Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

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Heber13
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by Heber13 » 02 Jan 2019, 20:44

nibbler wrote:
02 Jan 2019, 18:34
JS is capable of doing something that inspires people to be closer to god irrespective of the title he held or his character flaws. And we could extend that to anyone, that anyone can briefly step into the role of a "prophet" to bless our lives even though they will never hold the official title of prophet.

It can be another opportunity. Just because someone is held up as a prophet doesn't mean they are always right about everything. It can be a life lesson on not letting popularity or a title influence what you feel to be right and wrong.
Well said, nibbler. :thumbup:
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."

Rich70
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by Rich70 » 02 Jan 2019, 21:56

I apologize if this analogy is offensive for some or a bad analogy but I kind of view JS as an abusive father who’s kids and family turned out to be very good people. We, the members of the church, are all the kids. Most of the kids still think dad is great but many of us don’t. I have to be tolerant and respectful of others who still view “dad” in a good light. He started a great family and it’s full of great resources for raising a family. Also, it happens to be my family so even if I don’t like “dad” , to distance myself would remove me from my family and heritage. It’s still hard for me to see Joseph as a a good man with flaws. Perhaps he truely believed what he taught and wasn’t out to defraud. That’s the problem with history, it’s never absolute.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Jan 2019, 11:10

IT_Veteran wrote:
02 Jan 2019, 10:09
Welcome, I completely understand that struggle even though I made the decision to not remain a member.
For some people that's definitely the correct approach. For many it's just not that simple, even if they think it might be the best option.
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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DarkJedi
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Jan 2019, 11:51

Rich70 wrote:
02 Jan 2019, 21:56
I apologize if this analogy is offensive for some or a bad analogy but I kind of view JS as an abusive father who’s kids and family turned out to be very good people. We, the members of the church, are all the kids. Most of the kids still think dad is great but many of us don’t. I have to be tolerant and respectful of others who still view “dad” in a good light. He started a great family and it’s full of great resources for raising a family. Also, it happens to be my family so even if I don’t like “dad” , to distance myself would remove me from my family and heritage. It’s still hard for me to see Joseph as a a good man with flaws. Perhaps he truely believed what he taught and wasn’t out to defraud. That’s the problem with history, it’s never absolute.
Great point about history. It relies heavily on point of view and is written by the winners. Those of us who have been around even just 40 or 50 years can see what happens over time when we read about something that happened in our lifetime and think to ourselves "Wait, what? That's not what happened! That's not the way it was!" It's a matter of perspective and who is dong the writing (and often why they are writing).

I'm squarely in the camp of JS being a flawed individual. I'm flawed too, but my history hasn't been whitewashed and hidden and I'm not on a pedestal for most people (probably not anyone's). I don't think JS was purposely abusive (I do think BY was), but again, he had his faults. But as Nibbler pointed out, what limited information we have about all the Bible prophets point out they were also flawed - we just tend to gloss over those flaws because of all the "good" they did. I can't pretend to have received any great revelations, but I can't say I have never received a revelation either. I don't think my flaws are a grievous as JS's, but I also believe that grading of sins (murder is worse than adultery, adultery is worse than stealing, etc.) is man made and not God made. That is, I believe God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, that we are all equal before God, and that we will all be forgiven of our sins. Because I know of at least some of Joseph's flaws, I have hope for me. If God can work through someone as flawed as he was, God can certainly work with me. And nobody is without flaws and fault, period (Mother Teresa, Gandhi, et al, included).

More directly to your question, I don't think we have to have a testimony of Joseph Smith. The TR questions and the AoF do not mention name. One could infer that question 3 about the restoration refers to JS, but one could infer that it does not refer specifically to him especially now when we are being taught that the restoration is a work in progress as opposed to an event. My kids are now young adults, and my faith crisis (and lengthy inactive period) was during their later childhood and teen years. They know I don't believe everything and as adults they know some of what I don't believe. I actually think kids handle it pretty well because they have questions too and they can see that it's OK and they can see I haven't been struck by lightning (at least yet). Mostly I just talked (and do talk) about what I do believe as opposed to what I don't believe.
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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Roy
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by Roy » 03 Jan 2019, 14:10

Welcome!

I can give you what I have done. It is a work in progress and your mileage may vary.
I can’t keep paying tithing to the extent I have been and I don’t think I can continue with garments. I would feel too much that I was faking it.
I seek for sustainability in my church participation. For me personally 10% of gross is not sustainable for my new relationship with the church. Garments for me is easier - I am used to them and they help me to communicate solidarity with my wife. I think of it as similar to a wedding ring. (FYI, when I went to the distribution center to buy more G's I told them I did not hold a TR and they had no problem with my purchase)
I want to continue as a member and raise my kids in the church but explain to them ( when appropriate ) what I believe but let them have choices.
For me, this has taken the form of exposing my kids to people and groups that may have different beliefs but are still good. When they ask me questions about heaven and such I tend to respond that "Our church" teaches XYZ and others believe YZX or ZYX. My favorite moment was when my daughter said, "I believe X is what happens" and it wasn't among any of the options that I listed. I told her that sounded like a wonderful belief. When the kids were younger we participated pretty heavily in other area Christian churches. We now do this much less now as my children are moving into YM and YW and that takes up more of our time
I plan to baptize my children who haven’t been yet. I figure if I am wrong and the church is true, I still have authority to baptize them and if it isn’t, well, I have as much authority to baptize as anyone else in the church. I want to be a follower of Christ and baptism is a great symbol and commitment.
I have been fortunate to baptize my children without holding a TR and without paying tithing. Part of this comes from how you manage your faith transition with the ward and the bishop and part of it comes down to "leadership roulette". The handbook says that a priesthood holder may perform the ordinance and not be "temple worthy" but ultimately it is up to the bishop's discretion.
I’m worried that raising them with one foot in and one foot out, they will use it as a excuse to not follow the church teachings that are good. I’m hoping that as long as I live those standards, they will also want to even if they know I don’t believe in church origins.
There are no guarantees. If you hold your children too close they may rebel. If you give them too much freedom they may get into trouble. For me and my house, I try to emphasize practical and moral reasoning for doing things. My hope is that if they ever stop believing in God or Sin or the Ten Commandments then they will still have lots of reasons for living in a moral and responsible way.
Rich70 wrote:
02 Jan 2019, 11:01
My thoughts are that younger children benefit from simple rules with less ambiguity but as they start to think more and have questions, I want them to understand enough church history so they can form their own beliefs based on a much more complete picture.
My approach has been to answer questions to the best of my ability being open and honest that I do not have all the answers. My children know that this is our church, our tradition and our heritage and that we believe that there is value in having a church, a tradition, and a heritage. I do not (as a general rule) answer questions that have not been asked or introduce troubling aspects of church history, culture, or practice unsolicited.
DW and I served missions. My children are saving towards college and/or missions. We are presenting church missionary service every bit as optional for my son as it is for my daughter. It helps that DW and I do not view continued participation in the LDS church as a requirement for eternal families. That helps to remove much of the anxiety and fear associated with the kids not checking all the church boxes as they grow up but being otherwise good people.

I hope that helps.
"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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Heber13
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by Heber13 » 03 Jan 2019, 16:35

I am of the camp that Joseph Smith was a really good man and accomplished great things for many people. Period.

While I was surprised to learn some things about his story, they don't eclipse the man I understand him to be. Abusive is not the term I think of with Joseph. Flawed, yes. He may have been abusive at times, like my dad or people I know today that aren't perfect. But not that being the over-arching description of the man. My dad was the best guy I ever met. At times he made mistakes and a handful of times raised his voice, not more than a handful. Overall...my dad was soft and gentle and caring. And he was imperfect. When I was an adult off my mission...I learned of some of his imperfections. They shocked me. But they don't totally define the great things I knew about my dad.

When I learned new things about Joseph Smith's past that I was never taught, some things shocked me. But I try to include those new things into the many things about him that I already knew my whole life about him. Not replacing or rejecting the good stuff.

That's why I like Bushman's book Rough Stone Rolling. You can see the things Joseph did that was wrong. But you can still come away with a faith that he could be a prophet of God also. And that prophets can have many flaws, even serious ones. And yet...God seems to be OK with that.

Nibbler said it better than I can:
nibbler wrote:Just because someone is held up as a prophet doesn't mean they are always right about everything. It can be a life lesson on not letting popularity or a title influence what you feel to be right and wrong.
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."

Roy
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by Roy » 06 Jan 2019, 15:49

I was recently talking a pastor friend of mine that I respect.

According to him, Jesus was always perfect even as a child. If Jesus makes any mistakes then he is not fully God and could not have performed the atonement.
According to him, The Bible is inerrant. The bible is the word of God and God cannot lie - therefore every word is true and sure.

These arguments seem illogical to me but it does not seem to hurt him to believe them. He and his family seem relatively happy and healthy.

I would not say to teach things that you do not believe. I do say to be careful of taking down the faith of another - especially if you do not have something to replace it with.
"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: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by dande48 » 07 Jan 2019, 08:13

Roy wrote:
06 Jan 2019, 15:49
According to him, The Bible is inerrant. The bible is the word of God and God cannot lie - therefore every word is true and sure.

These arguments seem illogical to me but it does not seem to hurt him to believe them. He and his family seem relatively happy and healthy.

I would not say to teach things that you do not believe. I do say to be careful of taking down the faith of another - especially if you do not have something to replace it with.
I keep on going back and forth about this. Absolute trust in any authority can be a dangerous thing. Closing off your mind to other possibilities can also be a dangerous thing. Naysayers to biological evolution are a great example. We've had problems in the past with vaccines created by pharmacists who don't believe in and never studied evolution. Because of their ignorance, stemming from religious commitment, they've repeatedly vaccinated against the wrong strains, and have cost lives. On the other hand, pharmacists who believe in biological evolution, can apply their knowledge and much better at predict which strains will need to be vaccinated against. Another example is the flat-earther movement, which is fundamentally religious, often siting the bible.

Now the bible and scriptures, and what they say, is largely relative, with the doctrines carefully selected to support what one already believes. But that being said, if someone believes the bible is infallible, and that the bible says gays go to hell, you're going to have a tough time convincing them otherwise. That same bible has also been used to promote slavery, sexism, genocide, etc, etc. I don't have many problems with religion, but when it promotes ignorance, close-mindedness, and turns people off from honest inquiry, that I start to have a real problem.

I guess my point is, religion can and does do a whole lot of good. It gives people comfort, encourages service, and to an extent is very effective in establishing good moral values. It's why I'm trying to "StayLDS". But on the other hand, it can (and does) do a lot of harm, especially when trusted in absolutely.
"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

Roy
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Re: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by Roy » 07 Jan 2019, 12:46

Yes, extremes are often scary.
"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: Raising kids lds when I don’t believe

Post by SilentDawning » 10 Jan 2019, 13:19

Rich70 wrote:
02 Jan 2019, 21:56
That’s the problem with history, it’s never absolute.
Yeah, I agree. There seems to be evidence JS had a strong libido, even for teenagers, and that he definitely had a knack for encouraging faith in other people. His escapades taking people to places to dig for gold shows his early penchant for convincing people to act on eventualities they can't currently see.

But who knows. Heck, it's hard for a judge to figure out what happened from eye witness testimony about something that happened just a few months ago, let alone what happened 200 years ago. Add era-specific biases to the mix, differences in the use of language, and then rose-colored glasses borne of years of apologetic or revisionist historians, and it's nearly impossible to determine the truth.

My approach is agnosticism when it's not clear. I have no doubt that Abe Linclon's Gettysberg address is pretty close to what he said, and that it happened. But the first vision? Who knows? No one was there to corroborate.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- 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."

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