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.