unique but similar

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
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asher
Posts: 1
Joined: 04 Mar 2018, 21:32

unique but similar

Post by asher » 01 Sep 2018, 17:15

My story is unique in that it is mine, yet similar to many here on this forum. I was BIC, had read the BOM by the time I was eight, would go to bed listening to GC talks as a teenager and on the weekends would pull weeds at the local church knowing that I was pleasing Jesus. Did all the things TBM are suppose to do, and credit much of who I have become today to the gospel and its teachings. Trying to be a good husband, father and contributing member of the church and society.

My questioning began in college, basic things like, “How can I tell a muslim that his prophet could not see angels, receive divine revelation, and write a sacred book of scripture, but my prophet could do all those exact things and be “the only true church”. Given that Islam does not except Christ as a God or a Savior it is hard for me to buy that Allah and Heavenly Father or the same. I found it interesting that Christians could find the immaculate conception, Jesus walking on the water and feeding five thousand perfectly fine, but couldn’t except a vision to a boy, angels appearing and miracles occurring in 1800’s. Religions fascinate me as everyone clamoring to speak for God, yet have such different views of God. Has much changed since 1820, or really since the beginning of the modern human. We use the term “God” so much that it is hard to truly grasp what anyone is trying to convey. Maybe that is part of the mystery.

Then my grandfather died, he was old and ready to die but while so many have spiritual experiences around the death bed, mine was as horrible and faith demoting as can imagine. The priesthood blessing was a total downer, and to this day can't make sense of the last few hours.

The more I questioned the more I realized that while I thought I knew certain principles and doctrines, it was because I had not learned or studied any other “good books, teachings, or principles” from other seers, prophets, philosopher, and teachers, that can be found across the globe from many cultures, religions and creeds. I am definitely past the black and white phase and there is so much grey. Currently still hold a TR, but when ask recommend questions it is a wanting to believe affirmation for sure. Currently lean more to the agnostic side and feel that the scriptures are full of principles and truths that can help guide us but not historically true.

One of the most frustrating things is that within our culture there are not safe places to talk about doubts and fears, so a lot carry the burden alone. Luckily I have an understanding wife who thus far supports me though not necessarily agrees, for this I am extremely grateful. I am also grateful for this forum to allow expression and understanding.

I picked Asher as username as it meaning happy, blessed, fortunate. As I feel that I have be blessed and majority of the time am happy. Yet this has also been part of my journey/struggle asking why I have been so blessed when so many billions suffer and will never even know a computer enough to tell their story.

I hope to contribute and continue to learn on this journey with all of you, as our lives cross on cyberspace for a brief time.

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dande48
Posts: 1034
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: unique but similar

Post by dande48 » 01 Sep 2018, 22:08

Hi Asher!

I'm happy you found us. This is a good place to be.
asher wrote:
01 Sep 2018, 17:15
I picked Asher as username as it meaning happy, blessed, fortunate. As I feel that I have be blessed and majority of the time am happy. Yet this has also been part of my journey/struggle asking why I have been so blessed when so many billions suffer and will never even know a computer enough to tell their story.
I can relate to this. It's been interesting... but the more agnostic (or even athiest) I've become, the more meaningful life has become. And the greater my capacity to feel. It's funny, because everyone has always told me the opposite is true. The Abrahamic religions teach that in the end, the world is going to be destroyed and God will reward us according to the good we've done, set everything right, and get to live forever. But if this world is all we've got, everything matters. If things aren't going to me "made right", it's up to us to change things for the better of everyone, as much as we can, and make peace with the things we cannot change. If we're not planning on getting rewarded for doing good, then every good thing we do is that much more meaningful.

I think the hardest thing, going through a faith crisis, was the loss of certainty. We don't have any concrete answers here. But what this place has given me, is a chance to accept and be at peace with the uncertainty.

Looking forward to hearing more from you!
-dande48
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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

Re: unique but similar

Post by LookingHard » 02 Sep 2018, 04:09

Welcome and we are glad you will be contributing.

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

Re: unique but similar

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Sep 2018, 08:20

Welcome. I think we're all unique but similar in that we each have our own experiences yet we find similarities here. I'm glad you found us.

"Us" vs. other Abrahamic religions (and non-Abrahamic religions) can be quite the paradox. It often puzzles me as well, and I more than question the one true church idea. There is way more truth out there than we know or admit.

You sound like you have some great perspectives to share, I hope you do so.
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

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

Re: unique but similar

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Sep 2018, 09:58

Welcome!

I am glad you found us and hope we can help each other.
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

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

Re: unique but similar

Post by Roy » 02 Sep 2018, 11:33

Welcome Asher.

I think your title of "unique but similar" could also apply quite well to Mormonism and Islam in the similarities you have pointed out.

I sometimes wonder how much of church actually leads us to become a better person and how much is just a social construct - like a really demanding club affiliation. I understand clubs. I belong to several. How is the church similar? how is the church unique?
asher wrote:
01 Sep 2018, 17:15
The priesthood blessing was a total downer, and to this day can't make sense of the last few hours.
Ironically, priesthood blessings are the one way in which the church helps us to serve one another and process illness, grief, and loss in a community. I believe there is value in having the community gather and support a family. A priesthood blessing can be a physical manifestation of that.
asher wrote:
01 Sep 2018, 17:15
One of the most frustrating things is that within our culture there are not safe places to talk about doubts and fears, so a lot carry the burden alone. Luckily I have an understanding wife who thus far supports me though not necessarily agrees, for this I am extremely grateful. I am also grateful for this forum to allow expression and understanding.
1) Please express gratitude often to your wife. Having family support makes such a difference.

2) my understanding is that StayLDS was founded because there was a need for a "safe place". So glad you found us! welcome aboard!
"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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