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Reaching Out Update

Posted: 12 Mar 2018, 06:36
by AmyJ
I have started sharing my story with my philosopher atheist grandfather.
1. I needed someone to share with that wouldn't judge me or turn me in.
2. He was a college professor of philosophy by profession, so he would "get" Fowler's Stages of Faith, and both enjoy and be able to provide insights.
3. His wife of 35 years passed away a few weeks ago, and he is still picking up the pieces of his life.

I wanted to share a few snippets from his email because they have great personal meaning, and y'all can relate to this too.

" You are taking the hardest path possible. You are moving out of a mass movement in which unthinking faith is the essence and deviation is scary. If you are too verbal about it, the movement, any movement for that matter, will cut you off. Isolate you. Disenfranchise you. There are usually a few people doing this, moving out of a mass movement, all the time. They may be pretty careful, pretty quiet about it. But they are there, and you can find them."

"Ah, Amy, you don’t do anything easily. What you are doing is never easy. You’ll be lucky if you avoid the Dark Night of the Soul, when God dies. And I know partly where you are. I love you a bit more for having the courage to be there."

May we have the strength to walk our paths, and the courage to stand tall doing so.

Re: Reaching Out Update

Posted: 12 Mar 2018, 07:23
by LookingHard
Do keep us posted.

Re: Reaching Out Update

Posted: 12 Mar 2018, 07:27
by DarkJedi
Ah that we all had such a person in our lives. Thanks for sharing.

Re: Reaching Out Update

Posted: 12 Mar 2018, 12:34
by dande48
Before my FC, I thought all atheists were depressive nihilists. I was taught (partially through the BoM), that if you take God away, you are left with nothing but a meaningless emptiness. No purpose, no reason. I was surprised to discover some can be some of the most sensitive, poetic, empathetic people around; lives full of meaning.

He sounds like a very wise, and gentle man. I would love to hear more.

Re: Reaching Out Update

Posted: 12 Mar 2018, 13:25
by Roy
dande48 wrote:
12 Mar 2018, 12:34
He sounds like a very wise, and gentle man. I would love to hear more.
DarkJedi wrote:
12 Mar 2018, 07:27
Ah that we all had such a person in our lives. Thanks for sharing.
My thought exactly! What a wonderful and loving resource for you!

Re: Reaching Out Update

Posted: 13 Mar 2018, 09:55
by AmyJ
Thank you.

The other words of wisdom I have cherished are as follows:

I was 17-18 and telling him about the Book of Mormon and scripture.

In response, he said something along the lines that "the differences between scripture-based religion were what scriptures were included in the canon, and which parts of the scriptures/canon stories were taken literally or figuratively."

It helped me to be less contentious about how to view and describe scriptures. It has made this Stage 4 easier because I have a foundation of flexibility that allows me to view scriptures in different perspectives. It is easier for me to move from having an expanded scripture cannon to writing personal scripture for myself based on inspiration/revelation I receive.

Re: Reaching Out Update

Posted: 13 Mar 2018, 20:22
by Beefster
Thank you for sharing. It inspired me to reach out to my sister.

Re: Reaching Out Update

Posted: 14 Mar 2018, 06:47
by LookingHard
I have told a sister and a brother the last few months. One of them is inactive, but still believes. We both had to laugh that I am a VERY active very non-believer, and he is a inactive believer. :lol:

Re: Reaching Out Update

Posted: 14 Mar 2018, 11:49
by dande48
LookingHard wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 06:47
We both had to laugh that I am a VERY active very non-believer, and he is a inactive believer. :lol:
What a champ, LH! I wish I knew how you did it... I think most people take me to be a semi-active believer, who is "distracted" by his phone during church half the time.

Re: Reaching Out Update

Posted: 14 Mar 2018, 14:31
by AmyJ
dande48 wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 11:49
What a champ, LH! I wish I knew how you did it... I think most people take me to be a semi-active believer, who is "distracted" by his phone during church half the time.
I am pretty sure that I am viewed as a quasi- helicopter parent who hid behind "taking care of her daughter" during the non-bottle feeding stages of development, and now cops out of going to church because "the children" are ill. NOTE: To give the sisters credit, I have never had one of them say that I should take the girls (and their germs) to church. I am also the weird one out because my husband stays at home with our children, we have only 1 car (and are OK with it), I don't do crafts, and I don't bake. We also don't budget money for the "Girl's Night Out" dinners that I get invited to periodically.

The branch president made it clear last spring that they were ready for me to be "off break" from callings due to my youngest needing her mother (September 2016 to May 2017). I also told the branch president that between work, Pathways program/furthering my education, raising my children, and supporting my husband in his callings I did not have a lot of resources available for callings - so that needed to be taken into account. They tried to call me as the compassionate service coordinator last spring, but by the time I was in a position to accept it, they no longer needed me for it. Technically, they called my husband as the executive secretary first, and I refused to accept any calling until we saw how that shaped up for for family before I was willing to commit to a calling.

My husband (executive secretary) says my name has come up for callings, but he was able to divert them from Primary callings for me. He doesn't think that I would grow much spiritually in that calling, and we both know that I am not cut out for Primary at this time and take very little to no joy from it. I managed to serve in Primary for 8 years I think out of our 11 year marriage . We haven't been at church reliably recently, and there is a lot of other stuff going on in the branch, so I am still "on break". However, I spent 2 Sundays in January supervising the nursery children (including my baby), and 1 Sunday teaching R.S. (which was the best fit for me and for the sisters I served in that capacity - they LOVED it when I taught 4 lessons in 2016, and the last lesson I just taught).