Church History Suddenly and Inexplicably Stopped Bothering Me...

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Beefster
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Church History Suddenly and Inexplicably Stopped Bothering Me...

Post by Beefster » 04 Feb 2018, 23:10

I guess it's a small miracle / change of heart. It probably more specifically corresponds with toying with the idea that the church fell into apostasy, because historical policy (particularly tithing, WoW, and the priesthood ban) still bothers me somewhat, but it suddenly feels wrong reaching after some of my coping explanations for those things.

There are still many policies I disagree with, past and present, but not once did I ever think that GAs were bad people out to make our lives miserable or control us. They are good men, perhaps even men of God, but they are human. They have their times when they're heavy-handed in their words and actions or overemphasize the importance of following church leaders. There are times when what they say can easily be misinterpreted as infallibility claims. There are times when their opinions are treated like doctrine. And perhaps there are even times when they confuse their own thoughts for the Spirit and preach them as if they were revelation (perhaps this might explain why they they've gotten soft over the years- they're being cautious about what is from God and what isn't). It's hard to say.

I'm still trying to understand what it really means for someone to be "prophet, seer, and revelator" because the fruits of those don't seem to be found in the modern church. At least not in as clear of a way as appeared to be the case for Joseph Smith.

There are still elements of culture and tradition that bother me, but they probably always will. It's something that I can play a small, yet significant in the lives of a few, role in making better. And outside of that sphere of influence, it's something I can deal with. Dealing with quirky people with silly traditions is a small price to pay for eternal life.

There's no way I'm out of stage 4 yet, but it's awesome to see progress like this. It's been fantastic being able to identify the "I don't know"s and accept them. It's okay to have unanswered questions. Maybe I just don't need a shelf anymore.
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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SilentDawning
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Re: Church History Suddenly and Inexplicably Stopped Bothering Me...

Post by SilentDawning » 05 Feb 2018, 08:58

Hooray!!! You have started arriving! It's like you are a Star Trek character, and you have started materializing on the transporter deck of the proactive, productive, peaceful relationship with the church many of us are seeking. But you haven't fully materialzed yet.

I have been there for a few years in various states of materializing, often fully materialzed. There are energy fluctuations now and then that sometimes disrupt my peace, but not very often - usually when there are rites of passage with my children or they ask me to do something. Or a priesthood leader tries to get me to do something, or pry into my psyche or reasons for who I am in the church.

I am not sure what causes it -- I think it's finding other ways to feel at peace at church. That you are helping your loved ones, that you are contributing positively, keeping the religious message consistent in your family, serving humanity -- whatever. At that point, historical matters stop mattering!

I guess I look at being in the church much like I looked at participation points in my university education -- 30% of our grade was in participation points. As students, we would disagree with each other, take up opposing positions, and debate points. But in the end, none of us really had a stake in the position for which we were arguing. It meant people could say things you disagreed with, but you didn't really care because it was a kind of exercise, not something that was real....it was academic and to achieve a purpose that transcended the content.

When I hear historical stuff, it doesn't bother me at all now. Even if it's proven that it's all hokus eventually -- if God explains there were many religions, and if they did good, or had truth in him, he sent his Spirit for that, notwithstanding falsehoods in their doctrine, it wouldn't bother me now. I might even continue going to an LDS Church now that I have my own relationship with the church that brings me peace. And this is true even if God didn't point out an absolute, 100% truthful religion anywhere. And I have a feeling he wouldn't do that.

I am glad you are having flashes of this...! You have described how I feel in terms of church historical topics not bothering you anymore.

SD
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- 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."

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mom3
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Re: Church History Suddenly and Inexplicably Stopped Bothering Me...

Post by mom3 » 05 Feb 2018, 10:05

This is wonderful. It does feel miraculous. One of the parts I like about these types of moments, is not just the relief from not being bothered, but the joy of having a new understanding and the improved options of where to go with that.

Like Silent D. said, your focus becomes more genuine. Your reasons for participating are more kindness, and loving based. Whatever you decide to do.

Congratulations
"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: Church History Suddenly and Inexplicably Stopped Bothering Me...

Post by Roy » 05 Feb 2018, 11:11

SilentDawning wrote:
05 Feb 2018, 08:58
It's like you are a Star Trek character
In my travels "boldly going where nobody has gone before", I have encountered a few mental frameworks that I believe can help reconcile the church being divinely sanctioned while also being full of pigheadedness and other non-divine stuff. (insert emoji of pig head here)

1) It's about the priesthood baby! The priesthood is God's official stamp of approval. There can exist lots of junk in the church but as long as the stamp has the official logo - it's all good.

2) God is leading the church slowly - ever so slowly - to a more perfect state. Looking back, I think many of us can point out things that appear to be errors. Some of them were huge whooping errors. Good news is that we have improved/evolved since then and do not make those particular errors anymore. Similarly, there are likely errors in the church right now. However, this is not overly troubling because God will help remove them in his own due time (closely related to when many of the current adherents die off). God also appears to be very forgiving about us making the errors that are culturally appropriate for our time period. This method can also be described in relation to the olive tree being "dunged and pruned" and still giving a mixture of good and bad fruit and also by the concept of a "continuing restoration."
Beefster wrote:
04 Feb 2018, 23:10
Dealing with quirky people with silly traditions is a small price to pay for eternal life.


Yeah, basically what you said. :lol:
"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: Church History Suddenly and Inexplicably Stopped Bothering Me...

Post by AmyJ » 05 Feb 2018, 14:13

Roy wrote:
05 Feb 2018, 11:11
In my travels "boldly going where nobody has gone before", I have encountered a few mental frameworks that I believe can help reconcile the church being divinely sanctioned while also being full of pigheadedness and other non-divine stuff. (insert emoji of pig head here)

1) It's about the priesthood baby! The priesthood is God's official stamp of approval. There can exist lots of junk in the church but as long as the stamp has the official logo - it's all good.
I can see where this would be comforting to those who hold the priesthood... but I don't, and a lot of what is handed down with God's stamp of approval doesn't always make sense to me, or seem important to me.
While I have been to the temple and "endowed" with the power and authority it is believed that I need - I am not sure what difference those visits made for my personal power-wise, and I am not sure that that power isn't just from my inner divinity (assuming that I have some)... so ya, about that...
Roy wrote:
05 Feb 2018, 11:11
2) God is leading the church slowly - ever so slowly - to a more perfect state. Looking back, I think many of us can point out things that appear to be errors. Some of them were huge whooping errors. Good news is that we have improved/evolved since then and do not make those particular errors anymore. Similarly, there are likely errors in the church right now. However, this is not overly troubling because God will help remove them in his own due time (closely related to when many of the current adherents die off). God also appears to be very forgiving about us making the errors that are culturally appropriate for our time period. This method can also be described in relation to the olive tree being "dunged and pruned" and still giving a mixture of good and bad fruit and also by the concept of a "continuing restoration."
I trust that there is a big picture. I have faith in a continuing restoration.

Church history makes more sense now that I don't have to tow the whitewashed version and assume that everything I don't understand is "revelation" (which it might be) - but there is a lot more pragmatic decision-making going on behind the scenes which everyone else seemed to a) know about and not care about, b) know about and hide under the rug in shame, c) not know about and not care to investigate, or d) not know about and care minimally to investigate.

I think some of the stuff I have put on my "shelf" was endeavoring to reconcile human behavior with scriptural accounts painted in black/white thinking. I love Curt Sunshine's "humans are gonna human" philosophy - because the scriptures are so busy helping us overcome our perceived base "human" philosophies that sometimes that principle gets lost.

My relief at being on this site is that a) alternate versions are accepted/encouraged, b) the uncomfortable stuff is not hand-waved into oblivion with condescending looks.
Beefster wrote:
04 Feb 2018, 23:10
Dealing with quirky people with silly traditions is a small price to pay for eternal life.


Of course that means that your narrative includes eternal life... while my current narrative does not include the 3 degrees of glory, I don't know what it does include yet...but it gets bleak at times when you are struggling in this life and realizing that there may not be a next life to be rewarded in...

Roy
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Re: Church History Suddenly and Inexplicably Stopped Bothering Me...

Post by Roy » 05 Feb 2018, 15:11

AmyJ wrote:
05 Feb 2018, 14:13
I can see where this would be comforting to those who hold the priesthood... but I don't, and a lot of what is handed down with God's stamp of approval doesn't always make sense to me, or seem important to me.
I might not have explained myself clearly. My wife basically holds to this theory. The church holds the monopoly on necessary priesthood ordinances.

Let's suppose that the church was the only place that sold the eternal family hamburger. You need this in order to become an eternal family. The church is the only place where you get it. Unfortunately, the church does not let you buy the hamburger a la carte. It comes as part of a subscription package and also includes lots of other sides and desserts that might not be appetizing to you. But you have to get the eternal family hamburger - nothing else matters. The point is that tolerating the ancillary add-ons and unnecessary trappings in order to get the hamburger is a valid reconciliation strategy.
"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: Church History Suddenly and Inexplicably Stopped Bothering Me...

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Feb 2018, 16:54

As one who never really had an issue with church history, welcome to the club. I think this is a big step for you and can be a step for others if that's in the cards for them.
There are still elements of culture and tradition that bother me, but they probably always will. It's something that I can play a small, yet significant in the lives of a few, role in making better. And outside of that sphere of influence, it's something I can deal with. Dealing with quirky people with silly traditions is a small price to pay for eternal life.
I have been in this spot for a while now. It's not always easy and sometimes I wonder how much it's worth it. Sometimes I laugh inside, sometimes I cry inside. Sometimes I just walk away.

Describing Ebenezer Scrooge after his transformation, Dickens penned this (emphasis added):
Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
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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Beefster
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Re: Church History Suddenly and Inexplicably Stopped Bothering Me...

Post by Beefster » 05 Feb 2018, 18:18

Roy wrote:
05 Feb 2018, 15:11
Let's suppose that the church was the only place that sold the eternal family hamburger. You need this in order to become an eternal family. The church is the only place where you get it. Unfortunately, the church does not let you buy the hamburger a la carte. It comes as part of a subscription package and also includes lots of other sides and desserts that might not be appetizing to you. But you have to get the eternal family hamburger - nothing else matters. The point is that tolerating the ancillary add-ons and unnecessary trappings in order to get the hamburger is a valid reconciliation strategy.
:clap: I love this analogy. I'm considering putting it in my signature... but it's kinda long, so I probably won't.

As for priesthood, I suppose the keys to the Kingdom of God are what matters. If the church has the keys, it would make sense to be a part of it. The question is really if it's the only one with the key to heaven.

With the 3 degrees of glory... It's a model that works for me- at least for now. Exaltation is what really sells me on the church because the prospect of world building is exciting to me. It would be quite the waste if there was nothing to do in heaven. I actually hope not to be omnipotent or omniscient because either one ruins the fun of games and it's hard for me to imagine a heaven without games.
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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SamBee
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Re: Church History Suddenly and Inexplicably Stopped Bothering Me...

Post by SamBee » 06 Feb 2018, 02:54

For years I was revolted by our racist doctrine, but now I am pretty much at peace over it. I joined many years ago - let's just say it was considerably nearer in time to 1978, in the last century... but now the priesthood ban is forty years plus ago. You would have to be perhaps in your sixties or over to have spent much of your life under the priesthood ban. (Although it is worth pointing out RMN did!)

Now I work beside a black member in my calling and I frequently see black people in my local temple. No one bats an eyelid, nor should they.

And as for the worst aspects of the endowment, they disappeared twenty eight years ago. Polygamy? Well there is no one left who can remember when our church openly endorsed it, since it disappeared well over a century ago.

My great sadness these days is our LGBT policy. It showed signs of improvement, then that statement came out.

I'm thankful as a church we can change in positive ways. A living prophet enables this.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

AmyJ
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Re: Church History Suddenly and Inexplicably Stopped Bothering Me...

Post by AmyJ » 06 Feb 2018, 06:55

Roy wrote:
05 Feb 2018, 15:11
I might not have explained myself clearly. My wife basically holds to this theory. The church holds the monopoly on necessary priesthood ordinances.
I am willing to say "I don't know anymore". We are taught we hold the monopoly. A lot of people stake and redefine their lives on that assumption regularly. We are taught a lot of things that may be true, may be partially true, may be true from that person's viewpoint, or may have absolutely nothing to do with the truth. We are taught a lot of "truths" that turn out to be traditions, cultural trappings, or just common narrative details - a lot of us run into crisis mode when our reality no longer matches the "truths" we know for ourselves to be true. This principle of necessary priesthood ordinances turns out to be one of those truths brought under the microscope.
Roy wrote:
05 Feb 2018, 15:11
Let's suppose that the church was the only place that sold the eternal family hamburger. You need this in order to become an eternal family. The church is the only place where you get it. Unfortunately, the church does not let you buy the hamburger a la carte. It comes as part of a subscription package and also includes lots of other sides and desserts that might not be appetizing to you. But you have to get the eternal family hamburger - nothing else matters. The point is that tolerating the ancillary add-ons and unnecessary trappings in order to get the hamburger is a valid reconciliation strategy.
I can see your point. I want to bring in a real world example about attending the family hamburger joint.
My husband is on a low sodium diet where he (and that means we) can't eat out very often or easily - 1 little food item from the dollar menu has more sodium in it than my husband can eat in an entire DAY. And if he does overdo the sodium one day - there are lasting and lingering consequences within the next few days - like dizziness and nausea and other unpleasantness. If he did not change his dietary habits, it was likely he was going to lose his hearing. In my husband's case, there are ways to wiggle around the hamburger joint situation - we make a lot of food at home, and if we go out, he gets a lot of salads and other less appealing foods, and we look at going to places where the food type has less sodium. But we can't just go in and eat any hamburger joint without careful consideration and substitutions of items anymore like the example prescribes.

Spiritual implications:
1) We need places that are able to spiritually cater to our individual spiritual needs for us as humans that includes gender/developmental age/developmental stage (stage 3-5), and other unique needs. One size does not fit all safely.
2) And it might be we don't attend the same eternal spiritual hamburger joint - I don't know. I think that part of the allure of this board is acknowledging that there are spiritual consequences to digesting the gospel truths (instead of saying "it's all in your head" or "you are just being stubborn/prideful"), and figuring out workarounds.
3) Spiritually, we do what we can - we focus on the "foods" at the joint that we can digest, and bring the antacids/lactaid whatever else we need to make it work while we are there - if we know we are attending a place that needs those sort of things AND IF they are available.
4) I think we ask God for assistance in finding the place we need to be at, the foods we can eat, and what additional supplies to bring with us.
5) And sometimes, the cost-benefit analysis of attending the restaurant means that dealing with what we can eat that is on the menu, and dealing with the add-ons and trappings runs into the negative... At this point spiritually, we "take breaks" and "re-navigate/redesign" the experience as best as we can. And it is a form of roulette whether we will be roundly condemned or respected/honored for taking the break while "everyone else" is slogging along doing what is expected.
6) And sometimes life happens - we get to the joint following all the directions, getting everything ready - and something happens with our order. We get a heaping ton of stuff we didn't expect and aren't prepared to digest. The first time we order fries and get a soda is fine, the next time we order onion rings and get chili fries we can manage, but when we order nachos and get kimchi (while everyone else is sorry we got the kimchi and know kimchi is not on the menu...) it takes a bit of puzzling out how to add this to the heavenly menu narrative.

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