A believing misfit

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
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shoshin
Posts: 61
Joined: 08 May 2014, 16:51

A believing misfit

Post by shoshin » 10 May 2014, 11:28

Hi, I’m new to this site.

I heard about the site from the recent KUER interview with John Dehlin.

I thought if this is a site about people who want to stay LDS, I would be happy to join and provide a believing member’s perspective to anyone who wanted to hear that.

So I ask you all - Is this a point of view that people in this forum like to hear? Let me know. I have read some posts here but I may not have the complete vibe of the site down yet.

I imagine many people here have heard enough preaching already. But if you want a believing member to bounce (friendly) questions off of, I would be glad to respond. If you want a non-judgmental listener, I try to be that too.


Personally, although I think of myself as as a believing Mormon, I often feel a bit of a misfit.

I have a lot of questions, which not all church members seem to appreciates hearing. My questions are believing ones, not doubting ones, and I think there are plenty of scriptures and leaders’ quotes to back me up in my desire seek deeper understanding. “The glory of God is intelligence” and all that.

I also have some practical challenges with church membership. For example, I am noise-sensitive and the crowds and noise in church meetings often cause me distress.

I find the average church member, in Utah at least, to hold rather reactionary political views, which unfortunately I’ve seen sometime leak into our church meetings.

I also think we members of the church are way too materialistic, and often still very far from the ideal of Zion to see eye to eye and be of one heart.

But I think of myself as an active, believing member who chooses to believe that God is leading the church through a modern prophet.


If you want my definition of religion in a nutshell, it is “voluntary submission to God.”

The Muslims have at least that much correct. (To quote wikipedia: Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root s-l-m which forms a large class of words mostly relating to concepts of wholeness, safeness and peace. In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God". Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb of which Islam is the infinitive.)

Another thing I have recently, finally learned is that love (which means helping people) is the only thing that really matters. How many times did I read the following scripture and not get this? Too many to count.

“‘’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" - Matthew 22, NIV


Here are some other favorite quotes that summarize a lot of what I believe.


“I don’t blame anyone for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I would not have believed it myself.”
-- Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:317


“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.
"But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few."
-- Shunryu Suzuki, Zen monk


[Hugh Nibley talking about surviving his near-death experience:]

So that gives me great relief, so that's why I don't take this very seriously down here. We're just sort of dabbling around, playing around, being tested for our moral qualities, and above all the two things we can be good at, and no two other things can we do... we can forgive and repent. It's the gospel of repentance. We're told that the angels envy men their ability both to forgive and to repent because they can't do either, you see.

But nobody's very clever, nobody's very brave, nobody's very strong, nobody's very wise. We're all pretty stupid you see. Nobody's very anything. We're not tested on those things; but the things the angels envy us for, we can forgive and we can repent. So three cheers, let's start repenting as of now.

-- Hugh Nibley, Faith of an Observer video


“When planning a new picture, we don't think of grown-ups, and we don't think of children. But just of that fine, clean, unspoiled spot down deep in every one of us, that maybe the world has made us forget, and that maybe our pictures can help us recall.”
-- Walt Disney, quoted in The Story of Pixar


Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing.

The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.

Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done.” As Paul said, they “seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” (Philip. 2:21.)
-- Ezra Taft Benson


A Pale Blue Dot
[This excerpt from Sagan's book Pale Blue Dot was inspired by an image taken, at Sagan's suggestion, by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990. As the spacecraft left our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned it around for one last look at its home planet. Voyager 1 was about 4 billion miles away when it captured this portrait of our world. Caught in the center of scattered light rays (a result of taking the picture so close to the Sun), Earth appears as a tiny point of light, a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size.]

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.

The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.
-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994


I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details.
-- Albert Einstein


The recent Protestant sectarian obsession with a young earth attached to the chronology crafted by the Bishop of Ussher, which placed the beginning date at 4004 BC, is not genuine science.

And Latter-day Saints are not at all bound to this effort to fashion a chronology of human things from the Bible. Instead, those who push a young earth are fighting an unnecessary and futile ideological battle with science.

I have no doubt that God did it, but I am wholly indifferent about the details, since the point is to yield obedience to God and not attribute some Protestant fundamentalist ideology to him that turns him into a magician, and picks a fight with the natural sciences.

I suspect that, if God were to provide all the details about how and when he did all of this creating and peopling, we would either or both not understand a word of what we were being told or we would end up fighting over details.
-- Dr. Louis Midgley, 2014 email response to a question I posed at fairlds.org


The things of God are of deep import, and time and experience and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O Man, if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost Heavens, and search into and contemplate the lowest considerations of the darkest abyss, and expand upon the broad considerations of eternal expanse; he must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart, none but fools will trifle with the souls of men.
-- Joseph Smith, letter from Liberty Jail


For me, the plan of salvation must … circumscribe [all] the knowledge that is upon the face of the earth, or it is not from God. Such a plan incorporates every system of true doctrine on the earth, whether it be ecclesiastical, moral, philosophical, or civil: it incorporates all good laws that have been made from the days of Adam until now; it swallows up the laws of nations, for it exceeds them all in knowledge and purity; it circumscribes the doctrines of the day, and takes from the right and the left, and brings all truth together in one system, and leaves the chaff to be scattered hither and thither.
-- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 7:148


My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
-- Isaiah 55:8
Last edited by shoshin on 24 May 2014, 09:26, edited 4 times in total.

"[In this life there are really only] two things we can be good at - we can forgive and repent." - Hugh Nibley

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." - Matt. 22

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” - Isaiah 55

My intro

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DarkJedi
Posts: 7271
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: A believing misfit

Post by DarkJedi » 10 May 2014, 14:35

Welcome and thanks for posting. It does sound like you might fit in here as you do seem to understand people here don't want to be preached at (or testified at) and people here don't want to be judged. I think there are others here (like me) who also understand the basics of the gospel are more important than anything else and therefore share some of your world view. I'm sure there are those who will let you know if you step out of line.
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."

My Introduction

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16844
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: A believing misfit

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 May 2014, 14:52

Welcome. Glad to have you. Anyone is welcome, as long as they can be respectful and not try to convince anyone of any particular perspective.
I'm sure there are those who will let you know if you step out of line.
Yeah, we're not shy. :lol:
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

Minyan Man
Posts: 1991
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: A believing misfit

Post by Minyan Man » 10 May 2014, 20:21

Shoshin, Welcome to the forum.
I like what you said:
I have a lot of questions, which not all church members seems to appreciates hearing. My questions are believing ones, not doubting ones,...
You are going to fit in here. Thank you for the introduction.

Ann
Posts: 2576
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: A believing misfit

Post by Ann » 11 May 2014, 18:52

shoshin wrote:
Another thing I have recently, finally learned is that love (which means helping people) is the only that that really matters. How many times did I read the following scripture and not get this? Too many to count.

“‘’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" - Matthew 22, NIV
Hi, shoshin - Glad you're here, and I have the same thought. I hope you're younger than I am.
"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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Orson
Site Admin
Posts: 2252
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 14:44

Re: A believing misfit

Post by Orson » 12 May 2014, 09:38

Welcome,

I also believe in the voluntary submission to God. What I have a problem with is submission to any man that claims to speak for God. I try not to judge others (11th article of faith) but instead allow everyone to seek their spiritual confirmation in the way that they will.

I look forward to your perspectives, and I would like to hear your perspective on my new topic "Seeking traditional perspectives on my exclusive authority question."
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.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16844
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: A believing misfit

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 May 2014, 10:51

We have been described in the past as an Island of Misfit Toys. I think you will fit in just fine.
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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kinglamoni
Posts: 32
Joined: 11 May 2014, 15:21

Re: A believing misfit

Post by kinglamoni » 12 May 2014, 11:37

I to am a believing member of the Mormon faith. I believe in many things just not in all the truth clams of the church. i.e. ghosts and alien beings living on another planet nearest to Kolob.
I believe in being kind.
I believe in love.
I believe in sound reasoning and logic.
I believe in the scientific method.
I believe the earth goes around the sun.
Just to name a few.

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cwald
Posts: 3628
Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 06:39

Post by cwald » 12 May 2014, 13:25

"What is the remedy?

"Once again, it comes from the words of the Savior:

“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.”

"EVERYTHING ELSE in life should be secondary to these two great priorities." - Urchtdorf 2014 General Conference.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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Forgotten_Charity
Posts: 779
Joined: 11 Jul 2012, 18:33

Re:

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 12 May 2014, 16:38

cwald wrote:"What is the remedy?

"Once again, it comes from the words of the Savior:

“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.”

"EVERYTHING ELSE in life should be secondary to these two great priorities." - Urchtdorf 2014 General Conference.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
Yep

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