"Six Destructive D's"

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Kinderhook08
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Re: "Six Destructive D's"

Post by Kinderhook08 » 29 Jul 2009, 12:32

I can kind of see where he is coming from. If you doubt or disbelieve the LDS faith you are far less likely to adhere to what the Church believes are doctrines and thus be disobedient. For example, if you no longer believe leaders speak for God why not have a drink on occasion, watch a rated R movie, shop on Sunday, skip out on church meetings, etc. What's the point in being obedient to a faith that you no longer believe in?

wordsleuth23
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Re: "Six Destructive D's"

Post by wordsleuth23 » 29 Jul 2009, 14:12

From an orthodox perspective, this makes sense. It ties into why they censor history, because uncensored stuff makes it nearly impossible not to doubt, and that undermines the Church's goals. I personally liken doubt to skepticism, and I think some level of that is healthy and very necessary. That may not lead one to be an orthodox Mormon, but searching for the truth, even if it leads to some doubt is okay. If God really did create us, then he gave us the capacity to reason. I don't think God would have done that, and not wanted us to use it.

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Heber13
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Re: "Six Destructive D's"

Post by Heber13 » 29 Jul 2009, 14:20

Doubt is an interesting thing to study about. Because my first reaction when reading this is that I completely disagree that doubt is a bad thing. Because from my personal experience, I have been able to open my eyes and learn such incredible things that have helped me become a better and happier persion...all because I ALLOWED myself to doubt things and search for their meaning.

So I agree with Ray, the context of doubt must be understood to know if it is a good thing or bad thing. I define my doubts I had as a very positive way to seeking truth...not a negative way of pessimistically rejecting things because of my pride.

Doubt followed by no action or indecision is not healthy. Doubt followed by a sincere desire and motivation to work to find truth is a positive thing because it involves motion and can lead to growth.

That is how I interpret what he was saying...the D's that lead to no action are destructive. The actions that lead to positive action is what I think is faith.

Of course, my mind goes back to the Savior's cautions to Thomas, who then became known as Doubting Thomas. He was not praised for those doubts (unbelief). The key to this discussion is understanding the use of the word "doubt". Is it doubt as a motivator, or doubt as unbelief?
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."

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jmb275
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Re: "Six Destructive D's"

Post by jmb275 » 29 Jul 2009, 14:53

Moderators, feel free to start a new thread or something here since I'm clearly threadjacking.
Heber13 wrote:So I agree with Ray, the context of doubt must be understood to know if it is a good thing or bad thing. I define my doubts I had as a very positive way to seeking truth...not a negative way of pessimistically rejecting things because of my pride.
This is interesting, and probably warrants a new thread. I'd be interested in exploring this issue a bit more. What I mean is the lack of definition. GAs and church spokespeople have a great tendency to say things in a very ambiguous way. The good news, is that it allows us flexibility in determining what they mean. For instance, tithing being 10% of our "interest" annually. But the bad news is that they create culture where fear mongering is introduced by not clearly defining what they mean. This talk is a great example. I claim doubt and skepticism are good attributes to have, just like faith, charity, etc. They keep us from being too gullible, too ignorant. Taken to the extreme they are disabling for a psychologically healthy adult. A better word for the "good kind of doubt" is uncertainty. So, my question to the author of the talk would be why didn't you say this? And this, I think, is an important issue in the church.

Not long ago Foxnews did an interview with the church answering 21 questions. See here http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317272,00.html. Not long after, John Dehlin (I assume) addressed this exact interview, and largely had the same response I did: why the obfuscation? Here is John's analysis http://mormonstories.org/?p=379

This is one thing that led me to where I am. The church preaches honesty, and encourages it, and at times have even proclaimed they are totally open about everything, yet it is clear they purposely skirt what could be an opportunity to clarify, and, IMHO border on being dishonest. What would be the downside of an open, honest, clear, concise response? Are they afraid of something? Would it undermine authority, or damage people's testimony?

This, to me, is especially frustrating in light of how often I hear people like Ray say what they mean in a way that is clear and easily understandable, using definitions of words that are technically accurate, while colloquially acceptable. I vote for Ray as new church spokesperson! ;)
I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there.
- Joseph Smith, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304)

Curt Sunshine
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Re: "Six Destructive D's"

Post by Curt Sunshine » 29 Jul 2009, 14:55

To me, the overall issue is identical to the concept of there being a "sorrow unto repentence" and a "sorrow unto damnation" - which is why I personally separate "doubt" ("I doubt that.") and "uncertainty" ("I'm not sure about that.").

Merciful heavens, can I decline that calling - PLEASE!! :lol:
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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Brian Johnston
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Re: "Six Destructive D's"

Post by Brian Johnston » 29 Jul 2009, 14:58

I experience a lot of doubt about his talk about doubt :D.

A total lack of doubt to me would lead to a total and complete inflexibility, or a lack of ability to progress. A complete lack of doubt is perfect for God, if they are perfect. I'm guessing us mortals could still make use of doubt.

How about a raging heroine addict who has no doubts he can handle his problem. Is that good? Someone like that can use a big dose of doubt. Of course I know the talk was about doubts in the Church or the LDS Gospel. Let's just say we can all point out a many moments in Church history where doubts were experienced by the leaders of the Church, enough that they sought revelation to change things and make them better.

We can't progress unless we doubt.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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Heber13
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Re: "Six Destructive D's"

Post by Heber13 » 29 Jul 2009, 15:16

jmb275 wrote: A better word for the "good kind of doubt" is uncertainty. So, my question to the author of the talk would be why didn't you say this? And this, I think, is an important issue in the church.
...
This is one thing that led me to where I am. The church preaches honesty, and encourages it, and at times have even proclaimed they are totally open about everything, yet it is clear they purposely skirt what could be an opportunity to clarify, and, IMHO border on being dishonest. What would be the downside of an open, honest, clear, concise response? Are they afraid of something? Would it undermine authority, or damage people's testimony?
Interesting points, JMB. Because you raise this point about how the leaders speak and if they are being dishonest, I think this warrants further discussion to really understand what he is saying...even if we think he is ambiguous.

I go back to the post from swimordie and also reread the entire talk.

To me, the speaker is equating "doubt" with faithlessness. If you have faith, you don't doubt but you are confident in God's works. If you doubt God can heal you, than you are giving in to fears and lack the trust in God's power to work within you. If you doubt God has a finger...you cannot be worthy to see the finger of God literally like the Brother of Jared. That doubt is different than not knowing everything or not knowing an answer.

On the other hand, if you do have doubt...that is just the way it is, so what do you do about it? "If any of you lack wisdom, let his ask of God" - you turn to God with faith he will provide answers or peace or confidence to dispel doubt.

So, from that perspective, doubt is a bad thing to hold on to if it is defined as the opposite of faith. And because we find ourselves having doubt, we should take initiative to dispel it by turning to God and asking for the gift of faith so we can walk on water, without doubting what God can do. That process can be a good thing if we can trust God can remove our doubts and we honestly seek to have them taken from us.

I go back and change my prior comments. Doubt is not a good thing, but because of necessity of opposites, doubt exists. When I choose to act to dispel doubt, the process is a good thing and through the mercy of God I can learn new things to dispel my doubts which is a good thing...not doubt itself.
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."

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HiJolly
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Re: "Six Destructive D's"

Post by HiJolly » 29 Jul 2009, 15:19

Call it spam if you will, but I'm going to post this yet again:

DOUBT

The downside:
Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might
win by fearing to attempt.
-- William Shakespeare,
Measure for Measure, Act 1

The upside:
"To refuse to doubt, think about or question what you are told
is to miss an opportunity to talk to God"
-- Father Leo Booth

The annoying truth:
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and
the intelligent are full of doubt."
-- Bertrand Russell

The uplifting truth:
"Living with ambiguity is a form of intellectual honesty, of
humility. It is only when we admit that we don't know that we
are receptive to what lessons may be taught. In some strange
way, it also brings an inner peace since we are no longer
fighting reality to maintain our inner fantasies on how things
should be. While I am characterizing it as an intellectual
process, it also has spiritual implications, since only an open
mind is capable of hearing God."
-- Andy Piereder (on Eyring-L)


HiJolly
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus

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just me
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Re: "Six Destructive D's"

Post by just me » 29 Jul 2009, 15:27

HiJolly, your spam is yummy. I'll take whatever spam you wanna give us!
Those really are wonderful, true quotes.
Most of us, sooner or later, find that at critical points in our lives we must strike out on our own to make a path where none exists.~Elaine Pagels

Ultimately, you are the path-the path begins and ends with you.~Stephan Bodian

He who think he knows, doesn’t know: He who knows he doesn’t know, knows.~Sanskrit proverb

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jmb275
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Re: "Six Destructive D's"

Post by jmb275 » 29 Jul 2009, 15:30

Heber13 wrote:
jmb275 wrote: A better word for the "good kind of doubt" is uncertainty. So, my question to the author of the talk would be why didn't you say this? And this, I think, is an important issue in the church.
...
This is one thing that led me to where I am. The church preaches honesty, and encourages it, and at times have even proclaimed they are totally open about everything, yet it is clear they purposely skirt what could be an opportunity to clarify, and, IMHO border on being dishonest. What would be the downside of an open, honest, clear, concise response? Are they afraid of something? Would it undermine authority, or damage people's testimony?
Interesting points, JMB. Because you raise this point about how the leaders speak and if they are being dishonest, I think this warrants further discussion to really understand what he is saying...even if we think he is ambiguous.

I go back to the post from swimordie and also reread the entire talk.

To me, the speaker is equating "doubt" with faithlessness. If you have faith, you don't doubt but you are confident in God's works. If you doubt God can heal you, than you are giving in to fears and lack the trust in God's power to work within you. If you doubt God has a finger...you cannot be worthy to see the finger of God literally like the Brother of Jared. That doubt is different than not knowing everything or not knowing an answer.

On the other hand, if you do have doubt...that is just the way it is, so what do you do about it? "If any of you lack wisdom, let his ask of God" - you turn to God with faith he will provide answers or peace or confidence to dispel doubt.

So, from that perspective, doubt is a bad thing to hold on to if it is defined as the opposite of faith. And because we find ourselves having doubt, we should take initiative to dispel it by turning to God and asking for the gift of faith so we can walk on water, without doubting what God can do. That process can be a good thing if we can trust God can remove our doubts and we honestly seek to have them taken from us.

I go back and change my prior comments. Doubt is not a good thing, but because of necessity of opposites, doubt exists. When I choose to act to dispel doubt, the process is a good thing and through the mercy of God I can learn new things to dispel my doubts which is a good thing...not doubt itself.
I started a new thread on this issue. let's continue the discussion there!
I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there.
- Joseph Smith, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304)

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