EQ/RS Lessons

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
Roy
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Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by Roy » 01 Dec 2013, 16:48

richdunn wrote:When teaching, do you try and withhold bias? Do you try and teach to a presumed bias the class has? Here's an example from my first lesson: It was a tfot by Pres. Monson on faltering/finishing during a bout of suffering. My bias is that you can't judge someone if they lose their faith after a life shattering event such as the death of a child, or some other horrible thing. However, the lesson was all about the expectation that we keep our faith and use the event to make our faith stronger. I asked at one point if this was a fair expectation and got some wide eyes and a bewildered "YES!" from someone. I had questioned an apostle!
This is somewhat of my niche as far as my pet area of interist and study.

In both my personal experience and my studies, I am intrigued at the limitations of "choice" during extreme trauma. Your body seems to be equipped with subconscious response mechanisms. Even the initial state of shock is a protective mechanism that prevents the individual from being too overwhelmed with the new information all at once. Although there are some general patterns there is also great diversity in how these quasi-involuntary responses manifest. Most of these responses are considered normal and the individual would be advised to "go with" the response.

I feel like the concept of an "assumptive world collapse" applied well to me. In an assumptive world collapse as well as with grieving in general there are some healthy choices to be made, but there is also wisdom in listening to your body and your heart and not trying to force things.

I recently read a quote from Elder Holland:
In his address to Christian leaders, Elder Holland acknowledged the “risk associated with learning something new..... New insights always affect old perspectives, and thus some rethinking, rearranging, and restructuring of our worldviews is inevitable.”
This is true and I am overjoyed that he said it. But he also seems to be describing the type of minor imperceptible changes that happen organically and daily and that do not threaten the structure/foundation of the worldview itself.

Sometimes something happens that is so powerful as to callenge all previous assumptions.

As spokesmen for a particular brand of assumptive reality it is somewhat the job of Mormon church leaders to suggest that some assumptions should NEVER be challenged. I'm ok with that, I'm just somehwat aware that my experiences place me somwhat outside of the boundaries of their worldview.
"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

startpoor
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Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by startpoor » 01 Dec 2013, 17:38

nibbler wrote:
Ok, I admit I'm a bit curious... how did that subject come up in primary? :smile: I joined the church later in life so I missed out on primary and YM, is church history a subject that is taught to some of the older primary students?
Hehe, yeah, we taught church history all this year. My group was 10 and 11 and very bright. To be honest, there wasn't much in the manual that I had a problem with, except the perpetuation of myths surrounding our persecution.

nibbler wrote:Good luck with teaching out of the new manual. I took a quick peek at it online, skimming the chapter headings. Some look like they would provide a good forum for people in our position:
  • Our Search for Truth
  • Love and Concern for All Our Father’s Children
I'd encourage you to post up questions about specific upcoming lessons in the future because based on the chapter headings, some of them look like they would be difficult to give... at least for me.
Sounds interesting. I would love to put up a lesson thread for lessons I'm working on. My next lesson will be an interesting one, about the life and second coming of Jesus as taught by Lorenzo Snow. Not sure what angle to take yet.
Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

startpoor
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Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by startpoor » 01 Dec 2013, 17:42

SamBee wrote:A tip for you. In EQ we now put the chairs in a circle or split into groups, this is much better than rows behind rows in my experience.
Well, we hold EQ in the chapel so... :smile:

And there is a nice brother who sits in the front row asleep for the lesson.
Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

startpoor
Posts: 193
Joined: 22 Nov 2013, 13:43

Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by startpoor » 02 Dec 2013, 07:12

SamBee wrote:Oh dear! Don't the RLDS/CoC have their own series of Joseph Smiths too?
I know of JS III, perhaps there's more?
Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

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SilentDawning
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Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by SilentDawning » 02 Dec 2013, 07:20

Teach what you personally find interesting, that you think the people in the meeting will also consider interesting. Avoid teaching items that are controversial. If you want to make people think, ask questions but do not give unorthodox answer. Rely on videos, guest speakers, small group discussion for topics you can't avoid.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- 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."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

startpoor
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013, 13:43

Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by startpoor » 02 Dec 2013, 07:26

Roy wrote: This is somewhat of my niche as far as my pet area of interist and study.

In both my personal experience and my studies, I am intrigued at the limitations of "choice" during extreme trauma. Your body seems to be equipped with subconscious response mechanisms. Even the initial state of shock is a protective mechanism that prevents the individual from being too overwhelmed with the new information all at once. Although there are some general patterns there is also great diversity in how these quasi-involuntary responses manifest. Most of these responses are considered normal and the individual would be advised to "go with" the response.
Do you mean that to fight the initial shock response (keep an open mind) is somehow damaging/harmful for the person recieving the new information?
Roy wrote: I feel like the concept of an "assumptive world collapse" applied well to me. In an assumptive world collapse as well as with grieving in general there are some healthy choices to be made, but there is also wisdom in listening to your body and your heart and not trying to force things.
I see what you mean as far as grieving goes. And when the bottom falls out of one's world, that could naturally lead to grief and pain. But this seems to perpetuate the idea that denial and close-mindedness are things to be embraced for our very well-being.
Roy wrote: I recently read a quote from Elder Holland:
In his address to Christian leaders, Elder Holland acknowledged the “risk associated with learning something new..... New insights always affect old perspectives, and thus some rethinking, rearranging, and restructuring of our worldviews is inevitable.”
This is true and I am overjoyed that he said it. But he also seems to be describing the type of minor imperceptible changes that happen organically and daily and that do not threaten the structure/foundation of the worldview itself.

Sometimes something happens that is so powerful as to callenge all previous assumptions.

As spokesmen for a particular brand of assumptive reality it is somewhat the job of Mormon church leaders to suggest that some assumptions should NEVER be challenged. I'm ok with that, I'm just somehwat aware that my experiences place me somwhat outside of the boundaries of their worldview.
I guess I can't help but disagree with this. If the leadership tries its hardest to ensure that its members aren't questioning its assumptions, isn't that playing off the innate human self interest of denying that which challenges our worldview?
Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by Roy » 02 Dec 2013, 12:40

Perhaps I expressed myself poorly. What I mean to say is that I believe there are limitations our ability to choose how we react to certain major traumatic events (like the example given of the death of a child).

When I say shock, I don't mean people purposely ignoring the traumatic information. I mean a phenomenon where people become numb temporarily, they may not be able to process things, they may forget for periods that their loved one is dead before being reminded again. It is possible that this involuntary response is the body's way of slowing information processing to more manageable levels.
roy wrote:Although there are some general patterns there is also great diversity in how these quasi-involuntary responses manifest. Most of these responses are considered normal and the individual would be advised to "go with" the response.
Another example that has been reported is that people who have lost a baby have sometimes felt a need to dress up a baby size doll, cradle, and sleep with that doll. I don't believe that they are necessarily choosing to act in this way. More I believe that their body is manifesting a need to be nurturing and feel connected to their lost child. They can ignore this need but most of the time these sorts of odd behaviors by grieving people do give the individual some measure of comfort and the individual would be advised to "go with" the need/feeling.

So now I am going to change gears somewhat and talk about the assumptive world and assumptive world collapses.

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Everyone has assumptive worlds. The three most basic assumptions are that the world is good/just, that life has meaning, and that the individual is deserving or worthy. Without these assumptions there is pure nihilism. The world is just random occurrences, nobody and nothing matters.

These assumptions transcend religious belief, but religious belief may be built upon and reinforced by these assumptions. Mormonism in particular seems to be tied to these basic assumptions. Again, I believe that there are limitations in the choices we make in our assumptive realities. I don't just decide that the world is a generally good/just place, or that there is meaning in my life, or that I am worthy - any more than I decide that it is cold outside - these things are felt based upon our experiences.

As a person experiences a major traumatic event like the loss of a child they may experience an assumptive world collapse. This is an event so powerful that it alters one of these three basic assumptions. For me personally I came out on the side of severing the events of my life from my worthiness before God, IOW I sacrificed my assumption that the world is good/just in order to maintain that I am worthy and that life has meaning.

Again I don't think a person chooses to have their assumptive world collapse. I do not know why some events will trigger assumptive world collapses in some people but not in others but I am convinced that it is not based on choice.
roy wrote:In an assumptive world collapse as well as with grieving in general there are some healthy choices to be made, but there is also wisdom in listening to your body and your heart and not trying to force things.
I do not believe that I choose to sacrifice the assumption that the world is good/just. The decision was made below the conscious level. I believe that if I had tried to force an assumption that justice prevails and people get what they deserve then I might have had to sacrifice my own sense of worth. My psyche rejects that idea like my body might reject an organ transplant. Instead my psyche presented a path forward. It was radical and would change everything that I had believed about choice, free will, self determination, and justice but it would allow me to preserve a sense of meaning and worth. I honestly don't know how successful I could be at fighting this process, it would be a battle against myself - like cutting off my arm.

For me it was such a relief to stumble upon the concept of the assumptive world collapse. I had thought that I was just going crazy, that my whole world was shifting. I believe that my subconscious/psyche knew what it was doing even when my mind did not.

So I will now switch gears again to discuss how I see this interacting with the LDS leadership.
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Roy wrote:Sometimes something happens that is so powerful as to challenge all previous assumptions.
As spokesmen for a particular brand of assumptive reality it is somewhat the job of Mormon Church leaders to suggest that some assumptions should NEVER be challenged. I'm ok with that, I'm just somewhat aware that my experiences place me somewhat outside of the boundaries of their worldview.
I do not believe that many Mormon Church leaders are capable of understanding where I am coming from. They do not have the vocabulary or the flexibility within their own framework to frame my journey as I do. They frame me as “struggling” or “losing testimony” or “confused.” I try to present myself in as harmless a way as possible so that I am not labeled as apostate or wolf in sheep’s clothing.
I feel that my experience jarred me out of the boundaries or the common Mormon worldview. We used to be on the “same page” but now we are using different books.

My worthiness is no longer tied to my behavior. My life’s meaning is no longer to test my obedience. The good and the bad that happens in my life is no longer related to my being deserving/the hand of God. I am not striving for the carrot nor trying to avoid the stick. I am to them a conundrum.

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Now that I have broken it down further, I see that I jumped subjects several times without explaining my thought process. If you still disagree with me then I am open to that conversation but I suspect that most of the disagreement was due to miscommunication.
richdunn wrote:Here's an example from my first lesson: It was a tfot by Pres. Monson on faltering/finishing during a bout of suffering. My bias is that you can't judge someone if they lose their faith after a life shattering event such as the death of a child, or some other horrible thing. However, the lesson was all about the expectation that we keep our faith and use the event to make our faith stronger. I asked at one point if this was a fair expectation and got some wide eyes and a bewildered "YES!" from someone. I had questioned an apostle!
In summary, I do not think that Pres. Monson’s expectation in this scenario is fair given the severe limitations of choice in how one might react to a “life shattering event.”

Sorry for the tangent.
"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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SamBee
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Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by SamBee » 02 Dec 2013, 15:52

richdunn wrote:
SamBee wrote:A tip
for you. In EQ we now put the chairs in a circle or split into groups,
this is much better than rows behind rows in my experience.
Well, we hold EQ in the chapel so... :smile:

And there is a nice brother who sits in the front row asleep for the
lesson.
If you're anything like our ward, you'll change rooms often. But this is a far superior way of doing things.

And splitting into groups keeps folk active.
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."

startpoor
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Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by startpoor » 03 Dec 2013, 07:32

roy wrote:My worthiness is no longer tied to my behavior. My life’s meaning is no longer to test my obedience. The good and the bad that happens in my life is no longer related to my being deserving/the hand of God. I am not striving for the carrot nor trying to avoid the stick. I am to them a conundrum.


In summary, I do not think that Pres. Monson’s expectation in this scenario is fair given the severe limitations of choice in how one might react to a “life shattering event.”
Ok, I understand you now. Thanks for explaining on a more basic level. Regarding our reactions to new information, one may "falter" or one may "finish" according to Pres. Monson's vocabulary, which is based on assumptions, which are inherently beliefs we may not realize we have, and judge others according to those assumptions. So when the person in my class responds that "Yes, it is fair," it is probably because he shares those assumptions. Whereas to me, the words "falter" or "fail" hold completely different outcomes for me based on my assumptions, which might be something like, "people are worthy" rather than "life has meaning." To fail might be to fail to be productive, or take proper care of ones self, rather than to stop believing in God, or the Mormon church. Or perhaps I do believe that there is meaning in the death of a child, but mine is not the same as another's.

Switching gears somewhat--

Do you think there is a useful application regarding how someone responds to new information and how a teacher can deliver information that might challenge their assumptions? For example, it is generally acceptable to suggest that our leaders are imperfect men and prone to mistakes, but different to suggest that they might be bigots. Last Sunday however, that very thing was brought up by a member of the class regarding why the revelation that resulted in the blacks being given priesthood privilege took so long. The member suggested that it was because bigotry got into the leadership of the church. I don't know how people took it, but no one seemed bothered by it, maybe they couldn't hear it as it was told? Maybe they didn't think it applied to the leadership themselves? I thought it was a direct challenge to the trust we ought to have for the brethren, but that's because I already see it that way.
Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by Roy » 03 Dec 2013, 12:02

The joke is that "Catholics teach that the pope is infallibale, but nobody believes it. Mormons teach that the prophet IS fallable, but nobody believes it."

I think many people believe the priesthood revelation took so long because it happened exactly the way that God wanted it to.

Unfortunately some members have their testimonies built upon just such a precipice. Sometimes when they encounter contradictory information they get very defensive and sometimes they shatter - neither one are particularly good for maintaining the spiritual setting of church.

When I choose to take a stand at church it is almost always on being charitable and non-judgmental.
"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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