Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
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DarkJedi
Posts: 6745
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Post by DarkJedi » 27 Aug 2013, 14:43

Ray Degraw wrote:Welcome. I am checking in in spots only and can't type long comments, but I do want to welcome you.
Thank you, Ray. I did read your post about your father.I have lost my parents and know what it's like. Please accept my heartfelt sympathies.
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."

My Introduction

Roy
Posts: 5804
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Post by Roy » 27 Aug 2013, 15:10

Funny how similar we are in our journeys. I knew about some of the funny church history stuff but it didn't matter. If the power of God is real in my life, what does it matter what happened in ancient history. Then our third child was stillborn and it tore the heart out of all my assumptions. Does God bless us? how? based on what? There are so many church stories where God intervened in a tangible way for a preferred outcome. Was that all BS?

I now somewhat envy people who are so sure that God has a purpose for this particular life decision or that. I second guess everything. Making decisions on my best information is unsettling at times but taking ownership for my decisions is a two way street.

My kids are still small and I'm trying to involve gospel moments into their upbringing. I plan to perform the baptisms and I give father's blessings. I would love to give DS the priesthood when the time comes because my priesthood line of authority comes down our family line. We do family prayer and I usually pray for things that we can influence. I often pray that we will have a spirit of love in our home and that we might be accepting, patient, and forgiving of each other. My prayers are like stated hopes and dreams for my family. I try not to pray for specific events or outcomes but old habits can be hard to break.

Once again - welcome!
"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

Ann
Posts: 2573
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Post by Ann » 27 Aug 2013, 22:43

DarkJedi wrote:
Therein is the crisis of faith - I no longer knew what to believe. Had God really directed me there, knowing this would be the outcome? If he didn't, and I misinterpreted the impressions and promptings, how do I know what is from God and what isn't? Is the Book of Mormon really nor true? Is the church really not true? Can I not trust friends and leaders in the church? (The bishop's answer when confronted, by the way, was "I'm sorry, I should have told you.") Again, it's more involved and complicated than this - it would take pages to fully describe all that happened. And I did not immediately stop going to church - I continued for over a year while all the time the questions grew more profound and expanded and the answers were becoming undeniable. I did not feel what I thought was the influence of the Holy Ghost anymore, and still don't.
Glad you found staylds, DarkJedi!

Part of the answer for me has been to simply ask fewer questions. I've stopped seeking to "feel the spirit" all the time. I know that sounds bad, and maybe it's a phase, but it's where my journey has me at the moment. My prayers are heavier on thanks, and lighter on direction-seeking. I have callings and think I actually serve more genuinely than before. But there's a different quality to the whole thing now. I knew something was up when I realized that I (I'd always been on the emotional side at church) hadn't shed a tear for a year. And I'm fine with that. I guess what I'm saying is that looking back, I don't know what was from God and what wasn't, but I feel like I know better going forward how to tell the difference. Still not perfectly, but better.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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DarkJedi
Posts: 6745
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Post by DarkJedi » 28 Aug 2013, 05:42

Thanks again, Roy. I, too, now struggle to make decisions, something I never really did in the past because I relied on God. I don't feel I can do that any more - had I not followed what I thought were undeniable promptings and confirmations I would likely still be at my job previous and wold likely be happy - and active in the church. My beliefs about church history haven't changed, actually. If Joseph Smith was a prophet (and I believe he was), then it just plain doesn't matter to me.

Ann, thanks for the welcome. Prayer is one of the big things I struggle with. I haven't discovered the middle way for me yet, I guess. I'm currently somewhere in the area of prayers being nothing more than a form of worship. It's pretty clear to me that prayers are not generally answered. I do believe some people's prayers are answered but I believe it is rare and much of what people attribute to answers to prayers are nothing more than coincidence or things that would have happened anyway in the natural order of things. Sometimes it's just that they want the prayer to be answered, so in their minds and feelings, it is. Truth is, I rarely pray and I have given up on asking for anything - even the simplest of things or general blessings. I think that part of my faith may take the longest to rebuild.
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."

My Introduction

Ruthiechan
Posts: 46
Joined: 09 Aug 2013, 21:12

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Post by Ruthiechan » 28 Aug 2013, 10:50

Dark Jedi, I'm on lds.net too. Though intermittently. Same user name. It was actually a fellow called Snow over there who helped me see that same sex marriage under the law is separate from one's religious beliefs about such marriages. Good guy, I miss him and wish I had an email address. Alas.

I find it interesting that you are making the assumption that you would have been happy at your previous job and still there. Perhaps that's not at all what would have happened.

I know that prayer works. In one of the darkest times of my life I prayed daily. My husband wanted a divorce which turned a two year separation during which time we reconciled and got back together. I prayed to be calm of heart and clear of mind. To know what to do for my husband and when and how to do what's needed. To know what to say, when to say it, how to say it, and when to be silent. This is not to say I did not have times where I fell apart, I did. But it happened less frequently after two weeks of not being able to eat (it was a good day to eat half a health bar). There were times where I just wanted to lambaste him in reaction to my pain, but these prayers kept me in check and helped me to remember that he was hurting too.

In a blessing that I gave to my daughter, she was told the following, "do not pray for conveniences." We were both surprised by that one. What is interesting, upon sudden reflection as I type this, is that the prayers I offered during my time of tribulation with my husband were anything but convenient. It took a lot of hard work and mindfulness. It totally would've been easier to divorce him, mourn a little bit, and then find someone to marry in the Temple (my husband is not Mormon). But that's not at all what God wanted me to do.

It seems that God does not want us to have easy lives but to have lives full of reciprocal blessings.

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DarkJedi
Posts: 6745
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Post by DarkJedi » 28 Aug 2013, 11:16

Hi Ruthiechan, nice to make your acquaintance. True, it is only an assumption that I still would have been at my previous job and happy, but it's a fairly informed assumption. In that industry people don't actually move a lot, and if I hadn't moved when I did I probably would not have. I was happy at the time and really wasn't looking to leave, and I do still have (happy) friends there. By the way, I am totally open to the idea that I was wrong and/or deceived about leaving there, but the questions still remain of that was the case. If I was wrong/deceived, how do I know I haven't been deceived many other times (baptism, marriage, etc.) because the feeling was the same.

Prayer itself was a huge part that led to my crisis, and likewise the total absence of any answers to prayers since - spiritually or physically - is a major factor in it's continuation. I am wholeheartedly trying to move on, and prayer is a major wall.
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."

My Introduction

Ruthiechan
Posts: 46
Joined: 09 Aug 2013, 21:12

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Post by Ruthiechan » 28 Aug 2013, 14:37

I recommend you consider studying Buddhist mindfulness practice and trying meditation. Find a local Buddhist temple to get started or if you're with Kaiser some facilities have a meditation class. I have found that meditation and mindfulness practice (meditation is a part of this btw) has really helped me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. The beautiful thing is that it's a practice not a religious belief system so you don't have to believe in any particular religious creed to make it a part of your life.

Roy
Posts: 5804
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Post by Roy » 28 Aug 2013, 15:36

Ruthiechan wrote:I know that prayer works.
I agree that prayer does have multiple functions. I had already mentioned how (in my home) it is an avenue for me to state my hopes and dreams for my family. Dark Jedi mentioned that it is a form of worship. Ruthie has indicated that it can be a centering/meditation technique. What seems to be in dispute is weather prayer will reliably give one secret/supernatural knowledge to make the best possible decision or to bring about a specific external outcome.

I can't say that individuals with these last testimonies of prayer are not accurate. They have every right to interpret their life and give it meaning as they see fit. Some may even have had experiences that I would struggle to explain differently. But for my internal assumptive world to have consistency, I must assume that God is not in the intervention business. I file away the miraculous experiences of others under 97% subjective perceptions and 3% possible.

I am aware that there are other ways to cope with the apparent inequality in what prayer works and who gets what miraculous blessing. In truth, I am fascinated by these other approaches and I see them being effective for others (one being that God will give each individual the exact mix of experiences necessary to bring about their greatest potential). But I fear they would not be effective for me. Is it possible that there are multiple “right” ways to navigate this life?

Your mileage may vary...
"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

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SilentDawning
Posts: 7229
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Post by SilentDawning » 28 Aug 2013, 16:19

I also frequented LDS.net regularly with thousands of posts, I believe, at one point. I left over the same black and white issues a year or two ago. I found the mods let the judgmental people reign free but were highly intolerant of unorthodox believers -- they were very harsh with me personally, although I never got written up.

It was a valuable experience because it helped me see what I once was -- a black and white judgmentalist, "company man" (read, "Church man"). I actually reached out there in a crisis but found they made my crisis even worse.

Here at StayLDS, there was acceptance and an opportunity to grow into a different relationship with church.

Here are a few of my coping strategies with church.

1. Set limits on what you will and will not do. For you, it'll be Sacrament meeting only when ready. For me, it's no more moving or chapel cleaning and no calling while I'm committing my time to other selfless causes.
2. Recognize people are in different levels of development -- along different paths even. Accept them for those beliefs. Remember, Black and White thinking serves many people very well and helps them feel at peace.
3. I hate to sound paranoid, but to quote the X-files "Trust no one"...with your unorthodox beliefs. Most are highly intolerant of doubters or unorthodoxtarians like myself.
4. Continue with your plan of keeping options open to return, and that means keeping to yourself about the things you don't believe.
5. Find additional ways of feeding your spirit. Through service to causes you believe in is one.
6. Learn to distinguish between administrative doctrine and the true gospel principles. I find this sorting mechanism really helps me filter what is important. Administrative doctrine is aimed at conditioning our attitudes to be good Mormons or following administrative procedures, and not necessarily aimed at helping us be good people. BKP's "Unwritten Order of Things" is a very good example of administrative doctrine --and I use the term doctrine tongue in cheek, because I seriously question if it's doctrine.
7. Recognize there is a big, broad world outside of the church that needs you, and you can be happy without full community or acceptance within the LDS church. You can have a bright family culture without the church too based on timeless values.
8. Be very discerning about how you let church people use your time. I personally will not go to a meeting unless I know the agenda. I have wasted too many litres of gas and too many hours listening to talks that do not meet my needs.

I am about your age, and I have decided I want to enjoy my life, and that means serving in ways that are meaningful to me, not in ways that are simply "expected". After 30 years of forced missionary service (I forced myself), forced home teaching, forced church attendance, forced tithing, I feel liberated.

Some thoughts...
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- 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."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Ruthiechan
Posts: 46
Joined: 09 Aug 2013, 21:12

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Post by Ruthiechan » 28 Aug 2013, 17:26

Roy wrote:
Ruthiechan wrote:I know that prayer works.
I agree that prayer does have multiple functions. I had already mentioned how (in my home) it is an avenue for me to state my hopes and dreams for my family. Dark Jedi mentioned that it is a form of worship. Ruthie has indicated that it can be a centering/meditation technique. What seems to be in dispute is weather prayer will reliably give one secret/supernatural knowledge to make the best possible decision or to bring about a specific external outcome.
I believe that prayer is all those things.

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