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Re: I need help.

Posted: 20 Feb 2015, 00:51
by metalrain
I feel like caffeine was the perfect example: to the point where they had to issue a statement that caffeine was "ok". Duh it was ok. But, that's the way it is with a lot of GA type statements. GA says it, GA was "right", then GA comes after and usurps what the old GA said. How do you deal with that?

Re: I need help.

Posted: 20 Feb 2015, 04:35
by DarkJedi
metalrain wrote:I feel like caffeine was the perfect example: to the point where they had to issue a statement that caffeine was "ok". Duh it was ok. But, that's the way it is with a lot of GA type statements. GA says it, GA was "right", then GA comes after and usurps what the old GA said. How do you deal with that?
If I'm wearing my old TBM hat, I'd say it was continuing revelation and it wouldn't matter because I would still say I'm not going to drink caffeine. Wearing my shiny new less orthodox hat, I'd say this (and I do all the time):
...there are so many “shoulds” and “should nots” that merely keeping track of them can be a challenge. Sometimes, well-meaning amplifications of divine principles—many coming from uninspired sources—complicate matters further, diluting the purity of divine truth with man-made addenda. One person’s good idea—something that may work for him or her—takes root and becomes an expectation. And gradually, eternal principles can get lost within the labyrinth of “good ideas.”

This was one of the Savior’s criticisms of the religious “experts” of His day, whom He chastised for attending to the hundreds of minor details of the law while neglecting the weightier matters.
(Uchtdorf, October 2009)

My focus is the core principles of the gospel - that Jesus is the Christ, we should love our neighbors, etc. Look at what GAs are really saying, and you might be surprised at how little they (especially the Q15) talk about things that are not core principles.

Re: I need help.

Posted: 20 Feb 2015, 09:59
by Heber13
metalrain wrote:I feel like caffeine was the perfect example: to the point where they had to issue a statement that caffeine was "ok". Duh it was ok. But, that's the way it is with a lot of GA type statements. GA says it, GA was "right", then GA comes after and usurps what the old GA said. How do you deal with that?
DJ said it very well.

Everything should be perceived with the gospel in mind. What are these things trying to teach us? How do these things help me become the person God wants me to become?

GAs don't speak truth about specific details. They provide their opinions of how they see it as they try to teach gospel principles to the church members. Members love it when they can get an answer in detail...how many steps to take on Sunday so they know they are OK, etc.

If you ask the GA privately...they will confirm...caffeine doesn't matter. Its the principle behind it. Principles of sacrifice, tolerance, self-control, obedience, humility, cheerfulness, and all things point to love of God and love of your neighbor.

Fowler's stages of faith describe how you go from Stage 3 which is very much about the rules and the organization for identity. But we can move beyond that, and yet not dismiss the rules as of no worth...just accepting the rules are there for a purpose. The spirit of the law is really what GAs want members to learn, so they can govern themselves.

You can separate out the cutlure of mormonism (soda has caffeine=bad) with the gospel principles (word of wisdom=take care of your body). You have to give yourself permission to get personal revelation on what is right based on the teachings we have. Allow your opinion to be different than the bishop, or the GA, or the prophet, and don't put your faith in the arm of flesh.

Re: I need help.

Posted: 20 Feb 2015, 13:49
by On Own Now
metalrain wrote: It's hard for me to think about things logically and balance faith/spirituality, especially from what the church has taught vs. the historical details omitted.

IE: Joseph died a martyr, firm in his testimony. (Omitted: Because he ordered the destruction of a printing press. And his party was armed- not exactly the lamb to the slaughter I've always been taught)
metalrain, I'm glad you brought up this example. Let me use it as a springboard to give you some tools that you can use to help though this.

It is true that the Church paints JS as being held on false charges and that he was defenseless and went like a lamb to the slaughter, etc. And it is a common objection from people like us when we realize that JS seemed to cause it by the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor and that he was ARMED in jail and even FIRED his weapon. But then what happens is that we, because we feel that we have been deceived, we tend to go to the other extreme. JS, in our minds, kind of deserved it and we even start to get in our minds that it was a gunfight, not a mob action, etc. My advice is to stay away from either extreme and to try to find a middle ground, where JS was partly wrong and partly wronged.

On the issue of the Nauvoo Expositor, JS did cause its destruction. But remember that just 11 years earlier, the citizens of Jackson County had destroyed the Evening and the Morning Star press for being, well, pro-free-black-people, not even anti-slavery, just OK with the concept of free blacks. And that mob got away with it... and got rid of the Mormons... and never had to pay any reparations or answer to anyone. JS, aparently not wanting to use mob tactics, but wanting to accomplish the same end result, tried to legitimize the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor using the authority of the City Council, the City Charter, and legal arguments based on the writings of William Blackstone. Was JS trying to ratchet up his dictatorial power or was he trying to defend truth and right in the face of impossible odds? The fact is, we don't know what was in his mind.

On the issue of lamb to the slaughter... JS tried to stay in Nauvoo as if nothing would come of it, but soon tried to flee. Friends, though, didn't like that he was running away and leaving them to bear the brunt of the backlash alone. Eventually, he relented and returned to Nauvoo and indicated that he would turn himself in. He left Nauvoo early in the morning, before sun-up and rode toward Carthage. After almost arriving, though, he was met by an agent of the Governor who had an order to reclaim all the firearms that had been allocated by the state to the Nauvoo Legion. JS agreed to the action, but suggested that it would be a smoother handover if he went back to oversee it. So, JS turned around and rode back to Nauvoo. The Legion members met peacefully, under JS's supervision, in front of the Masonic Lodge (or Cultural Hall) to turn in the state owned arms. JS then returned to the road and rode to Carthage.

At Carthage, JS was 'protected' by forces hostile to him and to the Mormons. He was verbally assaulted and threatened by those same forces as he walked between the courthouse and the jail. Friends smuggled in two handguns that the prisoners could use for self defense, if needed. Hyrum had one that was never fired, and JS had one that was fired three times (misfiring three times as well). But make no mistake about it, it was a slaughter. JS was murdered while in state custody at the age of 38. Small arms aside, they were defenseless in a town overflowing with state militia who where there to keep the peace. Even Nauvoo Expositor founder, William Law who hated JS, seemed disturbed at what had transpired.

I bring all this up simply to point out that the story is neither as the Church tells it nor as the anti-Church tells it. It's complicated. You have been set free from the sanitized history. But don't run to the sensationalized history in revolt. It is just as 'off'. I try to understand those early Church people. I frequently don't agree with them. I think JS did plenty of wrong things, but he also suffered much. My own interpretation of the man is that he was power-hungry, liked the ladies more than a man of God should... and was a gluttonous man and a winebibber. I also think that he was committed to the organization and doctrine that he set in motion; eventually sacrificing everything. JS was an extremely interesting person.

I hope you are able to find peace. It took me quite a while, but I eventually got there. There are things I love about the Church and things I hate about the Church. I focus on the good and try to change the bad where I can. I have found my own brand of spirituality that works for me. In some cases, the Church helps, in other places it doesn't. But I never let it hinder my spirituality. The Church either helps me or I ignore it. I like some songs on the radio. Some others I don't like. But I don't sit there listening to songs I don't like, complaining the whole time. I just change the station or turn it off and listen to the road.

Re: I need help.

Posted: 20 Feb 2015, 14:01
by taletotell
I am recently acting on my doubts. I smelled something fishy for a long time, but avoided reading more because I had too much to lose. My membership suffered as I lost motivation. Being untrue to myself made the whole thing leave a bad taste in my mouth. Finally one night I too found the ces letter, and then the fairmormon response, and I got the confirming feeling from the first. I realized it was bias and voraciously sought more info. I found mormonthink.com and this forum and a bunch of documents (drawing on my college learned research skills) and found something amazing. I am not mad. I'm not bitter. I don't feel like I was cheated. I also no longer accept the bom or JS, but I still value the pearl of great price. It doesn't need to be true to have beauty and value, and the same is true of the church.
I am still active for now. My wife and I discuss my doubt's and hers, though as of yet not in great detail, and we agree that for now we will continue going. We pray, read scriptures, and feel the spirit still.
My advice about digging up dirt: don't look for angry sources. Recognize that angry people see evil in every action. Instead look at academic articles where you can find them. Recognize the holes in the logic of both sides (both the anti's and fair's) and see the church as a big group of people trying to find god. Some of them need absolutes (only true church and all that) but most of them just need a sense of love and belonging. There is no harm in going, loving, and belonging.

Re: I need help.

Posted: 20 Feb 2015, 14:09
by Heber13
taletotell wrote:There is no harm in going, loving, and belonging.
Well said! :thumbup:

Re: I need help.

Posted: 20 Feb 2015, 14:28
by DarkJedi
Heber13 wrote:
taletotell wrote:There is no harm in going, loving, and belonging.
Well said! :thumbup:
Agreed! Although you reach the same conclusion I do, the things you do like are different. That's really OK. I have only recently come to grips with the idea that others need the faith affirmation that God helps them find their lost car keys. I frankly find it absurd, but it's OK because it's what they need. My needs are far different (and maybe less demanding). As you say, there is no harm done by going, loving, and belonging. If only even the average member understood this. (FWIW I think some GAs do).

I'm curious, Taletotell (and if you hang around you'll see that shortened to TTT), have you read Rough Stone Rolling?

Re: I need help.

Posted: 21 Feb 2015, 14:05
by taletotell
DarkJedi wrote: I'm curious, Taletotell (and if you hang around you'll see that shortened to TTT), have you read Rough Stone Rolling?
I am about a third of the way through rough stone rolling. I am a little surprised at some of what he hasn't said, and at some of the things he seems to imply without ever saying.
So far I like it and think it is a good source, but I wouldn't use it as an only source for info.

Re: I need help.

Posted: 21 Feb 2015, 14:31
by Curt Sunshine
Fwiw, the Carthage Jail presentation is explicit in its mention of Joseph having a gun and firing it in self-defense. There is no ambiguity in the account; it is crystal clear.

That is one aspect that absolutely has not been hidden in any way - and, as DJ said, it was a slaughter.

Re: I need help.

Posted: 21 Feb 2015, 14:56
by taletotell
This is not probably the right thread for this conversation though. I look forward to reading more. Tend to read it at night at work.