Would you leave if you could?

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.

Would you leave if you could?

Yes
5
17%
No
11
38%
Not sure
7
24%
Depends? (For all you lovers of nuance)
6
21%
 
Total votes: 29

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Cadence
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Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 21:36

Would you leave if you could?

Post by Cadence » 04 Dec 2013, 15:07

Suppose you had the ability to leave the church clean. By that I mean you and all your family and friends that mattered would leave at the same time. You essentially would have nothing keeping you attached to the church and you would be free to explore other religions or no relgion. If you had that magic wand would you wave it?
Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope. Thomas A. Edison

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Would you leave if you could?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Dec 2013, 15:17

I wouldn't, for a few major reasons:

1) I absolutely love the over-arching theology. Nothing else works for me at that level (the closest being Buddhism), but I like the Savior/Atonement aspect of my own interpretation of Christianity.

2) I already am free to study and learn from all other traditions, so I don't need to leave the LDS Church for that benefit.

3) I really like so much of the non-theological doctrine and culture (even as I don't like so much in those arenas), and I love associating with most of the members I've known in my life.

4) I'm comfortable being me after all these decades honing my place.

5) I am a social, religious / spiritual creature. I need to affiliate and associate with others in a religious community, and there isn't another community of which I would feel as much a part.

6) Most importantly, the other members in my family, and lots of my extended family, really love their membership - and I don't think it's legitimate to say, "Well, what if that wasn't the case?" It is the case, and my life isn't about just me. Really, at this point, it's not even primarily about me. It's much more important that I have learned to find the right way for me to stay happily LDS and maintain the happiness of so many people in my life than that I speculate about what it would be like if it was all about me.
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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SamBee
Posts: 5589
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: Would you leave if you could?

Post by SamBee » 04 Dec 2013, 15:23

Yes
and no. I did leave for over a decade, but I am a free agent, no wife,
no family in church. I can take or leave a lot of stuff, and I do. And I
can and do look at other religious traditions on a regular basis, both
to seek truth (and I find it occasionally), and to educate myself about
other people.

So I'm free to leave, but I've made good friends in the church, and it
has definitely improved my quality of life despite all its faults and
frustrations. It has helped me with everything from house cleaning to
improving my health, to employment advice, alongside the spiritual
stuff.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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nibbler
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Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Would you leave if you could?

Post by nibbler » 04 Dec 2013, 15:26

I surprised myself by voting no... even though I contacted my BP three weeks ago about meeting up with him. I intended to inform him that I wanted out of my calling and the plan was to just fade into the background while I sorted things out.

The BP was out of town that week so I missed my meeting, then I found this site. I've since postponed the meeting as this site has given me a lot to think about.

I answered no to the question:
Cadence wrote:If you had that magic wand would you wave it?
Personally I think if I ever did decide to leave the church I'd want it to be messy. Now I'm not saying that I would make a scene, but I think on some levels I'd be depriving myself from the insights that the hardships of leaving the church would provide. There's probably a lesson in there somewhere, even if I didn't appreciate or even enjoy learning it at the time. Something to look back on and recognize as a learning experience. Big talk from someone that isn't on that path though.

And it's very different for me anyway. Being a convert I'm sure some family members would jump for joy if I told them I was done with the church. :P I understand how a departure for most on this site would be far, far, far more messy than it would for me. I don't have a host of people waiting in the wings that would want to make my life miserable. My worst case is I'd probably be annoyed by people after becoming someone's project.

I'd also currently answer no just because I think there are some good lessons for my children to learn in church. In that sense church still plays the role of a community of moral anchors in their lives. The church is the door they need to enter through and then they can walk their own path on the other side.

Maybe I should have gone with "it depends." :?:
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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Heber13
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Re: Would you leave if you could?

Post by Heber13 » 04 Dec 2013, 15:42

Lover of nuance, I am. :oops:

Hard for me to really answer I would leave without knowing where I would be going to. I wouldn't leave because I just want to get away from it, or I would have left already.

What is there better out there for me to be a part of? Where would I go to feel a part of something divine, even if not perfectly divine?

As Wendy Ulrich writes:
When Christ asks the question of His remaining disciples, "will ye also go away?" it seems to be in recognition that they may be feeling betrayed or disillusioned by His words and requirements, as others were. Their response is not brimming with irrational enthusiasm. They seem to say, somewhat wistfully, as if recognizing that perhaps leaving would be an easier choice, "to whom, Lord, shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." We do not leave because we are blind to the challenges or brainwashed into commitment, but because we will have more cognitive dissonance, more to explain to ourselves, if we leave. We have found here things that we hold dear, that support and enrich our lives. We, like the reluctant disciples of old, have found here words of eternal life, which is to say that we have found knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. These relationships, these pearls of great price, are worth the sacrifices and the disappointments and the askance looks of our friends who wonder what we could be thinking.

And so we say with the father of the lunatic child, "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief." We recognize that our beliefs matter more than our doubts, though we will have some of both. We recognize the need for commitment despite uncertainty, frustration, and disillusionment. In fact, people who study long-term marriage relationships tell us that they go through four predictable stages that include both high hopes and deep discouragement. Psychologist Allen Bergin proposes that these stages are equally applicable in all long-term, committed relationships, including relationships with children, parents, the Church, and God.
She goes on to give the four stages:
1) Honeymoon bliss
2) Power struggles and wrestling for control in our lives
3) Withdrawal, feeling futility in the power struggle
4) Renewal, re-commitment with realistic expectations of the relationship.

I think if I left the church, I'd simply go through the same process, just in another place. So I wouldn't wish I could leave unless the alternative was better than staying. And that is a realistic option, just not one that I feel now in the church. I find great strength in the church, more than needed to outweigh my doubts and struggles.
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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SamBee
Posts: 5589
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: Would you leave if you could?

Post by SamBee » 04 Dec 2013, 15:57

Gotta agree with you Heber. Where would be going to?

In some cases, not a better place.

I think people forget sometimes that their gripes are not peculiarly Mormon. Bad leadership, cliquishness, snobbery, backstabbing, hurtful comments etc are to be found in many, many places....

I do, however, have great sympathy with certain board members who have had bad experiences. I couldn't see myself staying in certain wards. I am lucky with the one I'm in.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
Posts: 6215
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Would you leave if you could?

Post by Roy » 04 Dec 2013, 16:21

No

1) The church has been such a big part in my extended family heritage. It has been pretty positive for me and I have had a good upbringing. There is some amount of loyalty there because it is part of my identity.

2) The thought of every church member that I love leaving the church at the same time is actually incredibly sad. To imagine my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends cutting themselves loose from something that has provided them with comfort and stability over these long years is not something that I would desire.

3) I have managed to cut the costs of church membership to acceptable levels. I live according to the dictates of my own conscience and don't feel guilty when someone else thinks that I should do more.

4) I continue to enjoy church benefits. I will baptize and Confirm DD next week. :D
"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

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SilentDawning
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Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Would you leave if you could?

Post by SilentDawning » 04 Dec 2013, 20:08

If I knew for sure it wasn't true, I would leave -- provided I had all my family with me and there were no consequences. i put "not sure" because I realize I am agnostic about the church. Being agnostic about it makes it hard to answer questions like these.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Cadence
Posts: 1192
Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 21:36

Would you leave if you could?

Post by Cadence » 04 Dec 2013, 23:32

SilentDawning wrote:If I knew for sure it wasn't true, I would leave -- provided I had all my family with me and there were no consequences. i put "not sure" because I realize I am agnostic about the church. Being agnostic about it makes it hard to answer questions like these.
I can say with conviction that it is much more likely that it is not true than it is. I would put it at about 99 to 1. So life being what it is with no absolutes I think you have to go with the most sensible path.


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Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope. Thomas A. Edison

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16850
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Would you leave if you could?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Dec 2013, 23:59

I think I can say with close to absolute confidence that the LDS Church is as true as any other, at the very least, so we are dealing firmly in the realm of personal choice. That's why the hypothetical doesn't work for me. I'm not an island, so even if I was inclined to leave I wouldn't do so.
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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