My big hairy list of concerns

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Roy
Posts: 5124
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: My big hairy list of concerns

Post by Roy » 07 Mar 2018, 10:54

JAC wrote:
07 Mar 2018, 08:44
Thanks for sharing about Scott Cannon. I had never heard of him before but I just listened to his story on a podcast and I was blown away at how his story sounded exactly like mine. His history with porn mirrors my own.
I too had not heard of Scott. I Googled him and listened to his recorded testimony regarding his porn addiction, his deep shame, and suicidal thoughts. IMO Scott probably suffers from (What is that word that means excessive guilt for relatively minor offenses/sins?). He made references to his friends and even his bishop's perspectives that this was not such a big deal, but Scott honed in on scriptures and sources that indicated that it was deadly serious. I am not excusing church culture around P and M, it is not helpful. I am just saying that Scott seemed to take it more seriously than most.

In general, I believe church works best when you use moderation in your application. Neither complete disregard nor "every jot and tittle" deadly seriousness. Somewhere in the middle is best in my opinion.
"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

JAC
Posts: 33
Joined: 17 Dec 2014, 13:57

Re: My big hairy list of concerns

Post by JAC » 07 Mar 2018, 11:32

I have observed that many members of the church project an image of righteousness that is less than accurate. I know from personal experience that the facade is difficult to maintain and led me to hate the parts of me that I hid from everyone else. I gradually grew to hate myself. Living a double life is exhausting and plain sucks.

Early in my life I found that I didn't measure up to the standards taught in church so I hid all my flaws. The older I got, the more entrenched I was in my cover-up. I thought if anyone found out who I really was they would hate me and reject me. I thought I'd lose everything I loved. This conflict inside me led me to entertain suicidal thoughts and I frequently fantasized about sticking a gun to my head. I thought about it so much at one point that I asked my wife to hide my guns.

I eventually found peace only when I started to live one authentic life. My double life had to die in order for me to love myself. I have observed that when members go through a faith transition and leave the church they feel relieved and report feeling happier than they ever have. I believe this is because they are finally living a complete authentic life whereas in the church they were not. I also believe it is possible for people to be authentic and stay in the church and I wish more did. Our church would be better for it.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 6081
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: My big hairy list of concerns

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Mar 2018, 14:02

JAC wrote:
07 Mar 2018, 11:32
I eventually found peace only when I started to live one authentic life. My double life had to die in order for me to love myself. I have observed that when members go through a faith transition and leave the church they feel relieved and report feeling happier than they ever have. I believe this is because they are finally living a complete authentic life whereas in the church they were not. I also believe it is possible for people to be authentic and stay in the church and I wish more did. Our church would be better for it.
I agree with this, especially about more authentic people staying in the church (and the earlier part about members projecting a false image of righteousness). Our church would indeed be better for it, as others are.

And I also think part of the reason people feel happier is because they have been able to let go of the guilt/fear. There's much to be said for that, and likewise people can let go of the guilt/fear and remain in the church. There certainly is "good guilt," the kind that helps us change (repent) for the better. There is also "bad guilt," the kind where we beat ourselves up for no reason or because we're comparing ourselves to some false standard (pseudo-doctrine). I think the second kind is way more prevalent among church members, and plays a huge part in faith crises or just plain inactivity because people don't feel like they fit in or measure up or can repent. Were it not for those who project false righteousness (none of us are all that good), this would be much less of an issue IMO.
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."

My Introduction

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5049
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: My big hairy list of concerns

Post by SamBee » 07 Mar 2018, 15:07

I believe Joseph Smith predicted some things but not others. I do think he knew he would die young but not how young and when he thought he would be. I think he also correctly surmised the LDS would only work if it headed west, and like I say, the BoM actually anticipates later aspects of LDS history.
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."

Roy
Posts: 5124
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: My big hairy list of concerns

Post by Roy » 07 Mar 2018, 16:06

JAC wrote:
07 Mar 2018, 11:32
I have observed that many members of the church project an image of righteousness that is less than accurate.
About a month ago, I went to gospel essentials class and the lesson was on honesty. The teacher described how she went to great lengths to do things like return pens that she had inadvertently taken from her bank. Another participant spoke about how she had been fired many times for being too honest. For example, she refused to use marketing tactics to make customers think they were getting a better deal than they really were.

I remember thinking that we sure were setting an incredibly high standard for new members. It certainly did not seem to be an environment where someone could say, "I lie, cheat, and steal sometimes but I am trying to do better."

Speaking of honesty:
JAC wrote:
07 Mar 2018, 11:32
Early in my life I found that I didn't measure up to the standards taught in church so I hid all my flaws. The older I got, the more entrenched I was in my cover-up. I thought if anyone found out who I really was they would hate me and reject me. I thought I'd lose everything I loved. This conflict inside me led me to entertain suicidal thoughts and I frequently fantasized about sticking a gun to my head. I thought about it so much at one point that I asked my wife to hide my guns.
I am sorry this affected you in this way. My own personality is more comfortable with creative/selective honesty. It is ironic that my comfort level with selective honesty or projecting a false front is actually a very handy trait to have in LDS circles.
Hyrum Smith wrote:
07 Mar 2018, 11:32
"I think Latter-day Saints have a greater challenge admitting they are leading a double life, because the culture doesn't encourage you to fix problems but to hide them."

He believes the two most welcome groups of people in the church "are the righteous ones and the liars. If you screw up and admit it, you get chewed up by the culture."

He has since had "a lot of relatively prominent people say, 'I don't think I'd ever do that, I'd just take care of it privately and not go through it.' That's why 97 out of 100 people who are excommunicated don't come back. That's a scary number, and you ask yourself why."
https://www.deseretnews.com/article/595 ... -fold.html
"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

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5049
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: My big hairy list of concerns

Post by SamBee » 07 Mar 2018, 16:57

Even if you do not consider yourself an addict, the addiction recovery program website includes some uplifting videos from people who have made mistakes and bad life choices but have returned to activity in the church.

It is a nice antidote to what you describe.

https://addictionrecovery.lds.org/video ... eng&prefs=
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."

Post Reply