felixfabulous wrote: ↑
17 Oct 2018, 09:03
The million-dollar question is how do you change the system to accommodate literal believers (which are preferred) and non-literal believers (who may be less committed)? We seem to be in the beginning stages of exploring this as a possibility. I also am curious if there are people who have been able to appreciate the temple ritual as non-literal believers.
There are churches that welcome people to join with them for the benefits of community and environment even if they don't buy 100% into the message. The theory goes that perhaps over time the message will start to grow on them.
I believe that our church depends primarily on the membership's convictions of the message to motivate them to endure sacrifice and unpleasant things in the environment. You start out with the conversion/testimony, you make certain promises/covenants, then you endure to the end.
I believe that this system makes it difficult to welcome non-literal and less committed believers because they seem 1) like a threat and/or 2) like a free loading drain on the system. You have a squishy and infirm testimony! You do not take your covenants as literal and binding!?!?! You want to continue in the church as long as you feel like it!?!?!?!?! What kind of a patty cake, taffy pull experience is that?!?!?!!?
Because we live a demanding religion that can be hard work there is natural resentment for people that seem to be shirking their fair share of the weight.
As a side note I believe that this model really hurts our convert retention. The LDS lifestyle can be a long hard slog. We expect people to "stay the course" based on pleasant feelings that they had in the beginning. I do not think we would find this to be a reasonable expectation in any other context.
AmyJ wrote: ↑
18 Oct 2018, 06:26
The gender discrepancies and loyalty oaths were uncomfortable
I feel that it is worth mentioning (in the context of this thread about masonry) that the gender discrepancies were not borrowed from Masonry. Masonic lodges were fraternal organizations and did not allow women. It is somewhat progressive that JS brought Women into his order. OTOH, the way that it was tied up with polygamy makes me feel that it was a "one step forward, two steps back" situation. The gender disparity language of the endowment borrows from concepts in the bible - particularly 1 Corinthians 11:3. The "source material" for most of the inspiration and innovation of JS seems to be the bible.
AmyJ wrote: ↑
18 Oct 2018, 06:26
being here has shown me it is possible to navigate the temple waters and family in various stages of belief successfully.
I LOVE this sentence. Sometimes we hear a message that says you need to be all in or all out. We even hear that God might prefer us to be openly antagonistic towards the church than to be a less committed, "middle-way", cafateria style Mormon. I reject that as a false dichotomy.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood
“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223
"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13