Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

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NightSG
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by NightSG » 02 May 2016, 08:49

SilentDawning wrote:I think it is his tone. First, he is angry about people leaving.
Frustrated, more than simply angry, IMO. I can understand it to some degree, too. There's a real epidemic of inactivity, and no amount of pounding the pulpit is going to change that until local leaders and members get on board with a comprehensive program to address it effectively. From what I've seen, that's going to take a flat out "thus saith The Lord, now reissue D&C with this exceptionally detailed commandment in it" level of pronouncement.

If you look through the comments on blog posts by people who are struggling to stay active, and threads on at least one other forum where I've seen people posting their struggles, there's a lot of "quit whining and have some faith" and "it's your problem; deal with it yourself instead of complaining to us." There's also a lot of what I see in person with Priesthood leadership and other members; cut the person off with a canned response as soon as you can categorize the issue enough to pick a canned response. It sends a strong message of "I don't really care about your problem, I just want you to shut up about it." As I said in the other forum, if scripted answers worked, psychiatrists would just memorize scripts and utterly eliminate depression within a month. Heck, if they worked even a tenth of the time it would be a major breakthrough in mental health treatment methods.

There needs to be a real, consistent effort to understand each individual's concerns, and address them with personalized counsel. Yes, that's a tall order with tens of thousands of inactives out there, but that's why we have bishoprics, HTs, missionaries, etc. It's not like the First Presidency has to go see all of them themselves. Maybe there should be some RS/Priesthood lessons dedicated to teaching everyone the nuts and bolts of how to "comfort those in need of comfort and bear one another's burdens that they may be light."

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On Own Now
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by On Own Now » 02 May 2016, 09:13

Reasons why people "bail", according to JRH:

2:06 - "weak kneed"
2:07 - "willy nilly"
2:31 - lack of "conviction"
2:36 - seeing things in a "patty-cake, taffy-pull" way (I take this to mean 'childish').
2:47 - selfish needs
2:51 - selfishly wanting answers to questions
2:54 - wanting more out of life than the LDS Church
3:07 - "This... Church... means... everything to me" (implying that it never has for those who now leave)
3:30 - "This Church means everything to me" (again... implying that it was never that way for those who have left)
4:21 - sarcasm about those wanting to leave in troubled times, derisively describing people who feel like "nobody cares", culminating with "that's the dumbest thing you can do"

It's pretty obvious that JRH sees me in a MUCH different way than I see myself. It's funny. I try very hard to have empathy and compassion for faithful members of the Church, and even for the Church itself. I try to give the benefit of the doubt as much as I am able and try to be slow to find fault. These are things I learned in the Church itself.
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“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
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"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
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NightSG
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by NightSG » 02 May 2016, 09:37

On Own Now wrote:Reasons why people "bail", according to JRH:

2:06 - "weak kneed"
2:07 - "willy nilly"
2:31 - lack of "conviction"
2:36 - seeing things in a "patty-cake, taffy-pull" way (I take this to mean 'childish').
2:47 - selfish needs
2:51 - selfishly wanting answers to questions
2:54 - wanting more out of life than the LDS Church
3:07 - "This... Church... means... everything to me" (implying that it never has for those who now leave)
3:30 - "This Church means everything to me" (again... implying that it was never that way for those who have left)
4:21 - sarcasm about those wanting to leave in troubled times, derisively describing people who feel like "nobody cares", culminating with "that's the dumbest thing you can do"
Yeah, I sometimes wonder if he slept through his own talk on depression back in 2013, or if he simply can't wrap his mind around the concept that a fair number of the people going inactive are doing it because of depression and/or anxiety issues compounded by the Church's "man up, shut up and get back to work" attitude, not the mention the tendency of bishops to be reluctant to recommend professional counseling for various reasons.

NightSG
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by NightSG » 02 May 2016, 09:57

I'm not, of course, saying there aren't people who need to man up, shut up and get back to work. There certainly are some of those. However, there are people who need professional help and aren't getting it because their Priesthood leadership is encouraging them to believe that their only problem is lack of faith. Then there are the vast majority of the troubled, IMO, who are somewhere in between. They need some degree of help getting back to work, whether that's an occasional meeting with a professional counselor and a few close, patient friends to help them daily, or just a friend to listen with compassion for as long as it takes to get everything out in the open and deal with it. Lumping everybody into any one of the three categories is a disservice to all. If one must initially assume a category for anyone with a complaint, the "in between" one is far safer than the "man up" category, as a professional counselor (and hopefully a compassionate friend) will recognize if the person needs a psychiatrist or a swift kick in the butt, after listening to the whole issue.

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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by Old-Timer » 02 May 2016, 12:53

Like I said, I didn't like the way he said it - the words he chose or the tone. However, I know he is an emotional person, so I kind of expect it.

I'm just saying I have read rants with the same general tone and message here many times. The opposite side of the coin still is part of the same coin.

We need to recognize the issue with what he said and strive to make sure we aren't reflecting the same thing back through our own looking glass.
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.

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Joni
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by Joni » 02 May 2016, 14:01

Elder Holland doesn't have any power to stop even one person from leaving (wasn't there a lawsuit back in the early 80s dealing with people's ability to leave the LDS Church?) and he knows it, and we all know he knows it. So I think you have to cast everything he says into the light of that empty threat. If "I won't let you leave" is provably false, then "people only leave because they are lazy quitters" is probably untrue as well.

Although I'm hoping to stay in the church, its absolutely important to me that people are able to leave for whatever reason they choose. Being lazy, being offended, ecclesiastical abuse, not wanting to participate in celestial polygamy, wanting to choose your own underwear, you name it. We don't check our agency at the door when we enter the waters of baptism. And a church that you can never ever leave once you join it... well, that sounds more like a four-letter word that starts with a "C."

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SilentDawning
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by SilentDawning » 02 May 2016, 16:46

Joni wrote:We don't check our agency at the door when we enter the waters of baptism. And a church that you can never ever leave once you join it... well, that sounds more like a four-letter word that starts with a "C."
Naturally, JRH is not suggesting that we can't leave, although he seems pretty frustrated he can't make us stay. I do remember a talk from BKP a long time ago in which he commented that he gave his agency to God voluntarily... and in priesthood, a wise member of the quorum made the comment that "God wants you to GIVE him your agency, while Satan wants to TAKE IT from you".

At one time, I thought it was incredibly virtuous to be self-sacrificingly obedient and pliable and to do things you didn't understand out of obedience -- obedience to "promptings" and what I thought was inspired advice from leaders -- to give up agency. I am not so sure anymore. I wouldn't want my children to do that. I want them to be free thinking agents. And that line of thinking runs counter to the JS adage "teach correct principles and let them govern themselves".
"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

jgaskill
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by jgaskill » 02 May 2016, 22:07

I observed this talk and was taken back by it . These are not the words of a man of God !!!!! He is no more of an apostle than I am . where is his compassion for people struggling with their faith. He should be kicked out of the 12. Jesus never talked to people struggling with faith like that !!! I think he is just a Jerk and can't help it.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by SilentDawning » 03 May 2016, 02:27

Here is where I think what JRH did is a GOOD thing. He knocked himself off the pedestal that members put him on as "larger than life". As soon as you get these guys off the pedestal, you can enjoy a more peaceful relationship with the church than you did when they were ON the pedestal. As soon as you recognize that all of these guys have weaknesses, that they are NOT larger than life, then they can make mistakes like JRH did, and you can still feel at peace with that aspect of Mormonism.

It's the unrealistic expectations of apostles and leaders in general that screws up our thinking. When you become disenthralled with them, they can make all kinds of mistakes and it doesn't phase you.

I had to go through that process so although I am not pleased with the message JRH sent (including his assumption that people who leave are "bailing" -- an irresponsible thing to do), it doesn't change the nature of my relationship with the church because I have low expectations anyway, as I would of any human leader in any religious or temporal organization.
"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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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by nibbler » 03 May 2016, 05:22

I feel odd defending this but I think JRH was only talking about people that leave the church because they were lazy. I'm not saying this to justify his position, I'm just saying that we might have taken the phrase "people who leave this church" and thought of all our family and friends that have left for other reasons. Maybe we even thought about the reasons why we might be compelled to leave. I would hope that JRH's fury wouldn't extend to the people that left the church because they felt crowded out, because they had a FC, or because the church causes them pain. I think he's only talking about the people that from his perspective weren't committed enough.

I can't read JRH's mind, I'm guessing he knows that people leave the church for more reasons than being lazy. I'm not justifying the anger directed towards even them, I'm just trying to step deeper into his shoes.
flameburns623 wrote:In the Army, especially in combat, this sort of bold-chested rhetoric is frequently used to shore up the flagging courage of fighting men, to bolster and to embolden them in the heat and sound and fury of battle.
I agree, and when I reflect back on the past JRH served that role. JRH was a cheerleader for this orthodox member that was on the edge of despair because he thought that salvation was forever out of his reach. I'd rather not see judging other people's convictions but JRH felt like one of those that would stick with you to make sure you "made it." That's what made this tough for me, it was mostly in character for him (but IMO a slight deviation from his normal course) but finding his words a little jarring underscored a big change that has occurred in me over the years.
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