One blogger's experience

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DarkJedi
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One blogger's experience

Post by DarkJedi » 09 Feb 2018, 15:56

This was shared on LDS.org, and I do like it - although I'm also sure that not everyone will have a similar experience (depending on where they live and their own tolerance).

https://www.lds.org/blog/why-dont-i-fee ... G_xLIDyL2_

Quotes I like:
As I felt better at church, I started to wonder if, like me, others felt afraid to share their questions and experiences. I thought that maybe if I spoke up and was more open and vulnerable, others might feel more comfortable about having questions as well.
It was difficult, but I began speaking up and was honest about my uncertainties and experiences. If anyone asked about my tattoo, I was happy and open to talk about it. My fear of being different began to disappear completely, and, without fail, any time I talked about my trials, questions, or thoughts, another person always came forward with similar worries and expressed relief that the subject had been brought up.
I could see that happening some places, I could also see the shutdown and shunning.
I was amazed to find that I had more in common than different with my peers. I found some of the best friends I’ve ever had, and I have never felt closer to the Savior. I love the quote by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin: “The Church is not a place where perfect people gather to say perfect things, or have perfect thoughts, or have perfect feelings. The Church is a place where imperfect people gather to provide encouragement, support, and service to each other as we press on in our journey to return to our Heavenly Father” (“The Virtue of Kindness,” Apr. 2005 general conference). Now, more than ever, I know this is true.
Love the Wirthlin quote, and finding such friends is possible (but sometimes difficult).
To anyone who feels they don’t fit in at church—you truly do. We all have imperfections, and we all need each other’s support. Your experiences and faith are a needed part of the Church. Our questions help us find out what we truly believe, and sharing them in church can help us find answers. Our trials and experiences help us relate to one another and make connections that enrich our lives, especially in a ward family.
To anyone wondering how they can help people feel like they fit in at church, please don’t be afraid to talk to anyone you see who might seem different. Be loving, accepting, tolerant, and patient with those who look and act different. Vulnerability and genuineness are important elements in forming real and lasting relationships. The best friends I have from church are those who didn’t let my tattoo or questions get in the way of truly getting to know me, and those relationships helped me come to church on weeks when things seemed especially hard. I am forever grateful that my friends saw past my differences.
:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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."

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Beefster
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A small victory in LDS culture

Post by Beefster » 10 Feb 2018, 18:26

To my surprise, this article was on lds.org. It talks of the experiences of a girl with a tattoo and extra piercing returning to church. The future of LDS culture looking just a little brighter- a little bit less judgmental of outward appearances.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

Roy
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Re: One blogger's experience

Post by Roy » 11 Feb 2018, 13:42

There are some things I could quibble with - mostly that her experience does not reflect the experience of everybody else.

However, 1) DJ mostly covered this concept in the title "One blogger's experience" and 2) I believe the experience to be genuine (an honest first person account).

I following passage jumped out at me:
While my [Faith Crisis] had some extremely dark moments, I honestly consider it as one of the most important times of my life. Never had I prayed so hard, examined myself and my beliefs so thoroughly, or faced my uncertainties so head-on as I did then.
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: One blogger's experience

Post by DarkJedi » 11 Feb 2018, 14:05

I totally agree, Roy, I do believe she is sincere and not stretching the truth of her experience. Indeed, as indicated by some of what I quoted, my experience has some similarities with hers (returning to church after having been away for 10 years). I do find as she did that there are people who we can find much in common with and people "who yearn to know and draw closer to their Savior by serving God and fellowmen, just like you" (Uchtdorf). Likewise, as I have said here in the past, in many ways my faith is much stronger now than it was before. I give her credit in returning and blogging about, I give people in her ward credit for accepting her, and I give whoever runs that part of LDS.org credit for reposting her blog. Like Beefster, I was surprised to find it on LDS.org. While all of that is true, it is also true that not everyone will have the same experience as she and I, and to me that's very sad.

Here's another goody that was on that same page. https://www.lds.org/blog/how-questionin ... s?lang=eng I also give kudos to LDS.org for reposting this one, especially since the word doubt can have such a negative connotation in the church. I relate a great deal to this blogger as well.
I was helped immensely by realizing that wrestling with questions is good. It doesn’t necessarily lead away from gospel truths; rather, it can help us gain greater insight and understanding. The process can be strengthening rather than weakening. Sister Dew puts it succinctly: “When we have unresolved questions, our challenge does not lie in what we think we know. It lies in what we don’t YET know” (Worth the Wrestle, 23).
The desire to ask questions and seek further knowledge is a divine attribute. It’s what led a young boy into a grove of trees to ask about which church was right. And as we search for answers, it’s important to remember the eternal truths we have already gained testimony of.
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
Posts: 4888
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: One blogger's experience

Post by Roy » 13 Feb 2018, 10:33

DarkJedi wrote:
11 Feb 2018, 14:05
Here's another goody that was on that same page. https://www.lds.org/blog/how-questionin ... s?lang=eng I also give kudos to LDS.org for reposting this one, especially since the word doubt can have such a negative connotation in the church.
I like this one less.

She had questions and doubts until one day a friend asked her what she did know a.k.a. her testimony. She had a testimony of all the major points from Jesus, to JS, to modern day prophet. For me it would have been more helpful if she felt she had a testimony of some things and not of others. Richard Bushman has said that he is saddened when people lose faith in the LDS church and also lose faith in God and Christ. According to him, if doubters can manage belief in Christ then they are in pretty good shape. Conversely, this blogger seems to be saying "Forget all those unsettling earthly facts - just fall back on your childhood testimony."

I liked the part of the policy of exclusion less than the first part. Partly because I feel passionate about it, partly because she heavily references Sheri Dew and I am less forgiving of church leaders than regular folk bloggers
[Sheri Dew] describes feelings similar to mine: “When the policy was announced that the children of gay parents might not be eligible for baptism at the traditional age of eight, I was confused. I did not question the Brethren or doubt their inspiration, but neither did I understand the doctrinal basis for the policy. And my heart went out to friends with children or grandchildren in this situation.”

She continues: “So I asked the Lord to teach me. I prayed, searched the scriptures, studied the teachings of prophets, and pondered this question in the temple. This went on for months. Then one day a colleague made a statement as part of a presentation that sparked a new thought for me, and in that moment the Spirit illuminated at least part of the doctrine in my heart and mind. I consider that answer personal revelation and not something I should repeat” (Worth the Wrestle [2017], 22–23).
Sister Dew states that she did not doubt or question the brethren but she did not understand the doctrinal basis for the policy. Doctrinal basis? Does a policy need a doctrinal basis? A policy can be smart and even inspired without it being doctrine. Then Sister Dew set about looking for ways to justify her forgone conclusion - that the policy was doctrinally based. Finally she found something "doctrinal" that would work but she considers it personal revelation and will not reveal it. Secret doctrine?

I actually feel like maybe the church has learned a lesson here. There were lots of doctrinal speculations for the priesthood ban that the church has now disavowed. Maybe it is better not to stake out a doctrinal position.

The blogger/author continues:
At first I was disappointed she didn’t provide the answer. Then I realized Sheri Dew’s answer would not be the same as mine. We all understand in different ways, and the Lord responds accordingly.
So Sister Dew suggests that there is a doctrinal basis for the policy that was revealed at least in part to her mind and heart by the spirit. Then the blogger indicates that the answers that we receive for the "doctrinal basis" of a global policy of the church are personal and may be contradictory? This sounds to me to be very similar to "Whatever you have to tell yourself to make peace with it." :roll:

So yes, I am not a fan. Perhaps you can illuminate me on your perspective.
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: One blogger's experience

Post by DarkJedi » 13 Feb 2018, 13:00

I don't love it either, Roy. It's sort of like a talk by certain apostles - even though there is much I don't like, there are sometimes gems in there. Ballard comes to mind as one that this often happens with me. I'm not at all a fan of his anti-tech stuff, or "stay in the boat," or some of the other off the wall stuff he talks about - but he also offers some good stuff about the Savior and the sacrament sometimes. I can find good stuff in almost any talk. This one is more like a Ballard talk.

I agree that her version of doubt and FC is different than mine - mine was more like what Bushman describes. BUT the way I ended up coming back and then rebuilding my faith was by refocusing on what I do believe. At the time when I came back it was pretty simple - I did believe there was a God if only because I don't believe this is really all random and happened all by itself. You can verify this by reading my old posts, I didn't even believe in Christ then much less JS, the BoM, etc. My current beliefs in those things are still quite different than pre-FC and different from more mainstream Mormon beliefs (except maybe with Christ - but I don't "know" he is my Savior, I only hope and believe He is).

I am also an opponent of the gay policy. I have a masters degree in policy studies. You bring up valid points, and even from a "scholarly" point of view it's a bad policy. I also agree with you it does not seem to have a doctrinal basis, and that's true of lots of LDS policies. Sheri dew, who I do somewhat like, can have whatever opinion she likes on the policy and reconcile it whatever way she wants. Her reconciliation is not going to work for everyone, particularly Millennials. I have my own reconciliation which doesn't seem to involve revelation and probably is more of a hope it just goes away as opposed to an actual reconciliation. I hope the church has learned or is learning a lesson from it - but honestly I think guys like Ballard and Nelson are not learning the lesson and will simply thump the Bible in their own defense. The trouble is in my own mind, and I think in the minds of many young people, the Bible contains no such doctrine or backup for a policy like this. Likewise, Nelson doesn't appear to be slow to pull the revelation card - but his definition of revelation differs greatly from mine.
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
Posts: 4888
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: One blogger's experience

Post by Roy » 13 Feb 2018, 15:04

I was looking at the blog post author and wondering who this individual was.
Laurie Campbell has quite the collection of life experiences, challenges, and mistakes. She has lived a life outside the gospel and within, having now determined, with absolute certainty, she likes it better within.
What does it mean to live life "outside the gospel"? I wondered

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/765 ... h-LDS.html

Once again, I am not a fan of the things that Laurie says on this subject (of same sex attraction and mixed orientation marriages). However, similar to the weed family, I feel that I can cut her some slack because she has been through much anguish.

My main objection is that I believe that the focus of her outreach might be offering false hope to many of those that so desperately want it.
"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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DarkJedi
Posts: 5850
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: One blogger's experience

Post by DarkJedi » 13 Feb 2018, 15:42

Roy wrote:
13 Feb 2018, 15:04
What does it mean to live life "outside the gospel"?
My best guess is good old conflation of the church and the gospel.
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

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