Why Do You Stay?

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Why Do You Stay?

Post by DoubtingTom » 23 Sep 2018, 21:30

I’m sure this has been discussed here many times so feel free to redirect me to old posts.

Why do you stay? For me, absent belief or meaningful personal friendships, the only motivating factor was support of my wife. When she saw how hard church attendance was on me, she suggested I take a break, which I am. Should that change in the future, I am curious what reasons others have to stay, whether that be personal belief, social reasons, or other. What do you get out of your church engagement?

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Re: Why Do You Stay?

Post by LookingHard » 24 Sep 2018, 05:22

For my marriage. But "stay" is moving to "only attending sacrament meeting and not accepting callings".

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Re: Why Do You Stay?

Post by nibbler » 24 Sep 2018, 05:31

I'm going to post links to several threads. Not in an effort to redirect the conversation to any of the linked threads or to suggest that a new thread shouldn't be created. It's a good subject to have a thread on from time to time because I find the answer changes so much over time.

Why do you stay? July 2018
Reasons to stay? October 2016
Sunstone - Why I Stay August 2014
1 Reason Why I Stay July 2014
Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard? May 2014
One reason why I am trying to stay February 2014
Why do you stay? December 2013
What do I stay for? April 2013
Why I Stay LDS July 2012
Why I stay January 2012
Why do you stay? June 2011

My answer hasn't changed much over the last year or so. Usually it's, "I want to see where all this is headed." Often it's, "I don't know." It may not be the most fulfilling answer, but I suppose it will have to do for now.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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Re: Why Do You Stay?

Post by dande48 » 24 Sep 2018, 06:03

LookingHard wrote:
24 Sep 2018, 05:22
For my marriage. But "stay" is moving to "only attending sacrament meeting and not accepting callings".
nibbler wrote:
24 Sep 2018, 05:31
Usually it's, "I want to see where all this is headed." Often it's, "I don't know." It may not be the most fulfilling answer, but I suppose it will have to do for now.
This is where I am. It's not a particularly inspiring place to be. I'd also like to throw in "nostalgia" for me as well. I don't believe in most any of the fundamental truth claims. I don't think a lot of what is taught is necessarily good; sometimes it can be harmful more than anything. BUT, I do have a lot of fond memories of the Church. Even though I feel pretty lonely and misunderstood, there are a lot of good people. All in all, I think it had made me a better person; or at the least, it's made me who I am. And of all possible worlds, I wouldn't trade this one for any other, warts and all.
"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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Re: Why Do You Stay?

Post by DarkJedi » 24 Sep 2018, 07:46

My reasons also have tended to change. And for a while (about 10 years) I didn't stay. Currently I'd have to say it's because:

1) I do think at its core the church does teach Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected.
2) Related to the first, this is where I feel most comfortable in a religious setting.*
3) I like enough people here and have enough friendships here that I find some social value in attending (although I don't feel I need to attend everything)
4) I do generally believe that the people at church are trying to do what's right, just like I am, and we have that in common.

My hero (DFU):
If you expect to find perfect people here, you will be disappointed. But if you seek the pure doctrine of Christ, the word of God “which healeth the wounded soul,” and the sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost, then here you will find them. In this age of waning faith—in this age when so many feel distanced from heaven’s embrace—here you will find a people who yearn to know and draw closer to their Savior by serving God and fellowmen, just like you. Come, join with us!
*It should be noted that I do not always feel uplifted by our church meetings, but I do often enough to make it worth my while. I can find my own uplifting stuff when need be, as was the case this past Sunday. I recognize I could also do that at home, but I'm willing to give it a chance each Sunday.
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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Re: Why Do You Stay?

Post by AmyJ » 24 Sep 2018, 10:18

I am staying until I decide to leave - it will be my choice, not a thoughtless result of being pushed out of the tent by the expectations of others.
And I am going to make darned sure that is the choice I want to make before I leave (if ever).

I know I am more in a de-constructive than a constructive phase right now. So as long as I don't do anything bridge-burning without much thought, and personally expect to change my understanding of the truth, the church, and everything else - sometime in the next 6 months to 10 years or so, it will all settle down. At least, that's one theory....

Honestly, the main pulls are social right now for quasi-social me. Between my husband and the good people at our branch, I feel enclosed in the community in a positive way.

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Re: Why Do You Stay?

Post by mom3 » 24 Sep 2018, 11:23

It works with my circadian rhythm.

If I left I would likely seek another church. The problem is then what would I need from that church. Every week in ours isn't my favorite. But a lot are good. When I sit in a chapel and sing a hymn I love with a bunch of other people - I can float for days. Some weeks I fill myself with my own reading material.

I also attend because I contribute. Some weeks lots. Some weeks little. But I believe in the drop of water concept.

My husband, on the other hand, is wondering when I will stop attending. I let him stop attending 6 years ago. I go for me and my heart.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Re: Why Do You Stay?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 24 Sep 2018, 12:34

I love what I see as the pure theology.

I love my tribe and am grateful for the acceptance and foundation it gave me.

I am geared toward reconciliation and cooperation, not diviseness and fighting.

My family.
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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Re: Why Do You Stay?

Post by Roy » 24 Sep 2018, 14:23

mom3 wrote:
24 Sep 2018, 11:23
If I left I would likely seek another church. The problem is then what would I need from that church.
The LDS church offers a sense of heritage, legacy, and communal identity that few can compete with. The LDS church can be exeptional in some measures of "taking care of their own" - helping to move, bringing in meals during difficulties, having assigned "ministers", sometimes help during financial short term challenges. Our youth program is decent - rivaling in some respects programs with paid youth pastors. The quality of young person that our teenagers would meet and associate with in the youth program is above average.

In a way I think of the LDS church as the family business. I can go off and start my own business or go work for someone else in their business. However there are benefits to staying with the family business and nobody should be faulted for choosing that path.

Ultimately, in a biological imperative sort of way, what matters is that we have offspring and give them the best possible chance of growing to adulthood, happy and well adjusted so that they may in turn do the same for their offspring. Mormonism can be a better than average framework for helping us accomplish that goal.
"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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Re: Why Do You Stay?

Post by Heber13 » 24 Sep 2018, 15:25

When I reflect back to my years growing up in the church...I found it very helpful to have the church interactions and lessons and guidance. Activities like scout camp, basketball, dances, and youth conferences as well as callings to practice serving and leadership to help plan activities and then serve a mission.... all of that was positive for me in my youth and my hopes of a better life ahead of me.

I want my kids to have opportunities to have experiences like that. They may not all be good (they haven't been), but at least there are opportunities for experiences. I see them growing and benefiting by having those kinds of interactions and experiences too. It's good for them, and helps them develop their own beliefs and testimony.

I think that is ok to stay involved so they can be involved. That makes it worth it for me.

The 2nd reason, which is more for me, is because I don't think I can "practice" my religion unless I go and interact with others, even others who see it in a different light than I do. I tend to find good people trying to go to church too, while we all deal with each other and our imperfections.

3rd...I volunteered to go help with the Bishop's Storehouse tomorrow. The church gives me opportunities to do stuff like that. That kinda stuff has nothing to do with doctrines, or current church policies. It's healthy for me to serve others and forget about deep doctrines sometimes.

There are other reasons...but those three are probably at the top of my list. I don't think I have ever felt like there is definitively someplace better to go towards. Other places I go and check out seem to be about the same, with different spin on things. So...I'm ok with whatever works best for the family...and that seems to be staying here.
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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