For the discussion of spirituality -- from LDS and non-LDS sources
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Roy wrote: ↑13 Jun 2023, 17:05
I suppose "likeable" as a descriptor is pretty subjective.
That's probably true. I don't fit the "exmo" descriptor but I also can't say I like or dislike Joseph Smith any more or less as time goes on and I learn more about him. I will say that I recognize he is much more human than the Godlike figure sometimes portrayed at church and in church literature. Having lived in the area of the early church (and before the actual church formation) I have wondered if I had lived in there 1820s and 30s and encountered Joseph would I have followed him? I don't know the answer to that, but I lean toward probably not because I think I would have believed the stories about Joseph digging for gold etc. (which I do believe now). Whether or not I liked him probably would have had little to do with it. I should also note that I have done some studying of the history and culture of the area (upstate NY and northeastern PA) and also believe the Smiths were not all that unusual in their beliefs regarding mysticism and cosmology (IOW their beliefs seem to have been the cultural norm).
Back to the exmo thing, I will say I don't know or associate with very many exmos. I do see online posts from exmos on other forums and places like Reddit. I have never gotten the impression that any of them like Joseph.
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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- Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50
I skimmed through the conversation.
I was intrigued in the beginning by a rough "model" by Bushman.
But if you are looking for a faith transition "model", then I think that James Fowler did a more thorough job of it from outside our religion and his findings are accurate about faith transitions within our religion.
[In my Own Words]
STAGE 3: Everyone functions as they should in terms of church activity and belief system. They go to church/read scriptures/actively participate and have conversations about it.
STAGE 4: "All Heck Breaks Loose/Deconstruction" for an individual. They question church, church authority, scriptures and canon, and participation levels. This may or may not overlap with a young adult "identity crisis" or an older adult "midlife crisis" or an even older adult's "identity shift".
STAGE 5: "A truce/reconciliation between Stage 3 and Stage 4". An individual may come back from all the Stage 4 questions with a different interpretation of why they do what they do. They may go back to church, active scriptures and revelation-seeking, and participate thoughtfully on their own terms.
Some people manage to stay in Stage 3 their entire lives.
Some people get caught up in Stage 4 rebellion and the related grieving process for a very long time. Once it happens, it can re-happen to a lesser degree throughout the person's life.
Some people's Stage 5 doesn't include "returning to the fold" in terms of what they do, but will be the integration of what they were taught in the Stage 3 stage of their lives into what they value being in Stage 5.