All or nothing?

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QuestionAbound
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All or nothing?

Post by QuestionAbound » 09 Jun 2013, 13:16

So....
I'm in the middle of a faith crisis, but nearing resolution.
I have a question for those who have been down this road.
It seems that so many people on these boards say, "We can pick and choose what we want to believe."
Someone suggested that JS restored the church, but that it quickly fell apart and that when the Savior comes again, He will have to put things in order for the last time.

First...if we start picking and choosing what to believe (or even who to believe), then we don't have much of a religion, do we? I mean, golly, the more we start taking it apart, the less we end up with. As an aside, I think this applies to anything in life...I can pick my marriage apart to the point that I have little left and want to leave...I can pick the government apart to the point that I know no allegiance. How can one go down that road...picking things apart, and still come out okay?

Second, if the Savior restored His gospel...and He knew that in just a few decades, it would be corrupt, why wouldn't He have put more "safeguards" into place? I mean, it seems so silly to restore something...expect it to last hundreds of years...but then see it fall apart shortly after restoration. Yes, yes, I know that happened with the Jews. Such a short-lived time of truth. It doesn't make sense to me. Anyone?

I guess...it really IS all or nothing.

Am I wrong?

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Origami
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All or nothing?

Post by Origami » 09 Jun 2013, 16:22

This is from the Daily Quotes Post Mackay11 started.

quote="mackay11"]This is a good one from B.H. Roberts:
“While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is established for the instruction of men; and it is one of God’s instrumentalities for making known the truth yet he is not limited to that institution for such purposes, neither in time nor place. God raises up wise men and prophets here and there among all the children of men, of their own tongue and nationality, speaking to them through means that they can comprehend. … All the great teachers are servants of God; among all nations and in all ages. They are inspired men, appointed to instruct God’s children according to the conditions in the midst of which he finds them.”
http://www.lds.org/ensign/2000/08/a-lat ... d?lang=eng[/quote]

I believe the answer is that there are many paths to God. I don't believe this church is the only path. That just doesn't pass the common sense test for me for many reasons. It works for some as prescribed, but not all.

I'm allowing my conscience to be my guide as I purposefully make choices to live my life in a way that I hope is pleasing to God and that brings me happiness. I don't believe that God is the author of confusion. That gets added by well intentioned people in many religions including ours and that part just doesn't work for me anymore.

church0333
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Re: All or nothing?

Post by church0333 » 09 Jun 2013, 19:42

For me the all or nothing approach doesn't work very well because I have not found anything that falls in the all category. Like to said, government doesn't do it, marriage either, and as long as mankind is involved nothing is going to pass the smell test 100% of the time. I don't know if JS got any of it right any more but it is where I landed and my friends and family are all part of this so what options do I have. I need to make this work for me and for them until I find something better and so far this is the best that fits my situation. I gave a HC talk today and it was my normal shpill about having doubts and we need to be less judgemental and we all don't believe all the same etc and afterward I received many thanks for my words and the branch president joked and asked me to come back next week a give another talk like that. Another lady brought her adult daughter who I could tell did not want to be there but after the meeting she came up to me and said how much she liked my talk and she had started attending church after a 20 year break. She said she was surprised it could say some of the things that I did, that I expressed so doubts about some of the practices of the church and said that we don't have to accept what we hear at church and that we to find out for ourselves. I told her that I thought that the church is changing and that if we want it to change we need to speak up. She said she felt that women issues have improved and I told her to keep pushing for the changes she wants. This month's reaction makes up for last month.

Back to the op. you are not wrong but what are you going to do now? Wait for the second coming? Or try to make your current situation better now?

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Orson
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Re: All or nothing?

Post by Orson » 10 Jun 2013, 08:51

QuestionAbound wrote: It seems that so many people on these boards say, "We can pick and choose what we want to believe."
I think we believe what we believe, we can try to deny it but I don't think we can simply choose to change it significantly. What I hear along the "buffet" talk is we can choose to focus on what works for us, we can enjoy what we see as good and don't focus on the rest.

QuestionAbound wrote: As an aside, I think this applies to anything in life...I can pick my marriage apart to the point that I have little left and want to leave...I can pick the government apart to the point that I know no allegiance. How can one go down that road...picking things apart, and still come out okay?
I think you are right about that, and that is a main reason I think it is more helpful to focus on the good and try to ignore what doesn't work for us.
QuestionAbound wrote:Second, if the Savior restored His gospel...and He knew that in just a few decades, it would be corrupt, why wouldn't He have put more "safeguards" into place? I mean, it seems so silly to restore something...expect it to last hundreds of years...but then see it fall apart shortly after restoration.
I guess I see it more as a restoration in process. I don't think it was ever complete or perfect and then fell apart. I think the "original" limitations and imperfections come to light over time, and allow for improvement or change which is a part of the original and ongoing "restoration" process.
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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.

Roy
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Re: All or nothing?

Post by Roy » 10 Jun 2013, 09:26

church0333 wrote:For me the all or nothing approach doesn't work very well because I have not found anything that falls in the all category.
I agree. What does "All" constitute? Is it every word that has ever been spoken from the mouths of holy men? Even if we are only talking about what words we have written down, it would be too much. The directions are at times entirely too specific (would God really want us to codify thousands of little rules) and at other times are contradictory.

My life experience up to this point tells me that it cannot "All" be true/accurate/historical/inerrant/perfect - is the only alternative for me really that "nothing" is right? Is it Mormonism or Atheism? Must I renounce everything? Or must I pretend to believe things that don't make any sense to me just to hold on to things that add meaning to my life?

Why would anyone else try to push me into such a quandry? What does that say about them and their perspective?
"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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Shawn
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Re: All or nothing?

Post by Shawn » 10 Jun 2013, 14:36

QuestionAbound wrote:It seems that so many people on these boards say, "We can pick and choose what we want to believe."
Someone suggested that JS restored the church, but that it quickly fell apart and that when the Savior comes again, He will have to put things in order for the last time.

First...if we start picking and choosing what to believe (or even who to believe), then we don't have much of a religion, do we? I mean, golly, the more we start taking it apart, the less we end up with.
I think you are not referring to anything I wrote, but I recently posted this:
I wrote:I think Jesus gave the blueprint for His church to Joseph Smith and granted him authority to build it. Joseph and those who came after him have attempted to build it. Because we are all human, the church has not been built to exact specifications, but the contract with the Lord is still in force. A lot of things than have been taught by leaders are not true.
For what it's worth, maybe it could be looked at as an "all or nothing" proposal in that we can take all of what is true and reject the rest. While I wrote "A lot of things than have been taught by leaders are not true," I believe there is more that is true and we are left with a lot of religion after picking through it. This leaves us in the same boat, though - we still have to pick and choose what is true.
Second, if the Savior restored His gospel...and He knew that in just a few decades, it would be corrupt, why wouldn't He have put more "safeguards" into place? I mean, it seems so silly to restore something...expect it to last hundreds of years...but then see it fall apart shortly after restoration.

I don't see it as a sitution where the gospel was perfectly restored in its fulness and then it was corrupted in a short time. Rather, the gospel has been restored in steps, with imperfect people bungling it here and there. Even with safeguards in place, there will be some level of corruption as long as people are involved, but this can still be the church of Christ - the contract with the Lord is still in force.

Despite the mistakes of mortals, we can embrace the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ - the Gospel of repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Gospel itself gives us the key to determining what is the Gospel truth: the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is how I see it.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: All or nothing?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Jun 2013, 15:53

Everyone, and I mean everyone on this planet, picks and chooses what they want from the religion they accept - or from philosophies, if they are atheist. Even the most hardcore, conservative, traditional, orthodox members of the LDS Church do it - as is proven every time they ignore the handbook or don't accept an announcement from the Church or a statement by an apostle. Everybody does it. Period.

Therefore, the key is accepting and owning what we pick and choose - and knowing why we do it the way we do it.

What kind of religion do we have if we can pick and choose?

One that is complicated and expansive enough to allow us true agency and the ability to pick and choose from multiple options. One I want, not some simple, bare-boned pablum.
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
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Re: All or nothing?

Post by Roy » 11 Jun 2013, 10:20

Shawn wrote:I don't see it as a situation where the gospel was perfectly restored in its fulness and then it was corrupted in a short time. Rather, the gospel has been restored in steps, with imperfect people bungling it here and there. Even with safeguards in place, there will be some level of corruption as long as people are involved, but this can still be the church of Christ - the contract with the Lord is still in force.
Elder Holland wrote:Brothers and sisters, this is a divine work in process, with the manifestations and blessings of it abounding in every direction, so please don’t hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood, and resolved. They do and they will. In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith.
So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. And when you see imperfection, remember that the limitation is not in the divinity of the work. As one gifted writer has suggested, when the infinite fulness is poured forth, it is not the oil’s fault if there is some loss because finite vessels can’t quite contain it all. Those finite vessels include you and me, so be patient and kind and forgiving.
http://www.lds.org/general-conference/p ... e?lang=eng

I was first introduced to this concept through a college professor of my older sister's. She taught that the church is like earthen/clay vessels. They contain the living water but they are not the living water. They are repositories. This college professor was later excommunicated as part of the September 6 for being an editor for a book that contained a selection of feminist Mormon essays. The church has come a long way since then. Sometimes today's heresy is tomorrow's GC address. ;)
"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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Kumahito
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Re: All or nothing?

Post by Kumahito » 11 Jun 2013, 18:21

Mate, I don't think I'm picking and choosing what to believe and what not to believe based on convenience. I accept, believe and draw comfort from those principles of the Gospel that my heart and mind tell me are true. In that regard I think I'm doing exactly what Moroni 10:3-5 would suggest, and exactly what JS would tell me to do were he her - I take the doctrines of the Gospel, I ponder them, and analyze how they make me feel. If they make my heart feel good and satisfy my mind, I take them on board. If they don't, I discard them.
"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."
- Oscar Wilde

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SilentDawning
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Re: All or nothing?

Post by SilentDawning » 11 Jun 2013, 21:27

I like what Ray said. Everyone, in any organization, has their own areas of emphasis. Everyone is at different levels too. After I was baptized, I had a terrible time with JS. I was going off general spiritual feelings I should join the church and really did not have a testimony of JS at all. Even up until my faith crisis, the idea of geneology and going to the temple did not really excite me after all the initial hype wore off.

Yet I functioned as a leader for many decades.

Just teach the parts you can teach with integrity. You can word things in such a way that you don't offend people.
"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

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