Feeling like Samuel the Lamanite, Captain Mormon, and Moroni

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mom3
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Feeling like Samuel the Lamanite, Captain Mormon, and Moroni

Post by mom3 » 15 Feb 2014, 16:39

Whether the Book of Mormon is literal or not, I find life connection in it for me. Presently I feel like Samuel the Lamanite. I really want to stand on a wall and cry repentance unto the members of my religion. Last night I responded to a post about the upcoming Sunday School lesson, I explained how I use Ezekiel to explain my stance on Sodom and Gomorrah (and all things attributed to it). As I read the scripture again last night - I wanted to shout loud and long in Sacrament Meeting - This. Use these verses and see how you measure up.
49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
Now I am not perfect, but yesterday just hurt. Elder Callister's talk in the Ensign. Some recent comments in church classes. And attitudes as a community are irritating me. In my mind, they aren't just opinions or stuff, these are becoming the facts of Mormonism. It doesn't seem right to me.

After hours of irritation I wonder, should I take a break (I know it's up to me), but my problem is I imagine Mormonism being capable of being a City on a Hill religion. I can spend six pages writing why I believe that and support scriptures, Joseph Smith quotes and the rest to soapbox my claim. The problem is I see just the opposite happening. Uchtdorf gives a talk with a universal theme, and the take away is a one liner that believers use as a stick against anyone that isn't in line. It's not Uchtdorfs fault. It's the culture we've become.

This is where Captain Mormon and his son Moroni come in. Since I know even if I could get on a wall and yell, nothing would change, I am resigned to either fight with the team, knowing full well we brought this on ourselves, or walk away and let them have it. But you see, I love them. I see how it all happened. I know they believe in their hearts they are doing good. I don't want to walk away from the good fruit of the tree of life - which was the love of God - and go to the tower and point fingers/or mock.

So is this the charge of the Light Brigade. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_of_ ... ht_Brigade) Do I continue on like Mormon and Moroni, then mourn it later on, fighting for what could have been. I don't know. These are the important choices of mortality.

Ouch. I hate hard stuff. Thanks for letting me unwind some.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Feeling like Samuel the Lamanite, Captain Mormon, and Mo

Post by Curt Sunshine » 15 Feb 2014, 17:16

Great title. I understand what you are describing quite well.

If I believed, deep down, that it would end with the destruction of what I hope for myself and my community, I might leave. I might stick it out, but I can't be sure of that.

Luckily, I don't believe that view. I have seen SO much change and movement toward what I want in the last few years that I still have hope things will get better as time passes - and I want to be part of that change and movement. There still are elements that discourage me, sometimes more than others, but I do like the general direction of the Church right now.

I also realize that I am fortunate not to live in any area where hardcore retrenchment and nearly unanimous, over-the-top zealotry exists. Most people where I live are not heterodox (certainly not to the extent I am in many ways), but they are good people who aren't focused obsessively on how badly they are persecuted and how righteous they are compared to all the heathens in the world. That is a great blessing, even as there are comments on a fairly regular basis with which I don't agree and even that bother me greatly sometimes.
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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mom3
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Re: Feeling like Samuel the Lamanite, Captain Mormon, and Mo

Post by mom3 » 15 Feb 2014, 17:31

Curtis - for the most part I see life that way, but my local area seems to be moving toward the more militant style and it saddens me. I see certain shifts and have hope in time that a more Christ/Universal voice will win. This week just happened to be a week like no other. I made it through General Conference better than this week. It is still the religion of my heart. If I did walk I don't think I would try to replace it. I just miss it's glorious possibilities. I see it and hear it, and can pluck out it's potential in church leadership. It's just not the prevailing one right now.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Feeling like Samuel the Lamanite, Captain Mormon, and Mo

Post by Curt Sunshine » 15 Feb 2014, 17:52

This week just happened to be a week like no other.


Yeah, that is really hard.
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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cwald
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Post by cwald » 15 Feb 2014, 22:57

Yes.

Apathy is the only defense mechanism that worked for me. It was just too painful.

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

Roy
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Re: Feeling like Samuel the Lamanite, Captain Mormon, and Mo

Post by Roy » 16 Feb 2014, 08:14

As one who participates in much of the community and/or Christian events in our area - I am saddened that we are so insular. It almost seems like the missionaries ARE our outreach program.

My local 3 ward area doesn't do anything that the larger community would be invited to (Vacation Bible School, Kids Clubs, Recovery programs, etc.)

Worse - being involved in these larger community/Christian programs is seen as a nuetral issue for some and cause for suspicion for others.

When the lesson topic was on interfaith community service some months ago - I shared how I teach a Pioneer Club class at another local Christian church on Thursday nights. After class a particularly tactless person asked me, if I have the time to volunteer - why do I not volunteer in the LDS context.

After I recovered my composure - my answer was 2 fold:

1) I work on Sunday and that seems to illiminate most callings.

2) The LDS church does not have a program for the age bracket of my kids (5-10).

I have since accepted a call in the primary. It requires me to go to work super early in order to get off in time and it will only work out until the church time swaps again next year - but it works well for me right now.
"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

Ann
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Re: Feeling like Samuel the Lamanite, Captain Mormon, and Mo

Post by Ann » 17 Feb 2014, 00:42

mom3 wrote:
Now I am not perfect, but yesterday just hurt. Elder Callister's talk in the Ensign. Some recent comments in church classes. And attitudes as a community are irritating me. In my mind, they aren't just opinions or stuff, these are becoming the facts of Mormonism. It doesn't seem right to me.
I'm old-ish. I try not to have knee-jerk reactions to talks, but Elder Callister's is alarming. I'm wondering if people are right that we're heading into a time of retrenchment. For the first time, I see a harmful message that I absolutely want to head off at the pass. The thought of my girls being fed the "In the end, most women get..." line in a lesson is unacceptable to me. I don't usually go for the protest gesture, but I'm thinking of writing to cancel my church magazine subscriptions. I'd be glad to hear someone else's more blasé reaction to his talk.
"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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mackay11
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Feeling like Samuel the Lamanite, Captain Mormon, and Moroni

Post by mackay11 » 17 Feb 2014, 01:55

I understand how tough days like that can be.

What's the callister talk (or should I not bother? Is it worth the spiritual heartburn?)

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mackay11
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Re: Feeling like Samuel the Lamanite, Captain Mormon, and Mo

Post by mackay11 » 17 Feb 2014, 03:24

Found Elder Callister's article (p.44):
http://media.ldscdn.org/pdf/magazines/e ... gn-eng.pdf

I tried to read the article with an open mind:
So it is with God our Father—He needs to speak only once on the issue of morality, and that one declaration trumps all the opinions of the lower courts, whether uttered by psycholo­gists, counselors, politicians, friends, par­ents, or would­be moralists of the day.
How do we find God's word, only uttered once? Surely in the personal interaction? I don't put sole trust in God's "word" when it is conveyed via fallible men, tainted by their own opinions and world view.
Contrary to much public sentiment, there is nothing negative or restraining about God’s moral standards. Rather, they are positive, uplifting, and liberating. They build relationships of trust, they enhance self­esteem, they foster a clear conscience, and they invite the Spirit of the Lord to bless individual and married lives. They are the proven standards for happy marriages and stable communities.
I actually think I agree with some of this. I think God's moral standards really are positive, uplifting and liberating. I just don't think the article represents God's standards.
...any conscious thoughts or voluntary actions that stimulate or result in the expression of the procreative power outside the marriage relationship are disapproved by the Lord.
Elder Callister makes no attempt to back this up with God's word. It's just his word, his opinion.
Corianton did not seem to realize the seriousness of what he had done when he sinned with the harlot Isabel. Alma, his father, put it in perspective: “Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord?” (Alma 39:5).
Elder Callister does not seem to want to consider the wide range of Corianton's behaviours that Alma was concerned about. Curtis has written a great blog on why this is a simplistic reading that the church leaders persistently make: http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... urder.html
The Lord con­demns self­abuse. Self­abuse is the act of stimulating the procreative power of one’s own body. President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said: “Do not be guilty of tampering or playing with this sacred power of creation... It is not pleasing to the Lord, nor is it pleasing to you. It does not make you feel worthy or clean.” 
Again, Elder Callister offers no support for this position. There's no scripture against masturbation and no scripture has ever called it "self-abuse." Joseph Smith, in all his varied restoration scripture, made no references at all to masturbation. It's a post 1800s, Victorian era obsession based on bad science.

It's ironic that the current Mormon anti-masturbation fettish is compounded in an article that start by dismissing psychologists. It's century old bad-psychology/medicine (masturbation makes you mad/blind/impotent) that brought in the perspective this part of the talk is based on.
A same­-gender relationship is inconsistent with God’s eternal pattern that husbands and wives not only have children in mortality but also have eternal increase in their exalted condition.

We recognize that everyone is a son or daughter of God and deserves to be treated as such. We all struggle with imperfections, some not of our choosing. But we also believe in an infinite Atonement that has the capacity in this life or the life to come to endow us with every power necessary to convert our weaknesses and imperfections into strengths. The Lord promised us, “For if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

Those with same-­gender tendencies have a duty to (1) abstain from immoral relationships and (2) do all within their power to avail themselves of the refining, perfecting powers of the Atonement. In the interim, however, those who have same­-gender tendencies but do not act on them are worthy to hold Church positions and receive a temple recommend
Where do I start? What happened to:
The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
http://www.mormonsandgays.org/

Elder Callister's statement, which will get a far wider audience than the m&g website, suggests that being gay is a "struggle with (an) imperfection." The implication of the next scripture "making weak things strong" is that the imperfection should be overcome and be refined, perfected by the atonement. In other words, have the imperfection of "same-gender tendencies" removed.

I do appreciate that he has clearly stated that celibate gay members are able to have callings/TRs.
Pornography is any picture or narrative that feeds the carnal man within. It is repulsive to the Spirit of the Lord.
Any picture or narrative? Was the sexual tension between Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart pornography? I'm sure it fed the "carnal mind within" of plenty of people watching it.

Image
Our dress affects not only our thoughts and actions but also the thoughts and actions of others. Accordingly, Paul the Apostle counseled “women [to] adorn themselves in modest apparel” (1 Timothy 2:9).
Here's a great example of the type of cafeteria scripture reading that supports some of the erroneous perspectives on morality. Why doesn't he quote the verse in full? Or was the rest not translated correctly? If you're going to lean on what is clearly the personal opinion of one man, 2000 years ago, you're on shaky ground. I don't see this fitting with the opening statement that "God... needs to speak only once on the issue of morality."

1 Timothy 2:
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
The following section is just disgusting. Does the abused woman deserve her husband? Should a woman who had different dress standards to the Mormon norm also lower her expectations for the husband she should aspire to? And when did it becomes a woman's responsibility to regulate the thoughts in a man's head?
The dress of a woman has a powerful impact upon the minds and passions of men. If it is too low or too high or too tight, it may prompt improper thoughts, even in the mind of a young man who is striving to be pure. Men and women can look sharp and be fashionable, yet they can also be modest. Women particularly can dress modestly and in the process contribute to their own self­-respect and to the moral purity of men. In the end, most women get the type of man they dress for.
Given he has just put the blame on the women dressing immodestly, why does he then go on to say we choose how we control our thoughts.
We cannot avoid seeing every improper billboard or immodestly dressed person, but we can drive out the improper thought once it arises. The sin is not in involuntarily seeing something improper; the sin is in entertaining the thought once it comes. The scrip­tures tell us, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7)
So which is it Elder Callister? The women's job to be modest or the men's job to choose our own thoughts?

There is at least a ray of reassurance saved for the end:
God made it clear that we cannot violate His standards without suffering the consequences, but because He is loving and compassionate beyond measure He gives us
this glorious hope...
But there's a sting in the tail:
However, it is always better to remain clean than to sin and repent afterward. Why is that? Because certain adverse con­sequences of sin may remain even after repentance, such as disease or a child born out of wedlock or damage to our reputation. Our goal in life is not just to be clean but also to be perfect. The quest for perfection is accelerated when we are clean, but it is stymied when we are not.
I agree with this, but I still don't think he has convincingly established "God’s standard of morality" with any level of clarity.
The blessings of living a clean and moral life are over­whelming. Such a life will bring self­-confidence and self­-esteem.
There's so much wrong with this article. What makes it tragic is it is the headline article of the magazine. The front page shouts the question: "What Is the Lord’s Standard for Morality? p. 44"

The orthodox crowd of the church will lap this up. It will be quoted repeatedly and our children will be indoctrinated with it. It will compound and enforce the negative emotions and guilt about sex and morality.

While we scratch around in the hidden corners of LDS.org, Journal of Discourses or unofficial General Authority books to support our "middle way" perspective, the church uses the official magazine to re-enforce this nonsense.

It forces me to, again, ask the question of whether I want my children raised in and taught this false view of relationships and sexuality.

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mackay11
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Re: Feeling like Samuel the Lamanite, Captain Mormon, and Mo

Post by mackay11 » 17 Feb 2014, 03:28

This article puts in much better than I could:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mormonther ... -this.html

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