Fair presentation for my Stake

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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opentofreedom
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Joined: 11 Jun 2013, 09:36

Fair presentation for my Stake

Post by opentofreedom » 24 Feb 2014, 12:37

OK, so I need some advice. Our stake is having a fair presentation to answer issues with difficult history questions. My husband would really like me to go and thinks it will help me ... see clearly?? .. again. I told him that I am not a fan of the apologetic explanations. I also feel that I am having a hard time trusting the church again. If they lied and hid everything to such a great degree before, how do I know this new more open church history hasn't been doctored and calculated? I have a hard time knowing what to believe regarding church history period. Part of me doesn't even care because I don't believe in the core doctrine anyway, so I don't care to know. But on the other hand I have a deep desire to understand what the heck was going on with everything; not only church history but Christianity in general.
Anyway, I am scared that I will get so annoyed at the explanations and excuses, but I can't say that I KNOW what they are going to say because I don't. I have never been to anything of this sort before. Has anyone had any experiences with their stake doing something like this?
Namaste: the divine light in me honors the divine light in you.

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ann
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Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Post by Ann » 24 Feb 2014, 14:53

Hi, open - I haven't, but would love to hear about your experience if you decide to go. If one were being offered here, I would go. I don't know how or if I would participate, but I'd want to be counted as a warm body at the event.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

Roy
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Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Post by Roy » 24 Feb 2014, 15:22

opentofreedom wrote:Our stake is having a fair presentation to answer issues with difficult history questions.
I would be conflicted. On one hand, I'd love to go and see presentations and have discussions on Mormon history outside of the context of SS. (SS does not seem like a good time to have a spirited discussion - no matter if the history presented is completely off)

OTOH, I'm not sure these FAIR presentations would be a good time to do this either. I work pretty hard to keep my specific views vague and hopeful. I would be afraid that any less than believing points I might bring up might get the all seeing eye of suspicion turned my way.

I suppose the best of both worlds for me would be to frame my questions in a way that I was not personally tied to them - as in how do you feel about Richard Bushman's treatment of X or Todd Compton's position for Y or I have a "friend" that believes XYZ - how might you respond to that.
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Post by DarkJedi » 24 Feb 2014, 15:47

I haven't had the experience with FAIR doing a presentation, but there is a guy in my ward who has probably read everything theyhave ever written, and before discovering this site I did read FAIR stuff because they were the closest I could come to anything rational. My problem with FAIR is that they are so focused on history and it's not the history I have a problem with, it's the doctrine. Were it me, I'd probably go - but you're not me and you have a whole different set of questions/doubts and whole different point of view.
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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GodisLove
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Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Post by GodisLove » 24 Feb 2014, 16:00

The fact that our area would think there is a problem that needed a FAIR explanation would be enlightening. I would have to go- my inquiring mind would need to know.
Not one Sparrow is forgotten
E'en the raven God will feed
And the lily of the valley
From His bounty hath its need

Then shall I not trust Thee, Father
In Thy mercy have a share?
And through faith and prayer, my Mother
Merit Thy protecting care?
Shaker Hymnal 1908

convert1992
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Joined: 11 Feb 2014, 11:26

Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Post by convert1992 » 24 Feb 2014, 16:03

Hi open,

I am somewhat familiar with intellectual LDS apologetics, which is what Fair is, because in my area we used to have a very unconventional member of the Church who was a university academic and apologist. I don't know whether you should go. It depends on the intellectual quality of the people who will be presenting. Fair not being officially associated with the Church, my understanding is that they do engage the help of people who are intellectually sophisticated (at least by LDS standards) so at least they are unlikely to be insultingly simplistic. They will not just be spouting the lds.org talking points. Since it's held as a church meeting though, it's probably somewhere between the extremes of a free-for-all discussion and the highly sanitized atmosphere of a missionary fireside. You can bet the presenters, as intellectually honest as they may turn out to be, will be vastly outnumbered by an audience with traditional apologist answers (including all the ones you've heard 1,000 times) and missionaries. It would remind me of those missionary events where the visitors are outnumbered 50-to-one by the members. I personally would go, but just to observe the dynamics and throw in a few provocative queries. If you do decide to go, let us know how it went!

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Post by Curt Sunshine » 24 Feb 2014, 17:58

I personally would go, but I would have absolutely no expectations of hearing anything profound or that I could accept as the best answers. If I heard anything like that, I would be pleasantly surprised; if not, I wouldn't be disappointed.

On the other hand, if hearing stupid or partial answers gave me severe heartburn, I wouldn't go.

On the third hand :P , if my wife really wanted me to attend, I'd go - but I would be committed to lamaze breathing and letting things roll off my back.
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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opentofreedom
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Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Post by opentofreedom » 24 Feb 2014, 19:32

Thanks for the great advice y'all. I guess I could go with no expectations at all as to not be disappointed. I just worry that I will get "heartburn" ... I guess I could always leave. It might be good for my husband to go as well.

DJ. I am more like you, it is the doctrine more than the history, that bothers me. So, no matter what they say, I can't imagine it being 'helpful". But who knows, maybe I will learn something new.

GIL, yep, the curiosity alone will likely be my greatest motivation. If I don't go I will just be wondering all day.
The fact that our area would think there is a problem that needed a FAIR explanation would be enlightening
Yes, I am quite surprised that there is such a great need. I do know of some people in my neighborhood who have left the church or have similar concerns. This will just be...... interesting.
Namaste: the divine light in me honors the divine light in you.

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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