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Re: 9/13 Rasband face to face - the restoration proclamation

Posted: 15 Sep 2020, 17:37
by Curt Sunshine
I have wondered for a long time why Alma, Jr. and Mosiah's sons ALL left the church of their upbringing.

I think it was the political upheaval of the time, including being the sons of a ruling minority and (I am guessing) seeing the inequality of privilege that favored them and, in the view of many of the ruled, oppressed others.

What does that have to do with these meetings?

1) I don't watch them. They don't give me answers I need.

2) The political situation is becoming remarkably similar. I think a whole lot of young people see the strife going on right now, see how so many LDS members are drawing their battle lines, lose faith in religion, generally, or focus on reform, and are not being satisfied by answers that used to work but no longer do.

Interestingly, Alma, Sr. addressed the issue by focusing tightly on the coming Christ. However, it took an angelic butt-kicking to turn around his and the king's sons.

I don't see the latter happening now, for multiple reasons, so I would settle for a tight focus on Jesus and an even larger charitable outreach. The leadership is doing both more and more, but more "doctrinally expansive outreach" and "hedges about the law trimming" would be great.

Re: 9/13 Rasband face to face - the restoration proclamation

Posted: 16 Sep 2020, 08:11
by grobert93
I had a lot of thoughts to share, but since many are led by my emotional reaction to how to church handles doubts, I wanted to give myself some time to compose things better. However, one of my favorite website blogs updated with their take on this, and it articulates my thoughts much better. I hope this website and linking it is allowed, feel free to correct me if not

(Admin Note: We don't allow links to anti-Mormon sites. The deleted link is to a site that purports to present factual information solely for information, but the writer identifies as an ex-Mormon and there is a clear anti-Mormon perspective that includes conclusions that appear to be focused on trying to convince people to reject the LDS Church and leave it. If there are quotes from the site that you want to discuss, it it is okay to quote them here - again, as long as the focus is on helping people stay who want to stay, not influencing them to leave.)

Re: 9/13 Rasband face to face - the restoration proclamation

Posted: 16 Sep 2020, 14:35
by Roy
Linking to explicitly anti-Mormon websites are not permitted. I do not believe that to be the case with the lds discussion website. I am guessing that it is related to the lds discussion podcast started by Bill Reel. Church opposition occurs on a spectrum.
"Not only does this video not answer any of Harry’s concerns, but it draws the connection that removing one’s records from the church is similar to taking one’s life."
Yes, I did not make that connection myself. I just thought that they were showing a video about how lifechanging the church had been for somebody. However it does make some sense. From the Rasband perspective having one's name removed might be eternally more damaging than suicide. At least with suicide we have doctrines of forgiveness for individuals facing moments of diminished mental capacity. I don't think we have any similar "they were not in their right frame of mind" mercy clauses for those that formally leave the church.
Whenever you see a question and answer session with a General Authority or a church article in the now discontinued Ensign, you'll notice whenever they tell a story about a member with doubts they never say what those doubts were about. You would think the recent issue of Ensign that was focused on doubts would address specific issues, but instead they focused on members who claimed to have their doubts resolved even though they never told us what they were in the first place. And the reason for that is simple: they are terrified about the information reaching members who are unaware of these problems.
I remember a recent analogy of a young man (I think it was a missionary) with doubts and he was told to go home and read scriptures and pray every night and come back in a week. When he came back to discuss his doubts he no longer had any. But the church leader had gone to great lengths to research the answers so made the young man sit down and hear about the answers.

The analogy is clever in my estimation because it suggests that doubts are a result of not being diligent enough in reading scriptures or prayer. It also suggests that there are really good answers to each of these (unnamed) doubts but we are not going to talk about them.

Re: 9/13 Rasband face to face - the restoration proclamation

Posted: 16 Sep 2020, 17:51
by On Own Now
Hi everyone. Thanks, nibbler, for the link(s). Some comments:

On the discussion, in general. I think it's useful to remember that it is THEIR forum. So, yeah, they are going to say things the way they see them. That won't mesh well with our view. In exactly the same way, if RAR/SisRAR came here to StayLDS they would roll their eyes a lot at what we say in OUR forum. Bottom line: they get to say what they believe are legitimate answers to questions based on how they see the questions and how they would answer... same way we do here. We can criticize, but in all honesty, I think the world needs less critique and more understanding.

On following the prophet. First, this is such an important question. I was glad it was raised in that forum, and I was disappointed in the response. The response makes sense to them. It doesn't make sense to Harriet, I'm sure, and it doesn't to me. Is it the worst response? No. It is a perfectly clear and harmonious response, for people who are as deeply in the faith as RAR/SisRAR.

One thing I'll add. I think RAR was misquoted in this thread.

This thread:
Rasband wrote:We wanted to firmly establish for all of you the importance of following God's living prophet on the Earth. That's the safest, most sure way to follow the Lord's mouthpiece on the Earth.
What I think RAR said, punctuation corrected:
Rasband wrote:We wanted to firmly establish for all of you the importance of following God's living prophet on the Earth. That's the safest, most sure way — to follow the Lord's mouthpiece on the Earth.
Why the answer makes sense to RAR/SisRAR: They have done this their entire lives. In response, they have a great family, material wealth, and high standing in what they see as the most important organization on Earth. Not bad results for their investment. Their life experience confirms their life choices. They assume that the same will be true for others. And for many it is that way.

Why the answer makes no sense to me: Others have already pointed out the logical issues. All I can say is that where there is a disconnect between the Prophet and the Adherent over a policy, asking the Adherent to acquiesce comes across as uncaring at best.

What could have been said: I would prefer (but again, that's just my own perspective, and I can pretty much guarantee that RAR/SisRAR don't share my perspective) that they acknowledge that some policies are more difficult for some than others, so while it might not bother me, I can understand why it bothers you. It is OK for there to be disagreement, but we do strive for and hope for spiritual unity as part of the Family of Christ. Whether you, like Harriet have concerns over some policies or have no concerns, I ask all of you to read Romans 14 and apply that to your practices and dealings with your brothers and sisters. I'd also like to take this opportunity to roll out the Church's new program to solicit input from the membership that we can use to ... <just kidding... that's never happening>...

On separating with the Church over a loss of belief in the truth claims. I'm not actually sure that RAR's response was off the mark. I know that is an unpopular opinion here. I think there is a certain amount of logic to it. Instead of "why should I stay?" RAR asks to look at it as "why do others stay?" It is an appeal to our common ground as members of the Church. We have a certain shared experience that people outside the Church can't share. That can make us somewhat close conceptually. So RAR says, look around and see that there are many who choose to stay and maybe that will be enough. Does it answer the direct question? No. I'm not sure what would. I mean, what could RAR have said that would make anyone here suddenly increase their activity and belief in the Church? It's an unanswerable question, as asked, without saying the Church has something to offer you that you can't find outside (AKA truth claims).

I actually found SisRAR's response more hard to hear, because she focused on the age-old argument of finding anti stuff on the internet and then becoming confused. That shows a clear misunderstanding of people like us.

I did really appreciate the video of Dominic and I'm happy that he has found meaning in the Church. It underscores that for some, it is deeply beautiful. For others, it isn't. From the standpoint of people here at StayLDS, I feel that is wonderful. The Church is great for people like that, and I would never want to tear at their conviction or the peace they find through it. For me, I have found a way that works better for me. Win-win.

Why the answer makes sense to RAR/SisRAR: To them, the Church is true. The truth claims are accurate. Why should Harry stay? Because it's true. It would be hard to hold their position and really be able to understand the question or answer on other grounds.

Why the answer makes less sense to me: I'm an Atheist. My perspective is so different from RAR/SisRAR that any answer they give will not match mine.

What could have been said: I think it was a missed opportunity to reach out with kindness and love, instead of doubling-down on the truth claims. To paraphrase DFU, who avoided language of truth exclusivity, but still talked of the Atonement and Discipleship of Christ, which can be viewed as universal truths of Christianity, with an action spin somewhat unique to the LDS Church:
With our heart and soul we yearn to become better with the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

If these are your desires, then regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church. Come, join with us!

In spite of our human imperfections, I am confident that you will find among the members of this Church many of the finest souls this world has to offer. The Church of Jesus Christ seems to attract the kind and the caring, the honest and the industrious.
If you expect to find perfect people here, you will be disappointed. But if you seek the pure doctrine of Christ, the word of God “which healeth the wounded soul,” and the sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost, then here you will find them. In this age of waning faith—in this age when so many feel distanced from heaven’s embrace—here you will find a people who yearn to know and draw closer to their Savior by serving God and fellowmen, just like you. Come, join with us!
If you seek truth, meaning, and a way to transform faith into action; if you are looking for a place of belonging: Come, join with us!

If you have left the faith you once embraced: Come back again. Join with us!

If you are tempted to give up: Stay yet a little longer. There is room for you here.

I plead with all who hear or read these words: Come, join with us. Come heed the call of the gentle Christ. Take up your cross and follow Him.

Re: 9/13 Rasband face to face - the restoration proclamation

Posted: 17 Sep 2020, 06:29
by SilentDawning
I never recommend name removal for a few reasons. I am sure there are some circumstances where it's best, but for the most part I see it as unwise -- here are the reasons:

1. It's hard to reverse it.

2. It's good to have faith in your own ignorance. You might be wrong about what you think about the church.

3. You might want to come back some day. You could have your own Road to Damascus experience like Paul or something that convinces you to come back. If you get your name removed, it's harder.

4. Simply being inactive gives you most of the benefits of name removal. The only thing you might have to put up with is missionaries or leaders calling you from time to time. But if you are on friendly terms with the church this isn't always unpleasant I have found.

5. It keeps your options open.

6. The leaders and members in the church might get a momentary rebuke from you if you go to name removal and give your reasons, but they forget quickly. Your name might come up in a meeting from time to time but don't expect your removal to cause much social change.

But that's just me. I know there are circumstances where, for mental health reasons, it's symbolic for some people, but in most cases, I recommend simply adjusting your relationship with the church so you can live with it easily. It's possible since I've walked that path.

Re: 9/13 Rasband face to face - the restoration proclamation

Posted: 17 Sep 2020, 10:27
by Ann
I think I’m reacting negatively to this because they touched the third rail of faith crises when she quoted (or paraphrased?) Elder Ballard - you’ll be in rebellion, confusion, and disharmony if you read the stuff “floating around on the internet.” The church’s own Gospel Topics essays have contributed plenty to my loss of confidence and faith. Also disappointing is the use of such a tired phrase as “put it on a shelf.”

It was obviously impossible to talk with Harry one on one, and I’m glad they at least took a question about doubts. But something in their answers makes me think that even one on one they wouldn’t really seek to understand him. And for me, that is too familiar. The most important person in my life is utterly uninterested in what I’m thinking about the church. There is no judgment, no pushing, but also no willingness to just listen or ask me questions.

I understand that orthodox LDS living has brought them lots of happiness. They’re thankful for that and want the same for others. I keep hoping, though, for more true interest in the doubter’s inner life. He said to “ask your questions. They deserve to be answered.” My feeling a couple of years into my own disillusionment is - ask us questions! They’ve undoubtedly done surveys, though.

In the end he says to take our questions to God. I think a lot of people do that and come away with some peace and reassurance that the doubter is still acceptable, and it’s okay to step away.

Re: 9/13 Rasband face to face - the restoration proclamation

Posted: 17 Sep 2020, 11:47
by Roy
I appreciate the discussion here. While reading OON's comments I had some thoughts.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
Why does this irritate me? Sure they think they are right and others wrong but the world is full of people and organizations thinking that they are right. They certainly seem to be sincere in their convictions and in the case of Dominic the church seems to have been a major benefit. Why should that bother me?

The answer that I come up with is that it is my tribe, my heritage, my family, my personal history. It hurts to feel marginalized and misunderstood by my people.

Re: 9/13 Rasband face to face - the restoration proclamation

Posted: 18 Sep 2020, 07:16
by Curt Sunshine
Admin Note: The link in the comment above was deleted after a discussion among the admins. Given our mission, this is one area where we have to err on the side of caution. I don't believe the decision was an error, but we have to be cautious in this particular area.

Re: 9/13 Rasband face to face - the restoration proclamation

Posted: 19 Sep 2020, 14:42
by Ilovechrist77
I'm really glad this topic was brought up. I remember seeing this face to face mentioned online. I can't watch these type of church meetings anymore. Too much cover-up for the church's past history, gas-lighting, and indicating following us can't lead you astray. I still watch General Conference, though, there are still things said there that annoy me.