BCC - Worthiness vs. Boundary

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
Post Reply
User avatar
mom3
Posts: 3644
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

BCC - Worthiness vs. Boundary

Post by mom3 » 14 Aug 2018, 13:10

As an add on to Hawkgrrl's threads on Modesty and Purity, Michael Austin asked and suggests some changes I can get on board with.

https://bycommonconsent.com/2018/08/14/ ... ent-405740
"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

Only Love
Posts: 32
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 19:29

Re: BCC - Worthiness vs. Boundary

Post by Only Love » 15 Aug 2018, 10:56

I like that! What beautiful questions! I'm not sure how exactly temple recommend interviews and stuff would work, but I think this is very much the direction we need to go to become more god-like.

It's a tough balance... I hate the judgemental attitudes our focus on worthiness facilitates (even the word worthy bugs me... I know it's not supposed to mean worth but it sure sounds similar.) On the other hand, I know when I started at BYU I was so excited to join fellow students who didn't do drugs, have sex, etc. That was so different from my high school and I craved that kind of an environment.

Is it possible to create a place (school/ward/whatever) with certain outward standards and yet no self-righteous judgement?

User avatar
dande48
Posts: 1081
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: BCC - Worthiness vs. Boundary

Post by dande48 » 15 Aug 2018, 12:39

It sounds like the proposed interview would be more of an inward introspection, rather than a judgement like it is now. I'm all for it.
Only Love wrote:
15 Aug 2018, 10:56
Is it possible to create a place (school/ward/whatever) with certain outward standards and yet no self-righteous judgement?
I think there are lots of ways to do this. But in order for it to happen, the Church needs to be open to change. Since all decisions by Church leadership are direct revelation from God... change is very hard to do. Even when the practice is obviously ineffective, or potentially harmful, the Church tends to double down. But here's some suggestions:

1. Allow the exercise of free agency, while making it a social taboo. Campaigns against smoking have been highly effective for this. Plain packaging laws, barring most advertisements, restrictions of locations (designated smoking areas), ramping up penalties for related laws (littering)... people still smoke, but it happens much less than it has in the past.

2. Provide strong, free social services, aimed at helping those with addictions. Example: Switzerland, specifically Zurich going from one of the worst drug cities in the world, to greatly rate of new addicts, by decriminalizing hard drugs, and pooling their efforts into "harm reduction" and decriminalization.

3. Stop inflicting guilt, imposing socio-economic/religious penalties, and instead focus on the the pragmatic reasons "Why?" or "Why not?". There's been plenty of social and scientific studies showing the harm caused by pornography, promiscuity, etc. These should be talked about in an open, "matter of fact" manner, in which people feel comfortable sharing their experiences and struggles, rather than having everyone keep shamefully silent.

4. Get rid of the adage "The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." STUDY BEHAVIOR. The gospel is supposed to be unchanging, and all encompassing. I understand why people need this certainty and security. But it too often causes Church leaders and members to neglect diligent study and investigation outside of what is found in the scriptures. Worse, if studies and investigations go outside the "status quo" they get rejected. This is one of the biggest reasons why the LGBT community as struggled and continued to struggle in the Church. There's not enough investigation into "why" and "how to help" outside of what is already laid out in the scriptures. Personally, I feel much more convinced by arguments backed by hard data, than by feelings and poetry.

When it comes to BYU, I do think drugs and extramarital sex happen much less often. But those who engage in such behaviors have dishonesty added to their list of sins, and a lot of fear and shame added to their struggles. Heck, if you had extramarital sex at BYU, would you tell anyone? If you get pregnant, wouldn't it be far more tempting to opt for an abortion, when the alternative is getting expelled, ostracized from the community, and consigned to poverty? There's very little to help the "sinners", and that's a HUGE problem.
"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

AmyJ
Posts: 761
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: BCC - Worthiness vs. Boundary

Post by AmyJ » 15 Aug 2018, 13:54

Only Love wrote:
15 Aug 2018, 10:56
Is it possible to create a place (school/ward/whatever) with certain outward standards and yet no self-righteous judgement?
I suppose it is theoretically possible, but I don't think its going to be our church institution (in the near future).
  • Our theology rests on us being "chosen" or better then everyone else. We pay lip service to changing this - but the premise that we are "chosen" because we have keys and authority that others don't have creates an environment for self-righteous judgement.
  • We have a tendency to lump ethics with righteousness. This gives us perceived authority to judge those as
    unrighteous" because they "sin differently then I do". So people who are "godless" as atheists and agnostics are perceived to be and/or self-identify as in general are assumed to be without morals by factions within the church. We see this misconception in why people leave the church (because they don't conform to the group expectations). I am blessed to have an ethical agnostic grandfather - so I knew that they were "good people" - but it took me 25 years to realize that when my formerly agnostic father "got religion" and joined the church - he didn't instantly become a better person. It was working on the attributes that the gospel teachings provide in the church that has gotten my father as far as he has progressed.
  • Humans are gonna human. It takes years to get to the point where a person doesn't feel threatened by another person's success. Until we as humans recognize that the greater "sin" is in judging ourselves against the standards of others instead of judging ourselves against our former selves, we aren't going to get the developmental maturity to decide what those standards are (being united) and not apply self-righteous judgement.

User avatar
mom3
Posts: 3644
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: BCC - Worthiness vs. Boundary

Post by mom3 » 15 Aug 2018, 16:54

but it took me 25 years to realize that when my formerly agnostic father "got religion" and joined the church - he didn't instantly become a better person. It was working on the attributes that the gospel teachings provide in the church that has gotten my father as far as he has progressed.
Amy that is an insightful statement. I am going to carry it in my head for a while.
"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

Post Reply