lazy and lax - April 2021

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DarkJedi
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Re: lazy and lax - April 2021

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Apr 2021, 11:20

nibbler wrote:
07 Apr 2021, 07:58
If the goal was truly to get members to think for themselves I'd say they failed. You don't have to stick with them, but the lessons in the come follow me manuals are chock-full of indoctrination. If the goal was to get people to think for themselves the lessons could have been a simple, "Read Luke chapters 1-5 and discuss with family."
Absolutely. I was taken in by the rhetoric. Even Bednar, on the conservative side of the bunch, indicated it was important for us to learn and understand for ourselves and something along the line of not relying on others telling us what to believe. So much for that.
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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FaithfulSkeptic
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Re: lazy and lax - April 2021

Post by FaithfulSkeptic » 08 Apr 2021, 14:49

nibbler wrote:
06 Apr 2021, 11:35
It tells me that Nelson doesn't understand the position of the doubter. Perhaps he's a lazy learner. :angel:
I have one word to describe President Nelson's understanding of the position of the doubter: Myopic
I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, “Your testimony must be this tall to enter.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2014

Minyan Man
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Re: lazy and lax - April 2021

Post by Minyan Man » 08 Apr 2021, 16:30

This is a new article from the Liahona. There is no mention of lazy or lax. (A little joke.)

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... s?lang=eng

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DarkJedi
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Re: lazy and lax - April 2021

Post by DarkJedi » 10 Apr 2021, 04:50

Recommended article by Jana Riess on the topic: https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2021/04 ... oming-lds/

Some outtakes:
But the second of his five points struck a nerve with some listeners within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you have doubts about God, Jesus or Joseph Smith, Nelson said, you should “choose to believe and stay faithful. Take your questions to the Lord and to other faithful sources. Study with the desire to believe rather than with the hope that you can find a flaw in the fabric of a prophet’s life or a discrepancy in the scriptures. Stop increasing your doubts by rehearsing them with other doubters.”
In my experience, few people who are having doubts study with the intent of finding flaws in the gospel or the church’s interpretations of it. Rather, they study to recover beliefs they feel are fraying. They want to return to that place of comfortable, taken-for-granted belief, so they double down on what the church has taught them to do (and which Nelson emphasizes in the first of his five points): Study the gospel and be engaged learners. Sometimes, they find answers that, rather than resolving their questions, introduce others.
This is not their fault, and we should stop placing the blame for it on their shoulders. It’s simply a natural evolution of faith to a deeper and more mature level.
But many times in life, we need to talk to someone who has “been there” and gone through the same feelings and experiences with which we are struggling. I’m part of a Crohn’s & Colitis Facebook group, for example, because there was a time our doctor thought a family member might have Crohn’s, and I wanted to learn as much as I could so I could help. Why would I try to learn about the condition from people who had not experienced it themselves? I instead learned by going straight to the source.
Nelson and other leaders want Latter-day Saint doubters to be able to magically know how to do something we’ve never taught believers how to do, which is to understand we could be very wrong in what we are currently thinking about religion.
Talking with those who are acquainted with doubt — particularly those who have come out on the other side with a more nuanced, deeper faith — helps people who have been raised to mistake belief for faith to not become overwhelmed when they experience the natural stirrings of doubt. By isolating those who experience doubt, ironically, the church risks pushing them further away from faith.
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: lazy and lax - April 2021

Post by Roy » 12 Apr 2021, 10:25

I second the recommendation.
What’s tough for Latter-day Saint doubters is that the whole process of living comfortably with doubt means having humility. I don’t mean humility in the way members typically define it, which is about not being prideful in our talents or life circumstances. I mean humility about what we believe, which means being able to say about both our belief and our nonbelief, “You know, this is what I am thinking and feeling right now, but next year or even tomorrow, that could evolve.”
Nelson and other leaders want Latter-day Saint doubters to be able to magically know how to do something we’ve never taught believers how to do, which is to understand we could be very wrong in what we are currently thinking about religion.
While attending another Christian church I heard the pastor explain a doctrinal position that the church had (I think it was something about "the rapture") and then he said "we might be wrong about that and that is ok." It was a relatively small example but it stood out to me as outside of my normal experience. We are not used to saying and hearing that "we (as a church) might be wrong about that (tangential doctrine) and that is ok."
"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

Old-Timer
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Re: lazy and lax - April 2021

Post by Old-Timer » 14 Apr 2021, 16:30

Late to this discussion, but I choose to interpret those statements as being about orthodox members who lazily accept everything they are told and put no effort into "real" understanding.

I am sure that is not how he meant it - but I do believe his words are accurate, even if our "target audiences" are different. :P
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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On Own Now
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Re: lazy and lax - April 2021

Post by On Own Now » 19 Apr 2021, 10:52

This talk with emphasis on "lazy and lax" was the featured topic of our one SM talk yesterday. The person speaking obviously had no clue about the causes of FC and reiterated that faith is a choice.
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
- - -
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
- - -

Roy
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Re: lazy and lax - April 2021

Post by Roy » 03 May 2021, 12:26

On Own Now wrote:
19 Apr 2021, 10:52
reiterated that faith is a choice.
I have struggled with disentangling the things that come naturally to me from the things that I choose to do. I speculate that most of us justify the things that are in our nature. I further speculate that a good number of us feel superior because our nature does not lead us to do some of the things that some other people do (again, those "other" people are probably following their natures just like most people do). I do believe that there is a component of acting against one's nature but this appears to be less common than individuals might suppose.

I have a rudimentary recollection of there being dueling schools of thought in the early Christian church between one person that always was a naturally obedient child and felt that righteous living was a choice within the power of all vs. another early church leader that lived a more rebellious life until he felt called/compelled by God into the ministry and felt based on his life experience and reading of the scriptures that it is impossible to choose God until God first chooses you through "irresistible grace."

Our church of course leans heavily on the "choice" model because of moral agency being perhaps THE key doctrine is our theology.
"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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On Own Now
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Re: lazy and lax - April 2021

Post by On Own Now » 04 May 2021, 09:55

if you think of faith as how you see the cosmos, then I don't think it's a choice. I believe that dinosaurs are extinct; I can't convince myself to think they are still roaming the earth, no matter how hard I might try.

If you think of faith as what you do with your views, then I do think it's a choice. I believe in the Golden Rule, for example, but that doesn't mean I always live it. Adhering to it takes conscious effort sometimes.

In LDS thought, I believe 'faith' is subconsciously tied to action more than belief. Belief is a given, agency follows. From a Church perspective, everyone in the Church believes, but some are more "faithful" than others.. Anyone can have belief just by opening up to it, because it is there sort of like sunshine. For example, if you pray about the BofM, you are guaranteed an answer. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally." "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." But faith is what you do with it... In LDS vernacular, considerize the phrase "exercise faith". Faith is an activity, rather than an attribute. Ergo, it's a choice.

I think this is what makes most members think of not believing as a deficiency and as "lazy and lax"-ness as causes for faith crisis.
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
- - -
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
- - -

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FaithfulSkeptic
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Re: lazy and lax - April 2021

Post by FaithfulSkeptic » 06 May 2021, 13:11

My wife has asked me several times, "Why can't you just choose to believe?" I've tried to explain, but most of the time it just turns out badly and she and I both end up feeling frustrated and hurt. I don't know that belief is a choice, although I can choose how I act based on my belief (or lack thereof). That action (to me) is faith and is a choice. So I can choose to exercise faith, regardless of whether I believe something or not.

I would like to be able to "choose" to believe. But since I can't, I'll just excercise the particle of faith I have in spite of my lack of belief in certain doctrines, truth claims, and practices. I really have a hard time doing this - my tendancy is view things as black/white, so a lot of the time I would like to just throw the baby out with the bath water.

I think for some, having a spiritual witness is enough to "choose" to believe (probably more than one should). And that works for them. I get it. But not everyone is wired like that. I guess I'm just a lazy learner and want to rehearse my doubts with other doubters. ;)

One thing that has helped me is Jon Ogden's Book, "When Mormons Doubt." (https://www.amazon.com/When-Mormons-Dou ... B01D7T93CQ) In it he discusses the concepts of truth, beauty, and goodness. I discovered that I had put far too much emphasis on truth, and far too little on beauty and goodness. Now I don't care so much whether something is true or not. If there is beauty or goodness in it, I can still embrace it without worrying about whether it is "true" or not.
I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, “Your testimony must be this tall to enter.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2014

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