Was I really like that? Yes.

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longbottom
Posts: 23
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 12:50

Was I really like that? Yes.

Post by longbottom » 12 Apr 2018, 08:48

I wish I posted more here (or at all, really), but let me give my heartfelt thanks to those regular posters on this board who have literally given me hope when the world looked hopeless. I lurk on this site EVERY SINGLE DAY, and it has helped me immensely in my new spiritual journey. Anyhoo, I was researching "New Order Mormons" and I stumbled upon a blog about the topic written by a TBM. It was a mostly benign article, asking about this "new group" she had heard about but didn't understand. I noticed that there were like 175 comments. Since it was a TBM blog, I was interested in how TBM's felt about those who have issues with church doctrine but WANT TO STAY ACTIVE. I expected there would be some ignorance but mostly people wanting to help anyone who actually WANTS to stay in the church, stay. I was wrong. Instead I saw well-intentioned ignorance, misunderstanding, and judgment. I might have been one who chimed in likewise a year ago. But some were outright hostile towards any non-believers who want to stay but openly NOT believing all the doctrines as they are understood in Stage 3. The comments ranged from "These fence-sitters are just cafeteria Mormons who are trying to get off easy" to "Crap or get off the pot! You're either in or you're out". There was a sense with many of them of "I'm doing and believing and sacrificing, and you should too to claim membership". A 100% commitment to believing EVERYTHING is still expected.

It's a good example of Stage 3 being over-prone to black-and-white thinking. There was one recurring theme that most of the TBM's had in their comments: they felt threatened by people who expressed doubt or questioned anything about the perfection of the church, and that "these people" should just leave rather than being lukewarm fence-sitters. I get the feeling that some are more concerned that those "nonbelievers" will influence others to doubt and disbelieve than they are that they might actually want to help them stay. I can understand the difficulty of being comfortable having people there who openly doubt or disbelieve church doctrine or practices, because disbelief is, by definition, a threat to belief! There were a few commenters like us who defended the plight of the disbelieving, but I just read over and over "These people need to read their scriptures, pray, and follow the prophet!", as if "people like us" have never considered doing that. Some have spent years and decades doing that to no avail. What then? Just leave? Yet I would have said the exact same thing a year ago! it really hit home that Stage 3 Mormons are incapable of understanding how it actually is for us. It's not a bash. Being a man, I am incapable of understanding what it is like to give birth. I can say whatever I want about how birthing should feel, but the new mother can ignore my opinions without guilt, knowing better. Stage 3, black and white is safe, clear, and a viable way to live a fulfilling life. But ultimately, unable to handle hard evidence contrary to previous thinking. That would move the believer into a VERY uncomfortable Stage 4. When grey appeared, I felt like I had no choice but to question everything I once "knew". I did not choose to question my beliefs. The challenge came from outside myself.

I do love the people of the church, I always have. TBM's are definitely good and great people, and generally people I love being around and serving with, and when the harsher article comments were called out by those of our persuasion, and they did apologize for their harshness, but stood by their veiwpoints. Thanks for listening!

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LDS_Scoutmaster
Posts: 210
Joined: 21 Jan 2015, 23:30
Location: SoCal

Re: Was I really like that? Yes.

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 12 Apr 2018, 08:58

This is exactly why I dislike the phraseology of ' either the church is true or we should have nothing to do with it'. It is a very black and white view, and understatedly implies that if you are not 100% you don't belong.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

longbottom
Posts: 23
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 12:50

Re: Was I really like that? Yes.

Post by longbottom » 12 Apr 2018, 09:11

Did I read on this forum:

"The Catholics say that the Pope is infallible, but nobody believes it, the Mormons say that the prophet is fallible, but nobody believes it."

This is the essence of a major problem. We are told over and over about the prophet being human, subject to weakness,etc. But, then the prophet himself says basically to ignore whether what the prophet is saying is true or not and "to just be like him". Problem is, when the prophet is wrong, and people are living their lives as if it was a commandment from the Lord, what's the solution? It's tough.

Still, knowing WHY people feel the way they do in Stage 3 really helps me feel better. I know now that I can forgive their lack of understanding and still be part of the church. And the fact that I'm not alone like I thought I was because this group is here. "Island of Misfit Toys", Curt and others have said. Good term. Still toys, just different than expected.

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dande48
Posts: 961
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: Was I really like that? Yes.

Post by dande48 » 12 Apr 2018, 09:14

The WORST response I have ever had to "coming out" was, "Why don't you just have your name removed from Church records?" And when I explained why, it was used as evidence that deep down I still believed the Church was true.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

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

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nibbler
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Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Was I really like that? Yes.

Post by nibbler » 12 Apr 2018, 09:30

http://www.psychologycharts.com/james-f ... faith.html
Ironically, the Stage 3 people usually think that Stage 4 people have become "backsliders" when in reality they have actually moved forward.
A belief that we are right is as strong as our belief that others are wrong. A person that thoroughly believes that the church is true probably has a low tolerance towards the concept of a viable middle way. I think that may be what people are referring to when they talk about "strength" of testimony - to what degree you reject behaviors and beliefs that do not align with official church teachings.

I also wonder whether people's concept of fairness influences this. They think, "I sacrifice so much to make all of this work." and view it as unfair to see a peer playing by different rules.

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LookingHard
Posts: 2847
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Was I really like that? Yes.

Post by LookingHard » 12 Apr 2018, 11:31

Well longbottom, with a great post like that, you are becoming one of those that is helping others with your posts!

I have come to believe that many if not most of the reaction from TBM's towards NOM's or ex-Mormons is rooted in fear. I tend to think that someone that is really solid in their own faith/beliefs would be willing to have a calm discussion with a NOM or Ex-Mo as they are not threatened by someone else having a differing belief. When a member meets another member they feel validated that someone else agrees with their belief.

And I think the opposite is true. Two ex-Mo's meet and they share an instant bond and feel validated that someone else believes as they do. An ex-Mo that feels comfortable with their beliefs isn't threatened by someone that is a TBM.

I find that it helps me not look down on others and realized we are all just trying to figure this out and when we find something that "works" we are very worried about losing it and defend against anybody we think might change our minds.

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Katzpur
Posts: 325
Joined: 26 Jul 2009, 08:40
Location: Salt Lake City

Re: Was I really like that? Yes.

Post by Katzpur » 12 Apr 2018, 12:04

longbottom wrote:
12 Apr 2018, 08:48
I wish I posted more here (or at all, really), but let me give my heartfelt thanks to those regular posters on this board who have literally given me hope when the world looked hopeless. I lurk on this site EVERY SINGLE DAY, and it has helped me immensely in my new spiritual journey.
I, too, lurk a lot more than I post, but the wonderful thing about StayLDS is that while no one is pressured here to "stay LDS." It's the attitude of the posters here that make you want to stay LDS. The black and white picture TBMs see is so discomforting to people like me that I rely heavily on StayLDS in order to feel like I'm not entirely alone. I hope all the regulars here realize how much their non-judgmental attitudes mean to those of us who may not have a lot to say, but do gain immensely from the time we spend here.
"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 ~

Rebel
Posts: 27
Joined: 08 Jun 2017, 17:02

Re: Was I really like that? Yes.

Post by Rebel » 12 Apr 2018, 14:23

Well said Katzpur, I really feel the same way and depend on stay lds very much . This site seems to be a safe place to vent and receive encouragement !!! I appreciate all the members .

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 15996
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Was I really like that? Yes.

Post by Curt Sunshine » 13 Apr 2018, 12:41

Fwiw, Stage 4 is not necessarily progress. Generally, it sucks - and it is toxic if it lasts too long or is too consuming. Seriously, too often it is like finding out you have cancer and denying it - or actually bringing cancer on yourself when you only had a severe cold previously.

Mostly, it simply is discomfort and/or pain and an opportunity for progress. Many people hit Stage 4, reject their previous faith/religion, then jump right back into Stage 3 with a different perspective/religion.

Stage 4 only is progress if it motivates progressive change - and I use "progressive" in this sentence only in the strictest meaning of "moving forward".
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

Wonnerful
Posts: 21
Joined: 02 Apr 2018, 17:21

Re: Was I really like that? Yes.

Post by Wonnerful » 13 Apr 2018, 18:32

longbottom wrote:
12 Apr 2018, 08:48
I wish I posted more here (or at all, really), but let me give my heartfelt thanks to those regular posters on this board who have literally given me hope when the world looked hopeless. I lurk on this site EVERY SINGLE DAY, and it has helped me immensely in my new spiritual journey. Anyhoo, I was researching "New Order Mormons" and I stumbled upon a blog about the topic written by a TBM. It was a mostly benign article, asking about this "new group" she had heard about but didn't understand. I noticed that there were like 175 comments. Since it was a TBM blog, I was interested in how TBM's felt about those who have issues with church doctrine but WANT TO STAY ACTIVE. I expected there would be some ignorance but mostly people wanting to help anyone who actually WANTS to stay in the church, stay. I was wrong. Instead I saw well-intentioned ignorance, misunderstanding, and judgment. I might have been one who chimed in likewise a year ago. But some were outright hostile towards any non-believers who want to stay but openly NOT believing all the doctrines as they are understood in Stage 3. The comments ranged from "These fence-sitters are just cafeteria Mormons who are trying to get off easy" to "Crap or get off the pot! You're either in or you're out". There was a sense with many of them of "I'm doing and believing and sacrificing, and you should too to claim membership". A 100% commitment to believing EVERYTHING is still expected.

It's a good example of Stage 3 being over-prone to black-and-white thinking. There was one recurring theme that most of the TBM's had in their comments: they felt threatened by people who expressed doubt or questioned anything about the perfection of the church, and that "these people" should just leave rather than being lukewarm fence-sitters. I get the feeling that some are more concerned that those "nonbelievers" will influence others to doubt and disbelieve than they are that they might actually want to help them stay. I can understand the difficulty of being comfortable having people there who openly doubt or disbelieve church doctrine or practices, because disbelief is, by definition, a threat to belief! There were a few commenters like us who defended the plight of the disbelieving, but I just read over and over "These people need to read their scriptures, pray, and follow the prophet!", as if "people like us" have never considered doing that. Some have spent years and decades doing that to no avail. What then? Just leave? Yet I would have said the exact same thing a year ago! it really hit home that Stage 3 Mormons are incapable of understanding how it actually is for us. It's not a bash. Being a man, I am incapable of understanding what it is like to give birth. I can say whatever I want about how birthing should feel, but the new mother can ignore my opinions without guilt, knowing better. Stage 3, black and white is safe, clear, and a viable way to live a fulfilling life. But ultimately, unable to handle hard evidence contrary to previous thinking. That would move the believer into a VERY uncomfortable Stage 4. When grey appeared, I felt like I had no choice but to question everything I once "knew". I did not choose to question my beliefs. The challenge came from outside myself.

I do love the people of the church, I always have. TBM's are definitely good and great people, and generally people I love being around and serving with, and when the harsher article comments were called out by those of our persuasion, and they did apologize for their harshness, but stood by their veiwpoints. Thanks for listening!
Was this the post http://www.timesandseasons.org/harchive ... r-mormons/ ?

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