Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

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On Own Now
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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by On Own Now » 24 May 2014, 09:15

BlueFalconX250 wrote:As for why it's hard: Because many members do not know or study their religion. They may read the scriptures, but they do not study the doctrine or gospel. They say and claim things as doctrine that are tradition but not true or right. It's exhausting to hear people talking about things they do not know. Many of the "beliefs" I hear professed on Sunday are not doctrine and/or may perpetuate some of the problems I have with the people and commonly held beliefs of the "church." I tend to think the teachings of the church is true, but the practice is where people fail. That makes it hard for me. That is not to mention the blind faith people have. I am an academic by profession and know the benefit in a healthy dose of skepticism. I believe people should study and find and learn, not hear from a pulpit and spew back as Truth. I StayLDS because I find it comforting to believe in a god and church helps me build a good relationship with him.
BlueFalconX250,

Welcome. I see that this is your first post, and I look forward to hearing your voice here as well.

I do want to comment on what you said, because I think it's important to get a handle on it. We've all been there to some degree or another. Since coming to StayLDS, I've been able to get to a much better position (for me) with regards to how I see other people in the Church. I've come to realize that it doesn't affect me if somebody else believes or practices differently from me. There are some things that people do and say that get under my skin, of course, but I think it's a great course of action not to project ourselves onto others and then get frustrated with them when they don't approach the Church/Gospel the way we would. After all, most every member of the Church could have written your last sentence.

Ultimately, our desire for Church members to stop being the way they are will go unfulfilled. So, then what? Do we extricate ourselves from the Church because of others? God forbid. I believe that people like us can slowly make an impact on the culture of the Church, but only if we are as willing to accept them as we hope they are to accept us.
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
- - -
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
- - -

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 24 May 2014, 10:41

It's my church as much as it is anyone else's church - no matter their position in it.

It's not hard anymore, since I had to accept that I am different a LONG time ago and have been carving out my own unique place as an active member for decades. Seriously, I've been at it for at least 40 years.

Time and patience help a lot.
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

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mackay11
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Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by mackay11 » 25 May 2014, 04:36

I stay mainly for family and friendship reasons.

My wife stopped attending 3.5 years ago. I still take the kids.

Over the last year or two I've transitioned from being a Mormon absolutist to a Mormon Universalist. I am moving closer to being a Universalist who worships with Mormons.

I don't believe out church is more true or has more authority than lots of other churches, faiths and traditions. I do not believe Mormon ordinances (in this life or the next) to be the only route to godliness or our greatest potential.

I have a belief in God that has been shaped by my Mormon upbringing and spiritual experience. As such, I still feel most comfortable when worshipping with other Mormons. They're my tribe.

While a few "in real life" friends and family know the full extent of my faith transition, most don't. I accept that in an absolutist group like Mormons, there are some things that are best not said.

I find it difficult sometimes to be in that absolutist environment. Sometimes it the narrowness of the perspectives creates a squeezed space to be.

I try to remind myself, in the spirit of Universalism, that some people work best when they have the conviction of certainty and being absolutely right. I try to not begrudge them that need and hope that, over time, the church as an organisation will become more accepting and comfortable with the uncertainty and ambiguity that I have.

Will I always stay LDS? I hope so, but I consider it quite unlikely.

keepswimmin
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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by keepswimmin » 25 May 2014, 05:33

There are some awesome answers here!!

The reason I stay is because I find comofort, I was born into the church and its something I recognize from my childhood. I'm starting to grow my own opinion about the church now that I'm studying on my own and not trusting others for their testimony. I find that the LDS church teaches great morals and focuses a lot on challenging us to be better more kind versions of ourselves. There are some really honestly good people in the church and I admire that.

My struggles come from selfish things.. WoW and wearing temple garments. Atleast it started from those things.. I took the church VERY seriously at first and it put a lot of pressure on me. But the last few weeks I've been on a jourmey to find out what I truly believe. I don't agree we will only obtain salvation through temple ordinances, WoW, paying a full tithe, etc. I believe we all have different capabilities and I believe we will be individually judged based on that. I have a hard time understanding thr glorys of heaven and we will be placed where we are "comfortable"..... he is our Heavenly FATHER, why should we only feel "comfortable" if we have lived these mortal "guidelines"..? I get that if I continuously had affairs, lied, stole and murdered I would probably feel ashamed in his presence.. but I don't feel the smaller things will keep me out of his glory. I disagree with how I see so many "TBM" who live the guidelines to a T but then judge others for what they do wrong.. I think learning tolove others regardless of what they're lacking as CHRIST did is FAR more important than living the church standards.

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mom3
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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by mom3 » 25 May 2014, 10:36

This will probably sound cheesy - but it's true - I stay because I feel it's where Heavenly Father wants me right now. Whether that is the god within me or an external god, it's important that I remain.

The staying gets better especially when I put my ego aside and "try to be like Jesus."
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

shoshin
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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by shoshin » 27 May 2014, 15:21

Thanks for the additional replies. I'm slowly starting to "get" where people are on this site, including that many of you are in many different places. I've been a devout Mormon all my life, meaning I have gone to church and tried to live "the program." I did have a few years when I got burned out from work when the noise and crowds were too much for me and I did the minimum as far as church attendance. And I have certainly had "shocker" moments when learning about the gospel and church history, when my faith wavered.

I guess I'm a TBM, but these kinds of labels are new to me. True Believing Mormon, especially capitalized like that, sounds like someone who blindly follows and never questions and never had doubts. That's not me. I think if Mormonism is true then it can stand up to any and all questioning and scrutiny. It always has for me so far. And we certainly don't have all the answers. But I think the veil exists for a reason and many times faith is the most important thing.

Maybe I'll never one of you as far as variety belief, or orthodoxy (another term I dislike when applied to Mormonism). But it has been valuable to understand and learn. That's what life is, a school, I think. Hopefully I will be more understanding of my fellow church members who have travelled a path different from mine.

"[In this life there are really only] two things we can be good at - we can forgive and repent." - Hugh Nibley

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." - Matt. 22

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” - Isaiah 55

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On Own Now
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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by On Own Now » 27 May 2014, 15:34

shoshin wrote:I guess I'm a TBM, but these kinds of labels are new to me. True Believing Mormon, especially capitalized like that, sounds like someone who blindly follows and never questions and never had doubts. That's not me.
shoshin, FWIW, we've had discussions here in the past about whether "TBM" is a term we should really use or if it is too disparaging of others. For my part, I don't like to use it, and in fact, I don't think I've ever used it. I don't really like labels. I would hate for believing members to have label like that for people like me. And as you pointed out, your faith belongs to you and you have had different experiences from other believers, so it's not fair to put you in the same column as other Mormons who have had different experiences. The term "Mormon" should be way more than enough, and it includes you and me together.
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
- - -
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
- - -

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SilentDawning
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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by SilentDawning » 27 May 2014, 18:54

I want to stay because I did have spiritual feelings that led me to join, because it would kill my marriage if I totally quit, and my daughter is very engaged with the gospel.

Why is it so hard?

1. Boredom; tired of the repetition
2. Tired of the lack of critical thinking on Sunday.
3. Don't have any friends; can't be myself or my true thoughts will go straight to the Bishop and SP.
4. Don't feel like I'm part of the clan anymore.

Being in a different ward than our own doesn't help either.

Haven't been in about 3 weeks now and my family is getting mad at me, but it was because I was working on school assignments.

Good set of questions in the OP.
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by DarkJedi » 27 May 2014, 19:50

shoshin wrote:Thanks for the additional replies. I'm slowly starting to "get" where people are on this site, including that many of you are in many different places. I've been a devout Mormon all my life, meaning I have gone to church and tried to live "the program." I did have a few years when I got burned out from work when the noise and crowds were too much for me and I did the minimum as far as church attendance. And I have certainly had "shocker" moments when learning about the gospel and church history, when my faith wavered.

I guess I'm a TBM, but these kinds of labels are new to me. True Believing Mormon, especially capitalized like that, sounds like someone who blindly follows and never questions and never had doubts. That's not me. I think if Mormonism is true then it can stand up to any and all questioning and scrutiny. It always has for me so far. And we certainly don't have all the answers. But I think the veil exists for a reason and many times faith is the most important thing.

Maybe I'll never one of you as far as variety belief, or orthodoxy (another term I dislike when applied to Mormonism). But it has been valuable to understand and learn. That's what life is, a school, I think. Hopefully I will be more understanding of my fellow church members who have travelled a path different from mine.
I'm glad this is helpful for you, Shoshin. I like that you are participating here because I think sometimes we can get caught up in ourselves without the diversity of having the perspective of more believing members. That brings me to something else. I agree that it would be great if we didn't have titles like TBM or orthodox and it that wasn't a sort of us and them thing. Reality, though, seems to indicate that there really is an us and them at least to some extent. It is my hope that in the future that won't be the case. So, you said you don't really like being referred to as TBM and you don't like the term "orthodox" in relation to Mormonism. (Some of us use orthodox to avoid using TBM.) Being that there really is a group of us StayLDSers here (some of whom, but not all, also identify as New Order Mormon or NOM), and that there really are people who are more believing than us (probably the majority of active church members) how would you propose we identify ourselves and the more believing types?
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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mom3
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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by mom3 » 27 May 2014, 21:49

Shoshin - I too am glad your here. I am glad you are whatever you are. In the Spirituality Forum I referenced a quote from a BYU Professor. He is devout, dedicated, fully participatory and introduces himself as Zen or Buddhist Mormon.

Like you I had never heard of TBM, until faith crisis came along. Besides the TBM reference it was often common to read DH, DW for Dear Husband or Dear Wife. I found it offensive and complained to my husband, he began typing wife, my wife, spouse - sometimes even my name. Under DW I was a nobody. TBM can be the same and we do try hard not to use it often here.

For myself I would select either TPM - Traditional Practicing Member/Mormon - because that is accurate. Better yet - Christian Mormon because,in or out, that is what I hope to be.

I do hope you stay or pop in from time to time. You bring balance to our circle and help us think less selfishly.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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