Discouraged and Sick of it All

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SamBee
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Re: Discouraged and Sick of it All

Post by SamBee » 04 Feb 2021, 16:00

Focus on what works for you. It is a relationship.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Discouraged and Sick of it All

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Feb 2021, 12:31

I don't know why this is the thought that hit me while reading your post, Jamison, but it did - so I will share it:

Progress not perfection.

Work on what makes you a better person and finding new things that do the same. Focus on movement, not desired outcome. Mormonism teaches eternal progression - so there is no need to rush.

If you have found something that works for you, follow it. Don't burn bridges unnecessarily, but find and do what works for you.

Our Articles of Faith includes multiple statements saying, explicitly, that we don't have or know all truth. So, try to find what we are missing that works for you. I personally find great things in Buddhism and Hinduism - and many other constructs.
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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jamison
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Re: Discouraged and Sick of it All

Post by jamison » 09 Feb 2021, 11:41

Work on what makes you a better person and finding new things that do the same. Focus on movement, not desired outcome. Mormonism teaches eternal progression - so there is no need to rush.
This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks for the support. My EQP feels the Church should help me. At least I have friends who help me and listen to my plight. I will work on myself and keep a distance from those who bring me down within the Church.
"Ignorance, fear, and conflict are the basic elements of everyday consciousness" Marvin Harris -- Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches.

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SamBee
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Re: Discouraged and Sick of it All

Post by SamBee » 09 Feb 2021, 16:01

nibbler wrote:
04 Feb 2021, 06:44
Limhah wrote:
04 Feb 2021, 00:25
I think if it's an authentic pull that one feels, towards a particular manifestation of what seems most "true" to you, then it's a powerfully positive phenomenon, but if it's enacted superficially or without full investigation it can be just as dysfunctional as any other group project.
You didn't say it was bad but I don't think there's anything wrong with dysfunctional projects. ;)

Several years ago I spent some time "vacationing" in other religions, I'd attend services one or two weeks then move on. Some interested me more than others, in fact I ended up spending a year or so with one of them. I went into each experience with eyes wide open.

Everyone's different but for me I purposely avoided the full investigations when visiting with other religions, I wanted to keep it superficial. The theory was that a superficial investigation allowed me to skim off any good elements, hopefully before experiencing/internalizing any bad elements.

I contrast that with my full investigation (to the point of obsession) of Mormonism. At several points along the investigation of Mormonism it became difficult to see any good at all because it felt like the bad was shouting at me, demanding attention. Granted, it's different when there's a long established relationship. Maybe it was more about rooting out bad things that I had internalized when immersed in orthodoxy.

When visiting with other religions I didn't want to focus too much on the correct way to be in religion xyz, that would feel like moving from one orthodoxy to another. It was more about discovering and adhering to my spirituality than discovering how to adhere to someone else's defined spirituality.

But it's a conundrum. It might not have been a dedicated investigation of a particular religion or belief system but it was a dedicated investigation of self.
One thing I notice is how communities end up so much like each other. Even the right-on egalitarian ones where everyone gets a say (allegedly). There are usually dominant figures or a figure. Who these people are and what they are like makes a big difference to how toxic a community becomes, but you don't want to fall out with them.

All the other usual human traits end up in such communities too. People trying to raise themselves up the social hierarchy. Rivalry between people (which is often personal and nothing to do with the group's aims)

Funnily enough, I have found LDS to be one of th easiest groups to get on with. Far easier than some societies I have been in, political orgs, business environments, extended family, schoolfriends etc or other religions. Quarrels happen but not as often among them. Both my parents' family fought with each other. Two of my cousins who are siblings have not spoken to each other within my lifetime (and I am no spring chicken)
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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nibbler
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Re: Discouraged and Sick of it All

Post by nibbler » 09 Feb 2021, 16:07

Good point Sam. I've experienced that as well.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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SamBee
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Re: Discouraged and Sick of it All

Post by SamBee » 09 Feb 2021, 16:15

nibbler wrote:
09 Feb 2021, 16:07
Good point Sam. I've experienced that as well.
Thanks. It's often worst in groups which are idealistic and promote forms of equality. People can't stop being people - good and bad. They drag all that through the door. In that sense, it's worth comparing these religious groups with secular ones. They can have great aims and teachings, but once you're in there, you see all the usual social dynamics in play.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Limhah
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Re: Discouraged and Sick of it All

Post by Limhah » 09 Feb 2021, 19:59

nibbler wrote:
04 Feb 2021, 06:44
You didn't say it was bad but I don't think there's anything wrong with dysfunctional projects. ;)
Some more so than others, I imagine. I guess there are extremes w/anything, that's what the middle way is supposed to be all about -- avoiding extremes. 8-)
Everyone's different but for me I purposely avoided the full investigations when visiting with other religions, I wanted to keep it superficial. The theory was that a superficial investigation allowed me to skim off any good elements, hopefully before experiencing/internalizing any bad elements.
I'm also familiar w/that strategy, it's fine as far as it goes if one is just playing the spiritual tourist (as I did for far too long, maybe, I started to feel like an amateur anthropologist), but then I started to feel bad for not really participating in anything and like maybe I was dragging the specific group down. To this day I avoid labeling myself w/the name of any religion, mainly because I feel I'd be a bad example of any of them and wouldn't want anyone I encounter to think "if he's typical of what all _______ are like, I don't want anything to do with them!"

Limhah
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Re: Discouraged and Sick of it All

Post by Limhah » 09 Feb 2021, 20:09

SamBee wrote:
09 Feb 2021, 16:01

One thing I notice is how communities end up so much like each other. Even the right-on egalitarian ones where everyone gets a say (allegedly). There are usually dominant figures or a figure. Who these people are and what they are like makes a big difference to how toxic a community becomes, but you don't want to fall out with them. All the other usual human traits end up in such communities too. People trying to raise themselves up the social hierarchy. Rivalry between people (which is often personal and nothing to do with the group's aims)
I've found this phenomenon also to be true in my own decades of experience with seemingly every group under the sun. Maybe it just goes back to our basic hominid/simian small group hierarchy tendencies and instincts. I've also spent enough time in quite small but intense spiritual groups, often with good guidance from more experienced/mature members, to see how these social dynamics play out in detail and how they can be highlighted/magnified in very intense spiritual group situations. This can be a positive, if the individual pays attention to the phenomenon and develops some self-awareness about it.

It seems sometimes like there are more problematic / troubled people in spiritual groups, but maybe that's for the same reason you run into a lot of sick people in hospitals. These groups attract people who have various issues, and sometimes the issues are not skillfully or compassionately addressed.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Discouraged and Sick of it All

Post by SilentDawning » 12 Feb 2021, 00:21

jamison wrote:
31 Jan 2021, 20:19
I have some financial problems and the Bishop questions me about why I need financial assistance when my hours got cut down to 20 hours per week due to the pandemic. Honestly, you are questioning why I need financial help. Then my Elders Quorum President says, I do not think the Bishop is going to accept any of your utility bills any more. I'm glad my hours got increased again, but honestly I pay tithes and offerings my whole life without fail, and I am getting scrutinized for a few utility bills?
- From DJ --
I feel this and it hurts me that others also have this experience. I was getting monthly food orders when I was "cut off." That's it, just food, me, my wife, four small kids. It's why I will never pay another penny in fast offerings, why I will not clean the building, and why I don't feel guilty saying no to whatever calling or assignment I don't want to do. And it's why I'm much more stingy with tithing as well (I pay on net, or a little less). I'm sorry for you and your family.
I can't agree more with this part of what you are experiencing. I have noticed a tendency for the church to be tight -fisted when it comes to money, although they place a rather huge burden on the members financially for most of their lives. This part stuck out to me in the opening post.

Granted, from having been on the front lines of welfare, there are people who tend to take advantage of the temporal provisions of the church at times. It seemed like in Welfare Committee we were always trying to figure out how long we would keep providing for families that often seemed like they didn't want to help themselves (get more education, look for a better job, downsize into less expensive living circumstances). That wasn't the case with @Jamison and @DarkJedi, but I'm reminded of those times when I reflect on when people would be cut off from church assistance. Prior to becoming a StayLDSer, I'm afraid I probably contributed to the perception that the Church isn't there for people after the member has given generously for most of their lives.
"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

Roy
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Re: Discouraged and Sick of it All

Post by Roy » 22 Feb 2021, 13:09

Roy wrote:
02 Feb 2021, 17:23
For me, I find it helpful to 1) lower my expectations from the church, 2) try to only expect things that the church is adept at delivering, and 3) try to clearly communicate those expectations/requests when I need them. For example, I think the church is good at helping people move and at bringing in meals for sick or injured individuals. I might ask the church to send some guys to help me load up a moving van for a one or two hour period. I might also ask for some meals to be brought in for a one to three day period if my wife or I are recovering from a surgery. These steps for managing expectations help me to feel cared for as a member of my faith community and that in turn helps reduce my feelings of resentment.
I am currently in a situation that I had mentioned earlier in this thread. My wife is having day surgery and will probably be in various stages of recovery for about a week. I plan to ask for 3 days of meals (one meal per day) to be brought in by the compassionate serve people. When I mentioned to DW that I plan to do this she said that she "didn't want to be one of those people." After a little more discussion, I reasoned with her that if we were not in a position to accept some help after a surgery then when would we ever be in that position?

My strategy is to ask for specific and limited help that I feel the church is practiced and adept at delivering. Getting a few days of meals brought in seems to fit that description. The situations that seem to work best for this strategy are those that are of medium difficulty, they are tasks that are outside the routine and stretch a family's resources but not in an insurmountable way. As if to say, I could have done this myself but it would have been unpleasant and I fully appreciate the helping hand. If the situation is too easy then it seems silly to ask for help. If the situation is too hard/great then it seems that either it would be challenging to ask for a specific and limited form of help or that the type of help needed would not be the type that the church is practiced and adept and delivering.

For me, the sweet spot happens when the situation is of medium difficulty and the church has a program to deliver just the sort of specific and limited assistance that might be helpful. This helps me to feel like part of the community and that my contribution to the church is reciprocated.
"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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