A Thread For Talks and Lessons

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: A Thread For Talks and Lessons

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 27 Nov 2017, 18:28

Roy wrote:
26 Nov 2017, 12:45
LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
22 Nov 2017, 15:19
Do I question at times whether God is there? Unequivocally yes - I would be lying if I said otherwise. Does this mean that I have no faith? Absolutely not - faith is hope in things we cannot see. I rely on my spiritual feelings to tell me what lies just beyond my eyes.
Did you really say this in SM? I like how you rebounded. Still, it seems gutsy to say that you sometimes doubt God's existence.
Yes i did. I know that there are people that feel the same way that i do and i had to be honest. To doubt the existence of God doesn't seem like a deal breaker to me. It didn't to the bishop either apparently. I knew that there were a few lines in my talk that i was comfortable saying, but some wouldn't feel comfortable hearing, and others would be glad that they heard it from the pulpit.

The only thing the bishop said to me afterwards was that i was stronger than i knew, i didn't ask for a definition, hopefully it was a compliment ;) .
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: A Thread For Talks and Lessons

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 27 Nov 2017, 18:38

DancingCarrot wrote:
26 Nov 2017, 17:03
perfectionism often stops you from beginning because you think that accomplishing anything that isn't perfect is a waste of time.
Brilliant :)

Beefster, I've always been a fan of more open talk, and it sounded like you handled the lesson very well.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

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Heber13
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Re: A Thread For Talks and Lessons

Post by Heber13 » 28 Nov 2017, 12:31

LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
27 Nov 2017, 18:28
I know that there are people that feel the same way that i do and i had to be honest. To doubt the existence of God doesn't seem like a deal breaker to me. It didn't to the bishop either apparently.
I get the same feeling. I think people at church are a little more used to hearing this from their own family members, and it is more common to be expressing it in a non-hateful or attacking way...simply that some things are a mystery...yet we try to have faith and keep working on it.

I'm not sure how that impacts their opinions of those who express it honestly, and callings are reconsidered or cautioned based on this...I don't know that for sure...but...I do hear this kind of talk in church more frequently and it is less shocking, I think.
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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Re: A Thread For Talks and Lessons

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 28 Nov 2017, 15:27

Heber13 wrote:
28 Nov 2017, 12:31
I'm not sure how that impacts their opinions of those who express it honestly, and callings are reconsidered or cautioned based on this...I don't know that for sure...but...I do hear this kind of talk in church more frequently and it is less shocking, I think.
I may be released lol. Just kidding, i am in a newer leadership calling, and I'm not worried about it. There may be members of the ward who think now that i shouldn't be in the calling that I'm in, but i am sure also that there are members out there who now know that i am a safe place to share whatever is on their minds.
I think it *really* depends on the bishop. If this was our last bishop, I'm sure there would have been repercussions. Fortunately our bishop is very level headed and understanding.
My wife and i were talking this morning as she gave a lesson recently sharing her opinion that we can't achieve perfection in this life, but the fact that we continue to work towards it is the key. One of the sisters retorted that we can obtain it. We both agreed that pushing the perfection model can and is damaging to a lot of people, especially when we realize that we don't measure up in some area of our life.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

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Heber13
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Re: A Thread For Talks and Lessons

Post by Heber13 » 28 Nov 2017, 15:39

LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
28 Nov 2017, 15:27
I think it *really* depends on the bishop.
I think so too.
LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
28 Nov 2017, 15:27
we can't achieve perfection in this life, but the fact that we continue to work towards it is the key.
Well said. Very cool.
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."

DancingCarrot
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Re: A Thread For Talks and Lessons

Post by DancingCarrot » 28 Nov 2017, 19:59

LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
28 Nov 2017, 15:27
My wife and i were talking this morning as she gave a lesson recently sharing her opinion that we can't achieve perfection in this life, but the fact that we continue to work towards it is the key. One of the sisters retorted that we can obtain it. We both agreed that pushing the perfection model can and is damaging to a lot of people, especially when we realize that we don't measure up in some area of our life.
I actually just looked the suffix -tion, and it was just as I expected:
the action of a verb; the result of a verb
Taken in this grammatical context, and if we take the definition of perfect as being whole and complete (as opposed to without flaw) then striving towards perfection is a state of being where we are acting out our wholesomeness, our completeness - as we understand it at any given time. Granted, I understand this isn't how it's taught in our society and it's certainly not a hill I'm willing to even climb, let alone try to die on, but I like the perspective shift.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. -Dumbledore

Roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine. Together we can see what we will find. -Mumford & Sons

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Re: A Thread For Talks and Lessons

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 29 Nov 2017, 18:33

DancingCarrot wrote:
28 Nov 2017, 19:59

... the definition of perfect as being whole and complete (as opposed to without flaw) then striving towards perfection is a state of being where we are acting out our wholesomeness, our completeness - as we understand it at any given time.
Well put!
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

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mom3
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Re: A Thread For Talks and Lessons

Post by mom3 » 30 Nov 2017, 10:19

Wow - Scout Master, Dancing Carrot and Beefster - These are beautiful. I haven't read through this in a while. I do believe edges are melting and gentle assistance in that area is where talks, lessons, and class comments can help.

Each one was thoughtful, caring and lovingly presented.

Perfect devotionals for my day.

Thanks,
Carrie
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

DancingCarrot
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Re: A Thread For Talks and Lessons

Post by DancingCarrot » 10 Dec 2017, 16:01

I got to teach in RS again! It ended up being great for the class and for me, since I am working/out of town for the next two Sundays. I really enjoy teaching so I was bummed I would miss a month. At first I was nervous taking on the topic of "The Latter-Day Miracle of Missionary Work", but it turned out really well.

I began with describing my small level of ambivalence towards traditional missionary work: my dad joined the church at age 19 but didn't serve a mission, my brother stopped attending church regularly somewhere in junior high-high school, the church has always been "central" in our family but we've also missed a lot of "milestones". So that set the stage well for introducing some differing perspectives.

I explained the idea between the church as an organization and the gospel as a set of principles/doctrines, and I even used Curt's tag line of the core principles of the gospel being love, belief in the unseen but hoped, self-reflective change, symbolic cleansing, power in divinity, never giving up. That these are principles that most people believe in, despite their religious affiliation. There was a lot of discussion about meeting other people where they are, whether that be needing the organization of the church, the social structure of the church, or the doctrines/meaning of the church, and how in order to legitimately help people we need to understand them on some level, otherwise we're just talking about our religion because it makes us feel good.

I moved onto the 11th AoF and asked how are we to reconcile letting ourselves and others worship according to the dictates of our consciences while attempting to fulfill missionary work. This sparked a great discussion about talking about religion at work because one woman found her co-workers to be very walled off from organized religion, but that she hoped someone would feel comfortable coming to her during a difficult time because they've seen her example of peace and endurance. That prompted me to share my opposite experience at my workplace, where the phrase "melting pot" is an understatement. There was a particular lunch break that some colleagues were talking about traditional/cultural foods and how meaningful it was to them that despite their cultural backgrounds from slavery, that their ancestors were able to endure and create delicious meals to share with their families that brought joy and comfort despite their terrible conditions. I also mentioned that despite me being the only white person on the unit, that they included me in the conversation and explained their thoughts with great emphasis and care. I told them that that moment felt like heaven.

There was also conversation about how our needs and relationship to both the church and gospel fluctuate over time. How sometimes we need more structure and social/community life instead of spirituality from church. And how other times we desperately need the meaning that comes from spirituality instead of programs and friends. It was emphasized from many women that sometimes we take and sometimes we give; that coming to church helps in different ways both for us and others, and that it's important to come because sometimes we don't attend church for ourselves. I also related a story about a pending heart transplant patient that I worked with last year and the guilt he felt for needing and "taking" another person's heart. I tried to comfort him and also iterate that for the family of the deceased who is able to give the gift of a heart, it helps them with closure and their grieving to know that their loved one helped someone else. We all give, and we all take.

We discussed a little bit about "holy envy" and how other churches have many practices or focuses of doctrine that we love. The Passover was mentioned specifically, and one of the women explained "Well, if you love Passover so much why don't you celebrate it?!" We also, later via text, tentatively planned to have a RS activity for Passover at a Jewish synagogue, if enough women are interested.

I closed by saying that despite anyone's church membership status in this life, there are always opportunities afforded to everyone in the Plan of Salvation. That we needn't fear as to anyone's membership because there are so many opportunities for them to join (if that's really how it works out), and that we can be missionaries unto ourselves, ensuring that we get our needs met through church and other means and to connect with others around our similarities.

It was an excellent lesson, and I'm happy to have had the opportunity.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. -Dumbledore

Roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine. Together we can see what we will find. -Mumford & Sons

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mom3
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Re: A Thread For Talks and Lessons

Post by mom3 » 10 Dec 2017, 21:55

Thank you Dancing Carrot.

I didn't get to attend today. Relief Society is something I miss.

I love your lesson. Even this overview gave me things to think about. I am not missionary oriented. I love learning about other religions.

I hope you do get to participate in a Passover this year.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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