Compare & Contrast...

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SilentDawning
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Re: Compare & Contrast...

Post by SilentDawning »

Overall, I'm a bit disappointed in the direction given to us by our higher-ups. The most recent advice for surviving in modern times from RM Nelson was "gratitude" -- a very benign message that I think many people are practicing with or without his advice. No new scripture in recent years. We did get a stand on the family with the Proclamation years ago and some attempts at policy that define our stance on the family, but that was back-pedaled.

Perhaps I have too much of a desire for sensationalism. But if you compare the revelations of the current time with revelations and divine activity of the past, there isn't much really happening. The experience of being a Mormon is very routine and well, boring, in my view.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

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InquiringMind
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Re: Compare & Contrast...

Post by InquiringMind »

SilentDawning wrote: 19 Sep 2022, 20:29 Overall, I'm a bit disappointed in the direction given to us by our higher-ups. The most recent advice for surviving in modern times from RM Nelson was "gratitude" -- a very benign message that I think many people are practicing with or without his advice. No new scripture in recent years. We did get a stand on the family with the Proclamation years ago and some attempts at policy that define our stance on the family, but that was back-pedaled.

Perhaps I have too much of a desire for sensationalism. But if you compare the revelations of the current time with revelations and divine activity of the past, there isn't much really happening. The experience of being a Mormon is very routine and well, boring, in my view.
Yeah, it does feel like there's this culture war that is the elephant in the room, and the leadership seems content to mostly ignore it and stick to the usual talking points. It would be nice to hear more that is (to use an over-used word) relevant to what everyone can see is going on. At this point I'm not sure that anyone knows the answer to our very divided situation. We're essentially in the middle of a psychological civil war, and it sure would be nice to get a little better guidance. I think that Church leaders are wise, though, to not try to divide further and to keep the Church as unified as possible.
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nibbler
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Re: Compare & Contrast...

Post by nibbler »

I'm not convinced the church is in a position where it even can address more relevant matters. We like to believe the church is immune but I think we're just as caught up in the exact same types of problems that are plaguing the political arena.

I'm right.
You're wrong.
I have to convince you to my way of thinking.
It's not acceptable for you to hold a different opinion.
Differing opinions are viewed as an attack.
You're so wrong that I have to put policies in place to govern your behavior to prevent you from doing the wrong thing.
Using language that pits us vs. them.
Cult of personality built up around a leader.
Leader seen as above reproach.
Culture focused on displays of loyalty towards the leader.

Does that list apply to church or political culture? Neither? Both?

Cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
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Watcher
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Re: Compare & Contrast...

Post by Watcher »

How can I respond to this thread and not offend someone? I grew up in a very political family. My father was adamant that our family should support only one of the political parties in our country. His reasoning was that as a prominent member of a particular political party could contact their representative and have some respect and influence. It is sadly true that ordinary citizens that wright letters to their representatives are not respected unless they have strong party connections. And so I was raised to be a card carrying member of the Republican party.

Shortly after my mission, I worked on and was a major individual contributing to republican running for a state office in Utah. It became very evident that this good church member was not just politically corrupt but was involved in criminal activity. I did all I could to rectify what was going on and ended up with more problems than those committing the offences – which interestingly included vote tampering.

I became very upset and left the republican party forever and moved out of Utah. In this country the only other viable option is the democratic party. I moved to the DC. Area and tried to become an influential democrat. I discovered that the democratic party to be exponentially more corrupt than the republicans. All this took place 45 years ago. I personally refuse to support either political party or candidate in any way shape of form. As a result, I am somewhat despised by both the so-called liberals and conservatives which each now are the polar opposite of their initial definition.

I am pleased beyond measure that the Church is not politically active in the USA nor does the church support any political party or candidate in the USA. It is my personal opinion that those that think the Church is not involved in issues are quite ill-informed and naive. I believe the church follows the advice of Joseph Smith – that it teaches correct principles and allows people to govern themselves – with the exception of some that think it is their job to govern whoever they can.

It seems to me, especially in the current political climate, that taking any stand on any issues requires the demonization of any and all that oppose it. I know many good and saintly individuals that are republicans and many that are democrats. I do not know any political or news commentator that can speak with respect of individuals that voted for political rivals. I fear this country is headed for another civil war and I do not intend to pick a side – nor do I believe that the church should pick a side either. Someone is going to have to pick up the pieces when it is over – hopefully with love and compassion.
Arrakeen
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Re: Compare & Contrast...

Post by Arrakeen »

InquiringMind wrote: 18 Sep 2022, 23:13
Arrakeen wrote: 28 Jun 2022, 15:04 Where is the line that divides politics and morality? Does the church have a responsibility to call out morally reprehensible actions done by governments around the world? What happens if they do?
In case you haven't noticed, people sharply disagree about what's moral. Everyone agrees that we should do what's good, but we very much disagree about what "good" is. At this point in US politics it seems that we have two completely separate and competing moral systems, represented by the Left and the Right. They are two very different systems of morality with different values and different goals. I don't see this as a sustainable situation, with two very different visions about what the US is supposed to be. We can't survive very long with two strongly conflicting national narratives.

The decline of Christianity as the primary religion in the US has created a void of meaning and purpose, and many people have sought to fill that void of meaning and purpose with politics. Political parties and political ideologies have come to replace churches and religious beliefs as a place for people to find belonging and a sense of meaning and purpose in life. And who can blame them? The consequences of political decisions seem immediate and critically important, while concerns about the afterlife seem far away....if there is an afterlife. God doesn't always answer prayers, but laws and politics affect you directly.

It does seem to make some sense from a nonreligious point of view. We got rid of our silly supernatural religious beliefs, so now we can turn our attention to what really matters, which is building a better world here and now. Except that we can't agree on what "better" is. We can't agree on what's good and what's moral, so we're having a lot of trouble (from a secular point of view) building a better world without religion.

I actually think that's why religion is important. Religion helps us think about a world beyond this one, which makes politics less urgent and less immediate. If this life is all we get, then yeah, politics is the most important thing - and I think that's a bad situation because we can't agree on what's moral, and we're going to end up fighting constantly. Thinking about the afterlife makes politics less all-important: maybe your candidate lost the election, but you'll still get your reward in heaven, so no big deal, right?
I get that many people disagree on morality, but my point was there are certain things that an overwhelming majority of people and church members agree on, but the church still remains silent on because of politics. For example, almost everyone agrees that genocide is bad. Mass murder is bad. But if these things are committed by the government of a country where the church has any sort of presence, they seem unable speak out. Whether from a fear of potential fallout or a desire to remain above the fray, it makes them seem powerless and irrelevant. If they can’t even condemn human rights abuses around the world, how are they supposed to have anything to say about more nuanced issues of morality or politics?
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InquiringMind
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Re: Compare & Contrast...

Post by InquiringMind »

Arrakeen wrote: 20 Sep 2022, 14:53 I get that many people disagree on morality, but my point was there are certain things that an overwhelming majority of people and church members agree on, but the church still remains silent on because of politics. For example, almost everyone agrees that genocide is bad. Mass murder is bad. But if these things are committed by the government of a country where the church has any sort of presence, they seem unable speak out. Whether from a fear of potential fallout or a desire to remain above the fray, it makes them seem powerless and irrelevant. If they can’t even condemn human rights abuses around the world, how are they supposed to have anything to say about more nuanced issues of morality or politics?
It does seem like Church leaders ought to speak out on many more things. But I mostly agree with what Church leaders do now by staying out of most geopolitical and culture wars issues, because everyone has their own pet cause that they wish Church leaders would address, and leaders are just not going to be able to keep everyone happy by commenting on every geopolitical event and every injustice. You'd have people from all directions saying, "Why won't Church leaders condemn _______ that is happening in _______?" Leaders wouldn't be able to keep up with all of it. Besides, leaders have gotten enough pushback by taking stands on the few issues they do take stands on, that taking more stands on more issues is only going to create many more problems for them.

What would you hope to accomplish by having Church leaders speak out on geopolitical issues? If President Nelson condemned Putin's invasion, would that do anything to help the Ukrainians? If President Nelson condemned communism in Venezuela, would that end communism there? That would just be a lot of virtue signaling, and it would accomplish nothing of any value.

So I think that Church leaders are actually doing the right thing by staying out of such issues. I also think that church is supposed to be a place where were can stop thinking about the news for like ten seconds and get away from that. I think it would be pretty terrible to be watching the news about the war in Ukraine, and go to church and have the speaker give a talk about the war in Ukraine. You gotta turn it off at some point.
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nibbler
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Re: Compare & Contrast...

Post by nibbler »

InquiringMind wrote: 20 Sep 2022, 23:19 What would you hope to accomplish by having Church leaders speak out on geopolitical issues?
This
Watcher wrote: 20 Sep 2022, 14:41 ... that it teaches correct principles and allows people to govern themselves ...
They almost certainly aren't going to solve world problems by commenting but by not commenting they are failing to teach membership correct principles. Over the last several years I have witnessed too many members of the church embrace greed, hatred, spite, vindictiveness, divisiveness, dishonesty, combativeness, etc. as if they were Christlike principles. Then when I watch general conference, what does the prophet say? That calling the church the Mormon church is a major victory for Satan. That's the major victory for Satan? That?

So the Sunday after conference what do I hear in church? Do I hear my community talking about the dangers of anger, hatred, and violence against people with differing opinions? No, I hear some guy going off on how it's no longer acceptable to say Mormon. So now we've got yet another thing to be angry over. Great.

I mentioned this in the other post. The church doesn't really do a good job of teaching people correct principles anymore. The church is more concerned with teaching members to obey authority figures. The principle being taught is to embrace authoritarianism.
InquiringMind wrote: 20 Sep 2022, 23:19 So I think that Church leaders are actually doing the right thing by staying out of such issues. I also think that church is supposed to be a place where were can stop thinking about the news for like ten seconds and get away from that. I think it would be pretty terrible to be watching the news about the war in Ukraine, and go to church and have the speaker give a talk about the war in Ukraine. You gotta turn it off at some point.
In some cases remaining silent is taking a side.

When the political opinions of people at church are more in alignment with your own political opinions you don't even notice when political opinions are shared. Church feels like a refuge from the world because you're in an environment where others generally agree with what you already believe. Meanwhile there are many, many people that have left because that same environment feels politically toxic to them. The exact same environment.

I guess we could say that if we remove all things political then all would feel safe and no one would feel compelled to leave. I don't know that's possible. Maybe the way to achieve that is to start teaching gospel principles again without mentioning which side is doing what. Principles like charity, forgiveness, hope, honesty, etc.
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Watcher
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Re: Compare & Contrast...

Post by Watcher »

nibbler wrote: 21 Sep 2022, 04:12 Over the last several years I have witnessed too many members of the church embrace greed, hatred, spite, vindictiveness, divisiveness, dishonesty, combativeness, etc. as if they were Christlike principles. Then when I watch general conference, what does the prophet say? That calling the church the Mormon church is a major victory for Satan. That's the major victory for Satan? That?

So the Sunday after conference what do I hear in church? Do I hear my community talking about the dangers of anger, hatred, and violence against people with differing opinions? No, I hear some guy going off on how it's no longer acceptable to say Mormon. So now we've got yet another thing to be angry over. Great.

I mentioned this in the other post. The church doesn't really do a good job of teaching people correct principles anymore. The church is more concerned with teaching members to obey authority figures. The principle being taught is to embrace authoritarianism.
I have never heard anyone (member or leader) ever teach at the LDS church that anyone should ever embrace greed, hatred, spite, vindictiveness, divisiveness, dishonesty, combativeness, etc. If anyone practices such behaviors, I am sure they did not learn it at church. Actually, I have attended many churches and places of religion and I have never heard such things taught in any religious place. Perhaps you could provide a religious place where you think such things are taught so I can go and verify this for myself.

If such things are not taught at church – why are you so against doing as the “authorities” in church teach? The principle I hear the most often taught in every religious place I have experience (and especially in the LDS church); is that we should love one another and treat others as we would have them treat us.

As for how we address others? If their official and legal name or title is desired – why should that make anyone angry??? Why does it make you angry? If I understand – perhaps I can avoid making you angry.
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PazamaManX
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Re: Compare & Contrast...

Post by PazamaManX »

nibbler wrote: 21 Sep 2022, 04:12
I mentioned this in the other post. The church doesn't really do a good job of teaching people correct principles anymore. The church is more concerned with teaching members to obey authority figures. The principle being taught is to embrace authoritarianism.
This has been one of my bigger complaints for awhile now. I can't remember the last lesson or talk that taught something resembling a moral principle. In my ward at least, most of what I hear is how great it is that we have the plan of salvation and a prophet to listen to. I mean, that's fine and all, but it would be nice to hear about something that makes you a better human being.

Watcher wrote: 21 Sep 2022, 09:21
I have never heard anyone (member or leader) ever teach at the LDS church that anyone should ever embrace greed, hatred, spite, vindictiveness, divisiveness, dishonesty, combativeness, etc. If anyone practices such behaviors, I am sure they did not learn it at church.
I haven't heard anything like that intentionally taught either. My personal complaint, is that I feel the opposite of those things, stuff like contentment, unity, honesty and peace aren't taught enough. I do hear a fair bit about loving one another, but it seldom goes deeper than platitudes.

At least that is the experience I've had in my own ward and some other local wards around where I live. Perhaps there are wards out there that discuss things that are more along the lines of what I'm looking for.
Last edited by PazamaManX on 22 Sep 2022, 06:27, edited 1 time in total.
"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness, even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." ~ Thomas Jefferson
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nibbler
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Re: Compare & Contrast...

Post by nibbler »

Watcher, I think you may have misread or misinterpreted my post or maybe I wasn't clear. I didn't claim that the church teaches people bad behaviors nor did I say I was angry.
Watcher wrote: 21 Sep 2022, 09:21 I have never heard anyone (member or leader) ever teach at the LDS church that anyone should ever embrace greed, hatred, spite, vindictiveness, divisiveness, dishonesty, combativeness, etc. If anyone practices such behaviors, I am sure they did not learn it at church.
People may have picked up those behaviors elsewhere or it may just be a part of human nature, it doesn't matter. My question is why isn't the church addressing the problem more directly? Like it or not, the problem is here. What do we do about it?

My call out about the "Mormon" church was to juxtapose what's important enough for the leaders to address during general conference with what I feel are more weightier matters.

It's not fair to say weightier matters go unaddressed, leaders do address the problems I mentioned but it's interesting to me how many members' takeaway from conference is to start getting angry when other people say the word Mormon, not even in the context of talking about the church, just the word in general. Some people's takeaway from conference is to become angry about one more thing (other people saying the word Mormon) and to be divisive and confrontational (start policing others over using the word).

We heard the talk to not say Mormon. We heard the talk saying it's not a big deal. We heard the second talk to not call it the Mormon church. We even heard a third talk on it not being negotiable. I guess I'd like at least one ore two more talks on not being jerks to others that say Mormon to counterbalance. :D

In general we need a lot more "quit being jerks" talks during conference.
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