The Good Impact of StayLDS

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7336
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

The Good Impact of StayLDS

Post by SilentDawning » 10 Jan 2011, 22:19

I wanted to share some thoughts I had in the shower today (sorry for that visual).

I honestly think that a site like this has the potential to do more good than activation efforts in our Wards with many people. In your Ward, you can't share your deepest darkest thoughts about Church -- the doubts, angst, etcetera, or get guidance on how to deal with situations which challenge your commitment. To do so in person, in your Ward, can have many undesireable consequences.

As a priesthood leader, I would visit people who were less active and many wouldn't share their feelings with me at all. I think in an Internet environment, you can be more open due to the perception of anonyminity -- and truly get to the real issues in people's hearts. You can feel connected with the Church in a way you can't locally -- still reading about and discussing spirituality with like-minded people, and feel a sense of community with other LDS people who embrace divergent thinking.

I don't know whether there's been a serious attempt to measure the impact of this site on activation, or even name-removal prevention. But I want to say it's helped me significantly -- I've learned to be less of a loose cannon at Church, have found some reasons for protecting the local Ward from my rebellious tendencies, and gotten support with some of the challenges along the way. I've also come to grips with tithing, and feel good about it. My wife is spared listening to my divergent ideas too, and I've come up with my own reasons for respecting the LDS culture even though parts of it used to bother me.

Honestly, I couldn't get this kind of support from people in my Ward. So, thanks to you all.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- 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."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

User avatar
observant
Posts: 193
Joined: 24 Sep 2010, 14:20

Re: The Good Impact of StayLDS

Post by observant » 11 Jan 2011, 08:53

I just pictured a big black horse in the shower.

The site has not only helped me understand that my unfaithful thoughts are okay but it also helps me understand that people who are having a crisis of faith aren't scary people!
"Some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go. "~Sylvia Robinson

User avatar
Orson
Site Admin
Posts: 2252
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 14:44

Re: The Good Impact of StayLDS

Post by Orson » 11 Jan 2011, 08:53

Thanks SD! I echo all of your thoughts. This forum has helped and continues to help me.

It is very nice to visit with y'all! :mrgreen:
My avatar - both physical and spiritual.

I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16832
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: The Good Impact of StayLDS

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 Jan 2011, 09:01

Thanks for the post, SD - but now I have to go wash out my brain. (Oh, and observant, your image didn't help!) :shock:
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

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5538
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: The Good Impact of StayLDS

Post by SamBee » 11 Jan 2011, 09:46

I honestly think that a site like this has the potential to do more good than activation efforts in our Wards with many people. In your Ward, you can't share your deepest darkest thoughts about Church -- the doubts, angst, etcetera, or get guidance on how to deal with situations which challenge your commitment. To do so in person, in your Ward, can have many undesireable consequences.
It's a two way thing. Once or twice I wished to discuss issues, and found people backing away from me. In one case, the conversation topic (the priesthood ban) was initiated by a TBM who didn't like it when I mentioned I had issues with it.
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."

User avatar
cwald
Posts: 3628
Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 06:39

Re: The Good Impact of StayLDS

Post by cwald » 11 Jan 2011, 10:47

There is no question that STayLDS has been huge in my decision and capacity to "stay" and find a middle way. The How to Stay After a Trial of Your Faith article is scripture to me.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

User avatar
Heber13
Site Admin
Posts: 7212
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: The Good Impact of StayLDS

Post by Heber13 » 11 Jan 2011, 11:02

Well said, SD.

I am not one to believe there is only one way to do things. So I agree that there is great potential for a support forum like this that seeks to help each other with open dialogue, and it has been a great thing for me, and many others.

I also accept it may not be everyone's "cup of herbal tea". And there is also no substitute for personal, face to face, visitations.

But in no way do I want to detract for your point, SD...this forum I think can help fill a gap for many that can not be found at church. (By the way...you think of deep things in the shower :smile: ...You're way beyond me even from the start of the day! ...thanks for your words!)
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."

User avatar
silentstruggle
Posts: 280
Joined: 26 Jul 2009, 07:25

Re: The Good Impact of StayLDS

Post by silentstruggle » 11 Jan 2011, 11:11

I agree!!

There is virtually no way to have open discussion in a ward setting. Even a doctrinal or historical issue is not open for discussion, due to either lack of knowledge on the part of the members (at least in my ward) or lack of interest. Just try sharing a belief that not everything in the bible is literal and see how that goes over. Perpetuating LDS doctrinal and historical myths though, now that is done weekly.

You can't really have any in-depth conversation with priesthood leaders, at least in my experience, again, lack of understanding, lack of training, lack of time, and, seriously, the risk to your membership status for just discussing things or for having an alternate view.

A controversial issue gets shut down immediately. We are pretty much restricted to replaying the same banal repetitions. That's what seems to make people feel comfortable, although I would suggest that just because something said is familiar and comfortable does not make it the 'spirit' you are feeling.

Last Sunday in Gospel Doctrine, we had a member in our ward who suffers from mental illness say that her challenge is to stay alive in this life, and PEOPLE LAUGHED. They thought it was a joke. She cried through the whole of sacrament meeting.

Thanks so much to staylds! It is a bastion of reason for me!

User avatar
Tom Haws
Posts: 1245
Joined: 13 Jan 2009, 06:57
Location: Gilbert, Arizona, USA
Contact:

Re: The Good Impact of StayLDS

Post by Tom Haws » 11 Jan 2011, 22:16

I value this community for that too. And whodathunk we who don't really care whether we activate anybody (all we are trying to do is survive and grow and love each other) might end up being the activation catalyst for many?
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7336
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: The Good Impact of StayLDS

Post by SilentDawning » 11 Jan 2011, 23:37

Tom Haws wrote:I value this community for that too. And whodathunk we who don't really care whether we activate anybody (all we are trying to do is survive and grow and love each other) might end up being the activation catalyst for many?
I had the same thought -- an eternal principle that I've often thought about is that as soon as you stop wanting something, you often start receiving it.

It's one reason I think activation never worked very well in face to face Wards. To truly activate someone, I think there needs to be an investment in them -- time spent, listening, sharing, being their friend. To have influence, they have to know that your commitment to them transcends their activity in the Church.

Too often activation efforts on the ground are hit and run attempts to get the person to come back to Church. There are sometimes number pressures which muddy the waters and affect the purity of motives. And when the person doesn't respond immediately, we tend to move on, without ever showing long-term commitment.

In an online forum you have many, more frequent interactions with other people, and cut right to the chase of their issues. The lack of face-to-face experience actually increases trust, surprisingly. I'm also surprised how quickly and accurately you can actually get to know someone's character without ever meeting them in an online forum. People in other forums have cited my strengths and weaknesses (ouch) at times they have been dead-on.

This flies a bit in the face of Bednar's talk a while ago about how you need your body to have realistic interactions with others, but I'm not so sure. I never see Heavenly Father but I believe I understand his character pretty well. I have a close friend in a foreign country I haven't seen in 6 years, but we talk weekly -- the communion of our personalities on the phone is enough.

In fact, I'm glad we have taken the bodies right out of the online interaction -- by focusing only on what people say, or think, biases born out of body-type stereotypes, or the implied wealth and status of their appearance/possessions disappear. It's truly more of a spiritual interaction, where we react to the quality of the person's ideas and character and not their temporal existence.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- 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."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Post Reply