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  1. Like
    seashmore reacted to Grunt in How to regrow my dead faith   
    To say I'm sorry to hear these things is an understatement.  I'm sorry for your pain.  
    You may not like my advice, either.  Change is hard.  Change often hurts.  I can, however, tell you what built my faith as an adult convert.  First, I had a testimony that the Book of Mormon was scripture.  However, that was the ONLY thing I believed to be true.  I had a testimony of nothing else.  With that established, I worked to establish testimonies of other things.  I lived as HE wanted me to live.  

    What do I mean by that?   Well, I read my scriptures daily.  I served my brothers and sisters every opportunity I had, and looked for more opportunities.  I didn't wait for the EQ President or the Bishop to call me, I called THEM.  I was relentless in my ministering.  I lived the Word of Wisdom, gave up bad habits I had, lived the Law of Chastity, and gave it everything I had.  With that, I began to build my faith.  I was receiving more than I was giving.  I was converted more each day.  When I back off from that, I notice a distinct difference in my life and relationships.  

    Take that for what it's worth.  I'm not an authority on anything.
  2. Like
    seashmore reacted to NeuroTypical in How to regrow my dead faith   
    Hi ByAThread,
    Sorry to hear your story.  A few things:
    - You are not alone.  Over the last five years, for whatever reason, I've met well over a dozen men in similar situations. I personally know four LDS guys, three of them in my ward, who would resonate personally with your story.
    - We all NEED love, acceptance, friendship, joy, companionship, fulfillment, spiritual/emotional/physical intimacy.  We need relationships, friendships, contact with other humans with whom we can connect on various levels.  
    - Soul-crushing loneliness is soul-crushing.  I'll go one step further, and say you, as a child of God, deserve these things.  And you can pursue them in ways that do not violate any covenants, or make you a bad example for your kids.  To the contrary, if you treat yourself as God would have you treat yourself, you are being a good example to your kids.  The trick is to find legitimate ways to meet your needs.   
    Here's a list of priorities: God first, you and your spouse second, your kids third, and you fourth.   If you're doing right by God, if your efforts are not fruitful with your spouse, if you are doing right by your kids, then absolutely you should be taking care of yourself.    Find a divorced dude at church and invite him to lunch.  Open up to him a little.  Can you hug your kids more?  Create and nurture friendships with other guys.  Meaningful service to others might help.  Not sure if you're a cat person or dog person, but you can find basic physical touch and affection from animals (and unconditional love from a dog).
    I'm just some random guy on the internet, so take this for what it's worth.  Bless you brother, and I'm sorry.
  3. Like
    seashmore got a reaction from JohnsonJones in How to regrow my dead faith   
    First of all, I'm moved by your saying you feel like your faith has died.  I'm sorry for the loss of your daughter, especially at such a young age.  I know that my faith was jarred when one of my favorite CTR-4 students was diagnosed with cancer; I cannot imagine how shaken yours must have been.
    If there was a time in your life you know that your faith was strong, go back and read your journals from that time in your life.  If you haven't kept very good journals, start.  It's okay to reminisce in your journal; write about the things that you remember doing, thinking, and feeling during that time when your faith was strong. Mosiah 18:30 talks about how beautiful the waters of Mormon are to those who came to know of their Redeemer there, because that's where they came to know their Savior.  If at all possible, physically return to those places in your life.  For me, it's my college campus and the grounds of the Winter Quarters temple.
    Read your patriarchal blessing.  View it as a way to see yourself and your life the way that God sees it.
    Recognize that it's going to take time to regrow your faith and be patient with yourself throughout the process. 
    Surround yourself with uplifting, positive media and entertainment.  Keep note of what the things you are reading, watching and listening to are causing you to feel.  Even if you are only consuming "church approved" media, it can still cause you to feel hopelessness, especially due to your situation.  You may find that, for the time being or years to come, there are lessons you skip over.  I still get kind of prickly when I hear talks geared towards parents of wayward children because it reminds me that there are so few resources for children of parents who have gone astray.  (The closest I can get is a scripture somewhere in the NT about loving God more than your parents and that Elder Oaks was raised by inactive parents, but there are no "this is how you deal with this issue" talks that I've found like there are with wayward children.  So, if anyone has any....)
    I'm a lonely gal myself.  Some years moreso than others.  (Unwed, childless, seasonal depression.)  When I catch myself feeling this way, I think about all of the people I've done proxy temple work for.  I imagine at least some of them would like to greet me, shake my hand, give me a hug.  I feel they are my friends and are cheering me on in my righteous endeavors.  Even though I can't see them and can't remember most of their names, they know who I am and they love me for what I have done for them.  They are the friends I know I have when I feel I don't have any.
  4. Sad
    seashmore reacted to Traveler in Stopping COVID   
    Because of a blood condition I was born with, I cannot donate blood.   It works just fine for me but not anyone else.   😠 
    The Traveler
  5. Like
    seashmore reacted to Budget in How do I tell someone they should not attend the ward?   
    Not only is it IN the handbook that anyone 31+ would switch from the YSA ward - BUT in fairness to all the others, they have an expectation that their peers in the ward are all similar ages of 18-30.  I personally would have zero problems telling this woman "Hey, you know when I suggested the YSA ward?  Well I had no idea you weren't in the 18-30 age group!  I know, right?  You look really awesome.  But, I'm really sorry for suggesting it because obviously, you really shouldn't be going to the YSA ward, it IS for those 18-30 year olds.  Sorry I messed up with my suggestion but it was in a good way!  That's quite the compliment!"
    And then bow out of helping with rides or anything else.... 
  6. Haha
    seashmore reacted to askandanswer in How do I tell someone they should not attend the ward?   
    I'm not sure if you have this kind of slang in the US, but from my reading of these posts, it appears that somebody is being taken for a ride. 
  7. Like
    seashmore reacted to clwnuke in How do I tell someone they should not attend the ward?   
    It's always interesting to me how sometimes we can differ from the majority in our opinions, and I do in this case.
    As a former High Councilor that had responsibility for working with the YSA and Single Adult programs in a stake, I think it was always an important responsibility for everyone involved to help maintain the Church designated age and divorce policy restrictions. Of course you can't force her to stop attending, but neither can the Bishop without calling police officers to remove her. 
    Rather than expecting the Bishop to take care of all the "dirty work" which really isn't dirty work at all, I'm glad you attempted to help the Bishop out by lovingly suggesting to her that the ward is actually intended for those 18-30. If more help is needed, you can ask the High Councilor over the YSA ward, or other Senior couples who may be called to help the YSA ward, or by referring the matter to the Relief Society President or Elder's Quorum President.
    Handbook 2 is pretty clear: "Membership in a young single adult ward is temporary. Leaders help young single adults prepare to return to a conventional ward when they marry or reach age 31." The age and divorce restrictions are wise church policies based on many years of experience. YSA wards change constantly and the Bishop does not have the time to evaluate and police all these matters himself. The members need to help self-police the policies similar to how the youth help maintain the church standards at church dances. It is always more effective for youth to caution other youth rather than leaders or adults.
    At a minimum, I suggest you gently and lovingly decline to offer her future rides and be straightforward and honest why - because she shouldn't be attending the YSA ward. She may find another ride and attend, and you can still greet her warmly when she does. But I think she will respect you for doing what you know to be right.
    People say you avoid a ton of drama when you don't tell people the truth, but in my experience that's not correct. You simply create more drama and shift it to someone else who has to deal with it all eventually. I think that's why I loved living on the East Coast (New Jersey), people were straight up with no hidden agendas. Blunt and honest was a refreshing change from my West Coast upbringing.
    As for membership records, the Church does not typically move YSA records into the YSA ward in local stakes so that may not even be an issue. They do when you go off to college or something similar and then attend a YSA ward. 
    In any case, as one who had the opportunity to ask many people to attend their proper YSA, SA, and home wards (or not to attend at all until after their divorces were final) I respect that I'm in the minority on this one and wish you luck!
  8. Like
    seashmore reacted to pam in Pornography temptations. Should I talk to my bishop   
    Because of your age I feel like the person you need to talk to is your parents and your bishop.  Providing advice to a teenager on such a sensitive subject from random people on the internet probably isn't the most appropriate of things.
  9. Like
    seashmore reacted to JohnsonJones in Stopping COVID   
    In many other nations they actually did contact tracing at the beginning and were able to isolate.  In addition, no one rebelled and proclaimed it against their rights when told to wear a mask, social distance, and to avoid going out for unnecessary items.
    It's amazing what an iota of prevention can do...
    That does not mean it's over for them yet, just that thus far, they have managed to keep it from blowing up to levels that the US and other nations which did not practice safe practices have.
  10. Love
  11. Like
    seashmore reacted to hzdbl5 in Excommunications, sealings and Children born in the Covenant   
    After receiving my endowment and prior to leaving on my mission I was invited by a friend to the Salt Lake Temple where we performed proxy baptisms and confirmations for individuals who had been excommunicated then passed away prior to rebaptism.  As part of the confirmation there was also a restoration of priesthood and temple blessings performed.  As such, the proxy had to have been endowed.  I don't recall if there was mention of sealings, however.  My impression was that the individuals were restored to the status of their ordinances prior to their excommunication.
    I'm afraid I don't know what the process was to get the names of the individuals ready for the proxy work.  We showed up and worked for names provided to us by whomever was running the show.  I also did not have this question come up while I was serving as bishop so never researched it.  With the General Handbook of Instructions now open to all, perhaps there are details contained therein that could answer the questions you ask.
    My understanding also is that the excommunication of the father does nothing to impact the covenants and blessings from those covenants entered into by the spouse (assuming she remains true to her covenants) or the children born in the covenant.  They are still born in the covenant regardless of what their parents do later in life.  This ties to our second Article of Faith.  As for the question of what happens in the hear after, I take comfort from my faith that our Heavenly Father will get it all worked as is appropriate.  My capacity for understanding at this point makes it a useless exercise to try to figure out all the intricacies and variations that may result from our imperfect lives and decisions.
  12. Like
    seashmore reacted to classylady in Excommunications, sealings and Children born in the Covenant   
    I was under the impression that he would need to be baptized by proxy, but I could be wrong. Then he would have his blessings restored.  I’ll see if I can find any information on this. Children do not lose the blessing of being born in the covenant when a parent/s is excommunicated. Also, when parent’s have their sealing canceled, the children retain their blessing of being born in the covenant.
  13. Like
    seashmore got a reaction from JohnsonJones in What’s the last movie you watched?   
    I finally watched "Once I Was a Beehive" last night.  I freaking loved it!!  I laughed, I laughed until I cried, then I cried, and then I laughed again.
    Great writing and excellent acting.  Definitely recommend it!
  14. Like
    seashmore got a reaction from NeuroTypical in Family and the new firearm prohibition   
    I read a really good book a few years ago called Amish Grace, and I believe there was a movie/PBS special based on the story of a young gunman who terrorized an Amish school and how the community responded. It may offer some perspective. There's a lot to learn from the Amish.
    Also, this policy allows for current law enforcement to carry a concealed weapon. I remember seeing a new police officer flash his gun at some friends in the YSA ward (by lifting up his shirt just enough to show them, didn't even take it out of the holster) and seeing it made me uncomfortable, even though I knew he would not use it unless absolutely necessary. So, if you want guns in church, convert more cops, I guess.
    The Lord blesses us for our obedience.
  15. Thanks
    seashmore got a reaction from Eternum in Fates worse than death   
    No worries about the initial misinterpretation. 
    There was a point in my life where I had a hard time going to church. I was in a YSA ward and had gone from serving in consecutive RS Predidencies to bulletin coordinator, even though I had told them I didn't have access to a computer/printer. (I learned how important it was to be set apart for a calling, because it wasn't until after that happened that I was inspired to hand write the announcements on half of the paper and the program on the other. I would copy and cut it so everyone got a half sheet with info on either side.) I was spiraling into a depression, and the bishop made a casual remark that we would not hold meetings for 2-3 weeks because there would not be enough in our ward over the holidays "to be worth it." I knew that he meant no harm, but it was hard. I had no family in the area, and have decision anxiety, so having to choose a ward to attend those weeks broke my spirit a little. What made it harder was the stake president was on the stand behind him when he said that. My depression read into that as being "not worth blessing the sacrament for," which my rational brain spent a lot of time reminding me that's not true, and I know it. (My most current bishop takes sacrament seriously to the point where he has ended a meeting cut short by bad weather to say that if anyone had arrived after it was passed that they were invited to stay after the closing prayer to receive it if they wanted.) 
    Anyway, I had such a hard time being in church that for about 3 weeks straight, I showed up just as the opening hymn was starting, sat in the back, and left as the people administering the sacrament took their seats with the congregation. I literally only came for the ordinance. What ended up causing me to change that was I had tithing to pay. So I stayed until the end of sacrament meeting, paid it, and went home again. It was still a week or two before I was emotionally able to stay for the other meetings.
    As far as feeling that the sacrament is corrupted, God holds you responsible only for making sure that your heart and hands are clean and pure. If those are, the piece of bread or cracker and water you partake of are uncorrupted. If there is someone unworthy who is administering the sacrament, that is his and his quorum leader's responsibility to answer to God regarding the matter. Also, one does not have to be perfect to administer an ordinance. No one would ever get the sacrament if that were the case!
  16. Like
    seashmore got a reaction from Eternum in Fates worse than death   
    Genuinely curious as to what led you to draw the conclusion that I think you're acting out of codependency. I never even considered that, so I'm not sure what part of my response communicated that idea to you. 
    You are absolutely correct that one of the foundational tenets of the Gospel in these latter days is personal revelation. That being said, I cannot receive revelation for you, nor can you receive it for me. However, I did say a short prayer while composing my original response, and asked what I could say to help you. We can be inspired to share thoughts and testimonies with each other, but we have no right to revelation on what the other is called by God to do. You have to at least make me dinner first. (That last sentence is comic relief.) 
    I hope that you will study out in your mind what you should do to repair the damage you have witnessed done, and then ask of God if it be right. I know that He will answer that prayer and provide you with strength to do His will based on your faithfulness.
  17. Like
    seashmore reacted to Backroads in Family and the new firearm prohibition   
    Thanks for your thoughts. I've felt more at peace the past couple of days. Also took advantage of the prayer request board on a teacher forum. Will try to get to the temple in the next few days. I also had Husband give me a blessing of comfort.
    We still have not reached an agreement, so there is that underwhelming update. Facts, feelings, and testimonies have been shared.
  18. Like
    seashmore got a reaction from NeuroTypical in Family and the new firearm prohibition   
    I read a really good book a few years ago called Amish Grace, and I believe there was a movie/PBS special based on the story of a young gunman who terrorized an Amish school and how the community responded. It may offer some perspective. There's a lot to learn from the Amish.
    Also, this policy allows for current law enforcement to carry a concealed weapon. I remember seeing a new police officer flash his gun at some friends in the YSA ward (by lifting up his shirt just enough to show them, didn't even take it out of the holster) and seeing it made me uncomfortable, even though I knew he would not use it unless absolutely necessary. So, if you want guns in church, convert more cops, I guess.
    The Lord blesses us for our obedience.
  19. Like
    seashmore reacted to mdfxdb in Fates worse than death   
    Wow, just wow.  I feel bad that you have had a hard life.  Sounds like you are an adult now, and can make decisions on  your own.  Decisions that will let you choose a happy path.  Disassociate with those who adversely affect you.  Associate with those who lift you up.  I know your life has probably sucked now.  You can choose to make it not suck.  So do it.  
    Don't worry about bishops/stake presidents/step parents, etc.  Worry about yourself.  Your covenants are not with the church.  They are between you and God.  Let God worry about the church.  You worry about you.  
  20. Like
    seashmore reacted to clwnuke in Fates worse than death   
    Eternum, may I ask what official clinical diagnoses you've been given by medical professionals? Also, I notice that there is no mention of drugs or alcohol in your post. Are you free from these habits?
    In all my years of working in the Church, whether in downtown Camden, NJ or in SLC, UT, and in working with small poverty-stricken branches and large very wealthy wards, I have never seen the members and leaders act as badly as you describe. Problems, yes. Rampant and methodically organized bullying, no, not ever. But I have worked with people who saw it that way - and most of them could have written your story and described their lives as "going upside down and sideways" just like you.
    I echo Jane_Doe's comments above: A good therapist is a good thing. You need help. Create some circumstances in your life that provide some stability and begin getting some help. And stick to it without excuses because it may take years to make progress. But you can make progress. And when you do, you may see the things a little differently. It always starts with fixing ourselves, not others.
    May the Lord strengthen you in your difficult journey.
  21. Like
    seashmore reacted to Jane_Doe in Fates worse than death   
    A good therapist is a good thing.  They don't have to LDS. 
    You need help to overcome wounds, getting yourself fixed before you can help others. 
  22. Love
    seashmore reacted to anatess2 in Fates worse than death   
    First of all... BIG HUGS to you Eternum.  This may sound as just platitudes but I do believe with all my heart that God loves you and has a plan for you, even if it's nowhere near evident what that is.
    One of the first things that came to my head after reading your entire post is "You've made the first step in Jordan Peterson's Self-Authoring Class".  Then I thought, hmm... maybe what you need is not to go back to Church but to finish the rest of the Self-Authoring class... THEN go back to Church.  So, I looked up how one could get the class and found out you need to pay for it now.  Shucks.
    Anyway, in my opinion (and please keep in mind, I'm nowhere close to being a professional counselor), I think you can greatly benefit from my motto of - I can't control what other people do, I can only control how I react to them.  So, one of the Self-Authoring concepts is that instead of exhausting our efforts to change other people's stupidity, we can go the route of accepting that other people are stupid and work that into our plan for ourselves.  So, the objective is to get to a point where we don't much concern ourselves with things that won't be able to change our path forward (things we can't control, like trying to change your stepfather's narcissistic tendencies which is not in your control but in your stepfather's control) but concentrate on getting ourselves on a path that goes towards our goals (things we can control, like how you can avoid being a victim of your stepfather's narcissistic tendencies).  
    So, the general idea is, you deal with 3 phases of your life at a time.  1.) Past, 2.) Present, 3.) Future.  You write down (author) every single thing in the past that has made you who you are in the present (experiences that has shaped you.  This is in the past so it's things that you can't change anymore.  What weaknesses resulted from it, what strengths and virtues you gained from your experiences), then describe what is your situation in the present (who you are today, what are weaknesses you can work on, what are strengths and virtues you can further develop and use as your assets), then describe who you want to be the future - near future.  Like 3 years from now future.  Then you're going to try to put the past to rest (Let it Be since you can't change it anymore) and then bridge the present to your future to create an action plan - writing down, every single step by little step what you believe can get you from where you are in your present to who you want to be in your future knowing that you can only act on things you can control and have to stop things outside of your control (like your stepfather, your bishop, your ministering sisters, etc.) from holding you back from your path forward.  Just write it all down.  Don't worry if it's possible or not.  Just write it down like you wrote down all of your past above.  And it would be really good if while you're writing all this, you can seek God's help, stopping once in a while to pray to God for inspiration.
    Then maybe... just maybe... you'll see a light forward and be able to let go or ignore the darkness.  Then maybe... you can actually start putting one foot forward...
    Anyway, I'm just another random anonymous poster on the internet.  But it's my wish that I've at least given you just a bit of hope for a brighter future.
  23. Like
    seashmore reacted to Manners Matter in Family and the new firearm prohibition   
    Sorry you're faced with this. My thoughts in no particular order:
    - the odds are slim
    - obedience brings blessings (study scriptures, talks that reiterate this)
    - get a copy of "The Cokeville Miracle" and watch it
    - if Samuel the Lamanite can be protected from arrows aimed right at him, your family can be protected, too
    - read Holland's talk about angels (Oct 08 conference)
    - "let your faith be bigger than your fear" (post this in your home)
    - maybe this is just another way leaders are asking the members to increase their faith
    - for all we know, leaders will quietly ask certain (trained) individuals to carry but this is a more organized approach of handling things in these last days
    - if a person's mission in life isn't done yet, you'll be spared
    - if something does happen and your family is affected, there's important work being done on the other side of the veil
    - stop watching/reading the news (having faith and peace is easier this way)
    - if the above doesn't help, I'd rather ignore policy than commandments (take sacrament regularly)
  24. Like
    seashmore reacted to Grunt in Family and the new firearm prohibition   
    So sorry you're dealing with this.  Personally, I'll comply with the dictate and leave my firearm in the car.  I recognize that I face many more risks on my way to church than I do once inside.  Life is full of compromises.  For me, eternal salvation and obeying my covenants are more important than the negligible risk of getting toasted during Sacrament.
  25. Haha
    seashmore reacted to NeuroTypical in Why Women Don’t Wear Pants to Church   
    December 2012?  Wow - I now have almost 7 full years of not really caring about this issue.  I don't pay enough attention to what other people are wearing at church, to know if the women are wearing pants or not. 
    I've only had faux rebellious wars with stuff like this.  Part of breaking in my new bishop, was to grill him mercilessly on whether pineapple belonged on pizza or not.  He thought quick, saying the only true position was that pineapple was ok on pizza, but only in the presence of meat, such as canadian bacon or ham.  Those who engage in activities with pizza that have pineapple as it's only topping, are in danger losing their soul.  I told him that I would adopt his position as my own, as one of the ways of sustaining him in his calling.
    Far as I can tell, when it comes to doctrinal importance and relevance to personal salvation, women and pants arguments = pineapple on pizza arguments.  If you're all passionate about it, whatever.  I think you're missing the point, but I don't care, you do you.
    I suppose I'll draw the line at public nudity (which does sometimes happen with uppity breastfeeders looking for a fight).