Coming clean

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
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LookingHard
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Re: Coming clean

Post by LookingHard » 12 Oct 2016, 12:29

I would assume saying, "I can't say I believe xyz" instead of "xyz is false". It is a bit more owning your own decision, but not projecting that on others.

This is making me think a bunch also as I have come out to my wife, but really feel like I need to be much more open to quite a few more people. I was going to ask in the next week or so on here of why those that keep things close to their chest do so. A bit of, "why not just be honest"? I know everyone's situation is different and I do see where if your boss is a solid TBM and has been vindictive to others that have left the church. I will probably get my thoughts a bit more organized and post my own and not take over Always Thinking's thread.

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Heber13
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Re: Coming clean

Post by Heber13 » 12 Oct 2016, 14:24

LookingHard wrote:"why not just be honest"?
As you probably know...I am pretty honest with things I believe. And there is much in the church I accept and that is honest. The church is true. The Book of Mormon is scripture. Joseph Smith was a prophet. TSM is a prophet today. God works through priesthood power. The church has authority from God.

All those things I believe and am honest about. Gray area stuff....well...not sure I have to talk about some of that when I have a foundation like the elements above state. I find room for variation in thought and deep or speculative doctrines when the foundations are set on God and Jesus Christ. I have ventured sometimes into very liberal beliefs on God...like he may not be anthropomorphic...he may be just an idea of love. But...there is no way for me to know that any more than to know he is a resurrected Father in Heaven. So...I leave gray area alone for me to speculate and think about.

For example...when someone asks me if I believe in God...I don't have to go into details of it...simply...however I frame what God is for me...yes I believe that. To specifically focus and explain the details when that offends someone else is sometimes unnecessary. not always...there are times within a marriage that being one in thought is sought after and so it comes up. But not always.

I honestly doubt things too. I let myself do that...but with the disclaimer I'm doubting to try to learn and progress...not doubting to sin or be lazy or cause contention. I doubt to learn. "Help thou mine unbelief". I also think what overshadows doubt is action, and that is what we focus on what faith is. I don't know, but I have faith...so I still go to church and do my home teaching and my calling. I may have wonky ideas on speculative things...but I still do the mormon thing, and that relieves a lot of issues in having to talk about things with others. I'm honest, best I can.

I just thought I would clarify that...because I wouldn't want this website to look like we support dishonesty or trickery through nuance. Not for me. Not saying you were accusing or suggesting that, LH...more just wanting to clarify for any lurkers my position.
LookingHard wrote: I know everyone's situation is different
Yes...more this kind of thing. There are different situations, and different journey paths. I respect others who are struggling in theirs to do things their way.

For me...it just has become more clear on what the elements of my testimony mean, and I reconcile it with things I hear at church. And I will likely stay LDS. Or I won't. But I will be honest.

Coming clean can be good. When done in a healthy way. It is not healthy when it becomes me dumping my problems on you, and wanting you to deal with it. I prefer to deal with my problems, not dump, nor to ask you to fix them for me. When I find a safe place to open up...I do. If it is not constructive to open up...it is between me and God. Love covers the rest.
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."

Roy
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Re: Coming clean

Post by Roy » 12 Oct 2016, 14:29

nibbler wrote:
Roy wrote:This is how I present myself to my bishop - as a struggling/fledgling testimony that has taken some hard hits. I worry that if I approach him with less humility, as though I know all the issues and have my mind largely made up on a variety of topics, then he might feel that he needs to force me into humility by revoking privileges (humility is seen as a necessary precursor to repentance). Worst case scenario, my bishop could see me as a danger and circle the wagons to limit my access.
Mine wasn't a statement of bravado but I get what you're saying. Going to a bishop and arguing how you aren't broken and don't need to make any changes isn't a wise approach. My only point was oftentimes people form their opinion about us by how we present ourselves. Sort of like, "I didn't view you as broken but now that you mention it..."
Yes, I do not disagree with what you have written. I see myself as expanding upon what you said by saying that there may be different situations and audiences where it may be wise to modify one's approach or presentation. :thumbup:
"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

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Coming clean

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Oct 2016, 17:10

There is an important difference between being honest and being transparent / open.

We can be honest without being totally open and transparent about everything - and we can be honest in creative, gentle ways or rigid, harsh ways.

Brutal honesty only is a good thing when it is absolutely necessary - and it is necessary FAR less than many people assume.

In that spirit, "coming clean" doesn't mean vomiting all over someone else, especially someone who is or feels clean already.

That is worth considering and understanding.
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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LookingHard
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Re: Coming clean

Post by LookingHard » 12 Oct 2016, 19:19

I will go make my own thread after I think about this a bit more.

And Heber - I have always loved your post and I get that you are "honest".
Curt Sunshine wrote:There is an important difference between being honest and being transparent / open.

We can be honest without being totally open and transparent about everything - and we can be honest in creative, gentle ways or rigid, harsh ways.

Brutal honesty only is a good thing when it is absolutely necessary - and it is necessary FAR less than many people assume.

In that spirit, "coming clean" doesn't mean vomiting all over someone else, especially someone who is or feels clean already.

That is worth considering and understanding.
Wise words (as usual) from Curt. I am fully on board with most of that. But I am starting to wonder if I even want to "staylds".

And I feel if I don't come out a bit on my own, I am going to get pushed for an answer on why I am not attending every church meeting, not willing to go with the youth to the temple for baptisms, don't renew my recommend, ... If I am going to have to say, "I just can't say I am a believer anymore, still a Christian and feel good with God, but not a believer in the church anymore. But I support anyone that wants to be a member and I have no desire to pull others away"

Like I said - I need to think a bit more.

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mom3
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Re: Coming clean

Post by mom3 » 12 Oct 2016, 20:59

LH - write it down

Seriously. I have done it for years, but have recently read where many psychologists/psychiatrist's encourage writing your thoughts down. Show no mercy. Rage on the page. No grammar or etiquette needed. You may need to write it over and over. One Dr. suggested 20 minutes every day for 2 weeks. Set a timer and blast on the page. Use angry, pissed off, descriptive words. Blame away. Write as if you were shouting.

Then throw it away.

Do it again the next day. Even if you write the exact same things. Let the process have you.

Then watch and feel. Clarity will come. Probably not in a landslide but enough clarity like stepping stones across water.

I can't speak to the exact outcome. You still may need to disconnect from LDS-ness. But you will be less likely to harm a valued relationship. You may also find something in you you haven't seen yet.

Try it diligently for 2 weeks. Write all the angry Mormon crap you want. Vent all the hurt. Cry while you write. Let your hand shake.

Just don't speak to anyone about it (you can still share here).

You've waited this long. Give the 2 weeks a try.

If you need write it in letter form, even addressing it to your wife/bishop/family. Just don't send it or give it. Shred it and throw it out.
"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: Coming clean

Post by Curt Sunshine » 13 Oct 2016, 03:30

Absolutely come out a bit on your own. Absolutely. Just don't word vomit on people whom it will hurt.

I LOVE mom3's advice. Let it ALL out on paper. Purge it all. Get it out.

Suppressing bad stuff never fixes anything. It only makes the inevitable explosion that much worse.
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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DarkJedi
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Re: Coming clean

Post by DarkJedi » 13 Oct 2016, 05:05

I agree with what Ray says about the there being a difference in being honest and transparent. Nobody is totally open about anything. We all have our inner rooms where there are things only we know and feel, not ever shared with anyone even those who are closest to us. Some of us have many more such "secrets" than others, but we all have them. More practically speaking, most of us are socially adept enough to not tell someone else they're fat or ugly even if we think they are. All men who like sleeping in their own beds instead of the couch know the answer when their wives ask the question "Does this dress make me look fat?" and the answer is probably not "Yes." We can be honest and even open without sharing everything. In my own ward/stake I do feel I'm honest and authentic with those around me. They know I see things differently than most of them do and some of them have started to understand what I'm going to call them on (like odd non-scriptural "doctrine" and disrespecting other churches or religions). There's no need for them to know what I really think about God, the BoM or JS, they know the basics.

That said, Mom also makes a good point. There's also a difference in the above and holding things in. We don't need to let it all out publicly though. I have my own way of letting the stuff out, but I like Mom's suggestion.
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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LookingHard
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Re: Coming clean

Post by LookingHard » 13 Oct 2016, 06:34

Thanks Mom. I have already done quite a bit of that in the weeks of writing up what to tell my wife. Good advice. I think the process does help. Thanks Ray

And I can tell you guys that you see the angry part of me when it pops it's head out now and then. I am not angry, I am just not feeling like I want to pretend to be a TBM - which is how about 95% of the people in the ward, stake, and my family see me. I actually want to be clear with all of them that I support them in their faith and I don't hold them in low esteme - and I hope they can do the same for me. I think I am fighting being labeled an angry exmo. I feel that is so much not where I am at.

But once again I will work on it a bit and come back with more consolidate thoughts. I already feel I have hijacked this thread to talk about ME! Apologies to Always Thinking. I do appreciate all of your opinions and I am sure there are lurkers on this forum that gain something from those of us that consume most of the text on this board.

Roy
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Re: Coming clean

Post by Roy » 13 Oct 2016, 09:57

I feel like there are different extremes.

1) where we are rudely in your face honest about everything and 2) where we are living a lie and hiding in the closet.

Neither of these extremes are healthy. Somewhere in the middle is a better way. For me personally, I just take church less personally/seriously and more academically. I recognize that there is no one "right way" to be a Mormon. I express myself without challenging anyone else.
"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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