Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

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Rich70
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Joined: 31 Dec 2018, 10:36

Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by Rich70 » 31 Dec 2018, 19:29

I found this forum because I have recently come to the conclusion that I no longer believe in the church. My doubts actually started as I read the Book of Mormon and other lds scripture. It seemed every time I read, I would only see issues with the way it was written ( use of New Testament, 19th century doctrines,etc.) Anyway, the more I searched for answers, my answer has been that I no longer believe in the restoration. It’s a sad and scary place to be.

We live in Utah Valley, my wife and I are returned missionaries, have many kids and the church Has been huge in our lives. I am not bitter or mad, just sad. We don’t want to leave the church and i’ve read many good ideas on how to stay active even when I don’t believe. I can’t keep paying tithing to the extent I have been and I don’t think I can continue with garments. I would feel too much that I was faking it. I want to continue as a member and raise my kids in the church but explain to them ( when appropriate ) what I believe but let them have choices. I plan to baptize my children who haven’t been yet. I figure if I am wrong and the church is true, I still have authority to baptize them and if it isn’t, well, I have as much authority to baptize as anyone else in the church. I want to be a follower of Christ and baptism is a great symbol and commitment.

I need people to talk to but I don’t want to cause any family to loose their beliefs. It’s hard not to be able to discuss it and my wife can only take so much discussing it. She prefers to move forward slowly and it makes her sad to discuss it too much although she is very supportive. Does anyone have opinions or feedback on being active while not believing. My main concern is my kids. I could live without the church at this point in my life, but it made me who I am and I’m afraid my kids will suffer without the church and church community. I’m worried that raising them with one foot in and one foot out, they will use it as a excuse to not follow the church teachings that are good. I’m hoping that as long as I live those standards, they will also want to even if they know I don’t believe in church origins.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by Curt Sunshine » 01 Jan 2019, 16:13

I don't have enough time right now, but welcome! I am glad you found us.

My main advice right now is pretty simple: Read our archive posts. There literally are thousands of answers to your central question that can give you insight beyond whatever people provide in this thread.

The "Useful Quote of the Day" thread might be particularly helpful.
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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mom3
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by mom3 » 01 Jan 2019, 16:17

Welcome - We have tons of resources for your needs. Spend time reading from the forum. Feel free to bring them back up if they resonate. We can always use fresh looks on them.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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DarkJedi
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Jan 2019, 06:25

Welcome, I'm glad you found us. The beauty of this forum is that it is an open and safe place to discuss things we can't normally discuss face to face with live people. I think your question is a little vague, but I see where you're coming from. I do believe that following the good teachings of the church is important if you are trying to set the example for your children and that children learn from the good moral examples of their parents and other respected adults. If your children are over 5 your work in that respect is likely already done - their core beliefs (and moral compasses) are already set. Please don't be a stranger and come back and ask more specific questions if there is something more specific you are struggling with.
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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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by nibbler » 02 Jan 2019, 07:49

Welcome to StayLDS.
Rich70 wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 19:29
My main concern is my kids. I could live without the church at this point in my life, but it made me who I am and I’m afraid my kids will suffer without the church and church community. I’m worried that raising them with one foot in and one foot out, they will use it as a excuse to not follow the church teachings that are good. I’m hoping that as long as I live those standards, they will also want to even if they know I don’t believe in church origins.
Wrong or right, my attitude of having one foot in and one foot out is that I'm teaching my children that not every single thing at church is good by default (or bad by default), there are good things and a few bad things. They have to learn and decide for themselves what is good and bad, learn to avoid the bad in a healthy manner, and learn to not make accommodations for the bad just because an entire culture insists that it is something they should be doing. Stated more simply, help them learn boundaries. I wished I had learned that from the beginning.
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

IT_Veteran
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by IT_Veteran » 02 Jan 2019, 10:09

Welcome, I completely understand that struggle even though I made the decision to not remain a member.

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dande48
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by dande48 » 02 Jan 2019, 10:12

Rich70 wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 19:29
I could live without the church at this point in my life, but it made me who I am and I’m afraid my kids will suffer without the church and church community. I’m worried that raising them with one foot in and one foot out, they will use it as a excuse to not follow the church teachings that are good. I’m hoping that as long as I live those standards, they will also want to even if they know I don’t believe in church origins.
I think most organizations are a beautiful mix of good and bad. Same with most people. I hope my kids, more than anything, develop the ability to pick up on the good and reject the bad, wherever it is found. From the Endowment, it is said that we are here to learn from our own experience the good from the evil, not to take another's word for it. In my opinion, one foot in, one foot out is the way to be; committed as far as it does good, while remaining open to goodness from the outside.

Goodness does not equal truth. Truth does not equal beauty. Beauty does not equal goodness.
"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

Rich70
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by Rich70 » 02 Jan 2019, 11:01

Thank you everyone for your responses! I realize my post was vague. I just needed to talk to someone so I started a post. Here are some more specific questions I am trying to figure out. I personally do not believe that Joseph was a prophet. I personally think he may have had some real issues. My youngest child is 3 and my oldest is 13. I’d love some opinions on how to discuss and at what age to discuss my beliefs with them, basically that I don’t believe Joseph was a prophet and that polygamy was never from God and God would never change someone’s skin to black etc. I have two African American children by the way . I feel like the church has evolved into a good organization, but I feel it has backed intself into a corner by holding to Joseph as a prophet. Since I have let go of that belief, I feel like I don’t have to make up reasons and doctrine to explain the history. But, i’m just at the beginning of this and hope to get insight from others who have had some experience teaching a balanced approach to their kids. My thoughts are that younger children benefit from simple rules with less ambiguity but as they start to think more and have questions, I want them to understand enough church history so they can form their own beliefs based on a much more complete picture.

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Heber13
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by Heber13 » 02 Jan 2019, 13:08

Rich70, welcome.

I think there is a journey we go through as we open our eyes to the obvious changing perceptions we have of our world, and so whatever the topics are, it requires a process of going through stages of emotion and mental exercises to reframe things we saw one way in the past to a new paradigm based on learned new insights. Some call it enlightenment, some just call it growth.

You are on this path and I just want to tell you it is a good thing. Don't fight it or feel bad, even if you feel sad you are losing something.

When I read Joseph Campbell's "the Power of Myth" book/interview transcript...something clicked for me and I could see that it is good to have faith and hope in things not of this world, and let go of wanting nice neat clean little answers to all things in life...but accept paradox and perceptions shape how we tell stories of our experiences in life.

Go slow and don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Maintain your prior spiritual experiences as truth and they were what you needed in the past. They just don't sustain you now because you have moved to a new place...and I think God wants that from us...or he would have just kept us in heaven safe and sound with sure knowledge (even if no experience). No..God wants us to have experiences to gain wisdom.

Open your mind and view it as a good thing, not focusing on he past and what you wanted it to be.

Joseph Smith is a classic tragic figure, good and bad and started something that brought you and his group together. Rough Stone Rolling by Bushman is a good resource on the history. There are many resources to go to, but just approach it as your journey forward that will open your mind to new truths and new peace and happiness and experiences you couldn't have other ways.

I'm glad you joined our group. I look forward to learning from your posts.
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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nibbler
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by nibbler » 02 Jan 2019, 18:34

One approach I've seen people take is redefining what it means to be a prophet.

In a way the culture has deified prophets and other historic church figures, we've made legends out of them. We expect prophets to be more righteous than most (for lack of a better way to state it) because that's often what we teach and believe, that we need to be more obedient to obtain blessings/the spirit/revelation, and if that's the case then someone called as prophet must have been more obedient or somehow more worthy than others.

In paving over Joseph Smith's ...I won't even say warts, I'll say lesions... I think we've created that mindset, that one needs to be special to communicate with god, to be a prophet. I believe we've done ourselves a disservice in this. What if the narrative was, here is a seriously, seriously flawed and troubled man that was still able to commune with god, and if such a troubled person could commune with god then anyone should be able to do the same. Yeah, it's the flip side of the coin, still relying on our tendency to compare ourselves to others and earn an audience with god, but why not leverage that weakness? The flaws teach us lessons too.

Flowers can grow in bull fertilizer. That's Joseph Smith, and that's all of us to some degree. That said, I know how annoying it can be to be singing Praise to the Man during a sacrament meeting of all things.

One angle is to consider everyone a prophet, or having the potential to display prophetic qualities. That probably waters down what it means to be prophet too much for people, but it's an angle to work. That JS is capable of doing something that inspires people to be closer to god irrespective of the title he held or his character flaws. And we could extend that to anyone, that anyone can briefly step into the role of a "prophet" to bless our lives even though they will never hold the official title of prophet.

It can be another opportunity. Just because someone is held up as a prophet doesn't mean they are always right about everything. It can be a life lesson on not letting popularity or a title influence what you feel to be right and wrong.
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

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