Holding Past Actions Against People and Organizations

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Roy
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Re: Holding Past Actions Against People and Organizations

Post by Roy » 24 Jan 2019, 13:52

SilentDawning wrote:
23 Jan 2019, 09:10
Forgiving 70 X 7 is easier when the relationship is at arm's length than when it is long-term. I know there are extreme situations, like when an arms-length person commits murder or other heinous crimes against us or our loved ones, but those situations are not typical for me personally.
I very much agree that forgiveness is easier when the relationship is at arms length. My relationship with the in-laws is not great but that is mostly resolved by living several hundred miles away. I also feel that I have mentally made some distance between myself and the LDS organization. This allows me to deflect some issues by saying some variation of "their club, their rules" or "their money, their choice".

Of course this is also easier when I am not directly affected. If I were directly and personally insulted from the pulpit in SM, I do not believe that I would be successful deflecting. My strategies for not holding grudges and moving on can break down in more extreme scenarios.
"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

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SilentDawning
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Re: Holding Past Actions Against People and Organizations

Post by SilentDawning » 25 Jan 2019, 09:45

I enjoyed reading these responses. They kind of confirm that the biblical approach to forgiveness is really for arm's length relationships, and temporary ones too. And full re-engagement with the person isn't necessarily part of forgiveness.

In a long term relationship, I believe there has to be behavior change on the part of the person who was in the wrong for there to be a true re-engagement. I think people may get over cheating spouses, but it would surprise me if there is total removal of the angst about the cheating. Some will move on, making the cheater's relationship with them no longer permanent, which makes forgiveness easier. But there is not a full re-engagement with the cheating spouse.

For full forgiveness AND full re-engagement, I honestly believe the person who did the wronging needs to make a full behavior change. And the person wronged has every right to expect that. Otherwise, the person who was wronged will have to make adjustments to the relationship to reduce the angst, and make it easier to forgive.

One problem with "forgive completely in all circumstances" is that it's really hard on the forgiver. If you see the person all the time, there is this constant reminder of what they did. But if you never see them, then the memory triggers reduce significantly, and time erodes the angst.

Now, no one cheated on me in my personal life. It's not about that -- I'm drawing an analogy. In a way, the church cheated on the membership in not being honest about objectionable parts of our history -- particularly when people are making big marriage, financial and lifelong commitments as a result of the information the church provided.

I am drawning an analogy, partly because of a show I watched called "Back with the EX" about people who had relationships that failed and then wanted to get back together again. One was a couple that had a really, really good relationship, and then the woman cheated on her man and broke his heart. She tried to win him back and was successful.

Anyway, I like the idea of forgiveness, but with new boundaries drawn. If the person who was wronged needs to forgive for the sake of his or her own heart, then removal or a reduction in the relationship seems wholly appropriate. Especially with the highly objectionable idea that the person who does not forgive is worse than the person who hurt them (something that I strongly object to as destructive doctrine).
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Roy
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Re: Holding Past Actions Against People and Organizations

Post by Roy » 25 Jan 2019, 12:51

SilentDawning wrote:
25 Jan 2019, 09:45
Especially with the highly objectionable idea that the person who does not forgive is worse than the person who hurt them (something that I strongly object to as destructive doctrine).
The only way that I can see any truth to that would be in comparing a person that makes mistakes but is quick to repent, make amends, and apologize and a person that holds grudges and is generally bitter and vindictive. It would seem that the first person would be on a path of self improvement and would be building and nurturing relationships with those around them. The second person might become more bitter as time goes on and they collect resentments. The relationships they have may become more and more strained as offences happen and there is no real mechanism to deal with them and move on. Therefore, I do believe in forgiveness for the benefit of the forgiver (including appropriate boundaries and distance as needed).
SilentDawning wrote:
25 Jan 2019, 09:45
In a way, the church cheated on the membership in not being honest about objectionable parts of our history -- particularly when people are making big marriage, financial and lifelong commitments as a result of the information the church provided.
I suppose that a better analogy might be that the church misrepresented certain facts before we became fully committed to them. We have discussed before here the betrayal of discovering an undisclosed secret from a spouse's life prior to ever meeting you. Everyone puts their best foot forward with a potential love interest but is there a point where full disclosure is appropriate? Thinking on that analogy, I can imagine the church/spouse to say, "I was worried that if I told you all about my warts and all past you wouldn't love me anymore. My past doesn't define who I am and the life we have built together. That was like a different lifetime for me (long before I even met you) and I am not the same person that I was."
Even here, I believe that it can be important for the spouse with the secret history to finally come clean. I suppose, in a way, the church can be said to be doing exactly that with the essays and JS Papers project. I guess it is up to each one of us to process the withheld information and address the ongoing relationship as best we can.
"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

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SilentDawning
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Re: Holding Past Actions Against People and Organizations

Post by SilentDawning » 25 Jan 2019, 16:10

Roy wrote:The only way that I can see any truth to that would be in comparing a person that makes mistakes but is quick to repent, make amends, and apologize and a person that holds grudges and is generally bitter and vindictive.
Yes, I could go along with that. If the person has truly made amends, it is much easier to forgive. Even God requires full change of character for the atonement to fully kick in. And JS even said that if you repent, change character, and then make a mistake again, the former sins return. Clearly, to God, forgiveness is contingent on character change.

But mortals like us have an even more daunting task -- to forgive in when the behavior continues and the person has no remorse or character change. Sure, it's best to live your life in ways that promote inner peace, but I am not sure unbridled forgiveness is in order in that situation. I also think it's possible to not forgive someone, but still be at peace about the situation.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 25 Jan 2019, 16:31, edited 1 time in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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SilentDawning
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Re: Holding Past Actions Against People and Organizations

Post by SilentDawning » 25 Jan 2019, 16:19

Roy wrote:
25 Jan 2019, 12:51
Even here, I believe that it can be important for the spouse with the secret history to finally come clean. I suppose, in a way, the church can be said to be doing exactly that with the essays and JS Papers project. I guess it is up to each one of us to process the withheld information and address the ongoing relationship as best we can.
When I hear that, I'm reminded of decades ago when I came home with flowers for my wife one evening. I had previously mentioned emphasis was on being kind to our wives as a topic in Stake Priesthood Meeting. When my wife saw the flowers, she didn't seem impressed. When I asked why she replied "you only did it because they mentioned it in priesthood meeting". At first, I felt discouraged. But I now realize her comment showed an unmet need -- a need to feel loved without any external prodding or forces encouraging such expression.

I guess I feel the same way toward the church -- they only came clean because, as someone said earlier, they'd already lost that ground. If the internet didn't shout the church's past sins on the rooftops, would we have the gospel topic essays and JS papers? I think not. And it was a long time in coming too -- after years and years and years of the truth being leaked on the Internet.

It makes it hard to trust them (along with other experiences I've had). And doesn't to me, point to character change. It was damage control.

If you want to link it to past GA talks on motives for obedience, the lowest level is fear of negative consequences, then it rises to the expectation of reward, and then for social approval, and finally pure love. Nothing but the highest level (pure love) is permanent and indicative of character change in the absence of external influences.

What would it take to show such character change? I think disclosing things the Internet doesn't know that were objectionable, even at the risk of hurting members' faith would help. Admitting the history wasn't forthright, and expressing sorrow would help. And then, other kindnesses even when such kindnesses put the church's naked interests second. The only time I think I ever heard church leaders apologize was DHO over the Mountain Meadows Massacre. And even then, he said "there's no doubt MEMBERS OF OUR CHURCH were involved", sidestepping the likely command from a leader in authority. How else would 60-100 men, seeking righteousness, willingly massacre that number of men in lockstep??? They must have been acting on the strength of a command from an "inspired leader". But I still felt some emotion that a notable leader actually attempted an apology. But it was a guarded one, for sure.

On the other hand, lest I be too negative, the church DID show a character change in the two-hour church, changing that awful HT program to something more practical and kind, combining the priesthood quorums, and making a concerted effort to lessen unnecessary burdens on church members. For those changes, I think there can be forgiveness for the years of not listening, or being arrogant about suggested change as challenging revelation, etcetera. I think that if such kindnesses continue (such as regular listening posts, openly administered) about the experience of being a Mormon, with continued, true, responsive change, this could mitigate the way were mislead for so many decades when information didn't flow as freely as it does now given the internet.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 26 Jan 2019, 08:00, edited 1 time in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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SamBee
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Re: Holding Past Actions Against People and Organizations

Post by SamBee » 25 Jan 2019, 16:56

dande48 wrote:
24 Jan 2019, 11:17
SamBee wrote:
24 Jan 2019, 04:08
Is the church even the same organization that was around when JS was alive? That's contestable, particularly from the period just after his murder. We can certainly draw a line back to BY and claim to be the biggest successor, but the succession was hotly contested and I think BY had to reconstitute things in the chaos.
The Church claims it is. And JS claimed "We believe in the same organization that existed in the premitive Church", i.e. back in the times of Jesus, Moses, Abraham, and even Adam. Shouldn't we hold the Church accountable for their claims, even if they aren't true?
They might say it, but are they? We've asked this question before here.

It does seem clear to me that the period just after JS' murder was a massive disruption unlike any since he founded the church and after. I believe JS did foresee his own early death but I also think he never set up an effective succession plan. It was the long rule of Brigham Young which stabilized things.

In regard to JS' claim, he also stated categorically that all other churches were in apostasy, so even if he claimed a direct link back to the ancient church, by his own admission there was a temporal gap of seven or eight hundred years.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
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Re: Holding Past Actions Against People and Organizations

Post by Roy » 29 Jan 2019, 11:59

Was Christianity the fulfillment of Judaism? Successful religion seems to often be a reimagining and reinterpretation of an already established and much older theological structure. Thus the new religion is fresh and exciting while at the same time tapping into the credibility of having been around for ages past.
"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

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SamBee
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Re: Holding Past Actions Against People and Organizations

Post by SamBee » 29 Jan 2019, 14:47

Roy wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 11:59
Was Christianity the fulfillment of Judaism? Successful religion seems to often be a reimagining and reinterpretation of an already established and much older theological structure. Thus the new religion is fresh and exciting while at the same time tapping into the credibility of having been around for ages past.
The Bahais are the fulfilment of Islam which is the fulfilment of Christianity which is the fulfilment of Judaism. Or so they claim.

They rope in many religions to support their claims. I've even seen Bahai materials quoting Joseph Smith.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
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Re: Holding Past Actions Against People and Organizations

Post by Roy » 29 Jan 2019, 15:30

How interesting!
"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

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dande48
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Re: Holding Past Actions Against People and Organizations

Post by dande48 » 29 Jan 2019, 15:50

Back to the OP, should we not hold people accountable to the past actions of those to whom they claim succession (whether legitimate or not). In the example of Christianity, most Christians hold Moses to have been a prophet, and that the law of Moses was from God. Jesus felt he was a prophet. So while we don't follow the "law of Moses" anymore, Christians still believe in a God who once declared we should stone gays, or women who weren't virgins on their wedding night (as evidenced by the lack of hymen blood). Also, if an betrothed girl gets raped in town, she gets stoned, since she didn't scream for help. But if the girl wasn't betrothed, the guy only has to pay her father some money and marry her.

The Mosaic law is disgustingly barbaric. Jehovah, as described by the OT, is barbaric and not worthy of worship. As wrong as some past LDS leaders have been, Moses was immensely worse. Shouldn't those who hold Moses to be a prophet, answer for, or at least denounce such atrocities? Should we not raise an eyebrow at those who teach their children to love, respect, and revere Moses? Personally, I don't think Moses ever existed. But the doctrines he was purported to have taught, and the ideals he represents are reprehensible, whether he existed or not.
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