Hello from WA!

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
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Grudunza
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Joined: 15 Dec 2014, 18:52

Hello from WA!

Post by Grudunza » 19 Jan 2015, 17:25

Hi, everybody. I've mostly been lurking here for a few weeks now, but figured I should go ahead and do an introduction.

I consider myself a faithful member with a pretty strong testimony. But this kind of forum is very useful as an outlet for me, as I like to have places to share ideas or thoughts on some issues, and can certainly sympathize with those who are struggling and hopefully offer a helpful perspective now and then.

I probably interpret things differently than many TBMs and I'm not in lock-step with the LDS "cultural doctrine," and I take some things in scripture figuratively or as symbolic poetry. As a few examples of what I mean, I fully embrace evolution (to the point that I think we should consider it to be revealed truth/light/knowledge); I don't agree that tithing on gross income is the appropriate method as a standard (though if anyone wants to pay that way, fine); I believe in a limited (not global) flood; I have a beard and often wear colored shirts to church; I believe the priesthood ban was an error, and possibly polygamy; I disagree with the idea that "the prophet will never lead the church astray," etc. Sure, these and other things might be acceptable individualist issues on their own, but taken as a whole it does make me kind of an oddball or eccentric in the Church or even a heretic among some TBMs. And yet I know I belong where I am, regardless of being in the minority on these and other issues. So for me, "Stay LDS" has some resonance for me for the sake of belonging in the big tent that Pres. Uchtdorf talked about, and doing my small part to encourage those tent doors to open wider. I do think that for a church which is so desperate to gain new members, that we put up some unnecessary walls that discourage people from climbing over them, and then when they do climb over and join with us, we often say and do things with cultural policies and rigid ideas that chase them back over the walls. I feel it's important for people to know that they can be faithful members and fully belong and serve and be blessed in the body of Christ that is His church even if they accept evolution, have a beard, disagree with some particulars of policy/history, etc.

I joined the church at age 20 from an agnostic background (though I had developed my own pseudo-Christian faith as a teenager). I went to the Palmyra pageant shortly after joining and was handed some critical pamphlets. The missionary who I was there with, rather than telling me to throw that garbage out, said let's go through them. And even at that time, having just joined the church, I could tell that a lot of it was sensationalist and didn't have good reasoning or describe what we really believe and practice, and could easily be answered. So I think that foundation stayed with me thereafter, to where I haven't shied away from the criticism but do tend to look at things from a more faith-based perspective or bias. And I've generally felt that the apologist and scholarly writings and arguments in defense of our faith have done a reasonable enough job to keep plausibility in play for some things, to outright answer many things, or to be able to go forward in faith despite some genuine critical issues. And I fully admit there are some genuine critical issues... some I've struggled with and currently struggle with... but in many cases I think there are some faithful ways to look at those issues. For example, there is the CES letter, which seems to have caused a stir of sorts, but I think there are also some pretty solid responses to the CES letter. And there are some legitimate questions and concerns about the Book of Abraham and polygamy and other things, which may not even have good answers right now. But I guess I lean to the side of the faith, or give that the benefit of the doubt in the interest of continuing forward in faith.

In a personal sense, I'm a widower with two kids, and I'm a full-time children's music entertainer (per the signature below). I live in the Northwest and travel a lot around the U.S.
Last edited by Grudunza on 19 Jan 2015, 17:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Hello from WA!

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Jan 2015, 17:35

Welcome, Grudunza. We need every type of respectful voice possible if we are to be the community we desire to be, so I am glad you are here.

As a side note, my oldest son served in the Everett, WA mission. He loved it there.
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.

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Grudunza
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Joined: 15 Dec 2014, 18:52

Re: Hello from WA!

Post by Grudunza » 19 Jan 2015, 17:46

Ray DeGraw wrote:Welcome, Grudunza. We need every type of respectful voice possible if we are to be the community we desire to be, so I am glad you are here.

As a side note, my oldest son served in the Everett, WA mission. He loved it there.
Ah yes, I've been to Everett many times to do shows, but I actually live across the state in what's known as the "Tri-Cities," though IMO it's more like "tri-towns." :D
http://www.EricHermanMusic.com
- Cool Tunes, Videos, Shows for Kids -
Over 50 million views on YouTube!

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nibbler
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Re: Hello from WA!

Post by nibbler » 19 Jan 2015, 17:59

Cool. Sounds like you'll fit in well.

Welcome.
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Orson
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Re: Hello from WA!

Post by Orson » 19 Jan 2015, 19:20

Welcome! I was thinking exactly what Ray wrote, I like to see a variety of voices, I think it helps to get a variety of perspectives.

I'm glad you found us!
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I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Hello from WA!

Post by DarkJedi » 19 Jan 2015, 20:41

Welcome. It seems like you actually might fit pretty well here. I hope you come back and share your perspectives with our community.
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."

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LookingHard
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Re: Hello from WA!

Post by LookingHard » 20 Jan 2015, 06:17

DarkJedi wrote:Welcome. It seems like you actually might fit pretty well here. I hope you come back and share your perspectives with our community.
You will fit in well and glad to have you here. But your avitar picture actually has facial hair! So I am not so sure about you now that I think about it! Just trying to joke about a simple thing that some people make to serious. I have had a beard for more than half my life.

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Heber13
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Re: Hello from WA!

Post by Heber13 » 20 Jan 2015, 10:34

Grudunza wrote: "Stay LDS" has some resonance for me for the sake of belonging in the big tent that Pres. Uchtdorf talked about, and doing my small part to encourage those tent doors to open wider.
Thanks and welcome!

I think this part you expressed is becoming more common in the church. The ship turns slowly, but I think more people see the charitable way to approach others...and that some of the issues aren't just Anti mormon lies...there are some real issues...it is just how one decides to process it and have faith. So the issues are real. Sometimes that is the best first step in the big tent...validating differences...not shunning.

Thanks for joining. I look forward to learning from your posts.
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."

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

Re: Hello from WA!

Post by Roy » 20 Jan 2015, 14:08

Welcome Grudunza!

I saw you in concert at the Pendleton Round up/Main Street Cowboys and definately enjoyed the show. Even at that time I picked up on certain markers of your LDSness.

For whatever it is worth I was also impressed with your daughters. I didn't interact with them outside the context of the show but from what I did see they seemed much more confident and self assured than is typical for kids of that age. Parenting even under the best of circumstances can be a challenge - keep fighting the good fight!

I know Round Up can be a madhouse. Please let me know if I can ever help with accommodations or provide you with a home cooked meal in the Pendleton area. (I'll send you a PM)

I am glad that you found us and hope that you feel comfortable contributing to the discussion.
"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
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Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Hello from WA!

Post by Ann » 20 Jan 2015, 18:24

Grudunza wrote:
So for me, "Stay LDS" has some resonance for me for the sake of belonging in the big tent that Pres. Uchtdorf talked about, and doing my small part to encourage those tent doors to open wider. I do think that for a church which is so desperate to gain new members, that we put up some unnecessary walls that discourage people from climbing over them, and then when they do climb over and join with us, we often say and do things with cultural policies and rigid ideas that chase them back over the walls. I feel it's important for people to know that they can be faithful members and fully belong and serve and be blessed in the body of Christ that is His church even if they accept evolution, have a beard, disagree with some particulars of policy/history, etc.
Hi, Grudunza - Glad you're here, and I really enjoyed looking at your site. It's good that you're comfortable being the "real you" in your ward; I'm sure you'll help some of the rest of us out when we're feeling discouraged.
"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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