Giving a talk, need some advice

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Bear
Posts: 177
Joined: 30 Jul 2012, 08:04

Re: Giving a talk, need some advice

Post by Bear » 08 Oct 2017, 11:51

I just want to thank everyone. The talk went well.. I was very nervous, becuase it was a very "out of the box" talk, and i think people see more who i truly am, which is scary but great at the same time.

I don't know if you want to read it, but if you want to, here it is. I put it through google translate because i was lazy, so some things might be very weird:)

Thanks again everyone, for your great input!




Opposites (so we can be one?)

Present the subject.
When we talk about this subject, almost everyone thinks about this scripture that I want to read now:
2 Nephi 2:11

Because it must necessarily be such that there is a contradiction in everything. If it were not my firstborn in the wilderness, justice could not be provided, nor wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor evil. Everything must therefore necessarily be a blend in one; If that were one, it would necessarily have to be as dead as it had neither life nor death nor neglect or immortality, happiness or misery, neither feeling nor insensitivity.


As we read this, we are talking about trials here in life. That it should be nice to feel it sour. Death for life to exist. Make sure there is happiness. And that without these contradictions it will all be dead.

We have heard that a couple of times before, so I've tried to ride a little bit inside my brain and see what new angle is on things.

I want to take a different angle and think about it in relation to the church and our relationship with each other and how much we embrace diversity.

Without diversity, without our individual different opinions and hence opposites, I think it would be, as in the scripture I just read, dead and our church will be dead because there would be no development.

What contradictions are there in such a congregation as ours (and everyone else)? I think we have a very nice compassion, I just hurry to say.


I think some of these contradictions can make a difference between us if we use them as a checklist on each other and also create a gap within us if we use them to have a checklist of ourselves.



examples:

-We have a temple recommendation or not
-We have been on a mission or not
-We pay tithing or not
-We overcome the word of word or not
Do we have an office in the church or not?
"We" know that the church is true or not
Do you have to drink Cola or not?
Do you want to take the sacrament with one hand or does not matter?
-The orthodox
-The unorthodox
-The progressive
-The "only" cultural mormon most comes to church because his / her family and friends do it.




All these different people are mixed around in a big pear wrap. How can we be without conflicts due to our contradictions in our understanding of the gospel?

I see things from my point of view and have opinions about things that may not be the same with another member, who sees things from his point of view etc etc.

And that will somehow create opposites. Especially because we may each think that there is only one way to see / understand things in the church and that's my way.
Sometimes you may feel that you have other attitudes / understandings of things and you are afraid to say it in a class in the church.
That's a bad thing. Not only do not talk about things, the classes may also be locked to some extent in standard answers, as we all know.
And it may mean that we never have the live discussions we could really have. And it can mean that we, as single people, churches and church, do not have the development we could have.

Hugh B. Brown, counselor in First Presidency, Speech at BYU, March 29, 1968
"I admire men and women who have developed a spirit that questions things that are not afraid to use new ideas as a stepboard for progress. We must, of course, respect each other's opinions, but we should not be afraid to differ - if we are informed. Thoughts and expressing themselves compete in the free market we call "thoughts", and in that competition the truth can only win at last. Only mistakes fear freedom of expression. This free exchange of ideas is not something we should look down on as long as men and women remain humble and can be taught. Neither fear of consequences nor any form of compulsion should ever be used to make sure we all think the same in church. People should be able to express their problems and attitudes and not be afraid to think about the consequences. We must maintain the freedom of the mind in the church and resist all attempts to suppress it.


So, do we really think so?

Two months ago, I was really happy because a church article circled on facebook that actually referred to the "Fowler's stages of faith", which I have chosen to translate as "faith stages". Not something most people have noticed, but Fowler's stages of faith explain how / why we think differently, and that it is quite common development. It's a theory that I found a few years ago, and that helped me in my own faith journey.

James Fowler is a professor of theology and human development, and pastor of a methodist church.

He published in 1981 a book, which became one of his most famous books, titled "Stages of faith", in which he tries to find systems in human spiritual development. There are different stages from 0-6 and you can read more about yourself if you are interested in development in psychology and spirituality. Different studies have been made of human development from child to adult in psychology, but this applies to spirituality instead.

In this article, there are excerpts of presentation given by "Scott R Braithwaite" as a psychology professor at BYU.

So in short: On the church's website there is an article that has an excerpt from a presentation at BYU where Scott Braithwaite, explains James Fowler's beliefs stages.

"These beliefs, I think, are a great help to us because they help us realize that there is not only a way to believe."
According to Braithwaite, most people remain in Fowler's Stage 3 throughout their lives, which is a conventional belief, characterized by conformance to an authority that is a strong cultural element in religious life. A "us" against "them" worldview, while ignoring all conflicts in the person's own faith, because of fear of the discrepancies in this belief.
"Stage 3, is where I think we are most vulnerable to ending up in a crisis because there are expectations that are impossible to meet," said Braithwaite. I think they live in a world that is binary, it is black and white, where the church is only good and impossible to do anything bad and vice versa where the world is evil and in decline.
"The perfectionist idea can be dangerous because most beliefs have different human elements in themselves." says Braithwaite. "
Here he only explains about a stage out of 7.
Should we all have faith / understanding together? I simply do not think it's possible. We are all unique. And that should not create conflicts with us.
I am convinced that some of my attitudes / understandings about some subjects would make the bishop go to head. And guess what that applies to us all.

So there's only one way to see things in the church? Should it create contradictions between us?
Not according to the church's article. And in fact, according to the church's history,


You can just look at the history of our own church and see the contradictions that have been in how our own church leaders have understood things. Which really shows that there is not only, or has been a way of looking at things.

In the 1850s and until the late 1800s, Brigham Young and the subsequent Church leaders taught that Adam was our God. That Adam was literally God for our earth. Also known as the Adam-God doctrine. If some have heard of it before. This was positively received by some leaders while it was directly rejected by others, among others. Orson Pratt, who was one of Brigham Young's apostles at that time.
Adam-God's doctrine was later publicly stamped as false teaching by Spencer W. Kimball, who was the leader of the church at the time in the 1970s.

Another example of opposites is that:
From Brigham Young's time until 1978, they could not have the priesthood or come to the temple because, according to the church at that time, they were descendants of Cain.
Today we can read from the church website that the official position is now:

"Today, the church rejects the theories (and teachings) stated in the past that colored skin is a sign of divine misery or curses or that they are an expression of unfair actions in the past that race-mixed marriages are a sin or that colored or people of any other race or ethnicity are in any way laquered. Today, the leaders of the church condemn all racism, in the past or present, in any form.

When we know that church leaders have had different interpretations and understandings of core topics in the church throughout the ages, (and there are more than those here) we should also have an understanding of each other's different understandings and interpretations of things today. Despite contradictions, there must be room for everyone in the church.
Both Brigham Young and Spencer W Kimball.


Elder Joseph B Wirthlin said at the General Conference in 2008 about those who think "different". And we'll do that all in one way or another.

"They feel like they do not belong. Perhaps because they are different, they find themselves drifting away from the flock. They act, think, speak and look different than people around them, and this sometimes causes them to assume they do not fit in. They conclude that there is no need for them.
Along with this misconception there is the wrong belief that all members of the Church should speak, be and look alike. The Lord did not populate the earth with a sound orchestra of personalities to exclusively appreciate the world's piccoloflots. Any instrument is precious and adds more to the symphony's complex beauty. All of our Heavenly Father's children are somewhat different, yet each child has its own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole.

We are all unique and all voices should be heard. I think it is important that we in the church's I think it's important that we in the classrooms and elsewhere do not just stand for standard answers because we feel different but really have genuine discussions about topics. I think we will find that we all have a lot to contribute and that we do not have to be the same.


Have you ever been to the hospital?
A few years ago I got meningitis.
I was in church, felt a bit sloppy. We went home, I lay under the quilt and Anna went out with my parents to my brother.
2 hours later I was screaming because my head was about to explode and I had to call an ambulance.
After a while, they found me in the neighborhood and I drove off.
Imagine if we had stopped at the hospital entrance, where there were some doctors and they had told me:

"Doctors here are healthy and healthy, we know a lot about making people healthy, we are very clever. You can be like us if you just try more. When you are as healthy and as clever and know the very right things like us, you must come in and we can treat you.

It may not be the best way to run a hospital, nor a church.

President Uchtdorf of the First Presidency said in October 2014

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a place for people with all sorts of testimonies. There are some Church members who have a sure testimony that burns within them. Others strive to find out. The church is a home where everyone meets regardless of the depth or the strength of their testimony. I do not know any signs at the door of our church buildings, where it says: "Your testimony must be so high that you may come in."
The church is not only for perfect people, but it is for all who want to "come to Christ, and be perfect in him." The church is for people like you and me. The church is a place that embraces everyone and takes care of them, not somewhere that separates or criticizes. It is a place where we strive to encourage, elevate and help each other when we each strive to seek divine truth.
In the end, we are all pilgrims seeking God's light on the journey through the path of the disciple. We do not condemn others for how much light they have or do not have. Instead of nourishing and encouraging all light, until it grows clear, glorious and true. "
I think it's a reminder that witnesses, attitudes and understandings of things are available in all sizes, colors and frames.

And it is not our job to judge who is wrong or right. There is already one that has as job description and I do not think any of us are so much better than him.

Everyone is welcome as they are.
-The orthodox
-The unorthodox
-The on with the with blue shirt
-the one with the white shirt
-THe one with with long hair
the one who believes
the one has doubts
the one who does not believe

I hope we can all remain unique.

There are things in the church / gospel (I'm not sure where one term stops and the other begins), which I neither understand nor agree with, there are other things I have hoped for and so there are things I have one deep faith in. One of the things is that we have a God who loves us more than we can ever understand.
"If I speak with the tongues of humans and angels, but do not have love, I'm a resounding ore and a whining bell. v2 And if I have prophetic gift and know all the secrets and possess all knowledge and have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. v3 And if I divide all that I own, and give my body to burn, but not love, I will not profit. "


My hope is that we must have love for each other and give room for everyone's interpretations and points of view in the church. That we must know that we do not have to talk and think the same and that knowing this, we can *be*can be *one*, instead of being the same.

Curt Sunshine
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Posts: 16842
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Giving a talk, need some advice

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Oct 2017, 13:35

Wonderful. Thank you for sharing it.

Please post it also in the thread we have specifically for talks. It would be good for people who might not read this thread to read it there.
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

Bear
Posts: 177
Joined: 30 Jul 2012, 08:04

Re: Giving a talk, need some advice

Post by Bear » 10 Oct 2017, 08:12

I may be blind but I can't find that place:)


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Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16842
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Giving a talk, need some advice

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Oct 2017, 14:10

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

Roy
Posts: 6178
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Giving a talk, need some advice

Post by Roy » 10 Oct 2017, 14:14

I loved it Bear. So many great points. How was it received?
"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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mom3
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Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: Giving a talk, need some advice

Post by mom3 » 10 Oct 2017, 14:16

I really love it. You chose great supporting texts. I was having a tough day today - especially church wise. This was like a sweet drink of water. Thank you. Definitely cross post it.
"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

Bear
Posts: 177
Joined: 30 Jul 2012, 08:04

Re: Giving a talk, need some advice

Post by Bear » 11 Oct 2017, 12:17

Thanks everyone. Posted it the other place.
It was VERY well recieved. I had 2 people telling me independently of each other that "it was the talk of year". I had others tellin gme that "this was such an important talk" etc.
I'm very sure though, that there were some more orthodox members who had questions, but they never talked to me. I left very fast right after sac. meeting. I'm sure I would have gotten some positive comments, and maybe some negative comments, had i stayed.

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