Sister Wixom's talk and shame on me.

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Ann
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Sister Wixom's talk and shame on me.

Post by Ann » 05 Apr 2015, 17:36

We had some technical difficulties this morning and were playing DVR catch-up. We got to Sis. Wixom and she started in with that iconic LDS church-lady voice. At least one person in my family did some eye-rolling. I gave a little "ugh," and quickly fast-forwarded, Easter dinner schedule pressing down on us. I'm going back now and listening to what I missed today.

Sis. Wixom told a true story about a woman in a ward she visited who has been very open about her loss of faith. She described her testimony as a "pile of ashes." She (still, is the implication) has "questions about how the Book of Mormon came to be." She was open with her ward about her loss of faith, and it sounds like they were true and constant friends to her. To me this is a groundbreaking talk because of what was explicitly said and not said. And because it was delivered in Primary voice, I almost missed it.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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Ilovechrist77
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Re: Sister Wixom's talk and shame on me.

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 05 Apr 2015, 18:02

Her talk was fantastic! :smile:

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Sister Wixom's talk and shame on me.

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Apr 2015, 18:03

Thanks, Ann, for sharing this with us. There is a profound lesson in it that goes far beyond the actual example.
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: Sister Wixom's talk and shame on me.

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Apr 2015, 18:22

When Sr. Wixom started my teenage son said "All the sisters sound the same, I can't tell them apart and they all say the same things." I agreed, but soon tears filled my eyes as she spoke. That was the best talk by a sister I have ever heard in GC - and I don't mean that to be condescending. It was so heartfelt and authentic. I don't know that I have ever cried at a GC talk - until today. And to think I almost tuned it out.
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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mackay11
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Re: Sister Wixom's talk and shame on me.

Post by mackay11 » 06 Apr 2015, 03:10

I've shared one line from conference on my FB wall:

"I was willing to extend courtesy to those without doubts if they would extend courtesy to me."

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/ ... 2001&cid=5

GBSmith
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Re: Sister Wixom's talk and shame on me.

Post by GBSmith » 06 Apr 2015, 06:31

DarkJedi wrote:When Sr. Wixom started my teenage son said "All the sisters sound the same, I can't tell them apart and they all say the same things." I agreed, but soon tears filled my eyes as she spoke. That was the best talk by a sister I have ever heard in GC - and I don't mean that to be condescending. It was so heartfelt and authentic. I don't know that I have ever cried at a GC talk - until today. And to think I almost tuned it out.
Who's giving the message and how it's done are a big part in what's heard. Probably better to read it.

nibbler
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Re: Sister Wixom's talk and shame on me.

Post by nibbler » 06 Apr 2015, 07:02

I didn't know you could say things like that in GC. ;) This and another talk about Susan (?). You already knew that Susan was coming back to the church to complete the feel good story but it was the reasons she left and the way she came back that made the story a unique thing to hear in conference.

I'd love to hear a story where Susan doesn't "need" to come back but the story that was told was a monumental step IMO.
mackay11 wrote:I've shared one line from conference on my FB wall:

"I was willing to extend courtesy to those without doubts if they would extend courtesy to me."

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/ ... 2001&cid=5
This is an example of one of those things that really stands out to me these days. I was willing to extend courtesy to those without doubts [end the thought right here] if they would extend courtesy to me.

Sometimes we (people in general, including myself, especially myself) add that extra phrase at the end. I believe it's more powerful to simply say "I'm willing to extend courtesy to those with doubts" without a conditional. They don't even need to extend courtesy to me, I'll do my best to extend courtesy to them all the same.

This sort of thing comes up all the time. Another recent example, we support equal rights for gays... but what we really want for you to take away is that we want religious freedom.

I don't want to make a federal case out of little things like this. Since I'm sensitive to this sort of thing I realize that it must be because I need to do a better job of making statements that express love and inclusion and cutting things off before I get to the conditionals or before I start to shift focus back to me. Maybe if I get good at cutting off conditionals and the me from my interactions the thoughts will disappear as well.

I'm probably breaking my rule in this post [ends the thought right here]

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Sister Wixom's talk and shame on me.

Post by hawkgrrrl » 06 Apr 2015, 07:11

I agree. The talk was well done, all the better because it was based on a true experience, although I questioned whether that story was somewhat optimized. The two things that irritated me were 1) Primary voice big time, and 2) the conditional mentioned above which points to the real beneficiary of the talk, the believers. By contrast, E. Nielson's talk on the prodigal which probably wasn't as valued by the disaffiliated camp should be because it was a real message for the believers that they need to realize they are also prodigals, not just the "good son" patiently waiting for the prodigal to return.

But that doesn't take away from Pres. Wixom's talk. She deserves credit where it is due for having a softened heart that she could then use as an example for others. Presidents of organizations in every ward listened to that (unlike the rest of us, they probably mostly listen to all the talks and strive to hear them fully). That will help create a better space for those with doubts.

Kipper
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Re: Sister Wixom's talk and shame on me.

Post by Kipper » 06 Apr 2015, 07:54

Thanks for the post. I walked out of the room after less than a minute and missed the message. Many speakers have their own tactic to bring your emotions up to their level while they speak and I feel resentful about it too often. I did watch it using the link provided but was a struggle. I'll get more out of it when I read it.

Ann
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Re: Sister Wixom's talk and shame on me.

Post by Ann » 06 Apr 2015, 08:03

hawkgrrrl wrote:I agree. The talk was well done, all the better because it was based on a true experience, although I questioned whether that story was somewhat optimized.
I wondered about this, too, but as it happens I just saw a post from this person in a closed Facebook group and she said that Sis. Wixom is painting a pretty accurate picture. She said it isn't a pat happily-ever-after story and was satisfied that the talk didn't go so far in that direction.

I think it's okay to share since there's no identifying info. To me the take-home in her FB comment was this:
I gave a lesson in RS a month or so ago, and decided to "go there" ... and be more honest with my RS sisters with my doubt and faith journey.


We need to be able to go there.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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