AND don't let someone else who isn't certified or trained do it perform it. Doing it incorrectly can cause more damage. It's better to keep the patient warm, call 911 and wait for professionals.

If they really want these families back - the professionals need to come in. Stop passing the responsibility onto the trainee's. You have given them no information. No clues. No skill set. And if the professionals don't have the necessary knowledge - then drop it until you do.

Thanks for listening. I won't rant on any more. Hopefully this little idea will get lost in the weeds of other church stuff and drift away. Who knows. I do appreciate your insights and input. I will work this through eventually.
"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

Roy
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Re: The Rescue is Back on The Menu!

Post by Roy » 29 Jan 2018, 12:20

Beefster wrote:
28 Jan 2018, 17:28
I've opposed the "casserole patrol" rescue mission since before my FC- probably on my mission.
I personally love receiving casseroles during hardship. #1 I get a casserole! :thumbup: #2 I feel that the casserole represents the love and concern of our ward community. It is perhaps one of the most tangible manifestations of the community "giving back" for your contributions.
Curt Sunshine wrote:
28 Jan 2018, 18:46
Anything that is 87.5% good is good.
Solid B+ :D
Tica wrote:
28 Jan 2018, 17:46
Processing this afterwards, I am feeling just a bit more charitable, though I still do and always will loathe the friends-with-an-agenda thing. I can see that for many LDS, much of my family included, the gospel truly does bring joy and peace. It would follow that it would be a Christlike desire to help bring that joy and peace (back) into someone's life. From that perspective, why wouldn't someone want that in their life? It is a great blessing and the way to exaltation! Our church, and many good souls within it, are often just not great with nuance and complexity.
I second this. I knew a woman who was hurt because her LDS friends seemed to melt away when she became inactive. Another woman who had served with the first in a presidency at the time was indignant at the suggestion, "That is just not true! I visited her two or three times to invite her back to church." This second woman was being genuine in her concern - she just could not understand how that is different than friendship.

I also believe that a number of individuals find making friends within church circles is a form of shorthand for compatibility. DW is very reluctant to invest in making friends outside of the church because church members have so many similar life experiences and cultural understanding as to just "get it." When two friends are both TBM they mutually support each others worldview, sacrifices, and lifestyle choices. If one of those friends stops attending church that implicit and explicit support of the Mormon path is on shaky ground. Some will go into rescue mode - trying to help their friend and reclaim the relationship as it once was. Some will keep their distance - either out of awkwardness or an intent to quarantine the doubts of the former friend. Some others will continue the friendship with no expectations. IMO this last approach is the path that requires the greatest amount of spiritual and emotional maturity. I feel that many people are just not that capable - their emotional and spiritual reserves are just not deep enough to really stand with and support a friend during faith transition.
Beefster wrote:
28 Jan 2018, 17:28
And considering that my trajectory may soon put me on the receiving end of that... Yeah. Not sure how I'm going to deal with that. Probably with sarcasm.
Continuing from my last point, If I (who have gone through an FC) am the more aware in the situation then it falls to me to be the most responsible. I would do this by being a good host to visitors in my home. I would smile and nod at the appropriate moments. I would build on common beliefs to the extent possible. I would express vague hope, humility, and willingness to change towards positive goals. I might deflect or gently rebuff commitments that will likely not work for me at the present time. I would part with friendly words and a good handshake (or hug if appropriate).
"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

AmyJ
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Re: The Rescue is Back on The Menu!

Post by AmyJ » 29 Jan 2018, 12:44

mom3 wrote:
29 Jan 2018, 11:10
#1 - The bridge everyone is hoping to build only gets more damaged. Whether it's gung-ho missionaries or well meaning members - the person who wants to be heard won't be heard.

#2 - (I have seen this twice in my family), the well meaning still devout member works so diligently, sincerely to bring back the lost sheep. In the process they get caught in the cross hairs of their own faith crisis. Now they are the project. They are the estranged family member. They become the nuanced (or even angry post mo), stuck going to church, having an ucler or worse. Eventually leaving and the whole tide turns on them.
I can see both options if/when my belief divergence becomes known. My husband follows me in a lot of things, for a variety of reasons that I don't fully understand. Like when I go to church, my husband is more inclined towards going to church. If I am not capable of going to church, he stays home with me instead of going to church anyways.
mom3 wrote:
29 Jan 2018, 11:10
Which brings me back to the responsibility of the people asking for the project to be performed.

Years ago I renewed my CPR cert. During the class the instructor repeated the admonition. If you get to a scene and have forgotten how to do CPR - don't try it. AND don't let someone else who isn't certified or trained do it perform it. Doing it incorrectly can cause more damage. It's better to keep the patient warm, call 911 and wait for professionals.

If they really want these families back - the professionals need to come in. Stop passing the responsibility onto the trainees. You have given them no information. No clues. No skill set. And if the professionals don't have the necessary knowledge - then drop it until you do.
This sounds like great advice. But it begs the question "who are the faith crises professionals"?
The main issue I see that upper leadership would have to admit that there is a problem with enough numbers to warrant intervention and training our bishops and branch presidents to a) see these people without judging them, b) give them the information to access the help they need, and c) trust the members enough that getting faith crisis/faith transition assistance doesn't mean the person would leave the church.

1. The Scholars: I find it hard to believe that leadership would point those in a faith crisis/transition to the "Stages of Faith" without prompting - to do so, the leadership would also need to give credence that this worth studying and knowing about... I just don't see leadership sending people to the internet with their questions (not that the people won't go to the internet to find information - it's out there)

2. The Disbelievers/Questioners (Known)(Who have left the church): Somehow I just don't see leadership sending people to people who have left the church.

3. The Disbelievers/Other Believers/Questioners (Unknown)(StayLDS in various degrees): While leadership might send people individually to individuals who are here, it's leadership roulette whether it happens, whether the leaders know whom to send individuals, and also hazardous to those who aren't TBM. We have whole posts about protecting ourselves and our families in the middle of a faith transition - so we aren't visible.
NOTE: I don't feel like a "professional" anyways - if I have to find a definition I will tentatively go with "Survivor" - though description might have greater or lesser mileage anyways. It's not that I don't want to help people - I do - I just don't want to rock myself out of the boat (intellectually or socially) if I put myself in a vulnerable enough place to do so.

4. Professionals: There are a handful of professional counselors who handle these issues - but you have to know where to look, and I just don't see LDS Services increasing their number or higher levels of leadership training lower levels of leadership on how to refer them.

5. "The Missionary Couple": I love missionary couples and applaud what they do. However, I am not sure the branches and wards are ready for missionary couples to tackle this area. It compounds leadership roulette with people raised in previous generations and skill sets - some of them may be fabulous and just what is needed - but the previous generation thinking and skill set leads me to believe that it would hard for them to understand the issues and how they resonate with people. By and large, I get the heebie-jeebies when I think of missionary couples being assigned this area of interest.

However, the water does eventually reach the end of the rows. Changes are happening in leadership. More importantly, issues are being talked about and pondered with some degree of honesty. The next generations are voting with their feet, and that is being noticed and mentioned. StayLDS does exist! There are similar movements out there getting heard.
mom3 wrote:
29 Jan 2018, 11:10
Thanks for listening. I won't rant on any more. Hopefully this little idea will get lost in the weeds of other church stuff and drift away. Who knows. I do appreciate your insights and input. I will work this through eventually.
I think it is a great idea - I just wish that we were ready for squads of people trained in what a faith crisis/transition looks like who had the resiliency to "mourn with those that mourn" in this area.

AmyJ
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Re: The Rescue is Back on The Menu!

Post by AmyJ » 29 Jan 2018, 12:58

Roy wrote:
29 Jan 2018, 12:20
I also believe that a number of individuals find making friends within church circles is a form of shorthand for compatibility. DW is very reluctant to invest in making friends outside of the church because church members have so many similar life experiences and cultural understanding as to just "get it." When two friends are both TBM they mutually support each others worldview, sacrifices, and lifestyle choices. If one of those friends stops attending church that implicit and explicit support of the Mormon path is on shaky ground. Some will go into rescue mode - trying to help their friend and reclaim the relationship as it once was. Some will keep their distance - either out of awkwardness or an intent to quarantine the doubts of the former friend. Some others will continue the friendship with no expectations. IMO this last approach is the path that requires the greatest amount of spiritual and emotional maturity. I feel that many people are just not that capable - their emotional and spiritual reserves are just not deep enough to really stand with and support a friend during faith transition.
I was "blessed" in that I already have a hard time finding people compatible with me enough that I welcome most people into my circle if they want to be there and my life is blessed because of their presence. I know if my faith transition comes out that I will lose attachments to women in the branch - and that is not devastating to me (painful yes). I fear more for my daughter, because it would be harder to enlarge her circle - but it can be done. My closest friendship is that with my mother - and she has other children who have left for a variety of reasons. I know it would cause her sorrow, but I have faith that she would still love me - she has loved her other children who have left the church after all.
Roy wrote:
29 Jan 2018, 12:20
Continuing from my last point, If I (who have gone through an FC) am the more aware in the situation then it falls to me to be the most responsible. I would do this by being a good host to visitors in my home. I would smile and nod at the appropriate moments. I would build on common beliefs to the extent possible. I would express vague hope, humility, and willingness to change towards positive goals. I might deflect or gently rebuff commitments that will likely not work for me at the present time. I would part with friendly words and a good handshake (or hug if appropriate).
For what it is worth, my R.S. president chose to give me an extra non-member sister on my list of Visit Teachee friends to be a support person for. She specifically chose only me (not my companion) and made it clear that I was to form the relationship so that the non-member sister felt supported if she needed additional support.

I look at my job in life as to be other people's loyal sidekick. If they want to better themselves in some way (be nicer to their kids, dump a bad habit, know about some unique challenge I know something about) I find time to help them and cheer them on and celebrate with them.

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Reuben
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Re: The Rescue is Back on The Menu!

Post by Reuben » 29 Jan 2018, 14:47

Speaking for myself, dispatching a "professional" wouldn't help at all. Yes, it would be nice to have a friend in the ward I can be myself around. But the problems I have with the church are systematic and driven from the top.

First, I'll be staying away until the church stops abusing LGBT members. Until then, my daughter needs to feel like she can leave if she has to, and have a constant reminder that someone she cares about deeply thinks the brethren are dead wrong.

Second, I need strong evidence that the church is changing. I would accept any of the following from the Q15.
  • Offer an apology; i.e. model humility and repentance. I would accept an apology for anything substantial, not just the issues that affect me.
  • Remove worthiness interviews, or stop withholding privileges from members who can't give the right answers; i.e. go back to scriptural notions of worthiness rather than the current Pharisaical ones.
  • Admit that it's valid to be uncertain, believe nonliterally, or even strongly hold opposing beliefs, even if this never changes toward more belief or literal belief; i.e. go back to scriptural notions of faith.
There are probably other things that would get me to consider going back. I think I'd know them when I saw them.

Basically, the Q15 needs to loosen its grip and stop encouraging division and condescension. Until then, as one of the underclass, I would find church activity intolerable.
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

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mom3
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Re: The Rescue is Back on The Menu!

Post by mom3 » 29 Jan 2018, 20:47

Clarification on my definition of "Professional" - It was a quote by an EMT at a lifesaving class. His use was totally accurate for the class.

To me - I want my GA's to be Professional. They oversee the curriculum. Their talks are the ones we judge our world by. Their firesides, video blurbs, etc. set the tone.

What I didn't explain clearly was - before you send out innocent, inexperienced members to "bring in the lost" - Do some serious work yourselves (GA's)

I am willing to bet plenty of former members would consider returning to their beloved faith if the Essays were published one a month in the Ensign. With supporting articles by historians like Bushman, etc.

Or conference talks about Grace, Love, etc were matched with policies that demonstrated the same.

Take pictures eating lunch with LGBT people. Tell the history of women giving blessings by the laying on of hands.

Demonstrate that they know how to save a life, before sending in the underlings.

(Admin Note) - I know I am wound up. I am taking a few days off. It's best for all of us.
"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

Tica
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Joined: 14 Jan 2018, 21:38

Re: The Rescue is Back on The Menu!

Post by Tica » 29 Jan 2018, 21:29

Mom3, it sounds like you have multiple personal, impactful experiences that have colored your feelings about this. I am sorry for your pain.

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MockingJay
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Re: The Rescue is Back on The Menu!

Post by MockingJay » 30 Jan 2018, 08:06

Nibbler said: It sounds like a better rescue than most. The ultra orthodox are going to believe that people that don't show up to church are genuinely in need of rescuing (meanwhile I wish someone would rescue me from church, not to church ;)) so rescue plans will always be on the menu. It's the house specialty.

:clap: My new favorite quote of all time! (My bold added.)

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Beefster
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Re: The Rescue is Back on The Menu!

Post by Beefster » 30 Jan 2018, 08:21

Roy wrote:
29 Jan 2018, 12:20
Beefster wrote:
28 Jan 2018, 17:28
I've opposed the "casserole patrol" rescue mission since before my FC- probably on my mission.
I personally love receiving casseroles during hardship. #1 I get a casserole! :thumbup: #2 I feel that the casserole represents the love and concern of our ward community. It is perhaps one of the most tangible manifestations of the community "giving back" for your contributions.
For the record, I'm not actually against giving casseroles to ward members in need. What I am against is using superficial things like bringing casseroles and cookies to inactive members to try to get them to come to church. That is what I'm referring to as the "Casserole Patrol"
Roy wrote:
29 Jan 2018, 12:20
Beefster wrote:
28 Jan 2018, 17:28
And considering that my trajectory may soon put me on the receiving end of that... Yeah. Not sure how I'm going to deal with that. Probably with sarcasm.
Continuing from my last point, If I (who have gone through an FC) am the more aware in the situation then it falls to me to be the most responsible. I would do this by being a good host to visitors in my home. I would smile and nod at the appropriate moments. I would build on common beliefs to the extent possible. I would express vague hope, humility, and willingness to change towards positive goals. I might deflect or gently rebuff commitments that will likely not work for me at the present time. I would part with friendly words and a good handshake (or hug if appropriate).
Maybe it won't be sarcasm so much as humor. I plan on being nice. But also genuine.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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