Thanks for sharing and starting this thread...I'm just getting to read it now and like the comments.
I agree with nibbler, in that I don't enjoy those stories. But stories they are, which are told for the purpose of teaching. I usually hold out on judgment, not knowing all the facts, and not knowing who I can trust about facts. My personal experience over the years has left me cynical that way, and I don't want to be the fool to believe stories and later found out there was nuance or another side to the story.
I guess I hold my opinion based on what I hear, but also try to be open to not having certainty.
I think we live in this world now that makes us that way. I mean...honestly...watch CNN or watch the political landscape...and try to be certain on what are facts vs alternative facts. It makes my head spin.
Here are some of my thoughts:
amateurparent wrote: ↑
29 May 2017, 08:39
Growing up in the LDS church, I still look for a higher standard of integrity and honesty in the local LDS clergy and higher ecclesiastical leaders than in the larger Christian population. (I know .. I need to get over that).
I know those feelings. I have them too. I'm still working on it.
1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Some stories seem mystical child fairy tales with good intentions to express happy thoughts...I liked them when I was a younger person in the church. I kinda put them away now, because it serves me better to stay grounded in realistic things than fantasy stories, unless I know I'm getting into fantasy land that has limitations to my life, but may be worthwhile to think about symbolically.
It also comes down to credibility. Too many of these stories end up being exaggerated for effect, or hyperbole at church, and it leaves me empty inside. So...empty means it is not for me...and I discard it. If it turns into a Paul H Dunn scenario where credibility is detracting from the message...this guy who chose to lie will pay the consequence. One way or another.
Is it dishonest??
Gerald wrote: ↑
29 May 2017, 09:50
I don't think for one moment that Elder Stevenson was lying or deliberately misleading anyone. Perhaps if he had known some of those additional details (I have no idea what he did or didn't know) he might have rephrased his story a bit. But the fact is, we tell all kinds of stories all the time.
I agree with Gerald, it doesn't feel like it is intent to deceive. It just feels like those telling the stories truly believe it...it is part of their faith. Is it dishonest if they truly believe it, and they aren't really wrong?
I can sit in a meeting where someone shares an experience like that and they are inspired, while I am not. So I tell myself...it must be for them...because it doesn't do anything for me. But if they like those stories...knock yourself out.
For every story I hear about the spirit saving someone's life...I can find 20 where it didn't.
For every Elizabeth Smart that has a dad praying and fasting to be returned, there are multiples of fathers who never find their daughter alive and don't want to hear that enough faith saves their child...because that means they didn't have enough faith...and that burns on top of an already unthinkable tragedy they are carrying.
It is why I stayLDS. I can't find any proof the church lies or is false. I just find a messy mixed bag that allows me to determine what is useful to me, and what is not. The church is not out to trick people or deceive them, although they are not perfect and slip up with bad judgment at times.
I also am open and remind myself of the positive side...my son on a mission writes me of a story working with an investigator he is teaching, how prayers were answered. I see good things in his faith that the holy spirit is active in the work he is doing. I let him have his spiritual experience. I believe things CAN happen. I am open to it.
But...I believe tsunamis and earthquakes will kill the righteous and the unrighteous alike, and is no respecter of persons. Temples burn down. Things happen. We build stories that try to help us make sense of things in life. We aren't always that accurate. If people lie about it for spiritual effect...shame on them. I have to be careful I don't judge others incorrectly without all the facts.
But my opinions are mine. Even if others are allowed to believe what they want about such stories.
I think AP, you are justified in feeling frustration...and even anger. It stirs up feelings from your experience. Things you can work with God about. It is telling you something about your faith and what is important. I don't think you dismiss those.
But maybe others on this board share their thoughts and that is good to hear too. Doesn't make me or others right...just other perspectives to consider as you figure out what you believe about these types of stories we hear at church.
I tend to get exhausted by hyperbole and exaggeration at church. Whatever. Others like it.