My farewell to StayLDS

For the discussion of spirituality -- from LDS and non-LDS sources
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Brian Johnston
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My farewell to StayLDS

Post by Brian Johnston » 19 Feb 2020, 09:46

I'm posting this farewell in the "Spiritual Stuff" section because I think it's the most fitting.

It looks to me like the behind-the-scenes, tech transition of me finally being able to fully step away from this community is done. You guys are in GREAT hands. Thank you to everyone over the past decade who has contributed their time and spirit to support each other here. The community is what makes it happen. No matter what anyone else says in your life, I'm telling you that you all are some of the best Mormons in the religious community you inhabit.

If you want to stay in the LDS Church, you should stay, and you should get all the love and support you need. The Church does not know yet how to deal with and minister to our sisters and brothers who are different. I wish the church did this better. I have always said from the beginning that I hope the church put us "out of business" by making sites like this irrelevant. But until they do that, and take care of the mess and harm they cause, keep on being true to the spirit of the ideas in Mormonism that are so beautiful and healing. Keep on making the kinds of supportive communities we wish existed. Be the change, and love the people in leadership positions who need help seeing these changes are necessary. I did what I could. I did my part. And now with love, I say goodbye. All things have their season.

I moved on a while ago. And I don't want that to be a taken as negative thing, but everyone tells themselves the stories they want to hear. I followed Mormonism to my own logical conclusion, and I have no regrets about that. I believed in the powerful ideas, did everything I could, I followed the spirit that Mormons talk about, and I have seen God and met Jesus Christ. That experience is not what most believing Mormons today think it is, but it is also just as important and profound as they believe it is. Everyone will have this experience, whether during their life or at the end of it. So don't worry. It's there. I also fully acknowledge that what I just said is considered insane by most people, and most ironically by the very people in the church that told me my whole life I should have this experience. Every single person on this planet is "worthy" enough right now in this moment or at any moment. You are all OK, or will someday be OK. More people than you might think have this experience (and Mormons are a minority, sorry). The vast majority just go on quietly living their lives because it's both one of the most profound experiences you can have, and yet on a practical level, meaningless in its own special way.

The last advice I will give here: Love each other. Love the people around you. Make the world a better place, one small step at a time. Whatever you can do, no matter how little, it matters. Life is not a zero sum game. Please believe in that. If we are collectively and individually judged by a higher power, which is only metaphorical, it will be by how we treat the least of those among us. They are your Savior, if you want one.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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Re: My farewell to StayLDS

Post by Minyan Man » 19 Feb 2020, 09:58

Thank you Brian.

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Re: My farewell to StayLDS

Post by Roy » 19 Feb 2020, 10:58

Thank you Brian for all that you have done for this community (the community of those that struggle and not just those of us that post here). Reading your parting words takes me back and I am reminded of your personality/spirit that I can feel through the words.
May you always have love and contentment sufficient for your needs.

Your friend,
"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: My farewell to StayLDS

Post by Heavy_Laden » 19 Feb 2020, 12:14

Sometimes we inhabit a temporary space while in transition. I appreciate having this space here to post and be in community. I don't know anyone here in person, but I feel that we are all brothers and sisters trying the best we can.

Thank you for your service to us all!
I'm an Independent Mormon and it's okay. -

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Re: My farewell to StayLDS

Post by DarkJedi » 19 Feb 2020, 13:19

Thanks for all you have done for us and happy trails!
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: My farewell to StayLDS

Post by SilentDawning » 19 Feb 2020, 13:22

Thanks Brian for all you have done on StayLDS. One lasting impact was your statement "The sooner you get on your own clock the happier you will be" or similar. I have written and read tens of thousands of characters on this forum and that one sticks out as one of the top five. It was with that statement I decided I was no longer invested in having a reputation for being a stalwhart in the ward. It was liberating. It enabled me to sit outside the temple when my daughter got married there in the last couple years. I was being who I am and it was fine.

Sorry to see you go. You have me very intrigued by what it means to see God and meet Christ, but I also know those things are not often shared in much detail. It's comforting to know we are all OK, as I often wonder. I do know I'm happier in the church now than I ever was. That has to count for something.

But back to you -- thanks for all you have done here and I hope we see you now and then even though you said goodbye. Give a PM anytime...

Last edited by SilentDawning on 20 Feb 2020, 11:45, edited 1 time in total.
"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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Re: My farewell to StayLDS

Post by nibbler » 19 Feb 2020, 15:24

You helped create a home for the spiritually homeless. Thank you for that.

Thank you for all you've done over the years.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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Re: My farewell to StayLDS

Post by Old-Timer » 19 Feb 2020, 21:38

I will miss you, dear friend. Thanks for everything you have done for so many.

May there (continue to) be a road.
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: My farewell to StayLDS

Post by mom3 » 20 Feb 2020, 22:35

Love you Brian. That is not flippant or trite. You really did build us a home. I am deeply grateful for the past decade I have been a part of it (I guess it's more than a decade now).

You are always invited back.

Thanks again - for all of it.
"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: My farewell to StayLDS

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 23 Feb 2020, 16:34

Thank you, Brian, so much for everything. Because of you and John Dehlin, we have this great forum. Godspeed, my friend!

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