What's the difference between NOM and StayLDS?

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
Brian Johnston
Site Admin
Posts: 3500
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 06:17
Location: Washington DC

What's the difference between NOM and StayLDS?

Post by Brian Johnston » 21 Nov 2008, 14:59

Someone personally asked me this very good question. I thought I would open up a discussion about it.

Here is my response. Please note, this is just my personal view. I am not the only person driving the ship here at StayLDS. This how I see StayLDS.com

**********************************************************************************************************************
Yeah. StayLDS might on the surface look a lot like NOM. I don't want StayLDS to serve the same purpose though. I really think NOM fills a tremendously valuable service to the faith community. I don't want to compete head-to-head with NOM. It's also why I have hesitated to talk about it or advertise it on NOM. This site is very new, and we are slowly working on the structure and mission of the community.

I see NOM as an elevated landing place for people who have fallen of the cliff in a crisis of faith. People fall flat on their face, and it hurts sooooo bad inside. When that bubble bursts, people’s whole meaning just crumbles. It’s terribly traumatic. NOM is a softer landing spot. NOM does that really really good. I have so much respect for the natural community leaders in NOM that soften that blow in post after post. It's so important that NOM be there for people.

NOM, to me, serves the community of people who don't believe in the Church anymore, *BUT* have to stay engaged in a positive way with the Mormon community for various reasons (family, job, social, etc.). The bottom line though is that NOM is not a community of believers, not deep down. That’s fine. It’s a real community. I am not judging that position (good/evil), but that is what I see. That is what I experience at NOM. There is an upper limit to religiosity and belief that is embraced and tolerated. There is also a lower limit of anger and vitriol that is tolerated at NOM. Dathon and the crew do a fantastic job of managing that range. But in the end, there is only so much "true belief" that is tolerated and embraced.

My vision of StayLDS is to position it in a place different than NOM in the faith spectrum of Mormonism. StayLDS will be a community of people who have spent a good deal of time being angry and disillusioned perhaps, or maybe they just didn’t get hurt as hard when the bubble burst. There are many possibilities. The most important difference between NOM and StayLDS is that StayLDS will focus on supporting people who want to rebuild a new faith in the LDS Church. It will not be like FAIR – trying to shove people back into the old way. There’s no going backwards, but there’s a growing community of people who are wandering out of the dark night of the soul that decide to re-integrate back into Mormonism in a new way.

NOM = people who want/need to stay positively engaged with the Church, but don’t believe anymore.

StayLDS = people who lost faith, but want to believe again in the LDS Church

I hate to call it a step up, because that implies superiority. Maybe think of it as a left/right spectrum? I don’t know. It is a different community of people.

Why not broaden the tent at NOM and include these people? I don’t think the two communities share the same goal. I also don’t think all the people in the two communities can cohabitate on the internet peacefully and productively. The more believing people on StayLDS will not be comfortable with the fresh and angry people on NOM.

Oh. One last step. It’s my intention to cultivate production of new interviews and essays like at the old MormonStories site
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16764
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: What's the difference between NOM and StayLDS?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 22 Nov 2008, 07:16

That's my vision and hope for this site, as well.

I know there is a place for those who have been exposed to all of the "issues" but remain faithful anyway, and I want to be able to contribute to that community. I respect what NOM does, and I am so glad it is available, but it's not for me. At the core, I am a faithful Mormon who wants association with the Church AND deeper understanding of and appreciation for the theology. I want to maintain and develop my testimony in full light of the issues, and I have found my testimony strengthened as I have addressed the issues.

I want that to continue, and I hope this is the place - so to speak.
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
hawkgrrrl
Site Admin
Posts: 3530
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 16:27

Re: What's the difference between NOM and StayLDS?

Post by hawkgrrrl » 22 Nov 2008, 10:40

I agree with Ray's perspective on this one. I think we can grow stronger as we try to understand all the theology including things we misunderstood previously.

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

Re: What's the difference between NOM and StayLDS?

Post by Orson » 23 Nov 2008, 19:43

Valoel, I agree with your entire post and I think you've hit it pretty square on the head.
Valoel wrote: NOM = people who want/need to stay positively engaged with the Church, but don’t believe anymore.

StayLDS = people who lost faith, but want to believe again in the LDS Church
A year ago I would not have understood this mission - people who have lost faith that "want to believe again". I would have thought "they want to fool themselves?" or something similar. I like how you stated "people who want to rebuild a NEW faith in the LDS church." It's true, there is no going backwards in life - we cannot rewind the clock. In life we move forward from where we are. I see this "new" faith as personal and unique to each individual. Some may feel they can reintegrate into the LDS community practically as seamlessly as 'before'. Others may not. I, like you see the common thread through StayLDS as a desire to be CONNECTED to the church in a way that goes beyond physical presence. It includes some sort of personal/spiritual benefit from participation. I think a desire for growth is the key, and the willingness to be open. A few sayings come to mind:

It is better to be good than to be right (so often we want to feel 'right', that WE are the ones that KNOW what the truth really is).
Becoming is more important than Doing.
Love IS the law.

Thanks for a great thread, I look forward to more of the structure here coming to light!
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.

cjonesy108
Posts: 10
Joined: 18 Nov 2008, 19:56

Re: What's the difference between NOM and StayLDS?

Post by cjonesy108 » 23 Nov 2008, 20:12

I think those missions are well articulated...for me, someone who is on the fence, I'm going to be trying to be a part of both -- so my apologies in advance if I don't toe the line as well as I should.

I'm still falling off the cliff, and am not quite sure how I will land.

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

Re: What's the difference between NOM and StayLDS?

Post by Orson » 24 Nov 2008, 11:31

cjonesy108 wrote:I'm still falling off the cliff, and am not quite sure how I will land.
Welcome cjonesy108! I hope you'll feel at home around here, and stick around to get a better feel for things as we develop. I appreciate your efforts to co-exist at both communities, I personally think both can be helpful to anyone in a crisis state - the wider you can open your viewfinder at the moment the better off you'll be in the future.

Please feel free to post away on whatever thoughts or questions are relevant to you at the moment!
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.

User avatar
Brian Johnston
Site Admin
Posts: 3500
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 06:17
Location: Washington DC

Re: What's the difference between NOM and StayLDS?

Post by Brian Johnston » 24 Nov 2008, 13:27

People don't have to chose to be in only one community. I participate a little at NOM too when I have the time. I encourage everyone to pull from any source that helps them build faith and sort out their thoughts. I also encourage everyone to provide help to others when they can.

Maybe some days we need to be at NOM or even a place like ExMo or FLAK. Those last two are exceptional places to explore and express hurt and disappointment.

We're trying to build faith back up here at StayLDS. It's ok to talk about the Church being divinely inspired even with the flaws here. You probably will not receive as much support for that at other places that are open about the controversies.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16764
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: What's the difference between NOM and StayLDS?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 24 Nov 2008, 20:31

Fwiw, I comment at a number of very different sites (no surprise there - *grin*), and I spend more time on one or another sometimes depending on my mood. I want this site to take more and more of my blogging time as it progresses, because I believe deeply in the core mission of dealing with "issues" and remaining faithful and active in the Church.

I understand intellectually the emotions that drive much of the discussion on NOM and Open Mormon and FLAK and other sites, but I just don't get anything out of most of the discussions (I don't learn anything from them) - and my contributions wouldn't be appreciated or accepted much due to assumptions about my faithfulness. I understand that, so I spend my commenting capital in places where I feel I can contribute in a meaningful way and also where I can learn from others.
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
Orson
Site Admin
Posts: 2252
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 14:44

Re: What's the difference between NOM and StayLDS?

Post by Orson » 25 Nov 2008, 09:45

I for one am glad to have you around Ray, I'm excited that you want to help fulfill the mission of StayLDS (SLDS?) I think you are perfectly suited for the position and can be looked to as a role model for many I'm sure.

I should say the same goes for the others around here. Valoel, I can see your time and dedication, I'm sure I'm not the only one that appreciates it. So many things are taken for granted in an online community. To all the other contributors/visitors - thanks for reading and posting!
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.

User avatar
Salo
Posts: 27
Joined: 24 Oct 2008, 17:23
Location: Tralfamadore

Re: What's the difference between NOM and StayLDS?

Post by Salo » 06 Dec 2008, 14:43

Valoel wrote:NOM = people who want/need to stay positively engaged with the Church, but don’t believe anymore.

StayLDS = people who lost faith, but want to believe again in the LDS Church
Valoel , I can't afford the therapy to tell the difference between these two motivations for staying :D ?
" when he hath tried me , I shall come forth as gold " Job 23:10

Post Reply