Thinking differently

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
Yonni
Posts: 11
Joined: 18 Mar 2015, 17:14

Thinking differently

Post by Yonni » 06 Apr 2015, 08:41

As many others, I have been quite the lurker before posting my intro, now I am ready to introduce myself and to give fair warning. I will start with the warning, I am a very concise when I write or speak and tend to not give as much detail as I should, so if anything I write seems to be lacking or incomplete please ask for clarification. Now to introduce myself, I was born and raised in a small northeastern state to parent converts however only my mother attended church, which is a position for a LDS family that is talked about often but in a very judgmental, non-Christ like way. I was a very rebellious teenager and at a young age experienced a complicated faith crisis. The most important thing that came from that experience was that is where I learned to separate the gospel from the church, or the people from the doctrine. So very glad I had learned this so long ago! I was then able to serve a mission and was sent to the corridor of "Zion".

Fast forward to today, I have married in the temple, several children and now live in my last area of my mission, yes we met when I was a missionary. I found this forum a few weeks ago due to a conversation I had with a best friend that I grew up with, did everything with, and now I find my doubts more pronounced than ever before. I always thought my thinking about the church and gospel is so very different, after finding this forum I have realized I may not be so strange after all. The conversation lasted three hours, he discussed with me the dualism of the LDS religion, the CES letter, the white washed history of the church, something called correlation (still not sure what that is/was), and an academic approach to religion. As my friend has been attending liberal schools trying to obtain a Masters in Social work, it seems academia has removed every grain to the foundation of his belief system and has claimed to be agnostic. It saddens me to hear that he wishes for his named to be removed from the church records and the issues he is having. However this has also lead me to question my foundation of belief and to doubt certain things, more poignantly take my current doubts and magnify them.

As I strive to remain active, serve in my current assignment, it has been difficult to control my thoughts with the negative and questioning motives and reasons why we do what we do. But then I remember the things I have learned from the past, I go to church for myself and family and not for any others and it’s the doctrine that matters most. However there is one piece of doctrine that disturbs me greatly, and that is the holy order/consecration. I believe that agency and choice trumps all of the gospel principles and is an eternal principle, therefore how does consecration not take that away? It failed terribly in the early church, and many fell away from the church because of this. The only way I see this working is Ayn Rands libertarian utopia in a Colorado valley. The way this is taught greatly disturbs me, and I hope to never be asked to obey this as it has been described in the D&C.

I feel that I am not quite at a faith crisis, but definitely a transition, this forum has been very helpful, especially for other issues especially with church history and sexism. I am already grateful for the support that has been given by reading your opinions about many difficulties we all face, it seems many are on the same boat and many do not know they are passengers.

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LookingHard
Posts: 2861
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Thinking differently

Post by LookingHard » 06 Apr 2015, 09:11

Glad to have another lurker coming forward. The more here the more we learn.

I can't touch on all the points before I am off to another meeting, but I can give a few seconds of a response.

Correlation - back in the 1950's or so, the church understood it was going to push more to be an international church and no longer push converts to come to zion. One of the things that they felt was needed was to simplify the gospel down to a few core principles and then standardize (correlate) all the teaching to this. I can see where it is helpful to have some consistency across the church, but also part of this was essentially ignoring several thing (polygamy, not so popular details of early church history) and (IMHO) lately painting Joseph Smith in the whitest of white paints available. One huge negative consequence is hitting the church now with lifetime members finding all kinds of details the seem so counter to what they are though it makes them feel they have been lied to and have a faith crisis. Google "Mormon correlation" and you will get some hits (some from angry ex-mo's, some from lds.org, and many in the middle).

To me, polygamy is about the same as consecration. It was an ideal that was tried and we are nowhere near ready to live that. Just like they said at the time that polygamy is an eternal truth, so they had to say with consecration. The current temple recommend questions don't ask if you are willing to live it. And where I might have agreed to it, it was "as explained" in the scriptures. And those are not crystal clear. So I put that as a, "maybe once Jesus is on the earth we might have another go at that." I will be dead before then (and I have probably another 20 or 30 years left in me).

Like Elder Ballard said, "Stay in the boat" - but I don't know if he stated which boat. You are welcome in this boat!

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DarkJedi
Posts: 5994
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Thinking differently

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Apr 2015, 09:16

Welcome, I'm glad you introduced yourself and I'm glad you feel we have helped you already.

I realize we make a covenant in the temple regarding consecration, but no one currently lives it like it is described in the D&C. In fact, I don't think any of us are anywhere near giving all that we have, including time and talents, to the church. The possible exceptions to this might be the full time GAs and perhaps full time missionaries - but even they do not give everything. I really liked Pres. Uchtdorf's line in his talk about grace (which I have to paraphrase) that none of us are doing all that we can do. Just as we're not going to be asked to practice polygamy or walk to Missouri, I don't believe we will be asked to live the law of consecration or united order as outlined in the D&C.

As a side note, correlation is, but at it's simplest level it is nothing more than the effort to make sure church teachings and doctrine are uniform throughout the church. In some ways it is a failure, but that is because people persist in teaching speculation, supposition, etc., outside the purview of the correlation department (although may have at one time been included). There is a extreme view on the other end as well, where are those who believe correlation controls all aspects of the church, including the prophet being nothing more than a figure head. Some believe the same about the PR department. Like most things, the truth of correlation is somewhere in between making sure lessons contain uniform teachings and colluding with PR to influence every talk in GC and edit those that they don't like (although actual editing does take place).

I like that you discovered young that the gospel and the church are separate. I wish I had figured that out sooner. I think you have a lot to share and hope you will come back and help each of us learn from you.
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

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On Own Now
Posts: 1624
Joined: 18 Jan 2012, 12:45

Re: Thinking differently

Post by On Own Now » 06 Apr 2015, 09:52

Yonni wrote:The conversation lasted three hours, he discussed with me the dualism of the LDS religion, the CES letter, the white washed history of the church, something called correlation (still not sure what that is/was), and an academic approach to religion. As my friend has been attending liberal schools trying to obtain a Masters in Social work, it seems academia has removed every grain to the foundation of his belief system and has claimed to be agnostic.
Hi Yonni. Thanks for the intro. I was struck by something you said (bolded above). I think no matter how you proceed that you should do so with an awareness that just because one person rejects faith based on intellectual arguments, that doesn't make them 'right'. Actually, to be totally honest, I'd be pretty pissed if I had a 'friend' try to convert me to their way of thinking by subverting my faith. Faith is not about facts, history, culture, what kind of car President Uchtdorf drives, what paintings are displayed in your church building, or what time your ward meets. Spirituality and science are disconnected. Spirituality is like love where science is like lunch. They aren't opposites. Find what you believe and what you want to follow and then be true to it, is my advice.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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DarkJedi
Posts: 5994
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Thinking differently

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Apr 2015, 10:02

Faith is not about facts, history, culture, what kind of car President Uchtdorf drives, what paintings are displayed in your church building, or what time your ward meets.
Wow. :thumbup:
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

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West
Posts: 213
Joined: 26 Aug 2014, 14:42

Re: Thinking differently

Post by West » 06 Apr 2015, 10:18

Hi Yonni, welcome to the community here. I'm glad it's already been of benefit to you, and I hope it continues to be so.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. -Albert Einstein

And God said 'Love Your Enemy,' and I obeyed him and loved myself. -Kahlil Gibran

Roy
Posts: 5009
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Thinking differently

Post by Roy » 06 Apr 2015, 10:32

Welcome Yonni,
Yonni wrote:I believe that agency and choice trumps all of the gospel principles and is an eternal principle, therefore how does consecration not take that away? It failed terribly in the early church, and many fell away from the church because of this. The only way I see this working is Ayn Rands libertarian utopia in a Colorado valley. The way this is taught greatly disturbs me, and I hope to never be asked to obey this as it has been described in the D&C.
There are numerous scripture references that say something to the effect of "no rich or poor among them." Economic equality is a lovely ideal. It is not really fair that children face different situations of hardship or opportunity based largely upon the financial security of their parents.

It has been attempted many times throughout history with different levels of success/failure. JS was trying to restore some anchient Judeo/Christian doctrines and practices and it makes sense that he would try to make this work in our day.

I believe that it is a well intentioned relic of our past and has a less than 1% chance of ever being practiced in the church again.
On Own Now wrote:Faith is not about facts, history, culture, what kind of car President Uchtdorf drives, what paintings are displayed in your church building, or what time your ward meets. Spirituality and science are disconnected. Spirituality is like love where science is like lunch. They aren't opposites. Find what you believe and what you want to follow and then be true to it, is my advice.
This rings true to me. Faith goes beyond what we know into the realm of what we hope for. I have faith in and hope for many things that can never be proven/disproven but are nevertheless very important to me.

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

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LookingHard
Posts: 2861
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Thinking differently

Post by LookingHard » 06 Apr 2015, 11:06

On Own Now wrote:Faith is not about facts, history, culture, what kind of car President Uchtdorf drives, what paintings are displayed in your church building, or what time your ward meets.
On Own Now - you were doing SO good until that "what time your ward meets." :) Now that I don't have little kids, I can tolerate most times - even if I do have preferred times. I would be excited to hear a move to a 2 hour block no matter what time they assign.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16069
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Thinking differently

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 Apr 2015, 12:01

Welcome!
Spirituality is like love where science is like lunch. They aren't opposites. Find what you believe and what you want to follow and then be true to it, is my advice.


I would add:
and allow everyone else to find what they believe and what they want to follow - and respect them, even if their conclusions differ from yours.


Charity is a powerful, transformative principle.
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

Ann
Posts: 2572
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Thinking differently

Post by Ann » 06 Apr 2015, 21:35

Yonni wrote: However there is one piece of doctrine that disturbs me greatly, and that is the holy order/consecration. I believe that agency and choice trumps all of the gospel principles and is an eternal principle, therefore how does consecration not take that away? It failed terribly in the early church, and many fell away from the church because of this. The only way I see this working is Ayn Rands libertarian utopia in a Colorado valley. The way this is taught greatly disturbs me, and I hope to never be asked to obey this as it has been described in the D&C.
Hi, Yonni - :wave: Glad you're here. Introductions are interesting because we each have different concerns. This is a good place to get support and ideas for moving ahead.
"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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