Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

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

Post by SilentDawning » 05 May 2016, 06:02

I have to say something redeeming about JRH's lack of filters. I attended a Stake Conference when he spoke sometime in the last 10 years. He made a couple points. One, he looked at the Stake President and indicated/confirmed to the audience that he did not go over the numbers when he visited with the Stake Presidency. I think he was implying he was there for the people and this was not a business trip. That was Apostolic.

Second, he commented on how we are a church preoccupied with meetings. He mentioned that in a typical day, he gets up and has meetings all day, ending with this profound statement "And that's what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life". People chuckled kind of uncomfortably, but I thought "Oh Yeah! -- He's getting it :)" I don't think the average leader would be so candid about their discontent with the LDS experience.

So, there is good with the bad. It's also good to know what he's really thinking. Too often we hear nice things from people, but their true thoughts -- the motives and attitudes that truly explain and drive their behavior -- are hidden to us. So, we live in a kind of fantasy world.

Knowing what JRH really thinks is important to people like myself. As a result of his candid expression of his true feelings, I know what to say, and what not to say to an Apostle. If JRH's comments overlap to any degree with the attitudes held by other Apostles, I know this -- If I am ever pulled in for a special meeting with one (common in some Stake Conferences where they bring in all the people with potential and try to reactivate them with the Apostolic presence/influence) I know that is NOT the place to find empathy for my own attitudes. And that is notwithstanding the fact that an Apostle is in a mysterious, and reportedly better plane of existence than other leaders. His comment seems to show he may well be even more intolerant of disaffection, or lack of commitment, than many local leaders. New insights...

Other Apostles may think differently, but I have a feeling their attitudes must be similar in many ways given their policies, and this naked show of opinion from JRH helps me understand how they think. This helps me conduct myself better in my relationship with the church. Not to jump back into full commitment, but to understand the frame of reference of the people at the top so I don't shoot myself in the foot.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 05 May 2016, 20:15, edited 1 time in total.
"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

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

Post by Ann » 05 May 2016, 07:35

SD - I'll quote selectively from your post when I reply to my daughters. They're still seeing it from their "What the heck?" vantage point. Thanks.

(They came to me, writing to see if I'd read about this. I don't encourage rummaging around for things, or bring negative stories immediately to them until I can figure out something from it that is thought-provoking or uplifting. It just reinforces for me the apparently true fact that 2016 is going down as a very difficult year to stay. There has been something every month. Negative Nellie signing out.)
"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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SilentDawning
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by SilentDawning » 05 May 2016, 20:14

For all the difficulties disenchantment brings to people like us, I will say this -- my life is FAR MORE INTERESTING than it was when I was living what I felt was a vanilla life in the church. Even the tension of figuring out how to fit in, stay off radar, keep my options open, while supporting my family presents practical and intellectual conundrums that make this whole experience interesting.

I think that might e why God said there must be opposition in all things. Too much harmony makes bad television :)
"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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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 06 May 2016, 07:24

"Don’t you dare bail. I am so furious with people who leave this church. I don’t know whether ‘furious’ is a good apostolic word. But I am. What on earth kind of conviction is that? What kind of patty-cake, taffy-pull experience is that? As if none of this ever mattered, as if nothing in our contemporary life mattered, as if this is all just supposed to be “just exactly the way I want it and answer every one of my questions and pursue this and occupy that and defy this – and then maybe I’ll be a Latter-Day Saint”?! Well, there’s too much Irish in me for that."
What good does throwing a temper tantrum do? That doesn't do anything to change the most common reasons why so many people are leaving the Church. Neither does blaming members for not liking the Church more than they do when it is the Church itself that continues to make so many truth claims that are increasingly difficult or impossible to believe in light of some of the blatant contradictions and evidence to the contrary while simultaneously setting the expectation that it is supposedly vitally important for all these claims to be true at the same time and depending on them as justification for relatively costly demands such as tithing, time-consuming callings, home teaching, strict rules, garments, etc.

Why is it any surprise that many people bail out of the Church if they don't really believe in these claims? That doesn't mean they are unusually weak or fickle, it is only human and actually makes perfect sense under the circumstances. It sounds like Jeffrey R. Holland has imagined God in his own image with help from the Church and its traditional teachings. Whatever happened to Jesus specifically saying, "My yoke is easy and my burden light (Matthew 11:28-30)?" My experience in the Church was basically the exact opposite of that description because it was always a heavy and tedious burden and pointlessly difficult and complicated in many cases.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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

Post by Ann » 08 May 2016, 01:42

To anyone still distressed by Elder Holland and/or Tyler Glenn, I highly recommend hawkgrrrl's recent post:

http://www.wheatandtares.org/21049/the- ... he-window/
"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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SilentDawning
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by SilentDawning » 08 May 2016, 07:14

I liked these suggestions from Hawk's post:
We need new ideas, not status quo.

Many church programs were created by prior generations in response to various problems. Some ideas, like Roadshows and Gold & Green Balls, have come and gone. Other ideas seem to have a stronger hold, but that doesn’t mean those programs are the right ones for today. If we are so concerned about younger generations leaving, where are the focus groups? How are we encouraging people to speak openly about why they are leaving? Referring them back to their stakes is not going to get the message through. A good focus group is directed and guided by sound principles.
We need to focus on Christ’s teachings and applying them in our lives. While this is a focus, it often gets lost in other pet topics such as “family” and “obedience.” While these secondary topics may be fine as a supplement, they are not the main event. In a recent Gospel Doctrine class I was in, the teacher asked what the main focus was of the gospel, and believe it or not, about 80% of the respondents said “The Family.” The teacher was looking for “The Atonement.” Many weeks at church, so am I, and not finding it. These side topics have become a sort of doctrinal kudzu, taking all the energy we could be devoting to improving our discipleship and instead focusing it short of the mark.

Admit mistakes.

Not admitting mistakes undermines authority far more, particularly to this generation, than does admitting them. That may not have been the case in older generations, particularly those who fought in wars. Military experience says “you follow orders or people die, son.” Obedience is expedient in war. But not all obedience is equal, and our lives are mostly lived in peace time. When we refuse to admit flaws and mistakes and put on a mask of perfection, it is seen through. Only one is perfect, and it’s not us.

Service missions.

People learn to follow Christ when they serve others. If we changed the focus of our missionary works on service first and teaching second (or never), young people would find the experience worthwhile and attractive even if they have doubts. Investigators would want to be a part of our efforts and would feel the gospel in action in their lives through serving others. Trying to teach the gospel when you are struggling with your own testimony is difficult. Gaining a testimony through service seems more likely than gaining one through saying you have one and hoping that it becomes true (or the mantra that the testimony is found in the bearing thereof). A testimony of the “church” absent a love of Christlike service isn’t much of a testimony for a person professing to follow Christ.

More diversity. We need diverse perspectives in all decision making bodies, not tokens. When all decisions are made by white males over 50 living in the intermountain west, they come from a position of understanding that one perspective very well, while not understanding other perspectives very well or even being aware to consider them. There’s nowhere to go but up on this one.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to see how those who are barred from these decision making bodies can get their perspectives out there. How do women, gay people, singletons, intellectuals, and liberals explain their experience? For now, we blog.
More than once I thought it was strange that people thought an LDS mission was "service". Red flags popped up whenever I heard it. I remember thinking -- all this missionary work is for US. Sure, there were a few people on my mission whose lives were a train wreck, and for whom the basic commandments created a real shift in their lives for the better. But the majority were "elect" -- good people to begin with who were simply seeking truth and wanted to live a good life according to a true philosophy. So, we were simply attracting the salt of the earth, their 10% of their gross, and their time and labor.

We even had limits on how much service we could do to others because it would interefere with proselyting time. The sales effort was more important than helping others. So I agree with service missions particularly.

Further, some youth/young adults are NOT salespeople by nature. I wasn't -- I was a teacher, but not a sales person, so a service mission might be a much better fit for certain young people than a straight proselyting missing.
"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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SilentDawning
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by SilentDawning » 08 May 2016, 07:42

Roy wrote:Yes, it is condescending and generalizing. However, it is not terribly different from what I might expect an LDS church leader to say.

I respectfully ask for someone to explain how this kind of declarations are all that different from what church leaders say all the time?
I keep thinking about this question Roy -- I think what is particularly off-putting is the fact that he made us out to be fickle weaklings with his taffy-pull comments. People aren't exactly sure what he meant but one interpretation was that he was calling us "candy-assed" members. It means you're being a "woos" (the two "oo"'s pronounced like book, perhaps alternately spelled as "wuhsss").

In any case, his comments were derogatory. And they don't communicate the kind of respect I have even been used to from local members. His comments were a step down, even worse than the average local leader.
"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

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

Post by Ann » 08 May 2016, 08:41

Hawk also said:
I suspect in time Tyler Glenn will come to regret the anger of his video and the wound he sought to inflict in the manner of his expression, not because his anger is not justified, but because he is at heart a good person. I likewise hope that E. Holland’s flash of anger will give way to introspection, because despite his claimed “Irish” temper, he likewise is a good person.
That doesn't mean they don't both offend me right now, or that I can't reject their views. It's just something that's worth saying because we're all human.

I also think the characterization of leavers as weaklings has got to be put to bed for good. It's so often not true and there's an Internet full of their stories for everyone to peruse.
"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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Cadence
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Re: Don't You Dare Bail--Elder Holland

Post by Cadence » 08 May 2016, 09:12

Yawn. I think JH is just expressing his annoyance at those who leave. I just choose not to pay attention to him when he rants. Or really at any time.

If you think about it here is a guy who has spent his entire life devoted to the church. It is not possible in his mind that it is not all good. Even if he has some questions, he believes the scope and majesty of the church is so powerful as to override any trivial issues someone may have. I have more sympathy for him than anger.
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

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

Post by SilentDawning » 08 May 2016, 11:44

Cadence wrote:Yawn. I think JH is just expressing his annoyance at those who leave. I just choose not to pay attention to him when he rants. Or really at any time.
I'm always disciplining myself NOT to write off what the leaders say entirely, even when they have weak moments like JRH did. But I don't hang on their words either, and I'm perfectly willing to accept their advice if it makes sense -- and perfectly willing to write it off as ridiculous if my conscience says so.
"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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