Just joined. Prayerfully considering a return to the LDS Chu

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
flameburns623
Posts: 15
Joined: 28 Apr 2016, 23:28

Just joined. Prayerfully considering a return to the LDS Chu

Post by flameburns623 » 29 Apr 2016, 04:27

Hello!
56 y/o married wm from greater St. Louis area. Hard of hearing veteran, college grad, work in the contract security field.

Joined the Church in 1979, left for awhile, came back in 1989went inactive in 1992. Resigned in 2008.

Am prayerfully considering a return to the LDS Church. Have attended regularly since March, have met with the ward bishop, am going through the process.

Not a lot of questions nor issues for me, just cannot profess to have a sincere testimony of the Book of Mormon, etcetera just now. Am reading/listening via podcast; and praying and duly studying whilst conforming my life to thr Mormon gospel.

Keep me in prayer!

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DarkJedi
Posts: 5174
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Just joined. Prayerfully considering a return to the LDS

Post by DarkJedi » 29 Apr 2016, 06:30

Welcome to the forum. I hope we can help you find the peace you seek.

A couple questions if you don't mind. Is your wife a member? Member or not, how does she feel about this? Do you have others around you who can support you?

As to the BoM, I don't have a sincere testimony, either. I'm not sure it is what it's claimed to be. It is, however, a good book and I think people can come closer to God and Christ by reading it. FWIW, I have never been asked if I believe the BoM to be true. It's not a temple recommend question and it's not a baptism question for converts (those questions are here, scroll down: https://www.lds.org/manual/preach-my-go ... n?lang=eng). Your circumstances may be a bit different and you might be asked by a local leader. Frankly I'm not sure how I would answer other than saying something similar to what I say here, although I'd probably leave out the part about not being sure it is what it's claimed to be. There's always hope for the likelihood you won't be asked. Have you shared your uncertainty with the bishop? If you haven't I suggest you don't.
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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Minyan Man
Posts: 1388
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Just joined. Prayerfully considering a return to the LDS

Post by Minyan Man » 29 Apr 2016, 06:32

Welcome to the rodeo!
Many of us have been where you currently are.
Some of us came back.
Some stayed out.
This is a great place to discuss issues about the Church & Gospel.
Keep coming back.

flameburns623
Posts: 15
Joined: 28 Apr 2016, 23:28

Re: Just joined. Prayerfully considering a return to the LDS

Post by flameburns623 » 29 Apr 2016, 07:22

I am fully capable of saying that the Book of Mormon is true.

And believing it is true.

In the sense that Kahlil Gibran's Jesus, The Son of Man is true. Or, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, or Sheldon's In His Steps are true.

As an allegorical story with true moral and philosophical principles and as a true guide to righteous living. As an historical record of people-groups who emigrated from the near east to the Americas in real time: this is a struggle with which I wrestle. And yet, much of the rest of the story of the Restoration depends on this historicity.

My confidence in the Holy Bible is only a bit stronger. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Saul, David: betimes, I took the accounts of them pretty well as written.

I've come to realize, however, that these accounts were written six hundred years, perhaps a thousand years or more, after the events recorded. That much of at least the first half or two-thirds of the Old Testament is "faith-enhanced", recountings of folk stories and legends and tall tales of people who never lived; or were composites of several people who lived; or who lived but who did few if any of the exploits attributed to them.

Yet: powerfully told stories. Life-transforming stories. Stories which bear greater truths than mere history can account for.

I'm reading some of Givens' writings, some by Patrick Mason, some by Michael Ash. I am aware of Fowler's Stages of Faith and of Perry's work on the Stages of Moral and Ethical Development. These things are helpful. I certainly find the LDS Church appealing in so many ways. I support the principle of keeping coversations within the regular Sunday services faith-enhancing, geared towards the tenderest among us. Though venues for more-frank and open conversations would be nice.

I hope, Dark Jedi, that you are correct that the details and content of my faith are not thrust under a magnifying glass.

flameburns623
Posts: 15
Joined: 28 Apr 2016, 23:28

Re: Just joined. Prayerfully considering a return to the LDS

Post by flameburns623 » 29 Apr 2016, 07:46

Oh btw: my wife is not LDS. But is comfortable with me going back. She herself has become Wiccan over the past year or thereabouts, but she thinks Mormos are sweeter than some Christians she knows.

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Heber13
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Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Just joined. Prayerfully considering a return to the LDS

Post by Heber13 » 29 Apr 2016, 09:00

welcome flameburns623,

thanks for sharing part of your story, and for expressing such positive and faithful thoughts on your desires to StayLDS.
flameburns623 wrote:Yet: powerfully told stories. Life-transforming stories. Stories which bear greater truths than mere history can account for.
I like how you shared this.

There can be meaning in our lives as we "liken" the scriptures to our lives.
flameburns623 wrote: I certainly find the LDS Church appealing in so many ways. I support the principle of keeping coversations within the regular Sunday services faith-enhancing, geared towards the tenderest among us. Though venues for more-frank and open conversations would be nice.
I agree, and find some accountability to the "tenderest" among us, hoping others are also careful of my tender needs.

Do you find you and your wife are able to see differences among mormons and viewpoints with greater compassion because of your life journey to this point so far?

Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your humility and positive spirit. I look forward to learning more from you as you post with us. More-frank and open works well here. Welcome.
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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DarkJedi
Posts: 5174
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Just joined. Prayerfully considering a return to the LDS

Post by DarkJedi » 29 Apr 2016, 09:09

flameburns623 wrote:I am fully capable of saying that the Book of Mormon is true.

And believing it is true.

In the sense that Kahlil Gibran's Jesus, The Son of Man is true. Or, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, or Sheldon's In His Steps are true.

As an allegorical story with true moral and philosophical principles and as a true guide to righteous living. As an historical record of people-groups who emigrated from the near east to the Americas in real time: this is a struggle with which I wrestle. And yet, much of the rest of the story of the Restoration depends on this historicity.

My confidence in the Holy Bible is only a bit stronger. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Saul, David: betimes, I took the accounts of them pretty well as written.

I've come to realize, however, that these accounts were written six hundred years, perhaps a thousand years or more, after the events recorded. That much of at least the first half or two-thirds of the Old Testament is "faith-enhanced", recountings of folk stories and legends and tall tales of people who never lived; or were composites of several people who lived; or who lived but who did few if any of the exploits attributed to them.

Yet: powerfully told stories. Life-transforming stories. Stories which bear greater truths than mere history can account for.

I'm reading some of Givens' writings, some by Patrick Mason, some by Michael Ash. I am aware of Fowler's Stages of Faith and of Perry's work on the Stages of Moral and Ethical Development. These things are helpful. I certainly find the LDS Church appealing in so many ways. I support the principle of keeping coversations within the regular Sunday services faith-enhancing, geared towards the tenderest among us. Though venues for more-frank and open conversations would be nice.

I hope, Dark Jedi, that you are correct that the details and content of my faith are not thrust under a magnifying glass.
I think viewing the Bible and the BoM less literally is really key. Jesus taught with parables on purpose and we know they are not true stories but quote from them all the time. In LDS theology Jesus is the God of the Old Testament, Jehovah. He could very well have been teaching in parables there as well. The Jews do not see what we call the OT as historical or literal, it is stories that have some historical context. I think the BoM can be viewed much the same. It doesn't matter to me if Adam & Eve, Jonah, or Nephi were real, I get the same message from the stories as the person who does believe they were real. Isn't that the important part?
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

Ann
Posts: 2547
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Just joined. Prayerfully considering a return to the LDS

Post by Ann » 29 Apr 2016, 13:50

Hi, flameburns - I'm glad you're here and hope you enjoy it. I think you'd like listening to Dan Wotherspoon at mormonmatters.org. His podcasts are l-o-n-g, but he likes these issues, and usually discusses them with a panel.

#277 from April 2015 - "Does Powerful Faith Require Scriptural Literalism?"

Looking forward to hearing more.
"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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nibbler
Posts: 3008
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Just joined. Prayerfully considering a return to the LDS

Post by nibbler » 29 Apr 2016, 14:43

Welcome to StayLDS. It sounds like you've got a really good way to approach things.
I hereby place an order for one cheese pizza. -nibbler

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SilentDawning
Posts: 6149
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Just joined. Prayerfully considering a return to the LDS

Post by SilentDawning » 29 Apr 2016, 17:27

I suppose my question is why you resigned in 2008...resigning is a pretty big step, so I'm interested in knowing what changed since then to make it so you are considering rejoining, with only a small concern about the BoM (if I read your intro correctly).
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- 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."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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