Is StayLDS a gateway to leaving completely?

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SilentDawning
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Re: Is StayLDS a gateway to leaving completely?

Post by SilentDawning » 17 Apr 2017, 07:25

SilentDawning wrote:
16 Apr 2017, 20:09
It's an on-demand home teaching program. You post your spiritual problem and then several thoughtful people, without any judgmentalism, give you reasoned responses and practical advice. Better than anything locally, and you never get called out for not doing it....and its purely voluntary.
guess we need to keep it to less than 20 questions at a time. :roll:
Yeah,. and don't leave it all to the last day of the month either!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Is StayLDS a gateway to leaving completely?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Apr 2017, 18:58

It is the only time I get to be involved in Visiting Teaching. Yep, we are unorthodox. :P
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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SilentDawning
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Re: Is StayLDS a gateway to leaving completely?

Post by SilentDawning » 18 Apr 2017, 10:09

amateurparent wrote:
16 Apr 2017, 17:00

So .. is this a gateway to leaving? No. This is a wonderful place to come explore our own individual ideas about faith, spirituality, beliefs and religion. Is this site going to change a person's ultimate choice of path? Probably not. This site might not change the path, but it does help a person prepare and pack appropriately for their personal faith journey.
For me, the site helped me DEFINE my path. I don't think I knew what trajectory I was on when I came here. I was just hurting after significant abuse from members and leaders, in pattern-format, for years. I didn't want to go anymore, but felt I had to -- having so much invested (young children at the time, a temple marriage, all my "friendships" (if you can call them that, given their conditional nature) were in the church.

It was actually pretty cool to sit down with my Bishop the other day, and tell him that I had found happiness OUTSIDE the church, while still participating in it, and supporting all of my family members. It was the destination at which I landed.... Although I didn't say this, no longer did I feel I was "over a barrel" with the church as years of involvement had previously led me to believe. The church didn't "have it all", I didn't lose my job when I stopped going full tilt in the church. I didn't return forlorn and penniless years later -- in fact, during the last five years my family has seen unpredecedented prosperity. We think that is coming to an end, but it's due to business conditions, not the wrath of God.

I didn't want to say this to the Bishop, but as I sat across from him, the thought occurred to me that there was nothing he could offer me in the LDS church that would compete with my current, community experiences. I had experienced almost all of the LDS experience (except being a Bishop), and all he could offer me was simply more of the same.

He tried to entice me by sharing with me some progress he'd made with some very uncommitted members of the church. One is "always in trouble" -- evicted, unemployed, needing money, relationship issues, you name it. And how he had helped the guy...I replied "I'm at a point in my life that I only want to work with the best and brightest for a time. And in the community, I can draw talent from anywhere. Here, we are limited to the people available, who don't always have the desire or passion to truly excel".

I then described the calibre of the people my HR (read Volunteer Resources) recruiting and how exhilerating it is to work with committed volunteers. It was posting here that led me to this place....and it was a destination that only dawned on me as I posted here over a couple years.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 19 Apr 2017, 10:46, edited 1 time in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Katzpur
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Re: Is StayLDS a gateway to leaving completely?

Post by Katzpur » 18 Apr 2017, 17:43

Roy wrote:
16 Apr 2017, 12:11
The LDS church teaches a paradigm that is black or white, either all true or a damnable heresy.
This is, for me, the most difficult part of being LDS.
So when we find evidence that not everything is how we were taught it is only natural to jump to the opposite extreme yelling "lies", "deceipt", and "cover-up".
That's probably the case for a lot of people. For me, it's to becomes confused and depressed. I'm pretty sure I will never actually leave the Church, but a big part of the strength I find to deal with my confusion and depression comes from this website (even if I don't post all that often).
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

squarepeg
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Re: Is StayLDS a gateway to leaving completely?

Post by squarepeg » 18 Apr 2017, 21:56

I wanted to pop in and say that I joined this forum and was very active on it for the first month or so after joining, but have recently been on very little, because life is so busy. Meeting and "talking" with people in this forum gave me the courage and support I needed to become active again after being inactive for several years. I take my older kids every week now, for all three blocks. Now, whenever things are said in a church setting that I have a hard time with, I can handle it better because I know there are so many people here in this group who would also feel as I do. I think about the people in this group every week, and it gives me comfort and strength when I would otherwise feel too isolated with my unconventional, or some would say "lack of", testimony. I hope to be here more often when life becomes calmer, in order to be a regular support for others. So for me, even though I rarely have time to post, now, this forum was a gateway to reactivation...and things are going well. Just knowing you all are here makes me able to stay.

NightSG
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Re: Is StayLDS a gateway to leaving completely?

Post by NightSG » 19 Apr 2017, 08:50

amateurparent wrote:
16 Apr 2017, 17:00
Is this site going to change a person's ultimate choice of path? Probably not.
Probably not, but it does provide an alternative to the members who view any even slight disagreement with the black-and-white Church statements as a direct attack on leadership and the Church itself. All too often the reaction to doubt among locals is only in the range of "you're jeopardizing your chance at the Celestial Kingdom" to "BURN THE HERETIC!"

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Heber13
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Re: Is StayLDS a gateway to leaving completely?

Post by Heber13 » 19 Apr 2017, 11:43

squarepeg wrote:
18 Apr 2017, 21:56
Just knowing you all are here makes me able to stay.
I've enjoyed reading the thread. Thanks for asking people's opinions, Doubting Tom. Thanks for this response, squarepeg (and don't worry if you are busy and just pop in and out or lurk as you have time...that is one of the benefits of the setup here...just add to discussions as you have time...no pressure).

As I've reflected on my journey and this website, I mostly believe people will do what they want, regardless of coming in contact with this website or others, or talking to some people or others. They may stay in the church, or leave the church, or may leave and someday change their minds and go back.

All or nothing perspective can seem to lead to nothing is the only obvious choice. Or a false feeling that I just discovered something no one else in the church knows about.

And that is false. That is not the only rational or obvious choice. We are not just discovering things now that people haven't known about for generations. Many things are just new to us.

And that is why this site is here. To help people see choices. ...simply...a safe place to consider things. And I think that is what is most useful. Without fear of what happens in life with relationships...this can be a virtual group to just explore options and get opinions from others and share openly doubts and questions.

This is just not found in our wards. So it is possible here.

It makes me think of the roadside inns for travelers along the Silk Road.
An essential element of any reasonable road system is a place for the traveler to stop for the night. Without roadside inns, travelers would be forced to camp out, to bring their own tents, cook their own food, and build their own campfires. They would be at the mercy of wild animals and thieves in the night. That is true today, and it was true at least as long ago as 500 BC, and probably longer.

The similarities of roadside houses throughout history are many.

They provided the traveler a place to sleep; a place to refresh pack animals (if any); a place to repair equipment; a place to get water and food; a place to be sheltered from inclement weather; even a place to share news with other travelers. These similarities hold up, regardless of whether the traveler was on foot or on horseback or leading a camel train, whether the traveler was an Inca courier or a Roman soldier or Mesopotamian merchant, or one of the countless traders of the Silk Road.
I think that is more what this site is...a place to know ... YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

I enjoy the comradery of everyone that comes and goes through this forum...wherever they choose to go. I do not feel like most leave the church or that it is inevitable. Those are precisely the misconceptions I think need to be debunked by having examples of people that stay and others see that many are doing that, in many ways.

With a certain world view...it may only seem logical that if I can no longer accept Joseph Smith was what I thought he was before, the only option is leave...and so let's go find a website to all agree we are not crazy and agree how we feel about Joseph Smith...so we can feel better about leaving. And that is not this website.

Hopefully this website has enough topics of discussions to see that there are ways to find new paradigms that change our thinking, embrace paradox, and start to rebuild and recommit to church with a new world view. Because that is one option many will want to work towards and keep family and friend relationships healthy while working through personal issues and be authentic about it all...no faking it, no fooling others, no fooling themselves, not just giving up.

For some, that doesn't work for them. And this site should provide an accepting tone for all, no matter what they choose.

But the site is to StayLDS. Stay believing. Stay hoping. Stay striving for greater light and knowledge and truly understand all the church teachings and gospel principles with a grown up frame of mind.

Just because I can't make sense of it NOW, doesn't mean there are no options except to leave today and tell people all my thoughts and fears.

In the end, it doesn't matter if you StayLDS or not. It matters what kind of person you become and how you contribute to our society...to whatever degree you can.

There is no one way to go through life. There are not failures that come to this site and leave.

I think we've been able to keep a positive tone here, and remind people that finding the good in the church, despite the problems, is a pragmatic approach to many situations in life where leaving is a painful choice. It is good to know there are options. It is good to learn from others how they think through those options. It is sometimes a nice beacon of hope that there are others that choose to stay when problems are experienced.

When we see others continue the journey, and we are not the only ones to know about these problems, it makes it a bit easier to get back on the road and journey ahead.

A roadside inn along the journey...wherever that goes to...is more like what this site is, not a gateway to leaving.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

DoubtingTom
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Re: Is StayLDS a gateway to leaving completely?

Post by DoubtingTom » 19 Apr 2017, 18:14

Beautiful analogy Heber. Thanks.

As I contemplate everything I think I know about the church, the logical conclusion that seems and "feels" right to me is that it is man made, and is a means to provide meaning and hope and purpose for so many. As I've come to that personal realization for myself (fully recognizing that there are others who have looked at all the same information I have and more and come to different conclusions), it doesn't necessarily mean I feel the need to abandon it all. There is certainly that all or nothing approach that to a certain extent is part of the indoctrination, but I've long ago realized the world (and the church) is not that black and white.

So where I'm at now is looking at this man made (as I perceive it) institution that works beautifully for so many but doesn't really work for me. To that end, I feel a desire to explore and seek out - away from the only paradigm I've ever known and see if a different paradigm does work for me. If I look at all religions and philosophies as being of human origin, that doesn't become a negative connotation for me. It simply allows me to look at them from a different perspective.

An overly simplistic analogy would be like finding the right pair of eye glasses. The LDS pair of eyeglasses works beautifully for so many and truly helps people to lead enriched, fulfilled lives full of meaning and purpose. But that pair of glasses doesn't work for me. I'd like to find the pair that does help to give me the eyesight that makes sense to me. Just because a pair of glasses is made by man does not mean that it can't help me to see things with a prescription that is right for me.

Now I know many of you here have done your own search while remaining LDS. For me, I'd like to believe I can try on many different pairs of glasses while continuing to attend, but a part of me wonders if somehow it will continue to distort my vision. It's also hard to imagine being content wearing a different pair of glasses, but feeling like I have to hide that fact from those in attendance with me. I don't know what the future holds or how to even conduct my search. Do I start by reading different philosophies and see if they can apply to my life? Do I just try to start from scratch and form my own? Or would that be like trying to re-invent the wheel or refusing to start from the highest rung of the ladder?

In the end, I take comfort as many of you have said, in knowing I am not alone. And in the end, analogies about how to look at things is not real life. Real life is that my life is intertwined with this religion and I can't simply walk away, nor do I truly want to. Perhaps I just have to make lemonade out of the occasional lemons while my search continues.

But I really could use a new pair of glasses.

squarepeg
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Re: Is StayLDS a gateway to leaving completely?

Post by squarepeg » 20 Apr 2017, 05:58

DoubtingTom, before I went inactive, when I was trying to still appear outwardly TBM while privately seeking out alternatives, I felt like I couldn't hear my own inner voice that would let me think clearly and would lead me to investigate possible alternatives, so loud were the LDS voices. It felt that as long as I was still attending the LDS church, doing my calling every week, etc., I'd be unable to really gain an accurate sense of what my other options were, or, to extend the glasses analogy, I felt locked out of the room with all the frames for trying-on, disabled by my same old pair with its same old prescription that had grown foggy for me. So I did go inactive for a few years. And it did allow me to enter the room with all the other glasses. I did things like visited churches with friends who belong to other Christian denominations, had lots of conversations with people about religion, watched sermons online, read Christian apologetics and books on Eastern religions and books defending atheism... And I've concluded, after all that, that for me, staying LDS, even without the "proper" testimony, and no longer "temple worthy", while also pulling in bits and pieces from other traditions, is my best option. (That was just my experience. I am sure there are those who can investigate other ideas just fine while remaining active LDS.) But I had the luxury of a spouse who was fully supportive of any level of church activity that I felt comfortable with. It's harder to consider inactivity knowing that one's significant other will be negatively affected.

As far as where/how to start... I thought about what aspects I value of the LDS tradition, and what aspects were not working for me, and then I tried to find some tradition or belief system that had as much of the "baby" as possible with as little of the "bathwater" as possible. I found that every option I looked at had either too little baby, or too much bathwater or both, but your baby and bathwater will look different from mine, so don't be deterred from searching! Even though I've come full circle and crawled back to the LDS church in which I was raised, like the dog to his vomit (j/k!!!), I will never stop searching. There is always more beauty (I won't say "truth") out there waiting to be discovered. I hope that you find much joy in the journey.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Is StayLDS a gateway to leaving completely?

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Apr 2017, 06:32

I would say by experience bears a good deal of similarity to yours Squarepeg. For me it's not a matter of believing the truth claims of the church or even that the church is "more true" than other churches. The bottom line is that I am more comfortable in the CoJCoL-dS than any of the others I have checked out. That does not prevent me from taking the "beauties" (good word for it) I have found from those other sources and applying them in my own life and even at church. The "restored" gospel is not all that different from the gospel my Christian friends observe, and I often strain to see the difference (and often don't find any difference). Separating the church from the gospel and both from the teachings of men (which the LDS church is just as guilty of as any other), and then finding the good (beauty) in all of it is an important thing to do.
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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