I need your opinion...

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Minyan Man
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I need your opinion...

Post by Minyan Man »

Attached is a talk I found online by Elder Uchtdorf. It is titled: Can You Hear the Music?
It feels a little unorthodox & I would like your opinion.
It is one of the few talks that I've read from the church where I've printed it out, underlined sections & highlighted others.

I found it very refreshing & interesting. Let me know what you think.

https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/dieter-f ... the-music/
Roy
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Re: I need your opinion...

Post by Roy »

Please check out the following music video from Lindsey Stirling (including the testimony at the end).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VzprYCxPBQ

It hits many of the same points and themes as Elder Uchtdorf's talk.

What parts from his speech are most meaningful to you MM?
"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
Minyan Man
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Re: I need your opinion...

Post by Minyan Man »

Roy wrote: 27 Sep 2023, 14:03 What parts from his speech are most meaningful to you MM?
For example, he said
For some, hearing God's voice seems intuitive and obvious. Some seem to be born with a testimony of the gospel and a sensitivity to spiritual things. For others, belief come slowly, and the may feel difficult or frustrating.
He also said:
We Are Seekers
Please understand that this is not a process of once and done.
It is not a process of minutes or hours. It may not be a process of months or even years.
It is the process of a lifetime.
We are seekers, you and I.
We are light gatherers.
We are on this lifelong mission—to gather light and bear it to the world—that will lead us through the joys and trials of life.
He also said:
I don’t know why the answers to our prayers are delayed at times. Perhaps the Lord wants us to prove to Him—or to ourselves—just how sincerely we want the truth. Maybe the effort He requires is how we learn to value the truth. Maybe that is how we prepare ourselves to receive and accept the truth. Or simply, maybe it is God’s way of helping us to learn how to hear the music.

But, my dear friends, one thing I do know: the process of communication between mortals and heaven is not broken. It is real. It is available to you and me!

If we attune our hearts, eyes, and ears to recognize the Spirit—if we strive to walk in the way of light—we will surely find what we seek. We will surely learn how to hear the music!

However, we must understand that God is not a vending machine. Just because we put a prayer request into the slot, that does not mean an answer will appear immediately at our feet.

No, communing with the Infinite, communing with the Divine, takes time. And it takes commitment.

Casual prayers do not yield sublime answers.

In this life it is our great opportunity to struggle, to fight, and, yes, to fail occasionally in our pursuit of the divine. It is all part of the process designed to refine our character and perfect our spirits.

When we strive with heart and mind to ­follow the Savior and incorporate His teachings into our daily lives, we receive favor from heaven. The Lord has promised that if we walk uprightly, “search diligently, pray always, and be believing, . . . all things shall work together for [our] good.”13

What a precious promise.
Again he said:
The Fine Print
There is, however, some fine print we need to be aware of.
First, this light will come in God’s time, not ours.
Second, it will come in God’s way—a way we might not expect or even want.
Third, it comes as we believe.

Now some of you might say, “In order to have greater belief in God, I have to believe? But that is exactly my problem. What if I can’t believe?”
The answer is: Then hope. And desire to believe. That is enough to start.
To desire to believe does not mean to pretend. It means to open your heart to the possibility of spiritual things, to lay aside skepticism and cynicism.
If you can simply want to believe, that can start the seed of faith growing within your heart.10
Eventually that seed will grow until you can begin to believe. Those first glimpses of belief lead to faith. And your faith will grow stronger day by day until it shines bright within you.
The feel of his talk is more understanding, more compassion, more empathy.
The usual talk by a general authority seems to be "everybody on the covenant path".

Maybe I'm reading too much into his words. I've done that before with other GA's in the past.
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nibbler
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Re: I need your opinion...

Post by nibbler »

I'd rather avoid being a critical voice of something that others around me are inspired by, maybe I shouldn't be posting, but we've all been down different roads.

I love music, I'd rather listen to music than a sermon any day of the week, but the story about the man playing violin in the subway station pinged on my scrupulosity/guilt/shame radar.

Stripping it of all context, the story is about a group of people that find a considerable amount of value in something that then get kind of judgy about other people not finding value in the thing that they hold so dear.

I do appreciate the lesson to not get caught up in the grind. I know I have a major problem, I completely lack the ability to stop and smell the roses. I like the message of slowing down and trying to be more aware of our surroundings.

Applying that story to listening to the spirit (as defined by church teachings and culture) can be a little problematic. In the violin story we have the world class player playing a violin worth millions of dollars. Why can't people see just how special that is? In LDS culture that translates to having that nebulous and coveted testimony. It translates to reading scripture. It translates to the more general desire to feel the spirit. In church there are well defined and expected ways for people to connect with the divine. Do we get judgy when people don't value our methods for connecting to the divine? Do we value people's alternative methods for connecting to the divine that look nothing like our own? Is it okay if others don't value connecting to the divine as much as we value it?

That's a part of my hang-up, the baggage I've carried in the past, the baggage I get concerned about when I see others in church that feel obligated to carry just as I felt obligated to carry. Feeling like you're not having the same spiritual experiences as others in church and internalizing that as an indication that you must be deficient in some way.

I'm certain that wasn't the intent of the talk, but it has the potential to hit people that way.

I do like the lessons of taking time to stop and smell the roses, of being patient, of hoping, and of working towards being the person you would like to be.
I kept a diary right after I was born. Day 1: Tired from the move. Day 2: Everyone thinks I'm an idiot.
— Steven Wright
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DarkJedi
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Re: I need your opinion...

Post by DarkJedi »

I do recall the talk and I like it. I immediately related to it because I felt like I could hear the music. To Nibbler's point, I recognize that others aren't having the same experience I am having but I I also feel like before my faith crisis and transition I couldn't hear the music either. I am sure there are other people who hear as I do, and there are others who likely hear something a little differently than I do (perhaps a different tune). And I think there are others who don't hear it. I think sometimes that's because they aren't listening (for whatever reason) or because they just can't hear at it at that moment. A big part of my own faith crisis was the feeling that the heavens were closed, that any prayers just bounced off the ceiling., and God just simply was giving me the silent treatment. While I continue to believe all of this to be the case and will "testify" of it to the doubters who are actually believers* (there's some irony there), I also recognize there probably was music there during that time that I was not hearing (and maybe that was very soft music). This is where that "fine print" section of the talk comes into play for me, and then DFU goes on to talk about hope - and hope is part of what I hear in the music. I also like DFU's reference to seekers, because I have also long considered myself to be a seeker, and I believe Joseph Smith was a seeker. Sometimes being a seeker means looking in places others are not looking, and I have learned finding (the object of seeking) rarely happens in church (although this may be different for newer or younger members). I don't think we learn much from parrots, and the parrots can actually drown out the music.

*In other words, people who don't believe God doesn't or won't speak.
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."

My Introduction
Roy
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Re: I need your opinion...

Post by Roy »

Where are the analogies to flying an airplane?!?!?! :lol:

I like the speech overall. I also recognize that I am too far into non-traditional territory for any talk by a GA to hit on all cylinders for me.
We Are Seekers
Please understand that this is not a process of once and done.
It is not a process of minutes or hours. It may not be a process of months or even years.
It is the process of a lifetime.
We are seekers, you and I.
We are light gatherers.
We are on this lifelong mission—to gather light and bear it to the world—that will lead us through the joys and trials of life.
I am also a seeker. That, to me, means that I can collect the parts that work for me and leave the rest. I am a "thrift store shopper" of cafeteria spirituality. "Oh, look at this one. It has so much potential. All it needs is a good sanding and a new coat of varnish!" I also know that what looks amazing to me might not work for someone else and that is ok.
I don’t know why the answers to our prayers are delayed at times. Perhaps the Lord wants us to prove to Him—or to ourselves—just how sincerely we want the truth. Maybe the effort He requires is how we learn to value the truth. Maybe that is how we prepare ourselves to receive and accept the truth. Or simply, maybe it is God’s way of helping us to learn how to hear the music.
I like when prophets and apostles admit that they don't know stuff. There was a time when I found this troubling, as in "why can't they just ask God and then have the answer?" Now, I quite prefer the uncertainty of not knowing. I wonder if there could be a justification for people that don't receive answers at all. Although that falls outside of the scope of this particular talk that seems to be saying that the "music" is available for everyone.
In this life it is our great opportunity to struggle, to fight, and, yes, to fail occasionally in our pursuit of the divine. It is all part of the process designed to refine our character and perfect our spirits.
I am finding beauty and even divinity in humanity. Our failures make us human. Humanity is diverse. Let the glorious mess wash over you and be kind to one another.
To desire to believe does not mean to pretend. It means to open your heart to the possibility of spiritual things, to lay aside skepticism and cynicism.
I find that this quote reflects my journey and desire to StayLDS. I am skeptical but I try not to be cynical or jaded or closed off to possibilities. I try to withhold final judgement and give people the benefit of the doubt and allow for them to say things with sincerity and honesty in their hearts that nevertheless are not historically accurate. I try to view people with grace and compassion. I try to be like Richard Bushman. Commenting on an OT scripture about a vengeful God wiping out entire populations, he said something like "We can have compassion on people from this time for finding comfort in such a depiction of a vengeful God that would utterly destroy their enemies."

I also understand that every GA has the purpose in everything that they say to draw people closer to the church (and through the church to salvation). I don't think they could say from the pulpit that people who leave the church will be fine. Given these parameters, I think that Elder Uchtdorf had a pretty understanding and compassionate talk that had some great quotes for us "seeker" or "Liahona" Mormons out there.
"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
Minyan Man
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Re: I need your opinion...

Post by Minyan Man »

Going back to my Introduction & my faith crisis, up to that point I thought that the way to get answers to my prayers was through the way
I got my answer to join the church. Like JS did, pick a place to pray (the sacred grove), pray on your knees & God would appear & give you
the answer you want or deserve. When I got my FC, I prayed & nothing happened. I went to my Bishop for answers, prayed & nothing happened.
In fact, when I went to my Bishop, it seemed like he was embarrassed, uncomfortable & would rather be somewhere else. So, I went home,
prayed some more, then everything seems to get very black & depressing. Church didn't seem to improve anything.

Time did improve things.

This talk & others like it, give me hope. That's a good thing.
Since I've been back & attending on a regular basis, I have been reading the scriptures (& other books) to get a better insight into this life.
I have discovered the parables again. This talk by Elder Uchtdorf is in a way, a parable. There are many ways to get inspiration & be influenced positively by God (or HG). Many are outside of the church. Along the way, I wonder how many I have missed.

Attached is a video of Joshua Bell at that subway station. Very interesting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnOPu0_YWhw&t=23s
Roy
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Re: I need your opinion...

Post by Roy »

Minyan Man wrote: 28 Sep 2023, 10:46 This talk by Elder Uchtdorf is in a way, a parable. There are many ways to get inspiration & be influenced positively by God (or HG). Many are outside of the church. Along the way, I wonder how many I have missed.
I hope that by saying "I wonder how many I have missed" you aren't beating yourself up. There are infinite possibilities. Just from books alone, there are countless passages that God could use to touch your mind and heart. You could spend your every waking moment reading.

I think it is wisdom to try to be open to spiritual experiences as you go about your life. You have already had spiritual experiences and you can have more. I think this is especially true if they don't have to convey specific messages or revelation. Just witnessing the sunset with a sense of wonder and awe can be a spiritual experience. I try to be open to that.
"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
Minyan Man
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Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: I need your opinion...

Post by Minyan Man »

Roy wrote: 29 Sep 2023, 08:52
I hope that by saying "I wonder how many I have missed" you aren't beating yourself up. There are infinite possibilities. Just from books alone, there are countless passages that God could use to touch your mind and heart. You could spend your every waking moment reading.

I think it is wisdom to try to be open to spiritual experiences as you go about your life. You have already had spiritual experiences and you can have more. I think this is especially true if they don't have to convey specific messages or revelation. Just witnessing the sunset with a sense of wonder and awe can be a spiritual experience. I try to be open to that.

No, I agree with what you're saying Roy. My only point is that I have on occasion been so wrapped up with the emotion of anger, I have
missed any inspiration that may have come my way. It was great to hear the compassion in Elder Uchtdorf's talk.
Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
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Re: I need your opinion...

Post by Roy »

Yes, we can have compassion on ourselves and others.

Our younger selves were doing the best that they could. Now we are older and we are still doing the best that we can (only that our "best" now may be different than our "best" then).
"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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