A Question to the Administrators & members

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: A Question to the Administrators & members

Post by Roy » 14 Mar 2022, 12:10

Minyan Man wrote:
13 Mar 2022, 13:40
This is some general questions for the Administrators & followers of this site:
Where do you see this platform going?
As the finance person, I think that the cost of keeping the site alive is something to be considered. The Mormon Stories umbrella has not supported this site financially in years (maybe 5). The last two years we have received a generous donation from one of our members to pay the annual hosting fee ($177.02). Otherwise, I could see us getting to a spot where we just do not have the money to pay the bills.
I am honestly feeling ok with that possibility. I feel that there are seasons in life and it is ok to let go of a previous season (I am also looking forward to a potential future as an "empty nester" so I am experiencing life's seasons on multiple fronts).
Minyan Man wrote:
13 Mar 2022, 13:40
Is there a natural life to sites like this one?
Yes, there is a natural life to almost anything (AKA the product life cycle). Sometimes you can extend that natural life by reinvention. Incidentally, I also think that the churches and governments tend to have such life cycles.
Minyan Man wrote:
13 Mar 2022, 13:40
What has covid done to limit the reduced actively?

Do you see it coming back?
Looking back, I think StayLDS peaked at about the same time as the "Mormon Moment." I think that this was a time when Mormonism was in the news and StayLDS itself was referenced in some publications. This would serve to make people aware that we exist and we would always see a traffic boost. I do think COVID has had an impact but it was probably to accelerate a trend that was already there rather than be the sole cause of reduced activity levels.

Coming back is the tricky part. As I mentioned above, reinvention is possible but it usually takes work and money and we are all just volunteers doing our best to maintain.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

AmyJ
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Re: A Question to the Administrators & members

Post by AmyJ » 14 Mar 2022, 12:34

I am sorry if I conveyed offense or actually any emotion. I am a little sad about it sometimes, but also relieved sometimes.

My intent was "Others who have been there and got the autographed t-shirt said to expect this. It happened."

I get periodic contacts from my VT and others who may feel remorse and contact/connect with me. Since my conversations are always willing to connect in a boundaried way with these individuals - they get whatever it is they get from contacting me, and I give them the generic family update with an inspirational thought (from what I am thinking about that would be helpful to them) and then we go on our merry ways.

Roy
Posts: 6592
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: A Question to the Administrators & members

Post by Roy » 14 Mar 2022, 13:25

AmyJ wrote:
14 Mar 2022, 12:34
I am sorry if I conveyed offense or actually any emotion. I am a little sad about it sometimes, but also relieved sometimes.

My intent was "Others who have been there and got the autographed t-shirt said to expect this. It happened."
I might have explained myself poorly. My intent in sharing about the inactive sister was to validate that yes, many church relationships do not continue after a person stops participating in church and the interactions that linger tend to be in the form of inviting, coaxing, cajoling the less active member to return to church. Yes, this is to be expected and is normal. A little sad perhaps but every ending is also a new beginning.
AmyJ wrote:
14 Mar 2022, 12:34
I get periodic contacts from my VT and others who may feel remorse and contact/connect with me. Since my conversations are always willing to connect in a boundaried way with these individuals - they get whatever it is they get from contacting me, and I give them the generic family update with an inspirational thought (from what I am thinking about that would be helpful to them) and then we go on our merry ways.
Yes, we get this too. I like what you said about connecting in a boundaried way. It is a good way to describe these conversations.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Arrakeen
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Joined: 25 Aug 2018, 18:49

Re: A Question to the Administrators & members

Post by Arrakeen » 14 Mar 2022, 15:15

For me, I originally found my way to this forum when I felt trapped in my faith crisis, not knowing where to go for help since I was at BYU. Then in 2020 the pandemic gave me a much-needed opportunity to stop attending church. I would not be surprised if many others who struggled with church took full advantage of the cover the pandemic provided to fade out and stop going. Since then I have left BYU and my worries about church have all but disappeared. I've found I feel much better without trying to fit in where I obviously do not belong, and I have no plans to attend church again anytime soon.

I still check in here frequently, but am much less personally invested in church topics than I used to be. So for me personally, my problems with the church at least for the time being have been resolved.

Minyan Man
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Re: A Question to the Administrators & members

Post by Minyan Man » 14 Mar 2022, 20:21

I find it interesting that when we stopped going to church (due to the pandemic or something else), our problems or issues with the church,
seemed reduced or minimized. That is the case for me. If I went to church, it was rare. I avoided in person social contacts. I rarely talked
to members on the phone. With fewer social contacts, there were fewer conflicts with doctrine, personalities or other issues.
That seemed to carry over to my reduced participation on this site.

I noticed too that in a lot of ways, I'm tired of hearing my own "voice" in my postings. There were times I would start a topic & before
anyone could reply, I would delete it.

AmyJ
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Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: A Question to the Administrators & members

Post by AmyJ » 15 Mar 2022, 07:37

Minyan Man wrote:
14 Mar 2022, 20:21
I find it interesting that when we stopped going to church (due to the pandemic or something else), our problems or issues with the church,
seemed reduced or minimized. That is the case for me. If I went to church, it was rare. I avoided in person social contacts. I rarely talked
to members on the phone. With fewer social contacts, there were fewer conflicts with doctrine, personalities or other issues.
That seemed to carry over to my reduced participation on this site.
For me, they weren't on the forefront of my consciousness (except for the random fear that my husband would be "inspired" to go back to church and drag the rest of us per my promise that I would go when he did). He hasn't gone since late 2019, despite comments from his active father, so I guess my fear less grounded then I give it credit for.

My bigger problem is that I am having a problem identifying sources of spirituality for me. Inspiration I have a certain amount of.
I don't know if I am using "spirituality" and "inspiration" interchangeably, or whether I am good on the "inspiration" front and not good on the "spirituality" front. Or what to do about it.

I have a lot going on in my personal life with my 12 year old. We have hit the phase where I am her worst enemy to be picked on in an intense way (for the next 10 years ish per standard development) - while also being her staunch defender. It is great boundary practice, but taxing on the soul ;)
Minyan Man wrote:
14 Mar 2022, 20:21
I noticed too that in a lot of ways, I'm tired of hearing my own "voice" in my postings. There were times I would start a topic & before
anyone could reply, I would delete it.
I get that. I also think that others describe feelings/thoughts better then I do, so I don't try as much sometimes.

SIDE NOTE: I wish that part of the teachings on marriage were to mostly expect to be in a variation of a "mixed faith marriage" - both because it would be more practical these days with current trends, but because it would help immensely if we heard from the pulpit and normalized in our culture that spouses are going to have different approaches to spirituality and different "tenets of faith" for a lack of a better description. Church teachings and church culture are very binary in presenting as fact that "both spouses are in or out in the same way" thinking. This thinking caused me to spend 90 painful seconds on how horrible it was that I couldn't match my husband in belief, and contributed to a TON of fights/discussions we have had where he expected me to believe the same way he did and/or assumed that I did (or should).

The church teachings and our church culture could a lot better to teach our "Be One" ISN'T believe the same way in a gender nuanced way - but "Be One" in striving to set a path validating/setting up compromises the beliefs of both parties can abide by and live with.

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nibbler
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Re: A Question to the Administrators & members

Post by nibbler » 15 Mar 2022, 09:57

AmyJ wrote:
15 Mar 2022, 07:37
Minyan Man wrote:
14 Mar 2022, 20:21
I noticed too that in a lot of ways, I'm tired of hearing my own "voice" in my postings. There were times I would start a topic & before
anyone could reply, I would delete it.
I get that. I also think that others describe feelings/thoughts better then I do, so I don't try as much sometimes.
I've often felt both of these. Deleting (or not posting to begin with) because I felt "this isn't really me" and feeling others are more expressive of my thoughts than I can be. I suspect we all feel that way to varying degrees.
AmyJ wrote:
15 Mar 2022, 07:37
SIDE NOTE: I wish that part of the teachings on marriage were to mostly expect to be in a variation of a "mixed faith marriage" - both because it would be more practical these days with current trends, but because it would help immensely if we heard from the pulpit and normalized in our culture that spouses are going to have different approaches to spirituality and different "tenets of faith" for a lack of a better description. Church teachings and church culture are very binary in presenting as fact that "both spouses are in or out in the same way" thinking.
At church it does feel as though there's only one way to be and one way to believe. If you're not that way, you're meant to change to become that way. Those feelings don't translate well to harmonious mixed faith relationships because there's the underlying assumption that one person in a relationship is right and the other is wrong.

This is probably a tangent but it's one thing I've noticed more and more at church as time went on.

You know the cliché in TVs and movies where someone's talking trash about someone else, the person they're talking to gives them a look, there's this awkward moment of silence, then the person talking trash says, "They're standing right behind me, aren't they?"

I've found that too much of what we teach at church is like that, except the person that's being talked about is right there in the room, face to face with the trash talker and there's no look, awkward silence, or realization. Assumed uniform beliefs have a lot to do with that. Inactives, doubters, and members of other churches often experience the trash talking first-hand. Another group that gets beat up a lot in the meetings I've attended are secularists.

Meanwhile I'm there thinking, "Wait a second, I'm a doubter (by your definition), I'm inactive (by your definition), I'm a secularist (by your definition). What's so bad about me?" I could extend that to LGBTQIA+ or any other "them" group.

I don't think people would say what they say if they knew there were people in the audience that identified as the group being attacked. I'd like to think that there would be an awkward moment of silence, then realization. Assumed homogenous belief doesn't get us there.
You can’t run from all your problems, but it will help you lose weight.

AmyJ
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Re: A Question to the Administrators & members

Post by AmyJ » 15 Mar 2022, 11:32

nibbler wrote:
15 Mar 2022, 09:57
I don't think people would say what they say if they knew there were people in the audience that identified as the group being attacked. I'd like to think that there would be an awkward moment of silence, then realization. Assumed homogenous belief doesn't get us there.
It would be nice. I don't think it actually happens very much.

A) When I did the Pathways program, I carpooled with another sister who had grown children she was estranged from. Over the course of a year, she would make comments every month or 6 weeks about how she missed them - and then end with a judgement on how they needed the gospel. It honestly felt like she "had to be right" in terms of judging how the gospel was being lived and her actions towards them properly condemning their sins instead of giving up "being right" to have strong, mutually supportive relationships with either of her children.
[NOTE: She never said what horrible crime they actually committed, but I got the sense that it was in line with drinking coffee, tea, and living with another person in an unmarried, stable relationship - pretty sure one of those children was in a standard male/female configuration partnership, and I never asked about the other one].

B) I feel that the church is not great at consistently teaching about "nurturing the 1" as it were. We haven't fully shifted the spiritual balance of power so that women and men are in a 1 to 1 ratio ("Cancellation" vs "Clearance" is a thing still holding us back). We focus on Abraham instead of Isaac on the pyre, and do not mourn for the first batch of children that Job lost - because those children were replaced with better and more of them :o

I honestly don't know what being a homogenous believer really means. I was an outsider and embraced my outsider-ness.
I was raised as a feminist and the oldest of 9 children (one of whom is mentally delayed/challenged) from social outcast parents who joined the church in order to forge a better life. I can't figure out if my father was the awkwardly weird political position person for his ward (you know there always is one), or just a nuanced member before nuance was a thing:) My mom is a spiritual sister to those writers of "The Exponent" and "Sunstone" even though she probably has never picked up an issue in her life.

Ebowalker
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Re: A Question to the Administrators & members

Post by Ebowalker » 11 May 2022, 19:09

I read this forum often, but don’t comment a lot.
I am really outside LDS culture, I live in a different country than the US, and I,m married to a nm. So I don’t always know what the issues are, other than my own experience and Twitter. I feel like I can’t really keep up with many discussions here.

This forum really was and is my lifeline to the Church right now. We were under strict regulations for the pandemic for the past 2 years and only had zoom church, which I only attended a few times. It felt very controlled and honestly, very manipulative. We now have church but I honestly don’t trust some of the members ( who discuss ivermectin etc on Facebook ) And whole families who have COVID and as soon as they can, start travelling etc… with no thought to isolating. For me, we’re still in a pandemic and I’m not attending anything in close quarters for a while and I still wear a mask as do many people in this area.

Will I return, I don’t know. I feel like I don’t belong, I have no calling and honestly, the church Utah leadership response to the pandemic was appalling. I certainly expected more and it smacked of American politics, which infuriated me. But more than that was that exclusive decision early on to allow sacrament to be passed in only homes with PH in it. Can you imagine the Catholic Church only allowing a ritual in families with a male parent? The outcry would be deafening. Yet no one in our church thought there was anything wrong with it.

I will add that I suffer from depression and anxiety from the army, and I highly mistrust institutional authority, especially men. So you can imagine how difficult it is for me to remain in this Church.

I hope this forum stays this way. I’m sure there are a lot who read the posts but never post themselves. Often someone will answer with the same thoughts I have. The only other way I think it could be improved if there was a weekly or monthly zoom meeting, much the same as my 12 step programmes. An intro, a reading, then open for 3 minute shares. Donations could be gathered through PayPal same as a 12 step and it might offset the costs involved in running this forum. The zoom would be an extension not a replacement for this.

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DarkJedi
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Re: A Question to the Administrators & members

Post by DarkJedi » 12 May 2022, 07:12

Thanks for your insights Ebowalker.
We now have church but I honestly don’t trust some of the members ( who discuss ivermectin etc on Facebook ) And whole families who have COVID and as soon as they can, start travelling etc… with no thought to isolating. For me, we’re still in a pandemic and I’m not attending anything in close quarters for a while and I still wear a mask as do many people in this area.
I hear you - very much the same here (I live in the eastern US in an area with currently high transmission). Church seems to be another story altogether. While I see people masked in the supermarket, not everybody but some people, I don't see it at church (disclaimer, I don't actually go to church right now because of this). And church is closer quarters for longer - definitely within the 6 feet/15 minute CDC guideline.
I’m sure there are a lot who read the posts but never post themselves. Often someone will answer with the same thoughts I have.
We are very aware of our "lurkers" (not lurking in a bad way) and some of our moderation is done with lurkers in mind. We are also aware there are visitors that aren't members of the forum or the church, and that's fine. We want everyone to have the best experience they can. I also don't post sometimes because someone else has posted what I would have said. No shame in reading and not posting.
The only other way I think it could be improved if there was a weekly or monthly zoom meeting, much the same as my 12 step programmes. An intro, a reading, then open for 3 minute shares.
This is a thought, but just off hand I'm not sure we're up to that honestly. Many here, including some admins and mods, value the anonymity of the board. We're also all volunteers, some with more time than others and frankly we're stretched a little thin (not criticizing anyone here, just pointing out that three of us have been carrying the majority of the load of late and we're all OK with that). I'm not sure any of us could commit. BUT, it doesn't have to be us - I don't think we would be opposed to a member organizing something like that on their own outside of here and whoever wants to come can come and whoever doesn't want to can choose not to.
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."

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