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Re: Possible Model of LDS Church Phases of Commitment

Posted: 23 Oct 2014, 19:37
by SilentDawning
MockingJay wrote:Maybe "phases" would be a better descriptor than "stages." it seems more fluid in my mind. Either way, I've been at this for a very long time. For a while, I was in stage 5 - re-engagement. Then some things that sent me right back to stage 2. I'm firmly ensconced in stage 3. Your definition is spot on for me and I could have written it. I either can't or don't really want to move out of this stage again. Maybe that's because I have to continue to go to church out of obligation and I don't see that ever changing. I'm OK with that though. I have my own internal discoveries going on constantly and I'm great joy in that. I honestly can't see myself ever re-engaging or exiting.
I agree -- they aren't stages as they imply an upward path to a final destination. They are phases..or "states", which doesn't imply progression. I think even numbering them is a mistake. They are simply states of being in your relationship with the church. and you can regress through them again. I'm sure that something could happen that would throw me off with the sense of peace I have now with my relationship with the church. If I re-engaged and ended up with leadership abuse again, that could push me back to Stage 2 again.

Re: Possible Model of LDS Church Phases of Commitment

Posted: 24 Oct 2014, 09:42
by Heber13
I do think almost everyone goes through these phases at some point, even the most faithful.

I think the trick is to minimize the awareness to others, and not burn bridges during disengagement times.

The church is always there for when you're ready to re-engage, others can have a turn to step up and be the "anxiously engaged" crowd. The Lord knows I can only handle so much in life, and has counseled not to run faster than I have strength. So...I can only do so much and have a willing heart, even if I don't have to have an engaged activity rate at all times.

So far, my bishops have all respected my need to disengage at times. I've had legitimate reasons, despite their council that engagement will help me through my trials. I appreciate their counsel, but I can choose what I can do and what is too much.

I'd say I'm firmly in the modification and re-engagement phase...although some think I've disengaged. I haven't. Just have lots on my plate others don't know about. And I'm OK with that. I'm at peace with my activity at church, and will likely do more some day when I can. The buffet is yummy to me.

Re: Possible Model of LDS Church Phases of Commitment

Posted: 24 Oct 2014, 22:45
by Daeruin
SilentDawning wrote:
Daeruin wrote:I found it to be very close to my experience. The "unfreezing" stage seems to be the equivalent of the actual crisis of faith, the thing that breaks your shelf. For me, the initial crisis stage lasted several months, and trickled on for a couple of years after that as I slowly disengaged. Because of family ties and my own slowness to make decisions, it took me probably 4 years before I basically gave up and completely reached the disengaged stage. Right now I'm very actively in the reconstruction phase, taking slow baby steps towards reengagement.

I would suggest modifying stages 4 and 5. I think the modification portion of your stage 5 overlaps too much with the reconstruction aspect of stage 4. I think it would be clearer if stage 5 were the end result of reconstruction—either exodus or re-engagement. But I also wonder if stage 4 always happens for those who end with an exodus. I know several people personally for whom there was either no stage 3 or a very brief one followed quickly by exodus, with no attempt at reconstruction.
The problem for me is that theorists try to make a serial model or a process that is iterative. I think you can ebb and flow between stages. For example, I did have a period when I was teaching Gospel Essentials when I had desires to move back to engagement at times. During reconstruction, there were times when I had flashes of adaptation and re-engagement. So, I think the model really needs to allow for people to exist in multiple stages at the same time. Theory is beautifully and orderly, reality is messy
This is definitely the theorist in me that's speaking. Models are always abstractions to some degree, or they wouldn't be models. If you're going to have two separate stages, or whatever you call them, then they should overlap as little as possible. Otherwise you're not justified in calling them something different, and you've lost some of the power of having a model. The model isn't meant to capture all of reality—just one aspect of it, and just enough to explain or illuminate the thing being modeled.

Anyway, I don't want to be any more of a nit-picker than that. I really like what you've come up with, and I'm obviously not the only one who thinks so. Things like this are helpful in being more self aware, and I'm glad that you spent the time thinking about it and then posted it for discussion.

Re: Possible Model of LDS Church Phases of Commitment

Posted: 25 Oct 2014, 21:54
by SilentDawning
I agree with Daeruin -- ideally, you want separate states of commitment without overlap. Similar to the concept of factor analysis that seeks to isolate key factors that have little or no correlation with each other. Beyond the scope of my research abilities or time at the moment, but overall a good thing to pursue at some point.

Re: Possible Model of LDS Church Phases of Commitment

Posted: 27 Oct 2014, 22:36
by meggle
I really love this- although I do agree that there can be quite a bit of overlap. I am squarely in stage 3:
You no longer felt excited about the mission of the church, serving in a calling, and no longer feel part of the community. The status symbols of our religion no longer hold the same allure. You may continue to go to church, but do so out of obligation, and may even feel like an observer rather than a participant. Confusion sometimes accompanies this period as you no longer know what you believe about the church,
This describes me quite accurately right now. I attend church, and will continue to do so primarily because I don't wanna rock the family boat, so to speak. I've allowed myself the freedom to let go of certain things for a while, and it has been good. That said, I'm feeling like my life is pretty chaotic, and like I need to perhaps re-engage in some of the personal practices that bring me peace.
I am sure some of you have experience with this- I feel like prayer helps me, primarily as a form of meditation and communion- and tithing can help me with self-discipline- although right now, I think if I start to pay it again, I'd kind of like to put it all toward fast offerings. Where I'm really torn is what to do with my kids...right now I feel like they participate largely for social reasons, and quite frankly, I feel like that may be doing them more harm than good, because it seems like so many of our youth believe that living the gospel means wearing long shorts...

Re: Possible Model of LDS Church Phases of Commitment

Posted: 24 Jan 2018, 13:23
by AmyJ
Love This!

I was a "quirky" Stage 1 (Engagement) person for a good 20+ years - and I made some good choices during that time.

I managed to combine Stage 2 (Unfreezing) and Stage 3 (Disengagement) simultaneously (lucky me) starting about 6-9 months ago.
Mostly because I needed to redefine who I was and everything I knew/believed or hoped to be true. The catalyst for this storm of changes was I found that there was a neurological description that shed great light on my previous developmental processes. It was more a case of "this trait clearly caused this train of thought in x,y,z instances while I was growing up - and I was incorrect in how I approached the situation and took it too far in the black/white realm of thinking... so how that does apply to everything else..." I wish I could describe it better - but that moment of clarity when you realize that you really misperceived or did not perceive at all the same things everyone else did 95% of the time because of circumstances beyond your control will create a lot of cognitive dissonance...

While I am grateful for the opportunity to learn the advantages and pitfalls of how I think/react from their neurological roots and take the opportunity for self-improvement, General Identity crises stink FYI.

I keep trying to move into Stage 4 as soon as I can because I hate uncertainty. Unfortunately, it seems that I have to make it to stage 4 with each issue that I made it to stage 2 with before I can "graduate" to the next stage.

I am striving to participate in church (mostly because I don't believe going elsewhere is trading up for me and to a certain extent my family).
Actually, most days I don't want to interact with the rest of humanity because without a doubt something will happen/or be said that will cause them or myself to want to hit our heads against a brick wall repeatedly. Our church members bear the dubious distinction of those people I feel will most likely be the most critical of us because they interact with us the most (they are good people who look out for us and we have let them into our lives to a certain extent) and have higher standards to compare us against. I know we are on people's radar because the branch is small and we are a very unique family. But because our branch is so small, leadership roulette works in our favor for the most part because the institution needs us just as much (if not more) than we need them.

Since we are big city people from California who moved to the rural district of Michigan, we don't fit in easily in our community either. Nor do I feel it is always worth the energy/resources to fit in.

Re: Possible Model of LDS Church Phases of Commitment

Posted: 24 Jan 2018, 15:54
by LookingHard
I have found that moving between stages is a bit like bobbing in the waves in the ocean. One day I feel stage 5 ish and all the anger is gone and I have respect and sympathy towards all TBM's. The next day I have a button pushed and I am pissed off and realize that I am not firm in stage 5! But over time the % continues to shift and I have come to relax and enjoy the ocean moving me up and down and not fight it.