Navigating from the Dark Night

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nibbler
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Re: Navigating from the Dark Night

Post by nibbler » 19 Apr 2018, 18:31

VioletFire wrote:
18 Apr 2018, 14:29
Also how in the world do I raise my children?
If only there was an answer to that question...
VioletFire wrote:
18 Apr 2018, 14:29
I feel like a hypocrite expecting them to obey church standards when I don’t believe in the church literally.
I try to separate out behaviors from beliefs. I'd like for my kids to follow church standards but it doesn't matter to me whether they believe in everything the church teaches. How different is a belief that god told the prophet to tell me to do something vs. a belief that I'm taking a more humanist approach when the end product produces more or less the same behaviors?

I'd only see it as hypocritical if I expected them to behave in ways I wouldn't behave.
VioletFire wrote:
18 Apr 2018, 14:29
Also I’m not sure if I want my sons to go on missions if it’s not the one true church.
I also struggle with whether I want my kids attending seminary. I think sleep would benefit them more. I'm not sure how I feel about the mission. By the time they are mission age they are old enough to make their own decisions (even though 18 seems crazy young to me now). I have a different perspective on missions. I was the only member of my family to join the church and my family was very upset when I decided to serve a mission but it was what felt called to do at the time, so I went. I understood my family's concerns and that their reaction was coming from a place of love and concern for me, but at the time it was something I had to do. It's their path, they'll learn lessons no matter which direction they end up taking... even if we're the ones paying for that leg of their journey [grumble] [grumble] [grumble]
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold
-Jesus

VioletFire
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Re: Navigating from the Dark Night

Post by VioletFire » 20 Apr 2018, 13:31

Thanks again everyone for the great advice and information. I think I may still be in denial that all of this is happening. My heart and my mind tell me different things, but I know it can't go back to the way it was. However I come out of this it will be different- I'm just not sure how different yet.

I found it interesting to go back to the Jewish roots of Tithing and the principles behind it when I was pondering the tithing situation.
I'll have to look into this. All I ever hear in the defense for tithing is that it was in the Bible. It's funny though, does any other religion really require 10% of your income? Also AmyJ thanks for the thread on being authentic with your children. That was very helpful to read and I'll keep searching for more information.

In this or other bishops interviews I find it helpful to not divulge too much information - especially any that might make him defensive by attacking or criticizing the church or challenging the bishops authority
I definitely see the importance in not revealing to much, and those responses you listed are really smart ways to deal with it, thank you. My husband and I may need to find a compromise on this like you two did. I need to figure out what's important. I do think a TR may be more important to me. I still want to believe so badly when I read apologist statements, but then things like polygamy make physically ill when I think about it and read about it in our history. I also strongly dislike it when members imply that I'm selfish for never wanting my husband to get sealed to another woman if I died later in life. Well joke's on them now I guess because my husband probably doesn't even believe in the church anymore.
With the above in mind, tithing is one of those things that's mostly opinion. There are people here who don't pay tithing and they don't hold TRs. There are also people here who pay on gross, or pay on net, or lots of iterations between those two (no tithe on FICA, no tithe on tax, whatever) and there are those who pay on what's leftover after bills are paid. Most of these people do hold TRs if they want to.
Thank you for your post. I get that tithing is between me and God I just think that if we go from being full 10% (net) tithing payers to only paying like $1,000 for the year the Bishop would be rather skeptical and my high-guilt conscience would get the best of me and I'd word vomit my feelings everywhere. So I definitely need to go in with a plan, but we have time to figure that out.
Likewise there are several good TR threads, the best of which (IMO) are pinned to the top of the History and Doctrine section.
I will check that out, thank you!
I'd only see it as hypocritical if I expected them to behave in ways I wouldn't behave.
This is some good food for thought. I think I still want to follow most of the church teachings, but be a little more lax.
I have a different perspective on missions. I was the only member of my family to join the church and my family was very upset when I decided to serve a mission but it was what felt called to do at the time, so I went.
I'm glad you had a good experience. I'm probably over thinking things. It's crazy though to go from having my entire life rules and thinking set up to deciding for myself what is best.

AmyJ
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Re: Navigating from the Dark Night

Post by AmyJ » 20 Apr 2018, 13:37

VioletFire wrote:
20 Apr 2018, 13:31
Thank you for your post. I get that tithing is between me and God I just think that if we go from being full 10% (net) tithing payers to only paying like $1,000 for the year the Bishop would be rather skeptical and my high-guilt conscience would get the best of me and I'd word vomit my feelings everywhere. So I definitely need to go in with a plan, but we have time to figure that out.
Several people have said that you can pay online discretely to avoid this issue. Of course, that requires that the bishop remember the amounts that you mentioned last year and this year and confronted you on it. <shrugs> Leadership roulette at its best.
VioletFire wrote:
20 Apr 2018, 13:31
I'd only see it as hypocritical if I expected them to behave in ways I wouldn't behave.
This is some good food for thought. I think I still want to follow most of the church teachings, but be a little more lax.
The great thing about becoming more unorthodox is that after the soul-searching, you start making choices based on the "Spirit" of the law that resonates within you rather than checking off a random checkbox.

I am not sure if it is because you become a boat wreckage survivor clinging to principles that "hold you above water" as it were, or if you wind up figuring out that you have nothing else to lose to follow your heart as it were.
VioletFire wrote:
20 Apr 2018, 13:31
I have a different perspective on missions. I was the only member of my family to join the church and my family was very upset when I decided to serve a mission but it was what felt called to do at the time, so I went.
I'm glad you had a good experience. I'm probably over thinking things. It's crazy though to go from having my entire life rules and thinking set up to deciding for myself what is best.
One of our members calls it becoming an "Adult of God" which has given me much food for thought.

<Hugs!>

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DarkJedi
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Re: Navigating from the Dark Night

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Apr 2018, 21:21

Thank you for your post. I get that tithing is between me and God I just think that if we go from being full 10% (net) tithing payers to only paying like $1,000 for the year the Bishop would be rather skeptical and my high-guilt conscience would get the best of me and I'd word vomit my feelings everywhere. So I definitely need to go in with a plan, but we have time to figure that out.
Several people have said that you can pay online discretely to avoid this issue. Of course, that requires that the bishop remember the amounts that you mentioned last year and this year and confronted you on it. <shrugs> Leadership roulette at its best.
My experience has been that contrary to what some people believe bishops do not pull out records and compare year to year or even month to month. I'm sure with leadership roulette there are exceptions to that rule. No bishop I have ever had even looked at the record, and I have served in a couple bishoprics. But either way it holds true that most bishops have more worthwhile things to do than micro-examine people's tithing accounts. And, there are specific instructions about probing particularly in the TR interview but also in tithing settlement. As you allude to this is more your problem than his.

We don't often talk about what I'm about to say next, but here's a clue to how most of us really cope with these sorts of things. We let go of the guilt/fear. I use that guilt/fear term like that because most of us (including me) would probably call it guilt - but it's really fear. Fear of what? Men! There are scriptural warnings about that. I love this talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/ ... r?lang=eng
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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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Navigating from the Dark Night

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Apr 2018, 15:17

If you are interested, I wrote the following back in 2008, describing why I have never experienced a dark night of separation:

"The Bright Night of My Soul" (https://www.mormonmatters.org/the-brigh ... f-my-soul/)
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

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SilentDawning
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Re: Navigating from the Dark Night

Post by SilentDawning » 22 Apr 2018, 07:48

VioletFire wrote:
18 Apr 2018, 14:29
Does anyone have any insight? I really appreciate this forum and have been lurking here.
Issue 1: Tithing settlement meeting -- possible solution -- don't go. Plain and simple. I haven't gone for years. They never haul me in for it,

Issue 2: Leadership requests for explanations (at any time).

You have to train your spouse what you will say if either of you are approached individually. Otherwise, give vague hope, and don't give any specifics. Don't talk about doubt!!! Never! And don't imply any sin. Affirm what you like about the church, and if you can even say you value any spiritual experiences, and call them testimony (even if really week, or if they only made you faithful in a previous era of your life), affirm this.

Issue 3: Children.

They won't figure out you don't go to the temple or pay tithing until they are older. There is a grace period, depending on how sharp they are. My daughter didn't figure it out until she was 10 or 12. I had to talk to her about it then, not when she was young.

This is where you need a convo with your husband to talk about the benefits of the church -- even as attending non-believers or semi-actives. And get some consensus on what you'll teach at home, and how you'll deal with the tension between TBM' practices and your own beliefs. I dealt with it by letting the church to teach the TBM values to my kids. I didn't have to be there-- I didn't make myself do that at home. At home I counterbalanced negative aspects of church culture (like judgmentalism) while letting the other doctrines become part of my daughter's life. When she asked me direct questions about the tension between my behavior and church imperatives, I gave myself time to formulate answers (often posting here on StayLDS) and then went back to her with my answers.

Also, recognize the church works very well for many people, and your kids may be such people Would it be so bad if they embrace Mormonism and become dedicated churcgoers, tithe payers and members of the church? I see no bad in that. And taken with the training I gave them in less orthodox positions on matters of church culture, you have the potential to create very good members who exempllify the good in Mormonism and not the negatives.

Also, remember the alternative -- other churches don't know either what the truth is. Committees and councils prepared their doctrine, and they don't even claim to have a prophet guiding them -- so where else will you go?

I find that coping develops over time -- as you deal with issues as they come up. You can't anticipate them all, but when they happen, they are rarely so urgent you have to shoot from the hip. Post your question here, and after thought, discussion, and consideration, find your own path.

There will be hiccups and sacrifices For example, I waited outside the temple for my daughter to get married. I didn't get a TR due to tithing. There was a bit of awkwardness on the part of my wife and daughter, but it was only right before they left to go to the temple. My son, below TR age, was with me, so it wasn't like I was alone, but there were no comments, no after effects....my daughter even apologized if she was ever too judgmental about me in the past -- it showed my unorthodox training worked! I actually feel at peace about the situation. I feel good about myself and the decision I made.

It can seem like there is no way out, but as the years slip by, as you find your own path -- and find it brings peace -- you realize the church is really a mirage and has very little power over you -- unless you give it to them.
"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."

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VioletFire
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Re: Navigating from the Dark Night

Post by VioletFire » 23 Apr 2018, 13:29

Several people have said that you can pay online discretely to avoid this issue

I've heard of this. I will have to look into it. I heard if you set it up though you have to request for it to be anonymous now.


Thanks Dark Jedi for the talk. I will take a look at it this evening. Uchtdorf is my favorite.

If you are interested, I wrote the following back in 2008, describing why I have never experienced a dark night of separation:
Thank you! I will read that this evening as well. I appreciate you sharing your story.
Issue 2: Leadership requests for explanations (at any time).

You have to train your spouse what you will say if either of you are approached individually. Otherwise, give vague hope, and don't give any specifics. Don't talk about doubt!!! Never! And don't imply any sin. Affirm what you like about the church, and if you can even say you value any spiritual experiences, and call them testimony (even if really week, or if they only made you faithful in a previous era of your life), affirm this.
This seems a little tricky. If it's not doubt or sin and they are alluding to it, it's like why did I suddenly change? It's good advice though and I will have to come up with a plan along those lines of what to say.
Also, recognize the church works very well for many people, and your kids may be such people Would it be so bad if they embrace Mormonism and become dedicated churcgoers, tithe payers and members of the church? I see no bad in that. And taken with the training I gave them in less orthodox positions on matters of church culture, you have the potential to create very good members who exempllify the good in Mormonism and not the negatives.
Silentdawning I agree that it's not really a bad thing.
It can seem like there is no way out, but as the years slip by, as you find your own path -- and find it brings peace -- you realize the church is really a mirage and has very little power over you -- unless you give it to them.
I hope I can get to this place where I am comfortable with myself and my place in the church and in life. Thank you.

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: Navigating from the Dark Night

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 23 Apr 2018, 13:49

VioletFire wrote:
18 Apr 2018, 14:29
Also how in the world do I raise my children? They are still young and the oldest is still a few years from baptism age. I feel like a hypocrite expecting them to obey church standards when I don’t believe in the church literally. Also I’m not sure if I want my sons to go on missions if it’s not the one true church.
This was the biggest hurdle for me. We raised our children from a fairly tbm standpoint, and helped them figure out questions as they grew up. As I went through my faith evolution (and still am), those answers I gave became less black and white, and there was a lot more discussion, rather than 'just accept it on faith' or 'you need to pray more'. For me it involved more searching and questioning (which I wish I had done with my older children). Now that they are older, and as they grew, they made their own choices and follow their own path, which is what we really wanted them to do even when they were young. My DW laments a little at their choices, that some are not active, but she sees that they are good people, and much of that came from being raised in the church, and we were consistent at doing things as a family ( Not consistent at FHE, going to every activity etc) but our family came first.

How to navigate the one true church is very personal to each one of us here, you're in a safe place to ask how we manage and ultimately figure it out for yourself as you go along. Those transitions can be soul shaking though so take it slowly.

Welcome!
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

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