Changing Relationships with Friends and Larry King Interview

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SilentDawning
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Changing Relationships with Friends and Larry King Interview

Post by SilentDawning » 14 May 2010, 07:56

I hope I'm not perceived as a complainer by posting too much on these more concerning topics about the Church, but I have a couple more things that have disturbed me a bit about my life in the Church and would like feedback.

One is the ebb and flow of relationships in the Wards I've attended. I've belonged to about 7 now due to boundary changes and moves. This is the pattern. I start out excited about the Ward because all the people are new, have family situations that are new to me, etcetera. There's a kind of excitement about who you met that Sunday, the things you like about the Ward etcetera and just learning about people.

Then, when you get into a leadership calling, and people don't cooperate, or just plain old personality weaknesses others start showing themselves, deep conflicts, sometimes nasty notes distributed about you on email distribution lists, as well as members who rebel against your leadership, the honeymoon period ends, and you get into the beat of serving and the effort of forgiving. And then, I find certain relationships sour when people do things that are hard to accept. You do your best to forgive them, but the trust isn't there any more.

Do you find this is generally true -- where the relationships tend to become less interesting and high maintenance, so you feel this desire to move on, as well as lack of social interest in attending your Ward? If not, how do you keep up your enthusiasm over long periods of time in your Ward? Comments welcome.....

The second thing I find disturbing is the Larry King interview with GB Hinckley. In that interview, GB Hinckley was asked if we believed we can become gods. he replied "I don't know a lot about it; I don't know that we teach it". Now, I know that Gospel Principles, this years' teaching manual page 277 says "These are some of the blessings given to exhalted people:

1. They will live eternally in the presence of God and Jesus Christ....

2. They will become gods (D&C 132:20-23)""

He HAD to know this is what we teach. Why did Gordon B Hinckley answer the question the way he did?

As a missionary, I was invited to what turned out to be a bash between myself, a stake missionary, an investigator and a couple of his born-again Christian friends. The born again Christian friend asked "Do you believe you can become gods?". Instantly I felt like skirting the issue, softening it, etcetera. But the Stake Missionary said forcefully -- "Yes, definitely".

His answer shocked me because it was so blunt on such a meaty issue. Then he proceeded to explain eternal progression, and all the reasons why this is a perfectly reasonable belief, supported by Biblical scripture, as well as our belief that God the Father will always be our Father. I left that meeting believing THAT was the way to handle such pointed questions, whether the answer was popular or not. Tell the truth about what we believe and defend it on its own merits. The truth is the truth, and its better to alienate the non-believers than the people you represent by being dishonest in an attempt to appear reasonable.

When I saw Gordon B. Hinckley answer the question the way he did -- I think he did it worse that I would've as a missionary. I was at least going to partly admit but soften it. President Hinckley outright said something that wasn't true. He has to know that is part of our doctrine. We have the oft quoted phrase "As man is, God once was, as God is, man may become" from an earlier prophet.

Why did he answer the way He did? In my view, he only validated the views of anti-Mormons that we are deceptive about what we believe. The only reasonable answer I can come up for his answer is that "he is human and he made a mistake". And then forgive him for it. I can accept the "imperfect man as prophet" argument, notwithstanding the statement that the Lord would never permit a prophet to lead the membership astray. Did President Hinckley ever respond to this gaffe in the media or make it right? How do you reconcile his answer with his role as Prophet and presumably, an honest man?
"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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cwald
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Re: Changing Relationships with Friends and Larry King Interview

Post by cwald » 14 May 2010, 09:21

SD, you have TWO good thoughts to talk about. They should be separate threads though IMO :D

First Thread
One is the ebb and flow of relationships in the Wards I've attended.
Would it be rude to ask where you live that you experience this? Are you living in the Mormon Belt? I've been removed from mormondom for so many years that i don't really deal with this, but I did grow up in Southern Idaho, and can remember my folks "talking about it." Probably not something I can really relate to though. I moved to Oregon and helped start a small branch in the area. After a gazillion years here, my family is the only one left from those early years.


The second thing I find disturbing is the Larry King interview with GB Hinckley.
You certainly are not the only one who "spilled their coffee on their shirt" when that comment was televise to the entire world . This "interview" seems to pop up quite often on this site, but I've never seen a thread dedicated just to the interview. Could be somewhere in the archives? Perhaps it is time to rehash it with us new folks who have only recently joined the site?
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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SamBee
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Re: Changing Relationships with Friends and Larry King Interview

Post by SamBee » 14 May 2010, 09:26

I wish Pres Hinckley hadn't answered questions with "I don't believe we teach that", "Erm, what's that", and "I haven't heard of that before" type answers. Of course he knew the answers to a lot of these questions, but his PR background wanted to make it as inoffensive as possible.

I would have loved if he had said, "yes, we do have scriptures about gods" (as opposed to God), and stood firm on issues about eternal progression.

His vagueness was the kind of thing which has always bugged me about Episcopalianism/Anglicanism. Non-committal answers etc.

And the amazing thing is that there are scriptures in the Bible which relate well to this doctrine, they're not all in LDS books either.

Frankly there's much more exotic things lurking in the New Age, Oriental religions, and Scientology than LDS beliefs.
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."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Changing Relationships with Friends and Larry King Interview

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 May 2010, 09:37

I will write a post about the Larry King interview. It's probably one of the most misunderstood statements ever uttered by a Prophet, and absolutely Pres. Hinckley's most misunderstood.

Suffice it to say that, if you understand the venacular of his generation in Utah (my father's own venacular), he didn't say what everyone thinks he said. I mean that, and it is really easy to see if someone parses the words according to what the words meant to him. This isn't a case of Ray being an apologist; I think you will understand it MUCH better after you read my post about it.

As I said, I will write a separate post about the interview. Let's keep this one focused on the first issue of changing relationships, so we can have one productive conversation about one topic in this thread.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SilentDawning
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Re: Changing Relationships with Friends and Larry King Interview

Post by SilentDawning » 14 May 2010, 09:41

To answer the question I was asked above, I live in an area which has decent membership, but also a lot of members. It's United States but not Utah, Idaho or other heavily Mormon populated states. It's an area where if you're committed and reliable, you usually end up with a calling of some responsibility unless you're on a break.

I'm happy to discuss only the relationships thing and look foward to a separate post on the Larry King thing from our moderator.
"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

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Changing Relationships with Friends and Larry King Interview

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 May 2010, 09:43

It's cool, SD. Focusing on one thing at a time is kind of a focus of mine, since our main goal here is finding solutions/answers that work for each of us individually.

As to the changing relationhips, I agree totally - but it's not a church thing. It's a human thing. It is true of our interactions and relationships within every organization of which we are an active part.

Is your relationship with your spouse exactly like it was when you first met - or when you were dating seriously - or when you got married - or when your first child was born? Is your relationship with your co-workers the same as when you started - or your view of your new company? Honeymoons end, and, while it's easy to see the honeymoon as the ideal, it really isn't - since it is an unrealistic, idealized fantasy. Cutting through that and establishing a workable reality is the challenge - and it has to happen in all our relationships for them to be healthy.

Part of the issue for many members is accepting that reality doesn't match the ideal fantasy. We WANT the Church to be something, and it's hard to accept that it's not.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

nightwalden
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Re: Changing Relationships with Friends and Larry King Interview

Post by nightwalden » 14 May 2010, 10:54

There are several reasons that I don't care much about the GBH thing. Of course, what he said was incorrect. Mormons teach that human beings have the potential to become like God. But I just don't lift the prophet up on a pedestal the way many do. What he said did not challenge my own beliefs. I personally have only heard mormons cite GBH's interview to bash the LDS church. It does reinforce the idea that Mormons keep things hidden. But it just doesn't really bother me much. I could easily see myself making a similar mistake.

About personal relationships in wards, I think that it can be difficult to manage our expectations but it's helpful when we can. If you're a person that assumes the best about people until proven otherwise, then you're faced with disappointment. If you assume the negative or very little, then you can be pleasantly surprised. I think that the second method leads to better long term relationships with people. The first method allows people to form quick friendships but they can break down more easily. For me, I tend to assume very little about people so it takes me a while to trust the people that are worth trusting. I do find it frustrating when people that I have a strong personal relationship with move away. It takes me so long to form strong bonds that it is extra frustrating when I find that I don't have many in my ward. My only advice to you would be to try to understand how you relate to others and then manage your expectations in your personal relationships.

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SamBee
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Re: Changing Relationships with Friends and Larry King Interview

Post by SamBee » 14 May 2010, 11:58

Ward shopping just isn't an option here.
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."

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SilentDawning
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Re: Changing Relationships with Friends and Larry King Interview

Post by SilentDawning » 31 May 2010, 14:37

SamBee wrote:Ward shopping just isn't an option here.
I think this is true whenever the little skirmishes with others happen -- simply leaving the Ward for another pasture isn't the way to go. However, I think there are times when enough negative experiences warrant a Ward change. Sometimes you need it just to keep life in the Church fresh, the same way you need to change the furniture around in your office just to freshen things up a bit.
"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: Changing Relationships with Friends and Larry King Interview

Post by SamBee » 01 Jun 2010, 01:53

I say that not because of personal experience, but the lack of them. I suppose if I had a car, I could get to three or four wards, maybe more, but these actually cover hundreds of thousands of people, if that gives you an idea of how few of us there are here, and also it's a bit of a way to get to the other ones.
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."

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