Special Sunday School class

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Rumin8
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Re: Special Sunday School class

Post by Rumin8 » 07 Jan 2019, 15:50

Roy wrote:
06 Jan 2019, 16:18
If you are not responsible for teaching the class then it would be fairly easy to keep the datails of your faith as private as you want.
Sounds like we will take turns leading the discussion. Its meant to be far more discussion heavy rather than "learning." I like the concept. The person leading the discussion is supposed to relay information to the group outside of class so that all can be prepared to discuss (trying to get out of the "read out loud" method of teaching). Other class members are also free to distribute items to review together prior to the class. So its not all on the discussion leader for that topic. I've jokingly called this the special needs sunday school class. But maybe I'm looking at it all wrong and its really advanced placement? :)
Roy wrote:
06 Jan 2019, 16:18
OTOH if it is too much like FAIR then I would lose interist after a few weeks. Every year on ward conference we have ward council members who teach on the new Essays.
FAIR will have a big role, I can tell. I don't mind that too much, but like you, I may lose interest. The gospel essays will also play a large part. I expect it to be very apologetic. From my brief reading of the tea leaves from class, with the exception of one other person, I am the most "out there." I'm a little disappointed by that. I was hoping to be surrounded by more heathens. Maybe they are just more shy than me (which would be interesting as I'm a classically trained introvert). :)
Roy wrote:
06 Jan 2019, 16:18
Is this a class where you can discuss RSR?
Very much so. It's on the reading list. I started re-reading it last night so that I can use it as camouflage to incorporate some of my doctrinal and church history concerns. I'm cautiously optimistic.
"Moderation in all things, especially moderation." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Be excellent to each other." - Abraham Lincoln to Bill & Ted

Roy
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Re: Special Sunday School class

Post by Roy » 08 Jan 2019, 12:08

Rumin8 wrote:
07 Jan 2019, 15:50
It's on the reading list. I started re-reading it last night so that I can use it as camouflage to incorporate some of my doctrinal and church history concerns.
Wow, a reading list! I think I might love this class.
Some of the things that were big takeaways for me concerning RSR:
JS did not seem any better at predicting the future than anyone else. We tend to think that prophets prophesy. That was not one of the gifts of JS. JS was constantly being surprised and frustrated by how things would turn out.
Sometimes JS would predict in the Name of the Lord that everything was going to be awesome and then it wasn't. Not sure how much of that was meant to be actual prediction and how much was meant as hyperbole and wishful thinking to inspire confidence in his followers.
The first vision - especially how it was described in the earliest manuscript was not altogether unheard of for that time period and region. Also was most likely visionary in nature.

Part of my frustration with the current church culture is the narrative that we tell of JS is not one that I believe that JS would recognize. We have deified the memory of JS for our own purposes and built an entire elaborate superstructure over that foundation. Can the building stand if we swap out near perfect JS with frontier prophet/mystic/visionary JS? I think it can but it takes some flexibility and many memebers in the church today seem more on the rigid side of things.
"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: Special Sunday School class

Post by dande48 » 08 Jan 2019, 21:59

Roy wrote:
08 Jan 2019, 12:08
Sometimes JS would predict in the Name of the Lord that everything was going to be awesome and then it wasn't. Not sure how much of that was meant to be actual prediction and how much was meant as hyperbole and wishful thinking to inspire confidence in his followers.
The first vision - especially how it was described in the earliest manuscript was not altogether unheard of for that time period and region. Also was most likely visionary in nature.

Part of my frustration with the current church culture is the narrative that we tell of JS is not one that I believe that JS would recognize. We have deified the memory of JS for our own purposes and built an entire elaborate superstructure over that foundation.
My two cents: I think human memory can be very unreliable. We subconciously rewrite history, even our own history, to better fit our current narrative. Faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1). Evidence, facts, etc has nothing to do with it. What Joseph once held to be prophecy, he might've later in hindsight took to be personal hope. Likewise, the Joseph Smith many members have faith in is most likely very different from the man he actually was. Same thing with Jesus Christ, maybe even moreso. It doesn't matter who they actually were, so much as who we believe them to be. To quote Rick and Morty:
"Our people will get more from the idea that he represented, than the jellybean he actually was."
Another good example I just thought of was Gandhi. Historically and objectively, he was very racist against blacks. He was also sexually... "self-tested". But even though it's true, even though the man was a complicated mess like everyone else, we need our legends and heroes. He's a symbol for something much greater than who he actually was, and it's a symbol we need.
"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

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Rumin8
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Re: Special Sunday School class

Post by Rumin8 » 03 Feb 2019, 22:59

Today was day #2 of our monthly special needs Sunday school class. Given some recent events in my life, as well as my current state of belief I do not want to attend this class anymore. That said it’s orobably better than the alternative, which is the bland, oftimes condescending discussions in normal gospel doctrine.

I did attend today. Our topic was women in the church. It was an interesting discussion led by a very accomplished single woman. I didn’t have Much to add since this is one topic I don’t understand very well. It’s not one of my hot buttons, but I realize and support that it is for many.

One of the interesting points was why it takes the brethren so long to change course? Why do they now trend behind social progressiveness where once, in JS time you could say the church was ahead of its time. Why does it require people like Sam Young or Kate Kelly, who perhaps push the envelope, but are agents of change nevertheless. Why do we have to lose members to force change within the church?

One answer to that today was perhaps the questions are more important than the answers. Also that perhaps it’s this agitated questioning that brings change and inspiration to the 15. I don’t buy this. One of my biggest issues with the church is that if we are led by prophets, seers, and revelators, then shouldn’t they be driving the change? And I’m not talking about incidental change like ministering and the name of the church. I’m talking change to accept those who are different. Gays. Widows. Singles. Etc.

I’m rambling and not very coherent tonight, but that’s because I’m agitated. I had high hopes for this class, but I’m afraid it is too late for me. I didn’t have much to offer today. It was noticed and commented by well meaning ward members. The irony is they think my participation in this class is as a “control” participant, but instead I’m the gentile. One of perhaps 2 out of 10.

I do admire the safe space this class offers. I hope that it can be a model that will help people open up, me included, without fear of judgement or ecclesiastical penalty.

I’ll report again next month as our discussion about women in the church continues.
"Moderation in all things, especially moderation." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Be excellent to each other." - Abraham Lincoln to Bill & Ted

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SilentDawning
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Re: Special Sunday School class

Post by SilentDawning » 04 Feb 2019, 10:59

I have a few thoughts.

1. Your Bishop sounds like a progressive guy to take a risk with a class like this. It's out of the norm. I wonder if his stake president knows. This is normally something that happens in the homes of doubting members, not as a regular class. Church is for building testimonies, even if it means avoiding doubtful topics. So having a class that is meant to expose and deal with doubt is an interesting class.

2. If I was asked to participate in a class like this, I would probably have said 'no'. StayLDS is the only place I know of that is truly safe. The anonyminity, open-mindedness and acceptance of people along the spectrum, and the absence of formal church heirarchy makes it so. If you are truly authentic in this class, you'll be shooting yourself in the foot for future ordinations, or return to your former TR holding status if you want. All the other rank and file members there will use whatever you share to form an impression of you, and that will disseminate a reptutation you might not want. That is what happened to me.

3. Now that you've decided not to be part of the experience, I think you need to consider developming an exit strategy. They will undoubtedly want to know why you want out, so I think it's time to get the reasons together. Whatever you do, I wouldn't be candid. I would share something true and complementary -- perhaps that you felt is served its purpose, that it shows the church is accepting of people who have questions (not doubts, questions). Perhaps along the lines that it has done much to enhance your opinion of the church as a caring place. That is enough.
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: Special Sunday School class

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Feb 2019, 12:58

Rumin8 wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 22:59
One answer to that today was perhaps the questions are more important than the answers. Also that perhaps it’s this agitated questioning that brings change and inspiration to the 15. I don’t buy this. One of my biggest issues with the church is that if we are led by prophets, seers, and revelators, then shouldn’t they be driving the change? And I’m not talking about incidental change like ministering and the name of the church. I’m talking change to accept those who are different. Gays. Widows. Singles. Etc.
To this I'd have to say I think it's because they live in a bubble. I know MRB argues they don't live in a bubble and somewhere around here there's a post about that. Just because he doesn't recognize he's in a bubble doesn't mean he's not in a bubble. Utah itself is a bubble. Living here in the east the green missionary from Utah is always easy to pick out (he or she is the wide eyed one with his or her jaw hanging open). Likewise, like most people in high positions I believe they are told what they want to hear or what their minions want them to hear, and those who might be speaking out with opinions that are different from theirs are vilified (as apostates, doubters, etc.). And finally, when they go out and "meet and greet" the membership, the members they meet are hand picked and are not the aforementioned vilified individuals. They are not meeting the gay member who disagrees with the November policy.
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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Sheldon
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Re: Special Sunday School class

Post by Sheldon » 13 Feb 2019, 14:54

Rumin8 wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 22:59

One of the interesting points was why it takes the brethren so long to change course? Why do they now trend behind social progressiveness where once, in JS time you could say the church was ahead of its time. Why does it require people like Sam Young or Kate Kelly, who perhaps push the envelope, but are agents of change nevertheless. Why do we have to lose members to force change within the church?
Could it be that the boat (church) has an old guy that is hard of hearing driving, and that the boat veers to the right and that the hull is dinged and old?

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Rumin8
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Re: Special Sunday School class

Post by Rumin8 » 18 Feb 2019, 19:38

Sheldon wrote:
13 Feb 2019, 14:54
Could it be that the boat (church) has an old guy that is hard of hearing driving, and that the boat veers to the right and that the hull is dinged and old?
That has got to be one of the most unintentionally bad metaphors in one of the worst talks I have ever heard. Did you forget the part about the stale bread and water? Thank you, Renlunds, for making the case about the issues in the church for those of us who are at best, lukewarmly clinging to the boat that seems smaller and more dilapidated each day. :shock:
"Moderation in all things, especially moderation." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Be excellent to each other." - Abraham Lincoln to Bill & Ted

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