I need help.

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

Post by nibbler » 23 Feb 2015, 19:03

taletotell wrote:I personally have wondered why God would ask for the rituals. From a psychological standpoint I see them tying us to the church, but not to God. I try to live by having charity and not judging myself or others too harshly.
There are one time rituals and there are rituals we do every Sunday (or even every day).

I think the one time rituals help us remember things. I couldn't tell you what I did every day as a child because every day was largely the same... but I do have a few pieced together memories of the time I went to a hot air balloon festival.

We also have rituals that we do with a set frequency. Study scripture, pray at meals, pray before bed, partake in the sacrament, etc. Those might help us to develop discipline but I also think they help create an environment where we can channel the spirit. I went to a Buddhist service and it was 100% ritual. I talked about my experience with DW after I got home and she clued me in on some things I had missed.

Bowing, chanting, and even burning incense. Those are the rituals the Buddhists did when they were in the mode of trying to channel their spiritual side. If they do their rituals with enough frequency the very act of staring to chant, starting to bow, or even simply smelling the aroma of burning incense can help them get "in the spirital zone." Rituals may even help them tune out distractions or help people go on spiritual autopilot, making the process of clearing the mind come more easily.

It's my experience that western religions are comparatively light on rituals.

It's like when you pack the towel, umbrella, folding chairs, and cooler in the car and put on a floppy hat, sunglasses, and a stripe of sunscreen on your nose. The beach might be a two hour drive away but you're already there in your mind because you've started the "going to the beach" ritual.

On the more human side rituals can unite people. People want to belong to a group and aping others can help us feel like a part of the group. Rituals become these funny, shared behaviors to both show and feel a oneness within a group.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

Ann
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Re: I need help.

Post by Ann » 23 Feb 2015, 19:55

Here's a blog post of Ray's about ordinances/rituals.

http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2014 ... re-of.html

I've never been able to warm up to the temple. I want the rituals in my life to be aesthetically pleasing and rooted in ideas that are nourishing. For me, the temple is awfully spotty on those scores. I'm open to feeling differently in the future.
"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

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taletotell
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Re: I need help.

Post by taletotell » 23 Feb 2015, 22:57

Good thoughts all

dash1730
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Re: I need help.

Post by dash1730 » 24 Feb 2015, 04:40

This discussions of rituals reminds me of a little ditty:
One day for God, six for fun,
The chance to get into heaven
Is six to one.
Living the Gospel is more than showing up for church every Sunday and going to the Temple monthly. IMO it requires daily meditation, prayer, and study. As the Sacrament Prayer says, "That they always remember Him". The weekly and monthly rituals are supportive of the daily rituals. They can be most meaningful as we learn to be more loving, sensitive, and compassionate to our sisters and brothers, and to God.

This is what makes sense to me and I believe, but I struggle with how to make it a reality in my life. The weekly and Monthly reminders are helpful to me. Your experience may vary.
I may not walk the straight and narrow, but I try to cross it as often as I can.
---J Golden Kimball

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taletotell
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Re: I need help.

Post by taletotell » 24 Feb 2015, 07:44

Should it really boil down to anything more than having charity? What else is there that can't be learned in the afterlife?
Here is the odd thing about it all. Those who die before the age of accountability go to the celestial kingdom right away. 50% of all humans until the 20th century then.
This means 1/3 were damned in the beginning, 1/3 are exalted, and we are all the fence sitters, given this life to learn to have charity. The gospel is there to save the remedial kids, and get us all perfect bodies.
The church is there to help us with. The sabbath is fore man, not the other way around. Christ said he was the way. His church is the walking stick, his word the hand rail.
For some the physical reminders help, but others don't learn that way. For me the rituals don't do much.

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nibbler
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Re: I need help.

Post by nibbler » 24 Feb 2015, 08:35

taletotell wrote:For me the rituals don't do much.
The good news is that they don't have to. ;)
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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Orson
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Re: I need help.

Post by Orson » 24 Feb 2015, 09:21

taletotell wrote:Should it really boil down to anything more than having charity? What else is there that can't be learned in the afterlife?
I tend to think it all comes down to practice or learning to become "Godly." Yes charitable is definitely Godly, but it can also be expressed as wise, patient, and with other terms. I look at the different "kingdoms" (I don't like that term - I don't think God wants to 'rule') as representations of different levels of progression, not set in stone, but a snapshot in time. We have heard expressions that "you will be where you are most comfortable" and I like the way that sentiment allows for individual levels, goals, maturity, rates of progression, etc.

I view life as an opportunity to learn and progress, not so much to be tested and categorized, but to gain self-motivation and a desire to grow into our "adult-of-God" shoes. I liken those who may want to "eat, drink and be merry" for its own sake without a desire to progress to the stereotypical aging son that only wants to live in his parents basement and play video games all day. There is so much more to gain out of life, but the idea of going for it can be intimidating at first. I even see similarities between living in the basement and "if I'm obedient and check the list my parents will take care of me and my trust fund will be there for me." Not to disparage, wow that can be taken the wrong way -- but to say "nothing ventured, nothing gained." Yes, there are plenty of ways to "venture" within the traditional mindset also but I think being thrust out of an old paradigm can be seen as God throwing a bucket of cold water on us to wake us up to our true potential.

What I'm talking about is intellectual and spiritual freedom, the idea of discovering God for yourself.
My avatar - both physical and spiritual.

I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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taletotell
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Re: I need help.

Post by taletotell » 24 Feb 2015, 09:26

Absolutely!

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On Own Now
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Re: I need help.

Post by On Own Now » 24 Feb 2015, 09:32

taletotell wrote:Should it really boil down to anything more than having charity?
Yes, for many people it should and does. Your mileage may vary, and that's fine. It's common for people who either separate from or else never buy into "organized religion" to say that the culmination of following "God" is to be a nice person. I don't really see it that way. Love, Charity, Kindness, these are all attributes of someone who is trying to live a God-centered life, but for many, there's much more to it than just that. For starters, I've known a lot of people who have sought after God as a way to find an inner peace in difficult circumstances. They often participate in rituals, personal and community, in order to draw closer to God. For them, this provides a way to feel connected to a larger purpose.

On the topic of ritual, I think it has a lot to do with the mindset of the participant. Those who perceive the ritual as something being done to them, whether they consent or not, will likely feel resistance to it. Those who see the ritual as stupid and arcane will probably actively avoid it. Those who see a ritual as a way to connect with God if THEY chose, if they opt-in, will likely see it as an opportunity. I personally love the Sacrament or Communion. I think it is a wonderful ritual, and honestly, I wish it were performed with a little more gusto in our Church, rather than being the first order of business in a meeting that is dominated by people reading talks about obedience. I love the Catholic Mass. I love the symbolism and meaning of baptism. I love the meaning of Palm Sunday. I love the prayer before a meal. I love anointing and blessing of the sick. I love the blessing of children. I love things that are rituals with a lowercase 'r', like when the choir sings or when we have the Primary Program or when a missionary speaks, optimistic and hopeful and a little nervous, before heading out beyond the boundaries of what they know and then speaks again when they return, wise, experienced, fulfilled.

For me, both when I was a fully believing and faithful member of the Church, and now that I am an Atheist, I don't see the Church as inserted between God and me. I have always seen myself as an agent unto myself, having a private relationship with God, and a member of a community where we are all trying to do the same thing within a framework. In other words, I see myself as the Subject in the Church and in rituals, rather than the Object. I think that has been a driving factor in my ability to StayLDS in spite of significant differences between the Church and me.
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“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
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"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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Heber13
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Re: I need help.

Post by Heber13 » 24 Feb 2015, 09:40

Orson wrote:
taletotell wrote:Should it really boil down to anything more than having charity? What else is there that can't be learned in the afterlife?
I tend to think it all comes down to practice or learning to become "Godly."
I agree with Orson. The rituals all come down to charity, in my mind. Perhaps not for everyone, some it is pride and they get to show others they are doing the rituals. But that path doesn't sustain itself, because it doesn't bear fruit.

Fruit is produced when the proper nutrients help the seed grow to a fruit. Charity is the nutrient in the rituals. It is why it may not be the rituals themselves that help us, just like the church itself doesn't help us....it is the underlying principles that help those vehicles to take root in our souls.

Once you see rituals in that light, they become beautiful and sacred and hard to describe to others. You just feel past the outward movements of the rituals (like baptism or sacrament) to connect with ideas that are being conveyed in those rituals. Then they truly become meaningful, when Charity is the nutrient.

Most people I know who are die hard mormons that take their covenants and rituals to heart, are the most charitable and loving people I know on earth. It may not be the ritual as much as how they use the ritual to develop charity.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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