Monitored and Watched

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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SilentDawning
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Re: Monitored and Watched

Post by SilentDawning » 12 Jun 2013, 21:29

This shows me again that we have an organization that can be very disloyal to its members. If this happened to myself, I have dedicated several decades of my life to the organization (as many others have). And then, as soon as I start having troubles and trying to deal with them the best way I can (since face to face, local attempts usually ends in ostracization), the organization punishes me.

The Inquisition behaved this way (although to a much more extreme extent, obviously).

I hope this is just an isolated incident, but it does show how the information we post here can be used against us....Caution.
"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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AngryMormon
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Re: Monitored and Watched

Post by AngryMormon » 13 Jun 2013, 00:29

Matthew 18:15

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.


Doesn't this piece of scripture apply to the situation?

Just to clarify my last post, I am not advocating violence. I am wondering if Kristmace could claim some kind of emotional harassment and/or stalking against the three? The behavior seems creepy and disturbing. Gossip travels fast, I imagine the three's identities will come out pretty quickly.

Personally, I would be adamant with the Bishop about knowing who the three are. I would want to be able to protect myself and my family from individuals conspiring against me in the ward. What else could these three be capable of? Who else will they divulge his personal identity and ramblings to? His employer, extended family, etc... ? Kristmace has a basic fundamental human right to be able to protect himself and his family from these three.

However, it really doesn't matter if the Bishop divulges identities. Gossip travels fast in any church.

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PiperAlpha
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Re: Monitored and Watched

Post by PiperAlpha » 13 Jun 2013, 01:41

FWIW, I don't see this as a uniquely Mormon thing.

I see it in the school PTA, I see it at work, I see it in our neighborhood with neighbors taking action on disputes, and I see it in families in how they treat each other. My lawyer friend tells me that husbands can spend a night in jail on trumped up charges of abuse, and there is no face to face working it out, the cops just do their job and let the proof and guilt or innocense get worked out later. It doesn't make it right...it is just what happens in society.

My point is, it is a social issue and some people are more mature in how they handle conflict than others. Clearly the best way is to face to face directly address something, as the scriptures taught. But many people don't do that, they try to get an authority figure to address it for them, and perhaps it is a result of pride or self-righteousness, and we all know that exists in all religions, including Mormonism.

Because authority is heavily taught in the church, it seems to surface in some wards a lot depending on the stngth of leadership, but it is more a social thing that is seen in Mormonism rather than a Mormon thing itself.

Just more evidence the church is led by mortals who are given little training to handle all things, and I agree with Ray about rendering things to Caesar and realizing that authority to be a judge in Israel doesnt make them inspired in all areas of life.

Who knows, perhaps the bishop learned something from kristmace's experience that will help someone coming behind him in that area?
“As individually and collectively we increase our knowledge, acceptance, and application of gospel principles, we become less dependent on Church programs. Our lives become gospel centered.”
Elder Ronald E. Poelman, General Conference Oct 1984

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SilentDawning
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Re: Monitored and Watched

Post by SilentDawning » 13 Jun 2013, 04:25

AngryMormon wrote:Matthew 18:15

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.


Doesn't this piece of scripture apply to the situation?
It sounds as if this conversation has already happened. However, in this case it was not a brother to brother conversation , it was a member to official leader conversation. There are power differences, and the imposition of formal sanctions on the member. I find you usually lose on this one.

Did the Bishop indicate there would be a follow-up discussion? Some kind of restoration of "blessings" after a certain period of repentence? Some kind of plan that would allow you to get back into full TR status if you want? Or did this simply punish you and walk away?
"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

kristmace
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RE: Monitored and Watched

Post by kristmace » 13 Jun 2013, 05:38

On Sunday when I was released (without being replaced) and had my TR taken off me it felt like a clear punishment. Bishop came over on Tuesday and it did help to clear the air. The bottom line is that I still don't know what I've said, and where, that was a problem. I spent hours last night going through all my old posts, and I don't see a problem. I don't think this sanction is a time thing it's akin to a transgression. What I've done wrong is very unclear.

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Roy
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Re: Monitored and Watched

Post by Roy » 13 Jun 2013, 09:25

AngryMormon wrote:In a way I feel like I handed over my Constitutional freedom and balls when I was baptized.
Oliver Cowdery slipped into constitutional freedom talk during his excommunication hearing - church governance and rights seem to not be fully democratic.
SilentDawning wrote:This shows me again that we have an organization that can be very disloyal to its members. If this happened to myself, I have dedicated several decades of my life to the organization (as many others have). And then, as soon as I start having troubles and trying to deal with them the best way I can (since face to face, local attempts usually ends in ostracism), the organization punishes me.
Interesting quandary - The organization has the right to define the boundaries of its membership. This includes the right to excommunicate members who are teaching things that might be considered heretical (there are many other reasons for excommunication but for the purposes of this hypothetical question I will focus on heresy). But what are the moral and ethical implications when that individual has built their life, their understanding of the world and themselves, and even their eternal destiny upon their membership in the organization. Where do we find that balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the group? The following quote tells me that some church leaders are very aware of the tension:

Paul H. Dunn observed: “Here I am a young buck coming into the system, and the circulation is, ‘Let’s excommunicate the Sterling McMurrins of the Church, and weed out the liberals.’ That got thrown around a lot. Even poor Lowell Bennion got thrown into some of that. If it hadn’t been for President McKay, we’d have had a fiasco on Lowell Bennion. There’s one of the sweetest, great Christians of the world. …I watched [Bennion] save kids that nobody else could. And yet there was that element in the church that tried to get him bumped, because he didn’t teach what they taught. I’ve found in the church, and this is what gave me great comfort with President McKay, that there is room for all of them, not just a few, not just those here or there, but the whole spectrum. President McKay would say [several times I heard him] ‘if you would have to take action on that kind of a person thinking that way, you’d better take action on me, too.’” Rise of Modern Mormonism p.44



In a private meeting with Sterling McMurrin at a time when McMurrin’s church membership was in peril, McKay commented; “I would like to know just what it is that a man must be required to believe to be a member of this Church. Or, what it is that he is not permitted to believe, and remain a member of this Church. I would like to know just what that is. Is it evolution? I hope not, because I believe in evolution.” He kept his views private, however, [because he recognized the important difference between personal opinion and official doctrine]. Rise of Modern Mormonism p.46
"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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cwald
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Re: Monitored and Watched

Post by cwald » 13 Jun 2013, 18:42

kristmace wrote:On Sunday when I was released (without being replaced) and had my TR taken off me it felt like a clear punishment. Bishop came over on Tuesday and it did help to clear the air. The bottom line is that I still don't know what I've said, and where, that was a problem. I spent hours last night going through all my old posts, and I don't see a problem. I don't think this sanction is a time thing it's akin to a transgression. What I've done wrong is very unclear.

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I get it...accused of apostasy, released from callings, TR confiscated, marginalized....

Like SD says, decades of loyal service.

When it happened to me, I felt betrayed. Angry. Hurt.

Learning that my own family burned me at the stake was the worse.

I blame the church. Generally the Mormon people are true, the church culture...not so much.


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  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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SilentDawning
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Re: Monitored and Watched

Post by SilentDawning » 14 Jun 2013, 05:20

Related to this, I realize why, in local Ward leadership meetings, I would hear so many reasons people stopped coming to church that "didn't add up". They would give obstacles which really were not obstacles -- very easily overcome with a bit of effort.

I think it's because we have a culture where you can't speak up about your doubts, concerns, interpersonal conflicts and leadership faux pas that make it uncomfortable to come to church. So people make up excuses half the time. When you're firing on all cylinders (marriage going well, TR-holding, serving where asked, submerging your concerns about ineffective leadership) the formal leadership loves you. When you fall off that wagon, then an unsettling number appear to put you into the out-group. We need a culture that accepts the people who are on the fringe, knows people's concerns, and works to help those people overcome them, within certain limits.

*************
I also want to draw an analogy. Many of you know I've gotten involved in the community. I volunteer for a non-profit. This non-profit had a very bad, volunteer president of the board. I won't go into details, but she was arrogant, autocratic, combative and extremely full of herself. The paid director of the organization quit because of her behavior (and he was a capable person, this paid director). Some outside organizations that were going to partner with this organization withdrew their support because of her. She continued trying to get results but her following of loyal volunteers started dwindling.

Eventually, the city organization that sponsors the non-profit parachuted paid city officials into the board meetings to "support the organization". They also held private hearings asking us to be "so honest it hurts" about what was wrong with the organization. I was blunt indicating it was the personality of the president, cited specific situations etcetera where one partner organization I had established quit because of her behavior.

At this point, the city person asked me what it would take for me to step up to take on even greater responsibility as they had a position open. I said that regrettably, this arrogant president would "have to go" for the good of the organization. She had done too much damage, there had been too many failed initiatives, and too much for her to change to regain the trust of the organization. This person shared that she had heard this many times over in similar conversations and seemed to recognize this was a problem. What a relief to me!! Not only was I heard, the organization was being proactive and CARED.

This volunteer president eventually quit because the board kept challenging her in ways she would not tolerate. Their regular challenging was meant to encourage her to leave since the city person told me they could not fire her.

I just want to say that it was refreshing that a) someone asked me what I thought b) I could be open about the problems and c) that the organization did something to improve the organization. They didn't leave the membership there to suffer and dwindle.

And by they way, I can leave this organization if I want, and join another one if it's not working out. Not that I have any plans to (I like it), but I feel so much more appreciated, heard, and valued in this non-profit than I do in a divine organization.

We need more tolerance from above when member have concerns about how it is going with our local leaders. Simply asking the members to submerge their feelings is not respectful to the members and THEIR experience. We don't want to encourage a culture of complaining about leaders, but at the same time, there needs to be balance between supporting leaders, and helping members have a positive experience. And this means proactive listening and responsiveness when there are widespread problems.

The grand shepherds need to listen to the sheep to be in touch with their feelings, and their experience. And when the sheep are suffering, the grand shepherds need to work with the shepherds of the local flocks. Sometimes, they need to replace them. That is what caring leaders do for their sheep. In my opinion. The key to the 99 really is the one. And the 99 are the sheep -- not the shepherds.

No one has ever asked me how it's going when I've been a sheep in our church. And if you volunteer such information, you are in violation of your TR. My wife volunteered such information to our ex-Bishop, and it led to a talk in sacrament meeting about "supporting your leaders" from this ex-Bishop. I saw her withdraw from her church experience another notch after that.

So, people leave, and often, no one ever knows why. It's due to a lack of openness in our culture about leadership problems -- and punitive actions like the ones we read in the opening post. Sad.
"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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wayfarer
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Re: Monitored and Watched

Post by wayfarer » 15 Jun 2013, 19:00

Kristmace,

I had a long talk tonight with my former bishop, whose wife is going through a faith crisis right now -- we're very close. I asked him if he had received during his tenure from 1998 to 2005 any advice from the Stake President to investigate someone for their beliefs, and he said no. He told me that he did not excommunicate a single person in the 7 years he was bishop, nor did he refer anyone to the stake to be disciplined. He felt strongly that discipline would essentially remove entire future families from the Church.

I think my point is that "priesthood roulette" is alive and well -- some men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Actually, as Joseph Smith wrote, not just some men, but it is the nature and disposition of almost all men to exercise unrighteous dominon.

My heart continues to go out to you, and I wish I could better explain how I feel on this.

I think if you wish to return to full fellowship, prevailing upon the bishop to be reasonable may help. We are not apostates -- most of the supporters of NOM and StayLDS are very supportive of the church, should that be what one wants to do. The entire purpose of StayLDS is to find a sustainable path with the Church. How can this be apostate?

peace, my friend.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
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SilentDawning
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Re: Monitored and Watched

Post by SilentDawning » 16 Jun 2013, 04:00

wayfarer wrote:Kristmace,

He told me that he did not excommunicate a single person in the 7 years he was bishop, nor did he refer anyone to the stake to be disciplined. He felt strongly that discipline would essentially remove entire future families from the Church.
Sounds like a wise 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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