I need help.

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Curt Sunshine
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Re: I need help.

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Mar 2015, 11:46

If they're up for excommunicating people for ignoring something a leader says . . .
There would be NO members, since even the very top leadership ignore some things other tops leaders (past and present) say and have said.

Seriously, every member is a "cafeteria Mormon". Most simply don't understand that fact.
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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taletotell
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Re: I need help.

Post by taletotell » 05 Mar 2015, 11:46

I find your concept of debate startling. I debate to determine truth by approaching a concept from every possible angle. A good debate should remove any incorrect facts or assumption leaving only the bare truth, or as near to it as imperfect understanding can get.
Still, I see you are right. This is not the way this community seeks truth, instead seeking inspiration and support.

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On Own Now
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Re: I need help.

Post by On Own Now » 05 Mar 2015, 11:54

taletotell,

Thanks for your added thoughts. It's interesting and enlightening to see the Church through your lens. The dialog has helped me to understand better some of the factors that have carried me to where I am at the moment.
taletotell wrote:many of you still believe very strongly
Haha. That's an interesting perspective. I think there are many here who believe parts, but I don't think there is anyone here who believes in the sense that most members of the Church do. I myself am an Atheist. I actually think that's part of what makes me see the Church differently from you and others here. My Atheism has set me free from trying to find truth in the narrative in the Church, and also free from needing to oppose things that are not from God. To me, none of it is from God, and the LDS Church has no more or less claim on the true teachings of God/Jesus than any other organization. Yet, unlike seemingly most of my Atheist Brethren (and Sistren), I don't see religion or faith as inherently nutty or oppressive. I often feel like a man without a country. I've described myself before as a non-practicing Atheist. In my view, spirituality isn't about truth or facts. One thing I often lament about the LDS Church is the propensity for Sacrament Meeting talks to be factual expositions, rather than worship.
- - -
“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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nibbler
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Re: I need help.

Post by nibbler » 05 Mar 2015, 12:01

taletotell wrote:I find your concept of debate startling. I debate to determine truth by approaching a concept from every possible angle. A good debate should remove any incorrect facts or assumption leaving only the bare truth, or as near to it as imperfect understanding can get.
Still, I see you are right. This is not the way this community seeks truth, instead seeking inspiration and support.
That's just it. Many people here feel like truth can't be definitively determined (that may be what's landed us here). We all have our individual interpretations of something that can only approximate it.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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taletotell
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Re: I need help.

Post by taletotell » 05 Mar 2015, 12:13

Got it :)

Curt Sunshine
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Re: I need help.

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Mar 2015, 12:14

This is not the way this community seeks truth, instead seeking inspiration and support.


I think we all seek truth - but we tend to believe that it's difficult or even impossible to find most Truth (as in "eternal, objective truth"). We are figuring out what "truth" means to each of us and trying to learn to accept that we really can be agents unto ourselves in that search.

Read the following post. It either will help you understand us better or drive you nuts. :D

"Imagine If" (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3098&hilit=imagine+if#p38586)
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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richalger
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Re: I need help.

Post by richalger » 05 Mar 2015, 12:15

DarkJedi wrote:
Ray DeGraw wrote:The Church doesn't claim to have all truth.
I agree, Ray, but you have to really pay attention to know that. It would be interesting to poll the average member to see what the majority believes about this issue. My guess is most (especially those who live in the Corridor) believe the church does have all the truth and that is what is specifically wrong with other churches - they don't have all the truth. Recently my missionary son wrote home about an interesting thing his MP said - that the church doesn't have a monopoly on the truth. We did have some discussion about it, but most noteworthy to me was that I thought he understood that already - and he didn't. Granted he is more orthodox than I am, nevertheless I would not put him in a category with the most orthodox.
Here are some quotes on how the church doesn't claim to have all truth or goodness.
http://richalger.blogspot.com/2015/03/t ... e-all.html

Roy
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Re: I need help.

Post by Roy » 05 Mar 2015, 13:21

richalger wrote:Here are some quotes on how the church doesn't claim to have all truth or goodness.http://richalger.blogspot.com/2015/03/t ... e-all.html
We do not claim that others have no truth. The Lord described them as having “a form of godliness.” Converts to the Church may bring with them all the truth they possess and have it added upon. ("The Only True Church", Boyd K. Packer, Oct 1985)
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Let me say that we appreciate the truth in all churches and the good which they do. We say to the people, in effect, you bring with you all the good that you have, and then let us see if we can add to it. That is the spirit of this work. That is the essence of our missionary service (meeting, Nairobi, Kenya, 17 Feb. 1998, Quoted in "Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley", Ensign Aug 1998).
I agree that it is a fairly common teaching in the church that others have some measure of incomplete truth, or truth mixed with error, or the commandments of God mixed with the philosofies of men.

What is less common is an acknowledgement that we do not have all religious truth. Orthodox examples of this include that we do not have the sealed portion of the BoM, or the Book of Joseph that was found with the BoA, or the religious records of the other "sheep" (10 tribes?), nor do we presently have access to the priesthood ordinance of resurection.

What seems to be completely absent is any inkling that others may have some truth or understanding that we as a church do not currently have. I find this particularly frustrating when I see some great programs for children or youth implemented at some other churches but the attitude at my LDS ward is "If it were truly effective, we would already be doing it." When there are some changes (and they do come and are coming) it comes from top down and is generally assumed to be the result of revelation.

What would it take for the following anouncement to be made? "For the past two decades the [insert name of church here] church has been pioneering a program that has led to a 50% retention of their youth. After obseving this phenominon for many years, we initiated a similar but modified program a few years ago in some select "pilot" LDS wards. The program seems to be very successful and we are now rolling it out church wide."
"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

Roy
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Re: I need help.

Post by Roy » 05 Mar 2015, 13:45

taletotell wrote: "You cannot approach the gospel as you would a buffet or smorgasbord, choosing here a little and there a little. You must sit down to the whole feast and live the Lord’s loving commandments in their fullness." It’s Your Choice By Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin 1994. I know he is not infallible, but I won't accept that the church is only fallible when they disagree with me, and based on the quote he doesn't want me to either. Going buffet style means I reject the church's authority to rule in god's name, placing my own authority above that of the church. If I do that I am in apostasy.
If I were Unitarian I could get away with that, but not so much in the LDS church.
If even the Prophet only speaks as the Prophet when he is moved upon by the HG (otherwise he is speaking as a wise and loving man but not an oracle of God) AND it is my duty to tell the difference by sensing the HG communicate directly to my spirit - then it would seem logical that I MUST act in some capacity as my own filter in receiving, interpreting, categorizing, and prioratizing the message.

Elder Wirthlin's quote could be interpreted that we are not to use any filter but are just to accept everything that comes from church leaders as Gospel truth. However believing that I do have an affirmative responsibility to filter what is said with my still evolving understanging of the gospel and the personal revelation of the Holy Spirit of Truth to my soul, I reserve the right to recieve, interpret, categorize, and prioratize Elder Wirthlin's comments to the best of my ability and understanding.
"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: I need help.

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Mar 2015, 13:55

taletotell wrote:We are talking about what the church believes, and though it doesn't come up directly in the temple interview, when they ask if you believe the teachings they are not asking if you believe in the teachings you like. I feel like the church is anti-buffet mormon. I think it is all black and white. No hyperbole. After all, "You cannot approach the gospel as you would a buffet or smorgasbord, choosing here a little and there a little. You must sit down to the whole feast and live the Lord’s loving commandments in their fullness." It’s Your Choice By Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin 1994. I know he is not infallible, but I won't accept that the church is only fallible when they disagree with me, and based on the quote he doesn't want me to either. Going buffet style means I reject the church's authority to rule in god's name, placing my own authority above that of the church. If I do that I am in apostasy.
If I were Unitarian I could get away with that, but not so much in the LDS church.
First, I know this has been said, but the "church" doesn't believe or teach anything. It's a matter of semantics, of course, but it's really only members of the church - some of them admittedly leaders - who teach anything. IMO those teachings should be limited to the gospel, another word that is open to interpretation (but if we read the Biblical definitions and even what some leaders say we'll find it's very simple).

Second, which has also been said, I have never been asked what I believe except if I believe in God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. The rest of the questions all have to do with what I do - like sustaining, living the WoW and LoC, and paying tithing. The questions are what they are and not anything more.

Third, also already pointed out, Elder Wirthlin (also one of my favorite guys very close to Pres. Uchtdorf for the same reasons) did say gospel and not church. I was just as guilty of equating the church and the gospel in my TBM days - until I came to my current understanding that they are separate and even distinct entities. The gospel exists (and has always existed) without the church, the church exists to teach the gospel. Neither I nor my bishop and SP believe I am an apostate.

A few quotes regarding simplicity:
Joseph Smith taught this central truth: “The fundamental principles of our religion [are] the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, … ‘that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven;’ and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion.”10

If we keep our focus on the Lord, we are promised a blessing beyond comparison: “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”

Sometimes faithful Latter-day Saints and sincere investigators begin to focus on the “appendages” instead of on the fundamental principles. That is, Satan tempts us to become distracted from the simple and clear message of the restored gospel. Those so distracted often give up partaking of the sacrament because they have become focused, even preoccupied, with less important practices or teachings.
-M. Russell Ballard, Oct. 2014
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep. …

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

The invitation to “follow Him” is the most simple, direct, and powerful invitation we can receive. It comes from a clear voice that cannot be confused.
-Elder Eduardo Gavarret, Oct. 2014
In the concluding days of His mortal ministry, Jesus gave His disciples what He called “a new commandment” (John 13:34). Repeated three times, that commandment was simple but difficult: “Love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12; see also verse 17). The teaching to love one another had been a central teaching of the Savior’s ministry. The second great commandment was “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39). Jesus even taught, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). But the commandment to love others as He had loved His flock was to His disciples—and is to us—a challenge that was unique. “Actually,” President Thomas S. Monson taught us last April, “love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar. His life was a legacy of love.”
-Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Oct. 2014
“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

“This is the first and great commandment.

“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”1
From that simple statement it is not hard to summarize all I have learned about what choices lead to happiness in families.
-President Henry B. Eyring, October 2013
Brothers and sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ is simple, no matter how much we try to make it complicated. We should strive to keep our lives similarly simple, unencumbered by extraneous influences, focused on those things that matter most.
What are the precious, simple things of the gospel that bring clarity and purpose to our lives? What are the flecks of gospel gold whose patient accumulation over the course of our lifetime will reward us with the ultimate treasure—the precious gift of eternal life?
I believe there is one simple but profound—even sublime—principle that encompasses the entirety of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we wholeheartedly embrace this principle and make it the focus of our lives, it will purify and sanctify us so we can live once again in the presence of God.
The Savior spoke of this principle when He answered the Pharisee who asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
-Elder M. Russell Ballard, Oct. 2012
“This is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.

“And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.

“And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.

“… And whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost. …

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them” (3 Nephi 11:32–35, 39).

This is our message, the rock upon which we build, the foundation of everything else in the Church. Like all that comes from God, this doctrine is pure, it is clear, it is easy to understand—even for a child. With glad hearts, we invite all to receive it.
-D. Todd Christofferson, April 2012
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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