Should I come clean about my disbelief?

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Heber13
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Re: Should I come clean about my disbelief?

Post by Heber13 » 13 May 2015, 15:51

I completely agree with Orson.

To me, this is a common step along our journey with faith, and we all go through this step where there seems to be a draw, or pull, or need to express to others we don't see it the same way we used to. I've felt that way.

But as time goes on, I start to see how my changing faith leads to my focus on some things and not other things. And so, as I wrestle with things, like Orson said, I don't feel I disbelieve every thing about the church. So had I told people I don't believe the church is true...now there is no way to put that toothpaste back in the tube...even if I try to nuance it or clarify...the absolute statement has been said, and can't be taken back.

I have found that at certain moments, opportunities arise to present how I see things differently. People are interested I am aware of MMM, or peep stones, or polygamy issues...and will talk with me about how I see it, and even if I make bold statements like "I feel the prophet at that time was wrong"...I still bring it back to the church is good and the gospel message of love is what it is about, even if some things are unsavory to me or prophets are fallible.

Discussions usually go to a scale of how much I believe was wrong or imperfect vs how much someone else sees it right or perfect...and can talk about it on that sliding scale. But if it is absolutes...the church is all true or all false...there just isn't much learning in that binary thinking. So why initiate it? Especially when something like religion is so sacred to some people...it can feel you are attacking them, whether you intend to or not. You can't just say what you want and say "nothing personal" and they won't take it personal. Although you are talking about your beliefs...they will feel you are talking about their beliefs and making them feel the need to express why they are not ignorant or stupid to believe these things.

I wait for others to ask me or to raise the topics I don't agree with and then I have a green light to express what I do believe (not what I don't)...I don't "come clean" about things that are in transition and changing and will change next month and next year, because there is nothing I'm hiding to come clean about. I am who I am. I have a testimony in goodness and love and truth.
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."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Should I come clean about my disbelief?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 13 May 2015, 19:17

Paul says not to partake of meat when in the presence of people who abstain from meat.

Another common framing is to do no (unnecessary) harm.

Having a listening ear and a shoulder on which to cry is important (very important), but I would urge you simply to accept the reality that you can't tell clearly how someone is going to respond until it's too late to change the reaction.

In other words, only you can make that call - and either decision might be good or bad - and that is out of your control. So, I say, go with your heart AND your mind - and don't let yourself be upset or bitter if the result is not what you want or expect.
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

startpoor
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Re: Should I come clean about my disbelief?

Post by startpoor » 14 May 2015, 15:19

Thanks for all the very good thoughts. I had an email typed up, just to get my thoughts out in case I decided to send it to my friend. But after processing it, I think I will go forward without any open declaration of disbelief, for as was worded above, I am still a believing member: I believe in truth, love, prayer and much else. My disbelief is still important to me--it is a part of me that is valuable. But I think sharing it, in this case may be more harmful to the friend. I can keep it to myself.




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Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

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Heber13
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Re: Should I come clean about my disbelief?

Post by Heber13 » 14 May 2015, 15:28

startpoor wrote:I am still a believing member: I believe in truth, love, prayer and much else.
Way cool.

If nothing else, drafting it may help crystallize ideas you have. The draft is there to be used if ever needed, but the benefit may already be yours, without needing to hit the send button.
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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