Ignorance was bliss

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part time believer
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Ignorance was bliss

Post by part time believer » 10 May 2018, 15:47

How does one reconcile Issues related to church?

The testimony that I once had was based on assumptions I made.

i.e. We have a living prophet who speaks with God. Therefore we are God's one true church on the earth.

I had an implosion of my faith a few years ago and have been struggling ever since to rebuild something that resembles what I used to believe.

I just can't seem to shake perceived issues that I have now with all things Mormon.

Some examples of what I'm talking about:
I had a testimony once of Joseph Smith seeing God and Jesus in the sacred grove. Even traveled there as a teen and felt reverence for the place.Then I learned of the evolution of the first vision account. I learned that there were many other people of Josephs time who had described similar experience.
Now I can't help to wonder was it really what he said it was?

I believed the BoM was an indisputable historical account of ancient Israelites coming to the Americas and populating these lands.
I no longer feel that way.
Now every time I read the BoM and run across a verse copied from the KJV of the bible especially if it is something from the NT recorded 200 years before it was ever written in the bible it makes my head hurt.

Any way the list could go on for pages. My question comes down to how do I get over these stumbling blocks.
I have felt like I have been spiritually running in place for the last 3 years and haven't gotten any where.

Thank you

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dande48
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Re: Ignorance was bliss

Post by dande48 » 10 May 2018, 17:19

There are a lot of things in life like that. I've been amazed at how wrong I've been in so many areas in the past, that I can't help but wonder how many things I'm wrong about now. But I think with the Church, if you take out all the claims to truth, you're left with something beautiful and good all the same.
Secondhand Lions wrote:"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in."
The Church gives us comfort in this crazy world and hope that things will (in the next life) get better. It gives us motivation to be kinder. It helps us to find meaning and be happy. All the rest is just commentary.

I'd suggest not worrying so much about whether or not the Church is true. I am annoyed just as much as anyone that it's "truthfulness" is 90% of what is talked about. But what really counts is how good and useful it is for you.
"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

Roy
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Re: Ignorance was bliss

Post by Roy » 10 May 2018, 18:21

I have little time so I will be quick.

The way I figure it JS was a visionary man. He had visions, felt called/directed by God, and started a church.

Our current church leaders are more like administrators than prophets. I do believe that they do much good and that they try to do what they believe God would have them do.
"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

Cnsl1
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Re: Ignorance was bliss

Post by Cnsl1 » 10 May 2018, 20:48

dande48 wrote:
10 May 2018, 17:19
There are a lot of things in life like that. I've been amazed at how wrong I've been in so many areas in the past, that I can't help but wonder how many things I'm wrong about now. But I think with the Church, if you take out all the claims to truth, you're left with something beautiful and good all the same.
Secondhand Lions wrote:"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in."
The Church gives us comfort in this crazy world and hope that things will (in the next life) get better. It gives us motivation to be kinder. It helps us to find meaning and be happy. All the rest is just commentary.

I'd suggest not worrying so much about whether or not the Church is true. I am annoyed just as much as anyone that it's "truthfulness" is 90% of what is talked about. But what really counts is how good and useful it is for you.

Thanks for that. It is posts like this that help me remember why I stay LDS.

I actually used that second hand lions quote in a sacrament meeting talk.

Rebel
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Re: Ignorance was bliss

Post by Rebel » 10 May 2018, 21:45

Love the quote , I stay because it makes my wife happy and I love following Jesus ,not because the church is true but because I believe what I believe and no one can take that away.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Ignorance was bliss

Post by DarkJedi » 11 May 2018, 06:10

In the course of some casual conversation a coworker mentioned she was a "recovering Catholic" a couple weeks back. She's part time so I have little contact with her and I don't think she knows I'm Mormon (I have not made it known here, although I admit to being Christian). I thought to myself "I know what you mean." and left it at that. She was in my area again yesterday and casually mentioned something like that again and since no one else was around this time I told her I knew what she meant and asked if she goes to church. She replied that she did but not every Sunday and that it wasn't the doctrine itself that bothers her, but the dogma and gave a few examples (not going to church is a sin, for example). I agreed that this was my issue with some churches as well and that I am a huge believer in grace and mercy. We left it at that.

I have been to the "sacred grove" many times and I have read all of the accounts of the FV as well as accounts of others who had similar visions around the same time JS did (that kind of thing was more accepted then than now). I do believe JS had a profound spiritual experience, but that's it. You'll note that he never directly says the personages were Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, he merely implies so and only in one account. And Joseph rarely talked about the experience.

The BoM is a good book that does testify of Christ and can and does bring people closer to God. I personally think it is a big collection of parables, but I likewise don't see the Bible as literal.

I recognize your list is much longer than that and so is mine. But it's all like my friend's dogma, and I don't go to church because I think it's a sin not to or because I believe JS (or RMN) is a prophet or that I believe the BoM is true (and I'll say it again, I don't even know what that really means). I go to church to be with my wife, to be around "people who yearn to know and draw closer to their Savior by serving God and fellowmen, just like [me]." (Dieter F. Uchtdorf). I've let go of the dogma, and I love the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is how and why I StayLDS.
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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dande48
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Re: Ignorance was bliss

Post by dande48 » 11 May 2018, 08:04

DarkJedi wrote:
11 May 2018, 06:10
You'll note that he never directly says the personages were Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, he merely implies so and only in one account.
This reminded me of something I noted in the first vision recorded in the Book of Mormon, Lehi's vision:
1 Nephi 1:8 wrote:And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God.
I think it's important to realize that what happens in a vision is not an actual, physical, historical event (although, according to Paul, he once mistook reality for a vision). It's more or less a dream, though sometimes a "waking dream". If you look at the first vision accounts, here is what we know:
1. Joseph Smith went into the forest to be alone.
2. As he prayed he felt the powers of darkness gather around.
3. Suddenly, he saw a "vision" and the feelings of darkness ended.
4. When the "vision" ended, he was lying on his back.

Sounds to me like the kid blacked out, and had a fantastic dream; maybe it was sent by the anthropomorphic Abrahamic deity, maybe not. But either way, as with even the most vivid dreams, the details are going to be fuzzy. What's more, there's not always a solid connection to reality or truth. What counts is not so much what happened, but what it inspired Joseph Smith to do. What does it inspire us to do?
"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

part time believer
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Re: Ignorance was bliss

Post by part time believer » 11 May 2018, 12:41

Rebel wrote:
10 May 2018, 21:45
... I stay because it makes my wife happy and I love following Jesus ,not because the church is true but because I believe what I believe and no one can take that away.
Staying for family has been my greatest motivator as well.
But the staying I'm doing now is not enjoyable. I don't look forward to going every Sunday. Luckily I don't have a calling because the last one I had was a struggle for me (Being EQP while in a full blown faith crisis was not fun).
My previous Mormon identity was a verb now it feels like cures word.

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dande48
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Re: Ignorance was bliss

Post by dande48 » 11 May 2018, 13:26

part time believer wrote:
11 May 2018, 12:41
But the staying I'm doing now is not enjoyable. I don't look forward to going every Sunday.
What's the hardest thing for you, in attending Church, would you say?
"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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SilentDawning
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Re: Ignorance was bliss

Post by SilentDawning » 13 May 2018, 09:37

part time believer wrote:
10 May 2018, 15:47

Any way the list could go on for pages. My question comes down to how do I get over these stumbling blocks.
I have felt like I have been spiritually running in place for the last 3 years and haven't gotten any where.

Thank you
You have to go forward on a different paradigm. Rather than going forward in faith, go forth in agnosticism. I have great faith in my own fallibility, my own ignorance, etcetra. That some of this may all be true someday, or that God will hold me accountable given the spiritual "witnesses" I have had, or maybe he won't -- I don't know. So get comfortable with not knowing for sure. billions of people have lived their life from that perspective so I am sure God knows how to deal with it when the time comes.

Also, look at it as a cultural experience, not as a 100% "truth church" one. If you have a network of relationships around you somewhat built on the church, then you can't just leave it -- for their sake (in my opinion). Learn to integrate it back into your life again but on different terms.

My paradigm is now based on the question "what will make my happy or bring my joy?" Not selfish joy, but the joy that comes from wholesome activities, of which service is one. Hometeaching, under the old program, had to be put in its place as it was a flawed program. I adapted before they made the announcement. I attend church on my own terms now, and if they don't like it, that's fine with me -- I am comfortable in my own skin. I put my service hours into the community, and have the whole world to turn to with my service -- and the church is no longer my sole community or the near center of my universe. In fact, it's a distant third now -- my work first, my community service and bands second, and the church a distant third.

You need to realign your relationships and where you get your happiness sources, while keeping the church in the loop. I don't know your family situation, but if you have a TBM spouse, keeping the marriage stable is likely one objective. And staying active is part of that.

I hope that helps,

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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