Oscarson quote about the Spirit

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DarkJedi
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Oscarson quote about the Spirit

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Mar 2018, 05:39

There is an article in Deseret News about the new Young Women camp manual. Here is a quote from Bonnie Oscarson about "feeling the Spirit" and emotion that I like:
“Sometimes young women — especially those who are just learning to respond to the Spirit — might think, ‘everybody else is crying, why am I not crying? I must not be feeling the Spirit,’” Sister Oscarson said. “People can feel the Spirit working in their lives and everybody reacts differently to it. Stick with the scriptures, the basic doctrines of Christ and of the gospel, and choose appropriate activities that invite the Spirit, but which don’t try to manipulate emotions.”
I think the appeal to emotion is way overplayed in the church, not just among YW. Post FC I have come to recognize that "good feelings" have nothing to do with the Spirit.
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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Stephies
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Re: Oscarson quote about the Spirit

Post by Stephies » 03 Mar 2018, 16:22

Even during my (brief) "swallow everything that was told"-period, I couldn't really buy the whole "good feeling" = "The Spirit". Because, well... I'm "hypersensitive" emotionally. I've been diagnosed with BPD, even (although I'd argue I'm 60+% "cured"), so I rarely trust my feelings very much. In DBT (the "go-to" therapy form for BPD), we learn to use our so called "wise mind". Instead of relying only on emotion in a given moment, we try to conciously "plug in" our rational thinking as well, so that we can make better decisions.

I don't think I can effectively learn how to distinguish The Sprit from my emotions and/or "wise mind". But I don't think it matters. Just like I don't think it matters for me to be able to distinguish blessings from luck/results of my own effort/randomness/etc. I still believe in The Spirit and blessings, though.

The quote is nice. I think it's fine if people think of good feelings = the spirit, but it's problematic if that "norm" leads to some people feeling like they're being "left out" / "doing something wrong" / etc.

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mom3
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Re: Oscarson quote about the Spirit

Post by mom3 » 03 Mar 2018, 16:31

Love it. Trek is a good place to begin. And Girls Camp require testimony meeting.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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dande48
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Re: Oscarson quote about the Spirit

Post by dande48 » 03 Mar 2018, 17:47

“... but which don’t try to manipulate emotions.”
But how can you really tell? There is so much in Church (and elsewhere, to be fair) that manipulates the emotions.
"The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy. "
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DarkJedi
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Re: Oscarson quote about the Spirit

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Mar 2018, 21:21

dande48 wrote:
03 Mar 2018, 17:47
“... but which don’t try to manipulate emotions.”
But how can you really tell? There is so much in Church (and elsewhere, to be fair) that manipulates the emotions.
I agree that it's often difficult to tell when we're being manipulated by emotion. It's much easier to see from a third person point of view as long as the third person is not subjecting himself/herself to the manipulation. I think I am personally pretty adept at this post FC, especially since to some extent I see myself as more of an observer at church (which sometimes makes me laugh and sometimes makes me cry). And I think that might have been part of Oscarson's point - don't try to do it. I see people who purposely do it, and - please understand I don't mean to be sexist here - it seems to happen more with women than men (especially in the YW setting). Note that I do see it happen with men as well, I'm not saying it's exclusively a female thing (our male GD teacher is fairly adept at it). That's why I think the part of Oscarson's statement about sticking to the doctrine is important, and more important because it comes from a General Officer of the church. Think Saturday's Warrior here - lots of emotion, little doctrine.
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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Re: Oscarson quote about the Spirit

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Mar 2018, 22:05

It's a great quote, and I am glad she said it explicitly. Crying shouldn't be seen automatically as a manifestation of the spirit. It can be faked and manipulated too easily.
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.

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Re: Oscarson quote about the Spirit

Post by mom3 » 03 Mar 2018, 22:18

our male GD teacher is fairly adept at it
One of my former Bishops can cry at the drop of the hat. Especially when he is at the podium. The Jekyll/Hyde side of him is a piece of work. Off the podium he is condescending, malicious, nasty. I am certain it was the crying that got him the calling.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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dande48
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Re: Oscarson quote about the Spirit

Post by dande48 » 04 Mar 2018, 00:52

What makes any religious leaders claims, or scriptural claims, or any gospel or doctrinal appeals valid? The quote feels to me, like she's grouping many types of emotions as evidence of the "Spirit", using it to confirm the truthfulness of the scriptures, the gospel, the Church. She tells us to be careful of those situations which manipulate emotions (not us!). Any emotional response that supports what we preach is the Spirit testifying of truth, and the rest is manipulation.

I am confident Sister Oscarson has nothing but the best and noblest intentions, but that whole quote felt manipulative to me. Maybe I'm just too spiritually "on guard", and borderline paranoid. I have been lied to and manipulated both in and out of the Church. The quote feels like a set up, where everything confirms the "gospel" (as they preach it), and anyone who disagrees is decieved or of the devil.
"The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy. "
-Albert Campus

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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Re: Oscarson quote about the Spirit

Post by SamBee » 04 Mar 2018, 01:47

mom3 wrote:
03 Mar 2018, 22:18
our male GD teacher is fairly adept at it
One of my former Bishops can cry at the drop of the hat. Especially when he is at the podium. The Jekyll/Hyde side of him is a piece of work. Off the podium he is condescending, malicious, nasty. I am certain it was the crying that got him the calling.
Probably. I've seen this too. It should be noted that turning on emotions on tap is a sociopathic trait.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
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DarkJedi
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Re: Oscarson quote about the Spirit

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Mar 2018, 05:49

dande48 wrote:
04 Mar 2018, 00:52
What makes any religious leaders claims, or scriptural claims, or any gospel or doctrinal appeals valid? The quote feels to me, like she's grouping many types of emotions as evidence of the "Spirit", using it to confirm the truthfulness of the scriptures, the gospel, the Church. She tells us to be careful of those situations which manipulate emotions (not us!). Any emotional response that supports what we preach is the Spirit testifying of truth, and the rest is manipulation.

I am confident Sister Oscarson has nothing but the best and noblest intentions, but that whole quote felt manipulative to me. Maybe I'm just too spiritually "on guard", and borderline paranoid. I have been lied to and manipulated both in and out of the Church. The quote feels like a set up, where everything confirms the "gospel" (as they preach it), and anyone who disagrees is decieved or of the devil.
I think she was saying the exact opposite of this. I think her point was to not manipulate at all. If we do stick to scripture and "pure" doctrine and let the real Spirit work, people will "know" for the truth for themselves. I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and the atonement, but it has nothing to do with emotion or feeling, the testimony is just there. I think it interesting that when asked a question about what the Spirit feels like in their "Face-to-Face", Eyring and Holland didn't mention emotion at all, what they talked about was peace, and they were frank about their own struggles with the same topic. Honestly peace is hard for me to experience in a group setting of any kind, particularly F&TM. But a feeling of peace is also not what gives me my testimony - I feel peace while walking the dog in the park, while sitting quietly and pondering anything (or nothing at all), and sometimes while praying - it might be the Spirit, but it might just be "a peaceful, easy feeling." I don't know what makes religious claims valid, but I know it's not emotion.
(not us!)
I don't think Oscarson was excusing us, I think she was accusing us and calling us to repentance (meaning change).
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."

My Introduction

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