Relaxing on the Rules

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Heber13
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Relaxing on the Rules

Post by Heber13 » 14 Nov 2018, 11:03

Yesterday i received a text message on Facebook messenger from my missionary son who is serving in Spain. He has been out just past 18 months now.

I immediately wondered if something happened or was wrong....Why was he messaging me? Was he breaking rules...oh crap...is my son a rule-breaker missionary?!

No...actually...quite the opposite. He is Mr Rule-follower and obedient and enjoying every moment of his mission and the structure it gives him to succeed and feel good about himself.

Interestingly...my son said they had an General Authority come through and talk to their mission and was talking to all western European missions. One thing he told them...
"It's time in the church we relax on some of the rules that aren't necessary."
This could be just that GA. It could be just that region. It could be limited to missionary things and not to be read into too much.

But it meant on Pdays missionaries would have access to message and facebook family and friends back home as much as they want. Our whole family jumped online and we chatted like it was mother's day. It was so fun...and legal! My son can even call me to talk about University applications he may need to get in soon. Also...they will be getting more mobile devices to all missionaries. Instead of a companionship sharing a smartphone, they'll each be getting their own. Interesting.

I wondered if this theme will go throughout the church...that it is time to relax on some rules. Coffee even comes to mind...they could relax on that being something necessary for TRs. I mean, if church was cut to 2 hours and HT is relaxed to be more ministering, are they seeing the need to relax before losing too many people?

Has anyone else heard of leadership sending the message R-E-L-A-X in your area?

If they were to relax...which rules do you see would be good to go?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Relaxing on the Rules

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 Nov 2018, 12:52

This is awesome. Simply wonderful.
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

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mom3
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Re: Relaxing on the Rules

Post by mom3 » 14 Nov 2018, 12:53

Not R.E.L.A.X yet but I did post that Africa is doing church differently for families who live too far from a church or have to cross through a town that isn't safe. They are full on Home-Churching, sacrament and all.

On the mission front, it is still leadership roulette. Our local mission president is iron fisted. He just cut back service hours, sent out a diatribe about when meals will be, and more. He keeps passports, and is a real piece of work. Even my SP is finding the MP hard to deal with. Last year we used all the missionaries during our community service weeks. It was a huge help. Young, able bodied, people - a big gift. Not this year.

I am thrilled for your son and family.
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: Relaxing on the Rules

Post by DarkJedi » 14 Nov 2018, 13:25

That's great, Heber, and I totally agree. My missionary son (not in Europe) would convey such news to us if he heard it. He did say they have a GA coming this week.

BUT, judging by what's happening here where I live (Northeast US) exactly the opposite is happening at least as far as missionaries are concerned. We got a new MP in July and there are tons more rules added to the already tons of extra rules. Good for your son, sad (and I mean that, I often feel sad for them) for the elders and sisters here in the North America Northeast Area (our local elders have indicated that many of the new rules come from them, not directly from our MP, although I am not overly impressed with our MP). We just had stake conference with a pretty black and white sounding AA who was also very missionary focused. No indication of lightening up from him either.
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

Roy
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Re: Relaxing on the Rules

Post by Roy » 14 Nov 2018, 17:07

some of the rules … aren't necessary


:clap: :clap: :clap:
"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

Arrakeen
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Re: Relaxing on the Rules

Post by Arrakeen » 14 Nov 2018, 18:42

I've noticed that all too often the rules harm the obedient, without helping the disobedient. The people the rules are meant to rein in often just don't care about the rules, and will continue to disregard them no matter how many rules you have or how strict you make them. Meanwhile, those who do follow the rules end up beating themselves up with perfectionism and scrupulosity, when they probably would have done just fine without any rules.

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dande48
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Re: Relaxing on the Rules

Post by dande48 » 14 Nov 2018, 18:46

WAHOO!!! I sure hope they relax more. The missionaries in our area aren't allowed to have dinner after 5:00pm, which makes it next to impossible to feed them. They're not getting enough of a stipend for groceries, and so they're just... starving. Our current mission president is kind of a ***** (insert favorite naughty word here).

We need to make the lives of missionaries much easier. There are so many rules which bring unnecessary hardship.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

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-Lemony Snicket

nibbler
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Re: Relaxing on the Rules

Post by nibbler » 14 Nov 2018, 19:26

Arrakeen wrote:
14 Nov 2018, 18:42
I've noticed that all too often the rules harm the obedient, without helping the disobedient. The people the rules are meant to rein in often just don't care about the rules, and will continue to disregard them no matter how many rules you have or how strict you make them. Meanwhile, those who do follow the rules end up beating themselves up with perfectionism and scrupulosity, when they probably would have done just fine without any rules.
I feel the exact same way and was thinking of posting something similar. Basically the opposite outcome of:
Heber13 wrote:
14 Nov 2018, 11:03
He is Mr Rule-follower and obedient and enjoying every moment of his mission and the structure it gives him to succeed and feel good about himself.
I was Mr. Rule-follower and obedient but I never felt happy, scrupulosity set in during my mission and is set in hard. The structure ended up making me fell worse about myself.

Maybe it's certain personality types but I struggled to feel god's approval, always feeling like I wasn't enough, even though I followed the rules. I'm sure having "exact obedience" in my ear and permeating my thoughts had a great deal to do with that.

I do think there are personality types where not being 100% obedient in all things is like water off a ducks back, the culture's fixation on obedience probably doesn't do much harm for those types but there are others where the culture's fixation does a lot of harm.

Scenario A: A month ago I texted my family for 10 minutes while on my mission. I felt guilt and shame. I felt horrible. I felt god's disapproval. I broke the mission rules.
Scenario B: Today I texted my family for 10 minutes while on my mission. It was okay. The GA said so.

There's nothing about texting family that makes god angry, it's not a question of morals. The only difference? Some leader gave permission. That's the difference between having anxiety over whether god accepts you and it being no big deal. At that age it's hard to have confidence in god giving us direct permission.

nibbler
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Re: Relaxing on the Rules

Post by nibbler » 14 Nov 2018, 19:27

dande48 wrote:
14 Nov 2018, 18:46
Our current mission president is kind of a ***** (insert favorite naughty word here).
Does "Mormon" work? ;)

AmyJ
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Re: Relaxing on the Rules

Post by AmyJ » 15 Nov 2018, 05:50

Arrakeen wrote:
14 Nov 2018, 18:42
I've noticed that all too often the rules harm the obedient, without helping the disobedient. The people the rules are meant to rein in often just don't care about the rules, and will continue to disregard them no matter how many rules you have or how strict you make them. Meanwhile, those who do follow the rules end up beating themselves up with perfectionism and scrupulosity, when they probably would have done just fine without any rules.
In my mission, the only music allowed was "MoTab", Hymns, or Gospel Library CD's. I acquired some Relief Society or Young Women CD's that didn't quite fit any of those categories but uplifted and inspired us sisters. I remember having a conversation with my mission president about it - I am not sure if I half-asked/half-told him what I was doing, or asked for permission after the fact. He basically authorized my exception (there may have been some gentle eye-rolling on his part). The gist of it was an acknowledgement that the music didn't fit the letter of the law, but did fit the spirit of the law, so I could do what I was going to do - but he wasn't going to change the entire mission rules because doing so would create more confusion for everyone else. If anyone else was interested, they could talk to him about it like I had, or it was a non-issue.

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