In some ways, this is where I see the value of the institution being hoped that it is true. Because real growth and development occurs when we are pointing the finger at ourselves, and asking "What should I do about this" ...and not relying on the institution to first be perfect and then I will follow it, or to have them answer my questions or fix my problems. The institution is what it is. Our personal growth and relationship with God fits in and around it.nibbler wrote:The finger naturally points to the individual, we even point the finger at ourselves. If I'm unhappy at church, and the church is "true" there must be something wrong with me.
I agree, DA. There is an element of this for me...since I'm a lifetime member and all my friends and family are members. The pain would have to be so severe for me to justify changing religions because of sunk costs and current ties. But there is more than that for me...there is more goodness to be found in the church than the pain. So it is not just about sunk costs. It is also about hope for continued benefits, despite costs.DevilsAdvocate wrote:...people are likely to continue to defend that choice rather than change their mind and face the possibility that any sunk costs resulting from the decision were not worth it.
I think this is a factor for many. But that is life. We could go be hermits...then do what we want. I see the value of relationships with others is so rewarding, even if it introduces complexity on how others view me or trust me, and how I can be part of the group to participate in shared visions, shared goals, shared love. And in being social, I am willing to compromise or agree to rules of the tribe, or for the sake of organization and community. It is better than the alternative.DevilsAdvocate wrote:Possibly the single most common reason people stay in the Church is simply that they are married to another active Mormon so it wouldn't be very convenient for many of them to admit to themselves and/or others that they don't believe in the Church anymore much less just walk away because they have to worry about how other people close to them would react in that case.
I recently had an experience where many family members were praying for the sake of one individual. The outcome was a good outcome. The family felt united through prayer and faith, and love increased. I don't know how prayer works...but I choose to believe something miraculous happened, because it enlarges my soul to do so. It would have been a damaging position to stand up to family and talk skeptically about prayer or God in such a wonderful situation. Instead, despite my beliefs or doubts, being part of the family and enjoying the experience was truly beneficial. I just accept what occurs, and look for the good, and learn from the bad. I go with the flow of the river, and can find peace despite my brain swirling with questions. While digging through questions, I can be authentic in loving and serving others, and sharing common beliefs, and keeping differences to myself at times (not all times).
That is why many people stay. Because there are wonderful benefits sprinkled in here and there that keep them willing to have faith and hope.