Can you be "All in?"

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FaithfulSkeptic
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Can you be "All in?"

Post by FaithfulSkeptic » 28 Sep 2018, 11:02

It's been quite a while since I've participated here. I've lurked occasionally, but just have tried to take a break.

My temple recommend recently expired, and I didn't renew. This has caused quite a bit of strife with my wife, who loves the temple and can't understand my reasons for doubt/unbelief and why the temple bothers me so much. In fact, a neighbor just texted my wife yesterday, inviting us to go do sealings with them this weekend. That opened up a big wound for her, and made me feel like a dirt-bag husband.

In spite of my unbelief/skepticism, I still attend church every week (although I really struggle to make it through almost every week). I hold a calling, keep the word of wisdom, and in almost every other way, I'm an "active" member.

My bishop approached me last Sunday and asked how things were going, and I hesitated to try to find the words to express how to answer that. He asked if I'd like to meet with him this week and I agreed.

My bishop is a good man, but he is 100% a believer. I've opened up to him before about my faith crisis, and he has been pretty understanding, but we haven't talked about it in over a year. We met earlier this week and after some discussion of the challenges we're facing with family relationships, he started asking questions about where I was with my faith. Trying to be careful not to reveal too much, I tried to tell him that not much has changed, except instead of trying to gain a testimony of truth (which has been fruitless and depressing), I've tried to focus on what is good and beautiful in the Church. He knows that I didn't renew my temple recommend, and that I came home early from a mission. I also have an inactive son, who was a priest (and active) while he has been bishop.

I know he has a good heart and the best intentions, but I really he thinks that a lot of our family problems are a result of my doubts and steadfastness in the Church. He asked a few bizarre questions (like "Have you found anything better?" or "Have you considered resigning from the Church?")

The real question he asked me that I've been grappling with is whether I can set aside my doubts and questions, choose to have faith, and be "all in." This is where I would like your help. I've resigned myself to accept that I will never have satisfying "answers" to my questions and doubts about the history or current doctrines/practices of the church. But can I be "all in" in spite of that? That would certainly help with my relationship with my wife.

Can you be "all in?" Or if not, how do you make it work, especially with a believing, orthodox spouse?
I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, “Your testimony must be this tall to enter.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2014

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nibbler
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Re: Can you be "All in?"

Post by nibbler » 28 Sep 2018, 11:30

There's probably a lot of overlap with discussions on cafeteria Mormonism but shooting from the hip... no one at church is all in. There aren't enough hours in a day.

So you magnified three callings.
You cleaned the building on Saturday.
Helped with that move.
Spent 6 hours indexing during the week.
Took the missionaries to their appointments on Wednesday night.
Baby sat for enrichment night.
Did an endowment session on ward temple night.
Read scriptures every day for an hour.

Ah... but you watched the commercials during the Superbowl. Gotta be all in with the Sabbath observance.

On a more serious note, I'd want clarification on what "all in" meant. I wouldn't ask the bishop for clarification, but what does it mean to you to be "all in?"

Me? Being "all in" sounds too much like living according to someone else's expectations of you. There has to be some boundaries in any healthy relationship.
It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, "And this too, shall pass away." How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!
― Abraham Lincoln

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dande48
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Re: Can you be "All in?"

Post by dande48 » 28 Sep 2018, 13:13

FaithfulSkeptic wrote:
28 Sep 2018, 11:02
The real question he asked me that I've been grappling with is whether I can set aside my doubts and questions, choose to have faith, and be "all in."
This reminds of President Uchtdorf's phrase "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith". It's one of the very few things I disagree with him on. I think doubts are important. VERY important.

There is a "principle" called Bayes Rule. Julia Galef, who is the President for the Center of Applied Rationality, released a few video's on the topic, which I think explains the principle and why it's important, very well. (video 1, video 2, video 3). Video 2 is the one I like best, despite being terrible in video quality. To sum up, Bayes rule states that the probability of an event is dependent on prior knowledge of conditions related to that event. As your knowledge of conditions change, so does the probability of the event.

Beliefs should be grayscale. They should be based on an aggregate of factors. Your confidence in them should change as you learn new things. I would absolutely be weary of anyone, your bishop included, who has 100% confidence in anything. You can, and should, be willing to change your mind as new evidence presents itself.

Can you be "all in"? Sure. But I don't recommend it. How do you make it work with your spouse? Everyone is different. There was a blog post a couple months ago on lds.org, which had some interesting insights. Who Do I Choose -God or my Husband?
"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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nibbler
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Re: Can you be "All in?"

Post by nibbler » 28 Sep 2018, 13:17

dande48 wrote:
28 Sep 2018, 13:13
I would absolutely be weary of anyone, your bishop included, who has 100% confidence in anything. You can, and should, be willing to change your mind as new evidence presents itself.
Doubt invites continued revelation, 100% confidence kills it.

Put another way, how are we going to receive revelation if we genuinely believe we already have all the answers?
It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, "And this too, shall pass away." How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!
― Abraham Lincoln

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FaithfulSkeptic
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Re: Can you be "All in?"

Post by FaithfulSkeptic » 28 Sep 2018, 13:28

nibbler wrote:
28 Sep 2018, 11:30
There's probably a lot of overlap with discussions on cafeteria Mormonism but shooting from the hip... no one at church is all in. There aren't enough hours in a day.

So you magnified three callings.
You cleaned the building on Saturday.
Helped with that move.
Spent 6 hours indexing during the week.
Took the missionaries to their appointments on Wednesday night.
Baby sat for enrichment night.
Did an endowment session on ward temple night.
Read scriptures every day for an hour.

Ah... but you watched the commercials during the Superbowl. Gotta be all in with the Sabbath observance.
Great point. Everyone is a cafeteria Mormon. (notice my inappropriate use of the term "Mormon") ;)
nibbler wrote:
28 Sep 2018, 11:30
On a more serious note, I'd want clarification on what "all in" meant. I wouldn't ask the bishop for clarification, but what does it mean to you to be "all in?"
Because of your point above about cafeteria Mormonism, I think being "all in" to me is more about commitment. In spite of everything wrong with the Church or its doctrine or history, it's about sticking with it through good and bad. Maybe it's like a marriage relationship - "for better or for worse." Just as in marriage, you don't always have to agree with your spouse or never have arguments or have your own opinions or feelings. But you do have a commitment to love and support each other throughout your life (or through eternity).

Good marriages have trust and respect. I'm certainly lacking in trust right now with my relationship with the Church, and I could certainly use some marital therapy to remain "all in."
I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, “Your testimony must be this tall to enter.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2014

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dande48
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Re: Can you be "All in?"

Post by dande48 » 28 Sep 2018, 13:37

FaithfulSkeptic wrote:
28 Sep 2018, 13:28
Good marriages have trust and respect. I'm certainly lacking in trust right now with my relationship with the Church, and I could certainly use some marital therapy to remain "all in."
I've put this out there a few times before: Don't be married to the Church. In marriage, it's far too easy to take others for granted, to be overly critical, to have expectations set unreasonably high. In friendship, there's no obligation, so people tend to behave. They expect less and forgive a whole lot more. I've found things are better with the Church, if we stay "just good friends".
"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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FaithfulSkeptic
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Re: Can you be "All in?"

Post by FaithfulSkeptic » 28 Sep 2018, 14:03

dande48 wrote:
28 Sep 2018, 13:13
This reminds of President Uchtdorf's phrase "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith". It's one of the very few things I disagree with him on. I think doubts are important. VERY important.
I agree with you. I resonate with almost every talk that the Silver Fox has given, but this is not one of my favorites.
dande48 wrote:
28 Sep 2018, 13:13
Beliefs should be grayscale. They should be based on an aggregate of factors. Your confidence in them should change as you learn new things. I would absolutely be weary of anyone, your bishop included, who has 100% confidence in anything. You can, and should, be willing to change your mind as new evidence presents itself.
Thanks for the info and videos on Bayes Rule. The world we live in is not binary and this is good reasoning to be continually questioning what you believe, based on new evidence. People who are "all in" are much less likely to do this.
dande48 wrote:
28 Sep 2018, 13:13
Can you be "all in"? Sure. But I don't recommend it. How do you make it work with your spouse? Everyone is different. There was a blog post a couple months ago on lds.org, which had some interesting insights. Who Do I Choose -God or my Husband?
I really like that blog post. Can someone send it to my wife? (she would not appreciate it coming from me). My bishop even mentioned this post as we were talking this week (he is related somehow to this couple).
I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, “Your testimony must be this tall to enter.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2014

DoubtingTom
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Re: Can you be "All in?"

Post by DoubtingTom » 28 Sep 2018, 15:52

I realized I can’t be all in when at the most basic fundamental level I simply don’t believe. It felt too fake going every week and pretending to be orthodox.

However, when I was still attempting this, I found the following website to be very helpful.

http://www.churchistrue.com

Here is an unorthodox believer who seems to be all in. His nuanced approach works for him and I had high hopes that it would work for me. Ultimately I couldn’t make it work but I haven’t shut the door completely. If I were to be “all in” again, this is the approach I think I’d have to use.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Can you be "All in?"

Post by Curt Sunshine » 28 Sep 2018, 16:03

I am all in - but I define those terms for myself and don't care if others define them differently.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Minyan Man
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Re: Can you be "All in?"

Post by Minyan Man » 28 Sep 2018, 19:13

I agree with Brother Sunshine. I try to not complicate my beliefs & my doubts.
It's difficult to do sometimes.

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