Post Training Report

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Curt Sunshine
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Re: Post Training Report

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 May 2015, 15:07

Ironically, as someone who has studied church history extensively as a social scientist and history teacher,I think Elder Cook is correct in what he said, from a purely statistical standpoint - but that doesn't change anything about the seriousness of the issues currently facing the Church or imply at all that all is well in Zion.

In other words, even if Elder Cook is coerrect, the conclusions of the members are not.
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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nibbler
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Re: Post Training Report

Post by nibbler » 16 May 2015, 17:59

I'm really glad you did this. In my eyes you're a pioneer. Thanks for returning and reporting.
startpoor wrote:You just can't know what doubters go through unless you've been through it yourself, that's what makes this conversation so challenging.
That explains much of the disconnect, at least for me. It's hard for someone to know how to comfort and help people when they've never been through a situation themselves. It's like a man trying to give a woman advice on what it feels like to be pregnant. Good luck with that.

Read and pray is what they know, it's what has worked for them in their lives and in the lives of many people that they've ministered to so it's hard to fault them for going to that stock answer. It's just that the nature of the problem is so very different from what most leaders are accustomed to dealing with. It will take time and possibly some first hand experience.
SunbeltRed wrote:I wonder what those Bishops think about me. I didn’t talk about my experiences at all (except a small thing after with a couple of the Bishops). But I wonder if they think I’m a faith crisis survivor or something and how that might affect my relationship with the church going forward.
Honestly, if they see you as a faith crisis survivor I think they'll view you as an invaluable asset. That's probably the question of our day, what to do with "doubters." If they think you doubted and came back from the abyss they are going to be clamoring for your secret, you are the resident expert. Of course we know there's no magic bullet. It's different for everyone, but I think they'd see you as an invaluable asset.
SunbeltRed wrote:People have a faith crisis not because they have studied too much but because they have studied too little (this just drives me nuts, but the discussion was in a flow and I didn’t want to interrupt and get too defensive, so I let it pass without saying much)
That's a tough one, good for you for showing restraint. Changes likely won't be radical, the baby step you just helped them to take might not be up to tackling the preconceived notion of they didn't study enough but perhaps they will be ready for that step in the near future.

I had a whole section in my comment about the allegory of the cave. It was long winded, so I'm shortening. The basic idea was to come up with something similar to a chore wheel to staff the players in the allegory of the cave. Maybe the prisoners are gentiles, the freed prisoner is JS for one explanation. Maybe the prisoners are members of the church, the freed prisoner a "doubter" in a different interpretation (which is probably going to do more than just raise a few eyebrows). How might JS feel when the gentiles tell him that the heavens are closed? How might the doubter feel when he is told to read and pray more? Either probably feels like being told to "just keep looking at the shadows."
SunbeltRed wrote:Conversation with a couple of Bishops afterward: One has an RM son who is going, been through, exactly what we were talking about. The only thing he has been able to do is let his son know that he loves him and keep a relationship. We talked about how that is the most important thing.
We had a similar SM talk given by someone in the bishopric. The gist, love them, one day everything will be righted. It's still colored by this notion that they are wrong for doubting but the focus was on loving them unconditionally and to me that's more than halfway there.

I think the best advice is to listen and not try to give any advice. Also, words in parenthesis are (not) important. But seriously, going into fix mode is almost instinctual. Maybe the leader wants to fix a person struggling with doubts in a certain way but perhaps the best thing is to just listen, maybe ask the person struggling with doubt what we can do for them. Listening is big, someone struggling with doubt probably hasn't had anyone to talk to for a very long time and they need to feel safe before they can do that.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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