Op-ed: Mormons and monoculture.

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Op-ed: Mormons and monoculture.

Post by silentstruggle » 12 Apr 2015, 06:14

I enjoyed this article and thought I would share:

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2382761-1 ... d-speak-up

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Re: Op-ed: Mormons and monoculture.

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Apr 2015, 06:39

The author is my brother-in-law. He is a wonderful person.
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Re: Op-ed: Mormons and monoculture.

Post by GBSmith » 12 Apr 2015, 08:28

It is an excellent piece of writing but I think the best that can be hoped for is continued tolerance of things like Sunstone and Dialogue but still pretty narrow borders for speech and teaching inside the walls.

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Re: Op-ed: Mormons and monoculture.

Post by SilentDawning » 12 Apr 2015, 11:20

The author, who I"m pleased to find is a relative of Ray, draws an analogy between the edge of an ecosytem (like a wetland) which is fertile for new kinds of life, the stable, less diverse core (such as the forest or farmland and the church) called the monoculture. The monocultural church is the stable farmland, forest, inner land where orthodox church members thrive, and the edges are where the unorthodox live, with much to contribute to the inner core, but in ways not normally accepted by the orthodox members.

Here are some quotes:
A monoculture will thrive only when the environment favors its growth and foreign species can be controlled. That is no longer possible in the world we share. The health of the Mormon church, and its ability to be a force for good in the world around it, depends on its willingness to adapt to the turbulence at the edge.

How will they arrive there? In our religion, as in ecology, the potential for change is found at the edges, where tens of thousands of unorthodox members already live. The church needs these members to start talking. Not protesting, not arguing, not resigning their memberships in solidarity. Just talking. Being seen for who they truly are. Connecting.

Each time a non-traditional Mormon lets her neighbor see her unique beliefs, she makes it easier for everyone in the congregation to be true to themselves. One respectful voice at a time, the silent minority will begin to understand that they aren't alone in their doubts and beliefs. Power will shift away from the monoculture and toward the productive edges  — to the ecotones where opportunity and challenges await, where ideas and opinions and personalities can blend together to create something like an ideological wetland: hard to define, hard to cling to, and infinitely more valuable to the world than anything Mormonism has been able to offer so far.
I don't see this as starting a movement, but as a gradual process of culture change...

Here is another quote I liked:
History is built on small shifts that have created huge change, and the Mormon church is at the edge of one of these shifts. Consider the potential impact if the church were to embrace the edge and abandon its self-serving monoculture. Millions of members willingly give up their time, talent, and resources to build up their monoculture; what might we accomplish, together, if that energy were directed toward the productive edges instead?
Yet another, that I simply found factual..and describing the origins of the protectionistic culture we have as a church.
The Mormon church grew up in a vibrant, violent ecotone, adapting to new influences and adopting new doctrine. When Brigham Young took over, he began a transition into a protective monoculture

I have found that learning to share unorthodox ideas in a way that is not jarring to TBM's, is important to walking the fine line.

On the other hand, do you think a traditional believer might construe these ideas as decay within the church? Evidence that the Lord will have to purge the church first, before His second coming?
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Re: Op-ed: Mormons and monoculture.

Post by Gerald » 12 Apr 2015, 18:14

I found the article quite interesting. Being a glutton for punishment, I read through some of the comments. The usual mishmash of support, opposition and aggression. However, the article made me almost feel guilty for being so quiet about some of the issues. For example, all week long, I've heard many many negative comments regarding those who dissented. I wish I had the courage to point out that regardless of your position on their issues, it takes a great deal of courage to stand in front of thousands of people who probably actively disagree with you and state clearly where your opposition to them.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

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Re: Op-ed: Mormons and monoculture.

Post by brettm » 12 Apr 2015, 18:53

What a thought provoking article...thanks for sharing!

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Re: Op-ed: Mormons and monoculture.

Post by West » 12 Apr 2015, 23:33

This popped up on my Google feed earlier today, and I was hoping it would make its way here if it hadn't already. I've started speaking up a bit during my own lessons or talks. Just little things presented in ways that are easy to understand. It's actually been quite fun; the mental challenge of coming up with how to say something that gets others thinking outside of the Mormon standard answers box without directly challenging them or making them uncomfortable is enjoyable to me sometimes.

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Re: Op-ed: Mormons and monoculture.

Post by Cnsl1 » 13 Apr 2015, 00:58

Excellent and thought-provoking article. Is this a reprint from at least several months ago? I swear I've read this before.

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Re: Op-ed: Mormons and monoculture.

Post by DarkJedi » 13 Apr 2015, 02:54

Cnsl1 wrote:Excellent and thought-provoking article. Is this a reprint from at least several months ago? I swear I've read this before.
I've read it before, too. It does appear to be a reprint, possibly updated.
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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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Re: Op-ed: Mormons and monoculture.

Post by LookingHard » 13 Apr 2015, 04:09

I have listened to a portion of the "any opposed" Infants on Thrones (usually a bunch of potty-mouthed 30+ year old 'boys'), but this one is different. They are talking to the leaders of anyopposed and like so much else - the deeper story is so interesting. These guys actually called the church office building, the office of the first presidency and told them exactly what they were going to do (not do anything more than vocally oppose) and they were never told not to do it. They were told if they were disrupting the meeting they might be asked to leave. None of them were. It was evident that Pres Ucthdorf was expecting it.

Their main issue is that there is no upward communication paths and they tried to figure out what is the proper way to voice some of their issues and this was what they found. Now for TBM's they often just feel it was disrespectful and some say, "you are opposing individuals - Is there a reason you know of these individuals should not be sustained?" One of them said that they feel the essays are full of half-truths and since these almost no way they have not been approved by that group, so he feels they are being dishonest.

One thing that my "digging deeper" into issues due to my FC has taught me is that quite often there is a very interesting "other" story that isn't being told.

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