What would you want me to tell your bishopric?

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mercyngrace
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Re: What would you want me to tell your bishopric?

Post by mercyngrace » 28 May 2014, 10:30

Dark Jedi,

For me, please consider telling them:

(1) I'm a person not a project. I don't need to be saved (by any human), I need to be loved. Just love me.

(2) The key word is Empathy not sympathy. I don't need you to feel sorry for me. I need you to put yourself in my shoes.

(3) Stop pretending like checking the church boxes will make life wonderful. When reality kicks in and life gets inexplicably hard, we just end up feeling like failures. Don't give me formulas for fixing things or pontificate bad theodicy. Just sit with me in my grief and frustration until I'm ready to move on.

(4) Don't be an apologist for the church or feel like you need to defend God. You don't have to explain or defend anything. You just have to listen.

(5) If you can't honestly look in the mirror and feel like you are ready to be the person described above, humble and heal yourself before knocking on my door because you might end up doing more harm than good.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

Roadrunner
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Re: What would you want me to tell your bishopric?

Post by Roadrunner » 28 May 2014, 12:24

* Just because someone leaves the church doesn't mean they are sinning in a major way or are addicted to pornography
* There's a huge difference between doctrine and tradition, and most things are tradition
* It's not the bishop's job to be an expert in doctrine, leave that to the individual members

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Forgotten_Charity
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Re: What would you want me to tell your bishopric?

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 28 May 2014, 12:26

This------->
mercyngrace wrote:Dark Jedi,

For me, please consider telling them:

(1) I'm a person not a project. I don't need to be saved (by any human), I need to be loved. Just love me.

(2) The key word is Empathy not sympathy. I don't need you to feel sorry for me. I need you to put yourself in my shoes.

(3) Stop pretending like checking the church boxes will make life wonderful. When reality kicks in and life gets inexplicably hard, we just end up feeling like failures. Don't give me formulas for fixing things or pontificate bad theodicy. Just sit with me in my grief and frustration until I'm ready to move on.

(4) Don't be an apologist for the church or feel like you need to defend God. You don't have to explain or defend anything. You just have to listen.

(5) If you can't honestly look in the mirror and feel like you are ready to be the person described above, humble and heal yourself before knocking on my door because you might end up doing more harm than good.
Keyword here is empathy. The good news is that physiologist have learned that it can be learned or self trained.
It just requires experience and willingness and practice to put ourself into others shoes. The more a person does it the better the brain exercises it.

There's a problem though. If a person is steeped in tradition that is counter intuitive to empathy by nature you don't experience or practice putting yourself into tradition or orthodoxy that isn't yours. Why, because it's threatening, security and social status and placement and briefs are threatened.

That's the rub, to find members who have practiced and experienced empathy. It's the hardest thing to do when a person is steeped in orthodoxy and tradition because it's so linked to the feeling of security and the feeling of safety and beliefs to get the security and safety.

The problem with NF and NT(not that it's a real problem) as far as the church is concerned is that it fits a category of people that are not readily wanting to be just like when we were children, dependent upon parents whose rules we followed in exchange for love, safety and Oreos, we now trade our obedience and autonomy for a feeling of security, certainty. It doesn't translate well to NF and NT. Mostly because NT realize that the works and universe is a works of uncertainty. NF try to make the world a safer place I light of uncertainty and problems a partial embracing of uncertainty while trying to counteract it and the uncertain bad things that can happen no matter what rules, rituals or obedience you follow. But NT fully acknowledge there can be no promise of certainty, it's just all an illusion for them and thatching change with testimony, the evidence is just to overwhelming for them to ignore. Even for Oreos. :D

Many can go forward with some type of faith, but certainty and promises or rewards do not factor in, or at least nearly as much.

Or most importantly, the service value I go by---
Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you
― Mother Teresa
I think she set an example there, where we miss the mark usually in church.

Last of all I just wanted to say thank you DJ. Really. I know it is not easy being in this position. I appreciate the courage it takes to stand for what you believe in even if it's not easy.
Last edited by Forgotten_Charity on 29 May 2014, 10:58, edited 2 times in total.

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mom3
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Re: What would you want me to tell your bishopric?

Post by mom3 » 28 May 2014, 19:18

I second all the great suggestions here. I spent the day thinking how I would present the information, because I would be addressing an entrenched group I would begin by discussing Christs instructions in 3 Nephi 18. There are particular verses about not everyone needs to be a believer to attend or participate in the worship service. Then I would use the recent BYU article about Doubt, and the Ensign or LDS living article on the same issue. From there I would explain the specifics.

DJ - I am not suggesting you do this, I just needed to put it out into the ether for my own brain. If I didn't let it out I'd explode. DJ - Thank you for doing this for all of us. You have my prayers and good thoughts for success.
"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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NewLight
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Re: What would you want me to tell your bishopric?

Post by NewLight » 29 May 2014, 04:39

DJ,

I've been following your recent posts lately about the calling and role that you have been given -- how awesome that your stake president recognizes that need for this! That is so COOL!! Reading through your posts the last six months or so when I joined this forum, I must also say they have the right person for the job. You were one of the first who welcomed me here and helped me know that I wasn't a freak for having the experiences and thoughts I was having.

There's already been much good advice posted here from people who know, so I feel I have little to add. Still, I'll put in a plug for two things that I wish people would do that you might convey to ward leadership. The first is simply to listen to us without immediately going into "fix it" mode. Our thoughts and feelings ARE valid and need to be understood with empathy. The second is to embrace diversity and I think the talks given by Elder Uchtdorf recently point out that there is a place for all. The church is not/should not be "The Borg" (Star Trek Next Generation reference) where we assimilate people into the collective, but rather try to honor and respect all.

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Tim
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What would you want me to tell your bishopric?

Post by Tim » 29 May 2014, 07:18

You could use the scriptures from the story of Job. When he is going through this horrible experience and his heart must have been aching, what do his real friends do? They go and sit with him in silence without judging him or criticizing him. Nothing they say will make it better. So they just support him by just being there.

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DarkJedi
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Re: What would you want me to tell your bishopric?

Post by DarkJedi » 29 May 2014, 13:38

I really do appreciate your comments here, and I look forward to meeting with a bishopric this weekend. Please understand that it is their meeting to which I am an invited guest, and in the interest of preserving my position and being able to do more good for longer, I simply can't share some of the more radical ideas or things that apply to the church in general and are beyond the control of the local leadership, even when I agree with them. I'm really hearing the following here, and this is what I will try to share:
1. Listen
2. Don't judge
3. Listen
4. Don't preach/testify/call to repentance
5. Listen
6. Don't try to "fix" them
7. Listen
8. Don't make them a project
9. Listen
10. Don't assign friends (but be one)
11. Listen
12. Most of all, listen
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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DarkJedi
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Re: What would you want me to tell your bishopric?

Post by DarkJedi » 29 May 2014, 13:40

Tim wrote:You could use the scriptures from the story of Job. When he is going through this horrible experience and his heart must have been aching, what do his real friends do? They go and sit with him in silence without judging him or criticizing him. Nothing they say will make it better. So they just support him by just being there.
Good idea, Tim, thanks. I see the story of Job as purely fictional, but the message is good and Mormons like scripture.
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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Curt Sunshine
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Re: What would you want me to tell your bishopric?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 29 May 2014, 17:17

Yes, excellent suggestion, Tim.
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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wayfarer
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Re: What would you want me to tell your bishopric?

Post by wayfarer » 29 May 2014, 18:16

This probably won't work, but it's worth a try:

What if we consider that a person who has come to question or even reject his or her literal faith is someone who has progressed to a higher spiritual plane than those who require literalism?

Alma 12:9 suggests that the Church teaches "the lesser portion of His word". Jesus taught in parables and metaphors, and to the audience of the Gospel of John, literalism was a live and well. Literalism is the "milk". At some point, we outgrow it, and realize that universal, unconditional love is far more important than believing in some literal aspect of church history or doctrine.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
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