The Indifference Cycle

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Roy
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Re: And the cycle repeats itself

Post by Roy » 15 Feb 2019, 10:37

I have participated at some other churches where they have volunteer appreciation dinners and/or appreciation cards with gift cards as a thank you gift.
Paid staff know that they depend on a small army of volunteers to deliver a quality product. Volunteers are a resource to be nurtured.

Our church has a different model. 1) There are no paid staff. Who would be in charge of the appreciation? The bishop? Perhaps the most overworked volunteer of all? 2) Our theology and culture has us promising obedience, covenanting and consecrating all of our time and resources. We basically feel that our commitment is owed to the church and that to withhold it (outside of some fairly reasonable exceptions) is to be deficient and delinquent.

We have high expectations of our members. OTOH because we recognize that many of our volunteers are drafted into positions where they may have no skills or interest, we also deal with a good percentage of mediocrity. At the end of the day the "magnify your calling" people get the same vote of thanks as the "phone it in" people.
SilentDawning wrote:
14 Feb 2019, 23:44
To make this more positive, I guess the way to cope is to simply continue embracing mediocrity as your highest expectation from leaders. [snip] Gonna plough ahead though. I see this low stress, once in a while calling as the best thing for me now, and I don't want to "do nothing".
Yes, I believe to have a calling is a social marker of being a member in good standing. This is helpful to be seen and accepted as a member of the tribe. My StayLDS strategy has been to reduce my church input to a point that I feel is sustainable perpetually without resentment or bitterness on my part. Therefore to find a calling where one feels reasonably competent, that is not terribly time intensive, and does not require teaching things that one may no longer believe is very helpful and can provide a StayLDS solution for many years. I am co-bear den cub scout leader with my wife. We have been in this calling for several years and at this point we are recycling old lesson plans and activity schedules. We are repeating the same stuff with new groups of kids. Also since my kids are now in MIA / Mutual, we would be going to and from the church anyway on Wednesday nights. Outside of an occasional parent thanking us for providing a quality bear den experience (we sometimes take the wolves too when the that den leader does a no show and we have another boy that has asked not to move up to Webelos because he does not want to leave our den) there is no recognition or gratitude for our continued service and productivity.

I guess one could describe my current calling as a "placeholder" or "bridge" calling. It is a low key calling that allows me my "hold my place" or "keep my foot in the door" of church activity. It is a "bridge" between where I am now and where I may choose to be in the future in my relationship with the church.
"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: And the cycle repeats itself

Post by SilentDawning » 15 Feb 2019, 10:57

Roy wrote:
15 Feb 2019, 10:37

Our church has a different model. 1) There are no paid staff. Who would be in charge of the appreciation? The bishop? Perhaps the most overworked volunteer of all? 2) Our theology and culture has us promising obedience, covenanting and consecrating all of our time and resources. We basically feel that our commitment is owed to the church and that to withhold it (outside of some fairly reasonable exceptions) is to be deficient and delinquent.
SilentDawning wrote:
14 Feb 2019, 23:44
To make this more positive, I guess the way to cope is to simply continue embracing mediocrity as your highest expectation from leaders. [snip] Gonna plough ahead though. I see this low stress, once in a while calling as the best thing for me now, and I don't want to "do nothing".
Yes, I believe to have a calling is a social marker of being a member in good standing. This is helpful to be seen and accepted as a member of the tribe. My StayLDS strategy has been to reduce my church input to a point that I feel is sustainable perpetually without resentment or bitterness on my part. Therefore to find a calling where one feels reasonably competent, that is not terribly time intensive, and does not require teaching things that one may no longer believe is very helpful and can provide a StayLDS solution for many years. I am co-bear den cub scout leader with my wife. We have been in this calling for several years and at this point we are recycling old lesson plans and activity schedules. We are repeating the same stuff with new groups of kids. Also since my kids are now in MIA / Mutual, we would be going to and from the church anyway on Wednesday nights. Outside of an occasional parent thanking us for providing a quality bear den experience (we sometimes take the wolves too when the that den leader does a no show and we have another boy that has asked not to move up to Webelos because he does not want to leave our den) there is no recognition or gratitude for our continued service and productivity.

I guess one could describe my current calling as a "placeholder" or "bridge" calling. It is a low key calling that allows me my "hold my place" or "keep my foot in the door" of church activity. It is a "bridge" between where I am now and where I may choose to be in the future in my relationship with the church.
Couple things. I can't go much lower in my commitment. If I get released then I'm going to be drafted to do something I don't want, and this is the only thing that floats my boat right now.

Regarding the part in bold...

That needs to change. Even interpersonal appreciation and support on operational issues is a sign of appreciation. I once bought a Kindle book when I was figuring out how to work with volunteers in my non-profit. I was expecting to learn about rewards programs and other forms of extrinsic reward. To my surprise, the entire book was dedicating to respecting volunteers time, providing a positive experience, being organized, giving support and provapp0iding proper training. All these were considered intrinsic, free kinds of appreciation that show respect for the person's commitment.

To say we owe the Church everything the church owes us nothing is a misnomer. Volunteerism is a two-way street. It is a reciprocal relationship. Now, the church can't outright say that, or everyone will turn to the church, creating more work than volunteers can handle. But the church does have an obligation to return a certain amount of value to its members. An uplifting experience on Sunday, safe programs that add value to a person's life.

I'm reminded of Willard Harley Junior in his book His Needs, Her Needs. He commented on how he felt it was deeply unfair that in certain marriage, partner A would meet the needs partner B, while partner A's needs went unmet. It can't be a "one-way flow" of commitment and value.

Like you, I now look at my involvement as a "social marker" and a "foot in the door" while I seek fulfilment elsewhere.
"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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Heber13
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Re: The Indifference Cycle

Post by Heber13 » 16 Feb 2019, 01:54

SilentDawning wrote:
14 Feb 2019, 00:48
One is the high standards of behavior required of members to be in good standing, contrasted with mostly mediocre programs and low commitment from the majority of the members in the wards in which I have served.
I think this would be more correct to say..."perceived high standards..."

Or perhaps..."one can be made to feel high standards of behavior are required..."

There really is nothing at church required of anyone. It is a volunteer organization. Everyone gives to it what they feel they can give.

Different behaviors or commitment levels may result in different responses by others of the tribe...but that is just consequence, not requirements.

The Lord pays everyone in the vineyard the same wage, whether you work all day or just one hour. Some may think that unfair...but they don't get what the Lord is trying to do.

Nothing at church is required. Choose what you wish to give, and find peace with yourself. Seek to be more committed if the rewards of those labors bring you what you want. Those that do that have their reward.

Cut back on commitment if the programs are mediocre or lacking. They will be fine without you.

Say no to any calling you don't want. And aspire to none.

Church is just a group of people trying to do good. No more, no less.
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."

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SilentDawning
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Re: The Indifference Cycle

Post by SilentDawning » 16 Feb 2019, 02:27

Heber13 wrote:
16 Feb 2019, 01:54
SilentDawning wrote:
14 Feb 2019, 00:48
One is the high standards of behavior required of members to be in good standing, contrasted with mostly mediocre programs and low commitment from the majority of the members in the wards in which I have served.
I think this would be more correct to say..."perceived high standards..."
Uh...heber -- to be in good standing we have to pay 10% of our income or we are not in good standing. Nor are we allowed to see loved ones get married (I know as I'm one who didn't). We make expansive covenants regarding our wealth that we have now, or may possess in the future, and how we use our time.

And that's just the temple.

Regarding everyone just giving what they can give, and the leadership being cool with it -- we have The Unwritten Order of things, the culture, negative reactions from leaders and ostracization if you bail on a calling or refuse. I know this first hand because it's all happened to me. And I had someone in the PEC and Ward council that told me there is ample negativity toward me personally shared in those meetings. And I was even serving in a calling at the time.

People are called and expected to assume an unpaid full time job (Bishop, SP) while maintaining their career in most cases

So, with respect, I don't buy much of what you just said.

Legally, we are a volunteer organization, in actuality, the church demands a lot from its members -- quite a bit more than I have seen in any other volunteer organization.
"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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Heber13
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Re: The Indifference Cycle

Post by Heber13 » 16 Feb 2019, 03:20

And I respect your views and can see how you reach that through your experience.

But what you said is not true. Much of what you said is conflated with your emotion from your painful experiences, and I might add...is a very valid conclusion to come to. But it is not true for everyone and a person could be holding them self back from accepting church for what it is if clinging to one emotional response vs opening up to all possible choices in navigating Mormonism.

By this...I don't mean to say I know something you don't, or that I'm right and you're wrong.

Only what you said is not true.

How do I know?

Because I don't pay 10% tithing on my gross paycheck.
I don't make expansive covenants about my wealth I have now or in the future or how I spend my time.
I give what I choose to give and my Bishop is cool with it. I have not been ostracized.

I currently have no calling and the bishop saw me last week and shook my hand and apologized to me that since they dissolved the high priest group leadership I was serving in, I have been without a calling but they have something in mind for me. I simply told him that no apology is necessary, and to take all the time in the world because I don't need a calling. I wanted him to know where I stand...I'm good...I'm not one to need a calling to feel good about myself. So the pressure is off him to include me. I reiterate...I'm not ostracized. I'm not offended. I'm not in church to get their approval. I go for my reasons. And I often choose to skip...a few weeks ago skipped and took my son skiing and we had some great talks about God on the chairlift. Then we went to church last week...and everything was just fine.

I have a TR and have seen every one of my kids married in the temple. I've got 2 more to go. I may or may not see them married in the temple...it depends on my choices. I know the church rules...so I will make choices if I want to be in the temple or not.

My SP is a surgeon and a great guy. He serves willingly in addition to his full time job. He does not view it as an obligation. I have no calling and the church doesn't demand anything more of me. We just choose differently how much time we sacrifice to the church.

So...if you read your post...and you read my post...how can we both be talking about the same church?

If I made it sound like you can do whatever you want with no consequences...then I wasn't clear. No murderer can expect to walk into a bishop office and demand a TR. And no Bishop can walk into my home and demand I give more than I am giving. Both extreme examples are wrong.

The church has rules. You follow them or you don't.

They don't demand you to do anything. They invite...and you make your choices and live with consequences. And there is a TON of wiggle room in how you define it for various circumstances.

But if you don't pay any tithing...you can't blame them for demanding you make expansive covenants on your wealth, nobody demands that. But you can characterize it that way if you want to view it that way. It doesn't make it true.

Tithing is between you and the Lord and you need to pay what you define is your 10%. They cannot demand you define it only one way. I defined it for me to feel honest. I ran it by nibbler...he knows how I interpret things. He gave me good advice. The bishop asked if I was a full tithe payer...I said yes. Done. No demands, just my choices.

But if you feel more honest to define it only by one definition, that is your choice. And you should follow your heart and feel good you are able to decline a temple recommend and feel proud of yourself and your integrity as you sit outside the temple and wait to welcome your children as they come out of the temple. That is an ok choice too. Nobody is making you do that. And when my sister did that and waited outside the temple ...her son went straight to her and gave her a big hug and they went to the reception and everything was good.

The church doesn't make you do anything. You choose to navigate within the rules that are setup. You accept consequences. And there is not one way to do it.

My indifference cycle is...I choose to seek God...I go to church with my family...leaders and Ward members do their thing...and I'm indifferent to it.
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."

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SilentDawning
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Re: The Indifference Cycle

Post by SilentDawning » 16 Feb 2019, 08:31

Heber -- I will quote GBH in his Larry King interview where he said:

"Two: we expect things of our people. We expect them to do things. We expect them to measure up to certain standards. It isn't always easy to be a member of this church. It's demanding. But it's wonderfully fruitful and has a tremendous effect upon people."

http://www.lds-mormon.com/lkl_00.shtml

And if you compare us to other religions, as an organization, we expect far more.

There is so much I could say as a reasoned response, independent of painful experiences. This particular opinion I've formed has probably the least to do with painful experiences though than other posts I could make. It's simply an observation. And it's clear you have a lot to disagree with too. I've long since learned that it's not wise to spar in these discussion forums. And I like the fact that the tone of StayLDS is collegial and respectful. So Heber, we can still be friends; I'm not taking this further.
"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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Rumin8
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Re: The Indifference Cycle

Post by Rumin8 » 18 Feb 2019, 20:09

Its fascinating to me the range of experiences we each have in this church. On one hand, it’s what makes it special. On the other, it’s maddening.

Recently I have had some in-depth conversations with my DW about my lack of TR. she is very much of Hebers view. She believes, even with knowledge of certain choices I have deliberately made of late, that if I wanted to there is enough wiggle room in the TR process that I could obtain one if I rest wanted to. This is a source of contention.

While I’m struggling with it, I tend to fall more in line with SDs comments above. (And I may be mischaracterizing each of you, and if so, I apologize). I expect people who hold TR to be a cut above the rest. It literally is the highest level of obedience you can obtain in our church. Whether or not I could parse all the other questions in an affirmative way, I cannot, with any level of personal integrity, answer affirmatively in the final question. That is not a judgment of others who hold a TR. But I know my heart and feelings regarding the church and temples, and I do not find myself worthy of that level at this time.

I’m trying to learn to accept mediocrity in the church. But it is hard. I live in an excellent ward. I think most try to serve diligently. Our bishop truly is a good man, and I think he inspires others to do more, do better, in a positive way. One of the things I found distressing in SDs narrative is that the records may have been out of date. I have three observations to make:
1) go around the SS pres or BP counselor to the ward clerk or membership clerk. It’s their job to keep those things updated.
2) I use LDS tools all the time in my church role. Often I forget it needs to be synced regularly. This should show you a current teacher roster at all times.
3) I very much admire you for taking Your calling and really trying to make a difference with it. Mad respect. I would have thrown in the towel long ago.

I think this church would be much better off if we took more opportunities to thank people for the service they do, great or small, than asking them for more. That is one of my biggest key peeves: No matter what we do, it never seems like enough. This is the downside of the theory of eternal progression.
"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: The Indifference Cycle

Post by SilentDawning » 19 Feb 2019, 07:48

Rumin8 wrote:
18 Feb 2019, 20:09
Its fascinating to me the range of experiences we each have in this church. On one hand, it’s what makes it special. On the other, it’s maddening.

Recently I have had some in-depth conversations with my DW about my lack of TR. she is very much of Hebers view. She believes, even with knowledge of certain choices I have deliberately made of late, that if I wanted to there is enough wiggle room in the TR process that I could obtain one if I rest wanted to. This is a source of contention.
There are some who pay 10% for a while to get the TR and go to special ordinances (like weddings and endowments).

Some pay on surplus. I think there is some justification for that scripturally, although lots of GA talks have defined it as 10% of gross or maybe net, which is the prevailing belief.
While I’m struggling with it, I tend to fall more in line with SDs comments above. (And I may be mischaracterizing each of you, and if so, I apologize). I expect people who hold TR to be a cut above the rest. It literally is the highest level of obedience you can obtain in our church. Whether or not I could parse all the other questions in an affirmative way, I cannot, with any level of personal integrity, answer affirmatively in the final question. That is not a judgment of others who hold a TR. But I know my heart and feelings regarding the church and temples, and I do not find myself worthy of that level at this time.
I don't really look at it as "worthiness", it's a matter of personal integrity.
I’m trying to learn to accept mediocrity in the church. But it is hard. I live in an excellent ward. I think most try to serve diligently.
That is great. I was in Bpric in one such ward, and it's truly inspiring -- but also, very rare unless you locate in wards that have that orientation. They are the exception, not the norm, in my experience.
3) I very much admire you for taking Your calling and really trying to make a difference with it. Mad respect. I would have thrown in the towel long ago.
Accepting and even living mediocrity myself is hard. I have had to deal with it throughout my church experience. My first missionary companion contacted me recently. Now, 30 years later, he admitted he "held me back" and seemed to apologize. I remember him telling me we would only baptize people who fell into our laps, and that it wasn't worth the effort to be proactive. As senior companion, he put down my faithful ideas. I find it's that way in most of my volunteer endeavors. And in my family relationships with some of my family members. I tend to be way more motivated than, and it leads to rejection and frustration when people won't do what is necessary to achieve excellence. It's like you are working with bumps on logs. That was how I felt in these situations...recognizing there were exceptional people who did what was necessary, but as a rarity.

I've since learned just to focus on excellence in my own area. Also, find out how much commitment people have to a particular endeavor and just expect that. Or decide it's not for you.

A few years ago, I wanted to organize my neighborhood. We all met, and it was clear that everyone wanted the safety and community benefits, but no one wanted to do any work. I dropped the idea. It was going to be all me, dragging the rest of the neighborhood. I have learned to recognize these situations where you are surrounded by uncommitted people; run like Hades.

I have since learned to screen people when I want excellence. In my non-profit, they have to jump through MAJOR hoops if they want to serve alongside me, and they have to have skills in the area in which I need them. The church -- you have a limited pool of people on which to draw; in the non-profit world, the entire world is at your disposal.
I think this church would be much better off if we took more opportunities to thank people for the service they do, great or small, than asking them for more. That is one of my biggest key peeves: No matter what we do, it never seems like enough. This is the downside of the theory of eternal progression.
Yes! Even interpersonal appreciation, or the Bpric inviting someone to a special meeting where they all thank you as having stood out, or made significant contributions -- that they didn't want to simply release you without thanks. I don't think award ceremonies and public recognition is the way to go, but gestures that show we don't take member's commitment for granted would be a big step forward.

Here are the ways we communicate disrespect and taking for granted in our church.

1) Leaving people in callings for months and months and months after they have asked for a released, with no communication.
2) Putting people in callings and then not giving them support for the things they need -- things only leaders above them can give.
3) Repeatedly saying "no" to ideas that are perfectly reasonable.
4) Allowing members on the same leadership plan to trash other leaders on that plane, without any intervention or correction.
5) Chastising the members for asking to be released when a calling no longer works for them.
6) Expecting the same commitment as a paid employee
7) Throw you into a calling with no manual or training or orientation
8) Mocking people who indicate where they would like to serve in the church.
9) Being all nicey nicey when they think they are making progress in getting you active again, and then dropping you like a hot potato after you recommit.

Ways we can improve:

1) Be responsive to releases. If someone wants out, then release them and call a counselor as acting president, for example, until someone can be found. Why keep the person on the directory and in the calling when they are no longer functioning?
2) Give people the training, manuals, and information they can't get on their own or may not know where to look.
3) Allow innovation and ownership of new ideas.
4) Take interpersonal conflict seriously, and deal with it in a way that exemplifies gospel commitment to good relationships.
5) Be thankful for what members can give; avoid trying to make them good Mormons rather than simply good people.
6) Recognizing that like it or not, we are volunteers, and should be treated as such. No demanding expectations. Use words of respect such as "Are you willing to..?" "Would you have time to...", "I dont' want to take advantage of your goodwill, but do you have the time to do such and such over the next few weeks?".
7) Solicit from members where they would like to serve, and where possible, try to put them in positions that align with their current interests, personalities and passions.
8) Give sustained support for people in their callings, even after they have transitioned from less activity to full activity.
"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: The Indifference Cycle

Post by Roy » 19 Feb 2019, 11:31

One of the things that I have seen happen is when someone reluctantly accepts a calling with promises of tons of support and then once the individual leaves the bishop's office those promises don't amount to anything. Yes, people should support and help but it is still your name on the dotted line as the responsible party. Bishops are generally motivated to say what needs to be said to convince reluctant members to accept callings.
I have also observed giving a call as person 1's assistant and then after a time calling person 1 to a different calling with the unspoken assumption that you will just move into person 1's role.
I hate to feel tricked into more than I bargained for or to feel taken advantage of. I am aware that nobody is intentionally doing this - it just is the result of busy people and things falling through the cracks. Still, I try to protect myself from these situations.
Heber13 wrote:
16 Feb 2019, 03:20
They don't demand you to do anything. They invite...and you make your choices and live with consequences. And there is a TON of wiggle room in how you define it for various circumstances.
I think this hinges on what is meant by the words require and demand etc. Hypothetically nothing is required ever - there are choices and there and consequences. Organizations and societies make rules in order to operate in an orderly fashion. This runs the gamut from governments to homeowners associations.
The triggers for excommunication are also pretty easy to avoid for me personally. I can not pay tithing or drink beer and coffee or refuse callings and still maintain my membership. So even if I do not follow the rules what are the consequences and how severe are they?
OTOH the church leadership and culture do expect quite a lot. The LDS church is considered one of the more demanding mainstream churches. To participate at your own pace will be seen as some as shirking your duty to the church (depending of course on how far "your own pace" diverges from church norms) and some may make disparaging comments behind your back and occasionally to your face.
As someone who does not pay tithing but still desires to participate in milestone ordinances for my children, I find it helpful to outwardly accept church assumptions that I owe the church money and that I am deficient and delinquent in my non-payment. There is an element of contrition and remorse. I believe that to say, "No thanks on tithing. I disagree with the concept that I owe the church money." would be counterporductive to my goals.
Now, all churches raise funds from their membership but most of them do not have an annual meeting to go over these contributions. I also can choose to not attend tithing settlement but that also can have consequences in reducing the amount of good will that I might expect to receive for my bishop.
"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: The Indifference Cycle

Post by dande48 » 19 Feb 2019, 13:50

Roy wrote:
19 Feb 2019, 11:31
Bishops are generally motivated to say what needs to be said to convince reluctant members to accept callings.
...
I hate to feel tricked into more than I bargained for or to feel taken advantage of. I am aware that nobody is intentionally doing this - it just is the result of busy people and things falling through the cracks. Still, I try to protect myself from these situations.
I think this is a good point. In the Church, it's unofficially considered a "sin" to turn down a calling, unless you have a very good reason. There's a lot of pressure. Don't feel qualified? God qualifies who he calls, and will magically bless you with all the qualities and characteristics you need to do your job. Plus He would never ask something of you that you couldn't handle. Feel worn out? You need more faith and trust in God. You don't want to serve in this capacity? God sometimes asks us to do hard things.

With our current system, you're going to end up with a lot of people feeling either over-confident or worn out in their callings. I think it would be wise to refrain from judging others in the carrying out of their calling... even if they act (or don't act) in a way we don't like.
" Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes."
"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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