No memory of the past

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Mkfly
Posts: 4
Joined: 09 Sep 2016, 23:53

No memory of the past

Post by Mkfly » 11 Sep 2016, 22:01

Hi I joined this site to discuss what a testimony has to do with your past experiences.
I join the church 35 years ago as a teen and served a mission.
Along the way I have served in many callings including 5 years as a bishop.
About 6 years ago I learned I have a memory issue called SDAM. I can't remember any details of my past.
I know facts but no memory of any event. Joining the church, serving a mission, getting married, kids etc.
so my question is without my past can I have a testimony? Without experiences can I be strong?
Lately I have questioned what I stand for and who I am.
Do I continue to believe because I always have or am I just going through the motions.
That is why I am here.

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: No memory of the past

Post by DarkJedi » 12 Sep 2016, 04:40

I can't address your illness. I had never heard of SDAM before you mentioned it here, but looked it up. Is there any real treatment?

Do you continue to believe because you always have? Only you can answer that question. As I understand it you're asking why you believe. There are indeed things I believe without any other explanation than I believe it. For example, I don't actually see the need for a "Savior" yet I believe in the atonement. I also believe Joseph Smith when he says he had a vision. I have no evidence for either of these things, but I don't believe them simply because I always have (because I have not always believed them). Do I go through the motions sometimes? Certainly, I am probably more orthoprax than most active members - but I think we're all orthoprax to some extent.
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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nibbler
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Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: No memory of the past

Post by nibbler » 12 Sep 2016, 05:07

That sounds like an extremely difficult issue to deal with.
Mkfly wrote:so my question is without my past can I have a testimony? Without experiences can I be strong?
Lately I have questioned what I stand for and who I am.
Do I continue to believe because I always have or am I just going through the motions.
Those are fascinating (and difficult) questions to ask ourselves even without memory issues!
The time to relax is when you don't have time for it. - Sydney J. Harris

Mkfly
Posts: 4
Joined: 09 Sep 2016, 23:53

Re: No memory of the past

Post by Mkfly » 12 Sep 2016, 06:00

DarkJedi wrote:I can't address your illness. I had never heard of SDAM before you mentioned it here, but looked it up. Is there any real treatment?

Do you continue to believe because you always have? Only you can answer that question. As I understand it you're asking why you believe. There are indeed things I believe without any other explanation than I believe it. For example, I don't actually see the need for a "Savior" yet I believe in the atonement. I also believe Joseph Smith when he says he had a vision. I have no evidence for either of these things, but I don't believe them simply because I always have (because I have not always believed them). Do I go through the motions sometimes? Certainly, I am probably more orthoprax than most active members - but I think we're all orthoprax to some extent.
DarkJedi
I am not questioning the Church or the doctrine. To me a testimony is like a seed. You plant it, an event, you nourish it, an event, you prune it, an event.
I must have planted a seed, I just don't remember it. I must have nourished it, I don't remember. I must have pruned it, I don't remember it.
Normally people have an aha moment. Feeling spirit after reading and praying about some point of the gospel. Or they hear a talk in general conf that sparks them. I have no memory of any such events.
So do I just exercise faith and continue. My good friend that introduced me to the Church 35 years ago said to just start over. Not a bad idea but I won't remember that either.
I to feel love for my Savior. I think the feelings are based on experiences that I must have had. So at least I have that much.

I do recall 3rd party discussions on events. If someone experienced something with me and we talked about it I remember part of that conversation. So that helps too. But just struggling not with faith but more of a lack of foundation.
And thank you for replying.

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LookingHard
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Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: No memory of the past

Post by LookingHard » 12 Sep 2016, 06:12

I don't know about SDAM and I certainly would hope that you are seeking good medical care and getting what treatment you can and ways to deal with issues of this condition.

But I would have to say that you need to focus only on being a good person the best that you can. I fully believe that God will have a HUGE dose of forgiveness for you for any effects of your condition. So don't fret about that as I would worry that alone could cause a lot of mental stress.

Be good and loving to others and I bet God is going to be well pleased.

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Minyan Man
Posts: 1376
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: No memory of the past

Post by Minyan Man » 12 Sep 2016, 06:48

First of all, Welcome to this site!

What an interesting introduction. For you, I can see it's very frustrating for you.
From what I'm aware of, none of us are medical experts. This will be the first time most of us heard of SDAM.
To you questions:
I can't remember any details of my past.
I know facts but no memory of any event. Joining the church, serving a mission, getting married, kids etc.
so my question is without my past can I have a testimony?


Many people that I know who are in recovery for substance abuse try to focus on today. They only deal with today.
They do activities that support their recovery.
They associate with people that support their recovery.
They go to meetings that supports recovery. (AA)
They read books & other literature that support recovery.

I believe that we should do the same kind of things for the spiritual side of our lives.
Without experiences can I be strong?
Remember, I am not an expert. Personally, I believe you can be strong without remembering your past experiences.
Concentrate on today.
Develop a close group of friends who support & understand.
Use them on a regular basis.
Maybe we can be a part of your group.
Pray & read.
Keep coming back.
Last edited by Minyan Man on 12 Sep 2016, 16:44, edited 1 time in total.

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DarkJedi
Posts: 5018
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: No memory of the past

Post by DarkJedi » 12 Sep 2016, 07:12

LookingHard wrote:I don't know about SDAM and I certainly would hope that you are seeking good medical care and getting what treatment you can and ways to deal with issues of this condition.

But I would have to say that you need to focus only on being a good person the best that you can. I fully believe that God will have a HUGE dose of forgiveness for you for any effects of your condition. So don't fret about that as I would worry that alone could cause a lot of mental stress.

Be good and loving to others and I bet God is going to be well pleased.
:thumbup: :thumbup: :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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SilentDawning
Posts: 6032
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: No memory of the past

Post by SilentDawning » 12 Sep 2016, 08:42

There are shades of testimony in my view. In even the scholarly search for truth (I do academic research), we accept "face validity" as a form of truth if something appears to be true. It is not the strongest form of validity of truth, but it is recognized as an entry level type of truth.

So, if you think Mormonism has some truth in it, and looks like it is true, that is enough for a testimony. Even if you don't remember faith-building experiences in the past. Also, in a way I wish I could forget so much of my past.
"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

Mkfly
Posts: 4
Joined: 09 Sep 2016, 23:53

Re: No memory of the past

Post by Mkfly » 12 Sep 2016, 08:54

SilentDawning wrote:There are shades of testimony in my view. In even the scholarly search for truth (I do academic research), we accept "face validity" as a form of truth if something appears to be true. It is not the strongest form of validity of truth, but it is recognized as an entry level type of truth.

So, if you think Mormonism has some truth in it, and looks like it is true, that is enough for a testimony. Even if you don't remember faith-building experiences in the past. Also, in a way I wish I could forget so much of my past.

SilentDawning,
I agree the base level of belief is basic faith, or wanting to believe. That I have. I am a logical person and logically the Gospel is correct. But I wish I could remember a time when logic turned to feelings.
My memory issue has really made me begin to think about who I am and am I growing. Someone earlier said to just be a good person. This is not hard to do, but I cant bench mark my progress. Maybe that is the logical side of me wanting validity.
Thanks all for comments, all very helpful.

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SamBee
Posts: 4081
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: No memory of the past

Post by SamBee » 12 Sep 2016, 09:55

I haven't come across anyone with this - other than the elderly for different reasons - although it is a staple of soap operas!

What I would say is that to some extent you have been offered a new life. Elements of your old life will come back and they won't all be pretty - this happens to all of us - but it's also worth pointing out that many of your most painful or horrible memories from years ago are gone, so you won't be held back in the same way many people are.

And now the cliches - live life day by day, and take it all as it comes.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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