A little talk advice, please?

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Sheldon
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Re: A little talk advice, please?

Post by Sheldon » 14 Aug 2014, 12:10

Don’t back down with the “White Shirt” statement! That is the best part. Check your CHI, it is very specific that white shirts should NOT be made mandatory to pass the sacrament. That is your whole point. The CHI says one thing, yet our human nature is to take it one step farther. (see Pharisees as an example)

Probably why they’ve never called me to the HC, they are afraid of what I would say on my 3rd Sunday talks!.

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mercyngrace
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Re: A little talk advice, please?

Post by mercyngrace » 15 Aug 2014, 09:55

Roy wrote: As an aside - I don't believe the LDS model works well for broken people. They will always be lacking and insufficient. I believe the LDS model works best for people who are logical, goal oriented, "do-it-yourselfers" or at the very least are good at hiding their inadequacies.
Roy,

I don't accept the implication that there are anything but broken people. My experience convinces me that the ninety and nine are an imaginary flock, populated by either people we don't know well enough to see their flaws and secret heartaches or unrealistic self-portraits drawn by proud egos.

But I could be wrong...

A very broken MnG
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

Curt Sunshine
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Re: A little talk advice, please?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 15 Aug 2014, 15:03

The people I have seen personally for whom the LDS Church has worked best (as far as I can tell, with my limited ability and insight) are the broken who need to see real, powerful, glorious, uplifting potential in themselves and find it in the theology OR who need to feel accepted within a vibrant, active, purpose-filled community where they feel embraced and loved.

The people I have seen personally for whom the LDS Church has not worked the most obviously (as far as I can tell, with my limited ability and insight) are the broken who need help in specific ways the Church and the members around them are not able to give - OR those who don't recognize or understand their own brokenness and see themselves as the whole who need not a physician. The issue is that the second group always constitutes the piccolos (those whose voices are loud and piercing) - and numerous piccolos always will out-shout a handful of other instruments, unless they strive consciously to blend in and help create audibly harmonic songs.

The majority of the people I have seen personally for whom the LDS Church works just fine (as far as I can tell, with my limited ability and insight) are the broken who are normal in their brokenness.

I think the differentiating factor for most people I have known is the local congregation (including the stake), not the top, world-wide leadership. Most people who love their local congregations (including the stake) and who feel embraced, loved and valuable there find ways to deal with theological, historical or general issues that might drive them away otherwise.

That is the main reason I remain dedicated to attending my local congregation and supporting my fellow members. For MANY of them, there is no better alternative, and my influence in their lives might make the difference between happiness and more quiet, more difficult, more challenging sorrows of the heart.

Finally, just to emphasize something we tend to miss, the ninety-nine outnumber the one not just mathematically but naturally, as well - and it's pointless to complain about something that is a natural and mathematical given. It also is heartless to wish more people were among "the lost" just to even out the numbers a little more. I want to reach "the one", but I do NOT want to help cause that "one" to become two or five or ten.
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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mercyngrace
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Re: A little talk advice, please?

Post by mercyngrace » 15 Aug 2014, 18:42

Ray DeGraw wrote: Finally, just to emphasize something we tend to miss, the ninety-nine outnumber the one not just mathematically but naturally, as well - and it's pointless to complain about something that is a natural and mathematical given. It also is heartless to wish more people were among "the lost" just to even out the numbers a little more. I want to reach "the one", but I do NOT want to help cause that "one" to become two or five or ten.
This is where I disagree with the whole paradigm. I don't believe there is a ninety and nine. I think that was a construct Christ used to point out those who thought they were saved through their own merit. These parables were pointed in their delivery to prick the hearts of the murmuring Pharisees and Scribes.

Obviously we aren't all broken in the same way. Some are obviously broken while others hide their brokenness in a variety of ways, to include piety. But we all need to be rescued. Every last one of us. And I kind of feel like "church" isn't our rescuer (insofar as we are Christ's hands to rescue others) but the relationships we share can be. And I feel like relationships within a community of faith (or hope, or belief, or wishful thinking, depending on how you see it) can be profoundly useful in nurturing, nourishing, and helping one another mature spiritually.

I'm currently of a mind that a rigid church structure helps some, especially in the early stages of spiritual growth, but that it can also be very limiting, most often when we outgrow the space such rigidly defined parameters afford.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

Curt Sunshine
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Re: A little talk advice, please?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 15 Aug 2014, 21:22

I actually agree with everything you just wrote, mercyandgrace - but I also do believe the "lost" (which is what the "one" is described as being) are far fewer numerically and naturally than those who are not "lost". The majority of those who leave a group are not lost, imo; they simply leave the group and are numbered in and known by another group.

When I talk about not wanting to contribute to the one becoming more than one, I am talking specifically about those for whom there is not a good alternative - those who would become "lost" without their community but still would leave without support of any kind OR remain involved but be lost anyway. I feel for and try to help both of those groups - those who would become lost outside their community AND those who would become lost within it. I can't do much for those who leave, but I can try to help those who stay - especially those who attend my own ward (and stake, when I have a stake calling).

Frankly, that's the main reason I agreed to participate here originally and have continued to do so for the past six years.
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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DarkJedi
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Re: A little talk advice, please?

Post by DarkJedi » 16 Aug 2014, 05:13

Ray I just wanted to say that I appreciate this perspective. As I am putting the final touches on my talk, I have found this to be useful. There is a large section of the talk about our responsibility to find the lost sheep (or invite them to come unto Christ, as is the assigned topic), including comments by Pres. Monson and Pres. Uchtdorf. I appreciate your point of view that there is a difference between those who choose to separate themselves and those who are truly lost, and that it is sometimes hard to distinguish which is which but in some ways it doesn't matter. Another section of the talk is about small acts of kindness (asking about family, sincere compliments, etc.) really being the main part of loving our neighbors, and these two ideas are tied together. Thanks.
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."

My Introduction

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DarkJedi
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Re: A little talk advice, please?

Post by DarkJedi » 18 Aug 2014, 04:51

The talk went very well, two people came to me in tears afterwards and several others offered their thanks.

I began with bringing greetings from the stake president and told them how his regard for the one has rubbed off on me. I quoted Elders Bednar and Wirthlin from the March Ensign article "Ministering That Matters" and asserted that it is our responsibility to find the ones. I told them I had been a lost sheep and had been inactive but wasn't sinful, lazy or inactive and quoted Pres. Uchtdorf. I then told them we can't excuse ourselves from loving our neighbors because of any assumptions we may have about them even if there is some truth to them being lazy, sinful or offended, emphasizing "It is not that simple." I quoted Pres. Uchtdorf about questioning and doubt your doubts, told them I was one of the people he referred to, and that there are others sitting in the congregation who question and doubt and there were people not there because they question and doubt, and told them it is our place as members to make everyone welcome regardless of their beliefs. I admitted that I am not free of doubt and questions, but that I don't allow them to hold me prisoner anymore. I told them a core principal of the gospel is love God and love your neighbor, and that Pres. Monson speaks about this all the time and quoted from his talk last conference. I told them another core principle of the gospel is the testimony of Jesus Christ, quoting Joseph Smith and Elder Christofferson. I offered Pres. Uchtdorf's shoulds and should nots quote I gathered here (thank you) and then again quoted Pres. Uchtdorf about love being essential to all we do inside and outside the church, followed by two more Pres. Monson quotes about loving neighbors. I asserted that only through love can we invite others to come unto Christ (the topic of the talk). I told them about a candlelight vigil I had attended where the circle just got bigger as more people arrived and that the circle was all inclusive regardless of religion or no religion and said coming unto Christ is not an event, it's a process.I quoted Moroni 10:32-33 and quoted Gene R. Cook saying our motivation to love our neighbors must be divine and not because it's a calling or duty. I closed with 3 Nephi 9, Christ speaking in the darkness, asking them to try to put aside that literalness of that event and see it as symbolic - the Light of the World speaking in darkness, just as He does today.

Next month is a much more challenging topic for me - covenants. I anticipate asking your assistance again.
Last edited by DarkJedi on 18 Aug 2014, 06:26, edited 1 time in total.
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."

My Introduction

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SunbeltRed
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Re: A little talk advice, please?

Post by SunbeltRed » 18 Aug 2014, 06:20

Glad it went well!! Would have loved to hear it.

I don't think many were uplifted by my talk yesterday. I think I might post it later to get some feedback..

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Daeruin
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Re: A little talk advice, please?

Post by Daeruin » 19 Aug 2014, 20:51

Thanks for letting us know how it went. I keep trying to imagine how different my life might be if I had heard a talk like this in the early days of my doubting. SunbeltRed, I'd like to hear more about your talk as well.
"Not all those who wander are lost" —Tolkien

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DarkJedi
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Re: A little talk advice, please?

Post by DarkJedi » 19 Aug 2014, 21:43

Daeruin wrote:Thanks for letting us know how it went. I keep trying to imagine how different my life might be if I had heard a talk like this in the early days of my doubting. SunbeltRed, I'd like to hear more about your talk as well.
I often think about this, too. What if Pres. Uchtdorf gave his talk in Oct. 2003, rather than 2013? What if I found this site sooner? What if someone like Ray or DBMormon or John Dehlin spoke in my ward or stake when my FC was in its infancy? I think the outcome would have been different, and I think my family and I would have suffered less.
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."

My Introduction

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