I took a big step on Sunday and it went good

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LookingHard
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Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

I took a big step on Sunday and it went good

Post by LookingHard » 24 Nov 2020, 07:30

I signed up for tithing settlement and went by myself with none of my family.

I stopped paying last December. I handed him my recommend. (I had been quite honest with my last bishop on issues I had with church leaders and was surprised when he signed that one). So I let the bishop know I stopped paying tithing and said I assume he would want to know a bit more. It actually went great. He had asked me for any advice on helping those with questions a few months ago and I loaned him the "Bridges" book. He read a few pages and then bought his own copy.

We talked over a few things, like me telling him I have not believed in almost 8 years and in that time I had made no waves as HPGL, stake YM sec, primary teacher. So I am not going to be a "problem" for him as I don't see it as my duty to do anything but help others each on their own faith journey.

I told him I stopped paying when I found out the church had just about as much money as Bill gates and they really didn't know what they were going to use it for and then at the same time the church is preaching, "if you don't have enough money to feed your kids, first pay your tithing." I just couldn't.

I told him I came because I worry about how my change of faith would affect my wife. I have heard when one spouse stops attending that the active spouse gets tons of pity sympathy and can actually make things worse. He actually responded quite well and said it must be hard to come to church for years. He asked if there is anything specifically he could do to help me or my wife. I told him I was fine, but do whatever he could to make this easy for my wife as she is worried people will look at her differently, pity her, and maybe not even be friends with her. He also asked what he could say in his talk he has in a few weeks at ward conference. I mentioned that I hear of bishops and SP's telling the remaining active spouse that they need to divorce in order to find a righteous husband or they can't get into the CK. He said, that is crazy and isn't even doctrine. This is the only time I pushed a bit and said, well, there are things you can find that back that up, but it gets into what is doctrine? And we will be here a long time if we get into that - and it does seem to me that most everything doctrinally has changed. But I reemphasized that I wasn't here to push him or dissuade him of any of his beliefs.

In the end he said that he still respects me and knows I am a good guy - and I told him I feel the same.

We left still friends with no preaching or use of fear. Without me asking he said he wouldn't share this with anyone. I do worry if he mentions it to the SP that the SP will pry it out of him. I don't think I would go to a face to face meeting with the SP.

I lucked out and I generally expected this would be his reaction as he has always been much more on the "loving" side of the spectrum.

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: I took a big step on Sunday and it went good

Post by DarkJedi » 24 Nov 2020, 09:16

I'm glad things worked out so well. Your bishop is a good man and there are more like him out there. Unfortunately not everyone gets one like that.
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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Minyan Man
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Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: I took a big step on Sunday and it went good

Post by Minyan Man » 24 Nov 2020, 10:00

Meetings like you described can go either good or bad. Yours was a good meeting. But, you knew that already.
The important thing is: you were honest about your beliefs & feelings without trying to hurt the feelings of another.
A meeting like this helps a new Bishop understand the dynamics within his ward too.
I'm sure there are others in your ward that believe & feel the same way you do.
You have the strength to be honest about it.
I'm sure you will have other discussions with him too.

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

Re: I took a big step on Sunday and it went good

Post by Roy » 24 Nov 2020, 16:01

I am so glad this went well for you.

I am always hesitant to lay my cards out on the table lest I get permanently labeled. For me right now, I do not really need a TR but I could foresee wanting one in the future and that future bishop could make things hard for me if he doubts my intentions.

My current bishop has held short annual tithing settlement interviews with me. He has been polite and asked for me to let him know if there was anything he could do to help me progress. I am positive that he does not want me to unburden my soul to him.

He is a nice man. He wants me to do whatever it takes to get back to the temple. I do not think it much matters to him why I might not be going right now. Everything is perceived as an obstacle to be overcome on the road to the goal.

Anyway, I am very pleased that your bishop reacted so well. I am sure that feels so liberating.
"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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Katzpur
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Location: Salt Lake City

Re: I took a big step on Sunday and it went good

Post by Katzpur » 26 Nov 2020, 14:21

Wow! It sounds like things went remarkably well. I'm happy you have the bishop you do. I've had bishops like that before but I've also had bishops who would probably have instigated a church court the minute I walked out of their office. I bet it felt good to just get all of that stuff off your chest, didn't it?
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

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LookingHard
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Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: I took a big step on Sunday and it went good

Post by LookingHard » 29 Nov 2020, 17:10

Katzpur wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 14:21
Wow! It sounds like things went remarkably well. I'm happy you have the bishop you do. I've had bishops like that before but I've also had bishops who would probably have instigated a church court the minute I walked out of their office. I bet it felt good to just get all of that stuff off your chest, didn't it?
Yes!

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