Innoculation

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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Ella Menno
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Innoculation

Post by Ella Menno » 09 May 2010, 22:07

I just listened to the MormonMatters podcast about innoculation (I think it was episode # 13). I was genuinely pained by how the apologists involved spoke down to all of us who have had doubts. I was innoculated early. I was BIC to very intelligent parents who taught me about a lot of the church wackiness like polygamy, masons, etc. I also am an avid reader, including church history. Most of the history has not shocked me. My problem came when I started really thinking about the history and core docrines as they applied to me specifically. That is when my stage 4 crisis came. So, I have concluded that innoculation will not shield many of us from the stage 4 angst or doubts. Why, then, should anyone be innoculated? If my parents did their best to innoculate me and I still ended up in a crisis of faith which may well be damaging to me where the church is concerned, is there any hope for my children who are being raised unorthodox and being innoculated early?

I really disliked how the apologists were so dismissive of everyone who doubts. That is so unfair. I did know. I did read. I did think. I did have a testimony. I still do all these things. Is it really my fault that some of it has caused serious enough cognitive dissonance that I would no longer be able to shelf it all? It really makes me think that the church membership would be better off if doubters would just make a graceful exit. I mean, the stage 3 membership is uncomfortable with doubters and the apologists just want us to get over it. Is that good for the church?

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SamBee
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Re: Innoculation

Post by SamBee » 10 May 2010, 04:04

I think this has been brought up before, but it would be good for someone in general conference to talk about their own personal struggles and doubts in a big way, instead of the usual "if you follow the commandments, you'll believe" or "belief in my family goes back ten generations" etc.

I think a lot of people could do with this. I suspect most church members have had doubts or struggles, but that they don't feel that they can voice them, or the problem becomes worse, and they end up either damaged or leaving.
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."

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Cadence
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Re: Innoculation

Post by Cadence » 10 May 2010, 05:55

My parents inoculated me to the extreme. It worked for many years but finally began to break down. To me personally it is not a matter of inoculation or believing. I just want to know what the truth is. If Joseph was a real prophet dispite all the wackiness I am perfectly willing to accept that. I will accept every detail of Mormonism if I can know it is true. Yes I have prayed, studied, lived the commandments. Nothing has given me the conviction to say it is all true. So then I am left with my intelligence to figure things out. Which leads me to believe after looking at the facts and thinking about it logically it is mostly myth, from the Bible to The Book Of Mormon.

I a starting to believe there are 3 groups.

Those that will believe no matter what.
Those who will question, think, and have doubts
Those who do not care at all.

Inoculation only works on the first group for a sustained period of time. Then they would believe anyway so why bother. Beyond that I think it is just dishonest not tell the truth. And it is more than dishonest to cover it up.
Last edited by Cadence on 10 May 2010, 16:47, edited 1 time in total.
Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope. Thomas A. Edison

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

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cwald
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Re: Innoculation

Post by cwald » 10 May 2010, 07:34

Cadence wrote:I a starting to believe there are 3 groups.

Those that will believe no matter what.
Those who will question, think, and have doubts
Those who do not care at all.

Inoculation only works on the first group for a sustained period of time. Then they would believe anyway so why bother. Beyond that I think it is just dishonest not tell the truth. And it is more than dishonest to cover it up.

I question, think and have doubts --- and REALLY REALLY wish I could go back to "believing no matter what" or at least "not caring at all" --- but those days are long gone. At least that way the "cover up" would fester so badly.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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Heber13
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Re: Innoculation

Post by Heber13 » 10 May 2010, 09:34

I think there are two creations for everything, the spiritual/mental/planning/teaching creation, and the physical/actual creation.

So as much as parents try to innoculate or prepare kids for things, it eventually still becomes a real struggle for an individual and it will be painful and disturbing to figure it out for oneself. The struggle is the experience we need.
Ella Menno wrote:So, I have concluded that innoculation will not shield many of us from the stage 4 angst or doubts. Why, then, should anyone be innoculated? If my parents did their best to innoculate me and I still ended up in a crisis of faith which may well be damaging to me where the church is concerned, is there any hope for my children who are being raised unorthodox and being innoculated early?
My guess is there is still some value in knowing your parents tried. Perhaps that is the only hope parents can have, in telling their children..."you're gonna have to take the walk of fire sometime in your life when you are ready for it...as much as we try to prepare you for it and support you through it, it is your experience... and we can't walk it for you."
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Innoculation

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 May 2010, 11:19

I think it helps to realize that not everyone in the Church is a black-and-white thinker who knows nothing of the issues that can lead someone into a crisis. My kids know I don't agree with everything that is said over the pulpit (at all levels) and that I see lots of things differently than many members (including leaders), but they know I still am active and dedicated and faithful as a member - and I think it helps them to know that.

Would your crisis have been easier if you had totally blind-sided without any preparation by your parents?
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

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Ella Menno
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Re: Innoculation

Post by Ella Menno » 10 May 2010, 12:16

Thanks for the responses. I really don't know if it would have been harder or easier without the prior knowledge. Stage 4 is what it is. It may be that if I had been raised by purely TBM parents with no inoculation I would never have questioned because I would have avoided "the mere appearance of evil" in the form of anything that made me uncomfortable with the current church teachings. I am drawn to the wackiness and the wackiness makes me alternately uncomfortable and fascinated. I want to do what's right for my kids but I don't want them looking back saying my lack of faith destroyed them for whatever reason, but I also want to be true to myself and what I feel to be right. Thanks for listening. Sorry, I think I put this thread in the wrong area initially. Oops.

nightwalden
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Re: Innoculation

Post by nightwalden » 10 May 2010, 13:28

Growing up I knew that church history wasn't all rosy but I didn't know a lot of the details. By the time I was a teenager, I understood that the church practiced polygamy and Brigham Young had a bunch of wives and Joseph had many wives also. I knew that blacks were denied the priesthood and was given the usual explanations for that. I was about 15 when I first heard the Joseph Smith ran for the U.S. Presidency. Basically, I knew that Church history was complex and not all good.

Then as an adult when I spent time learning much more of church history, it definitely shifted my perspective on some issues. But I already understood that church history was complex and now I was learning the complexities. The negative aspects of church history do not bother me a lot. So for me, I think my mild inoculation worked for me if not being too bothered by church history is the goal. No one ever sat me down and spelled out polyandry or peep stones or treasure hunting. But I knew that JS practiced polygamy, the BoM translation process was weird, and that JS wasn't very well trusted by his contemporaries for reasons other than his religious claims.

I also have tons of doubts. I mostly don't care about the church history stuff because that doesn't affect me now, but there's not much in the church that I really feel certain about. But I balance out my doubts with my beliefs and they make up my complex self. But I think that understanding the complexities of church history early in life help me now feel at peace with the complexity of my own religious beliefs now.

I hope that I explained this well enough so that y'all can understand my perspective on inoculation.

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mormonheretic
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Re: Innoculation

Post by mormonheretic » 10 May 2010, 23:04

Inoculation is an interesting concept. I think it's important to remember that vaccines are not a cure-all. For the majority of people, vaccines prevent polio, whooping cough, pertussis, dpitheria, hepatitis, and a host of maladies. But vaccines don't prevent AIDS, pneumonia, a broken arm, or even the common cold. So, I think that it's important to remember that inoculations can't inoculate us from everything. Life is full of trials. There must needs be an opposition in all things. Those that hold on to the iron rod, despite the mists of darkness, will be rewarded with the tree of life.

I have been lucky NOT to have a crisis of faith that so many here have had. I empathize with each of you who struggle so mightily. I have had my struggles. My brother died 4 years ago in a traffic accident, leaving behind a seriously injured wife, and 2 seriously injured children. I struggled with the Family Proclamation which says every child is entitled to be raised by a mother AND father, yet God took away a wonderful father. These kids have struggled without their father, no question.

I really thank John Dehlin for inoculating me against some of the church history issues, but nothing he has talked about could possibly have prepared me for dealing with my brother's death. Inoculation is a tool, not a cure-all, and I think it's important to remember that. We all struggle with certain things, and when the mists of darkness come, I hope that communities such as this can help us through these tough times. Ella Menno, I pray for you, and hope your current struggles "are but a small moment."

I have enjoyed Rix's comments here. I think he is one who has struggled mightily through these mists of darkness, and has come out a stronger man. None of us like some of the challenges we face. When I look at my brother's death, sometimes I would like to take back all I've learned in the past 4 years to have him back. But that is not my choice; the reality is that I have become a better person because of this trial, though it has been far from easy for me. If our foresight was as good as our hindsight, I think we wouldn't worry so much about our current trials.

swimordie
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Re: Innoculation

Post by swimordie » 11 May 2010, 00:07

Ray Degraw wrote:but they know I still am active and dedicated and faithful as a member - and I think it helps them to know that.
This caught my attention, Ray. Can you expand on why you think that this knowledge helps your kids?
Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it. -Poppyseed

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