I'm not trying to look down on anyone and disrespect or criticize their decisions based on their sincere beliefs, I'm sorry if anything I said came across that way.
I appreciate that.
DevilsAdvocate wrote:A more accurate description of my point-of-view is that I feel sorry for some of these members that are making extreme sacrifices for the Church. Maybe they don't want any pity, but the reason I can't help feeling this way is mostly because I think many of them are making these choices based on limited information and/or under significant pressure from other members.
DA, we're ALL making choices based on limited information. I don't care if you read every book ever written on God, Jesus, Mormonism or whatever, what we know or believe is all based on limited info. You and I are no different than they. Everyone should pity everyone else.
DevilsAdvocate wrote:It would be easier for me to give the Church and other members the benefit of the doubt that they are doing all this because they really want to and honestly feel good about it if they had actually heard both sides of the story so they could make an informed decision but I doubt that is actually happening in most cases.
I could make a really crude comment about "informed decision(s)", but I'll refrain... Why do you suppose the first principle of the Gospel is faith? Should rationality be your guide, or personal experience?
DevilsAdvocate wrote:If the Church would tone it down with some of their claims and expectations or try to make sure people really understand what they are getting into and why then I would gladly stop criticizing their approach. However, as long as they only present whitewashed history then I'm not going to apologize for complaining about their demands for all this sacrifice because as far as I'm concerned this just isn't a very Christian or ethical way to treat people.
I *do* wish we could switch the Sunday meetings from being devotional only to being educational and a few other things, including some devotional time. I even regret that we don't do 'practice hymns' anymore...
DevilsAdvocate wrote:For example, what happens when the typical TBM that goes on a mission, gets married in the temple, faithfully pays tithing, doesn't turn down callings, etc. for half their life stumbles on some anti-Mormon propaganda on the internet and loses faith in the Church? Many of them will inevitably feel like victims and will be bitter toward the Church because of all this time, money, and effort they've invested in it. That's why I recommend saying no to the Church if you don't feel good about something to anyone that will listen, not just for their own sake but hopefully to send the message that enough is enough and maybe help the Church gradually move toward some positive changes.
Preachin' to the choir, chief!
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus