Sunday21

Laugh: You can’t have it both ways

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10 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

 It began as a prison tattoo  signifying that you were in jail for life, which usually means you've committed a very serious crime. 

But @Midwest LDS was innocent.  Just ask him.  He'll tell you.

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i agree with what's been said pretty much.  It's very rare for a member to do anything overt.  In fact, generally, members are over the top kind of warm and fuzzy towards new people, or the person who returns for the first few times after a long stint away.  @anatess2 pointed this out accurately.

The shunning (or perception, if you prefer) is far more subtle.  It's the fear and discomfort and awkwardness you sense pouring off someone when they ask you to go visiting teaching and you say you'd rather not.  When you ask a question about something you don't believe and it elicits some trivializing and borderline hostile explanation.  

And in fairness, it goes both ways.  i think people sense in a thousand tiny ways when someone doesn't believe like they did.  And they feel the awkwardness of that, too.  Can't be easy for them, either.

And all of a sudden, your kids aren't invited to the birthday party, potlucks go from affairs of personal warmth to incredibly painful awkwardness.

Is anyone shunning?  No.  Awkwardness isn't shunning, but it feels like that most of the time.  

And the worst part comes in that unlike normal human interactions, just parting ways is way more difficult.  Most of these people had the mormon church and it's importance woven into the very core of who they are.   It's major surgery to separate them, with setbacks and senselessness and anger and confusion and hurt through the whole process.  It's like trying to pretend something nearly as fundamental to who you are as your own parents never existed.  

Honestly, it's nobody's fault.  i wish the church weren't made out to be so important.  From where i sit, being kind is far more important (respect that others disagree).  Separation of church from God and Jesus and self is something a lot of members lack (my opinion).  And it really affects a lot of people.  

But, at the same time, i know that what i call a lack of balance probably helps others, in another context.  It's just so very sad at times - to see so much misunderstanding and anger and fear and all the pain it causes.  

i recommended this on another thread a while back - but if you want to watch a good documentary - i really recommend the American Experience Film about the Amish - called "Shunned".  Contrary to what the title might lead one to believe, it's not about demonizing religion for shunning those who leave it.  It portrays in a beautiful way just how people's priorities and experiences can be almost diametrically opposed to one another, with them both being good.  Or maybe finding out that someone whose priorities you *thought* were opposite of yours are actually the same as yours, and they are just looking for them in different ways/places.  Many of the people in the documentary actually return to the Amish - and it leaves a person with a sense of respect for both sides.  So poignant.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmcslHY9gvM

 

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2 hours ago, Midwest LDS said:

Exactly, there were no eyewitnesses, at least none now anyways😈...

If there was a murder in the forest  but the only one around to see it is dead... did it really happen???

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3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

There can be symbolism in tattoos, but a good little mormon boy like me often doesn't speak the language to translate.

I've included a chart to help you out.  (Though I'd note that the forearm red zone doesn't apply to military unit insignia.)

TattooLocations2.jpg

Edited by NightSG

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1 hour ago, lostinwater said:

The shunning (or perception, if you prefer) is far more subtle.  It's the fear and discomfort and awkwardness you sense pouring off someone when they ask you to go visiting teaching and you say you'd rather not.  When you ask a question about something you don't believe and it elicits some trivializing and borderline hostile explanation.

But awkwardness is not shunning. Calling it so gives a wholly inaccurate perception of what's really going on.

shun
SHən/
verb
gerund or present participle: shunning
  1. persistently avoid, ignore, or reject (someone or something) through antipathy or caution.

*********************************************

In a religious context, shunning is a formal decision by a denomination or a congregation to cease interaction with an individual or a group, and follows a particular set of rules.

EDIT: I see you already made this point, @lostinwater. I didn't mean to imply that you didn't; just wanted to point it out.

Edited by Vort

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1 hour ago, lostinwater said:

Honestly, it's nobody's fault.  i wish the church weren't made out to be so important... Separation of church from God and Jesus and self is something a lot of members lack (my opinion).

This would be just fine if the Church were the Elk's Club or a membership to Gold's Gym. But the Church claims to be nothing less than the very kingdom of God on Earth. Given that claim, I see no way to have a "clean and easy" separation, as if you decided to go to school at Auburn instead of Alabama. In a literal sense, rejecting the Church is rejecting God. I acknowledge that those who fall away from the Church generally don't see it that way, but how else is a believing Latter-day Saint to view it? It's a cause to mourn, not to shrug off with a casual "Yeah, whatever." Unless the member honestly doesn't care about the person falling away -- which of course is exactly one of the charges against Latter-day Saints in such situations, that they don't care enough about the person.

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7 minutes ago, Vort said:

But awkwardness is not shunning. Calling it so gives a wholly inaccurate perception of what's really going on.

Thank-you Sir.

No arguments.  Awkwardness is definitely not shunning.  It just feels that way sometimes.  And that's just an observation - not an accusation.

1 minute ago, Vort said:

 In a literal sense, rejecting the Church is rejecting God. 

i respect that, but can't agree with it .  And that's not an argument.  My belief has learned how to exist regardless of what others call it.  i've found God and Jesus outside the Mormon church in ways i never did when i was in it.  Who knows why.  i've asked Them.  i tend to think maybe we all need slightly different experiences to really come to know God - or help others in specific ways that might not been possible otherwise.  

i also understand that when people try and convert me back - even through ways that seem a bit unsavory, it's with the best of intentions.  And if anything, proof of a concern i should exhibit more gratitude for.

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3 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

Not voluntarily perhaps but I've got plans for you - bwahahaha!

As Miss @zil can tell you, the Gator household is protected by a vicious and mean attack dog. So bring it on. 

(She's seen pictures of our dog on Facebook) 

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6 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

As Miss @zil can tell you, the Gator household is protected by a vicious and mean attack dog. So bring it on. 

(She's seen pictures of our dog on Facebook) 

I thought those dogs were to keep the gators from escaping.

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1 hour ago, lostinwater said:
1 hour ago, Vort said:

 In a literal sense, rejecting the Church is rejecting God. 

i respect that, but can't agree with it .  And that's not an argument.  My belief has learned how to exist regardless of what others call it.  i've found God and Jesus outside the Mormon church in ways i never did when i was in it.  Who knows why.  i've asked Them.  i tend to think maybe we all need slightly different experiences to really come to know God - or help others in specific ways that might not been possible otherwise.

As I continued on to write immediately following the above-quoted sentence:

Quote

I acknowledge that those who fall away from the Church generally don't see it that way, but how else is a believing Latter-day Saint to view it? It's a cause to mourn, not to shrug off with a casual "Yeah, whatever." Unless the member honestly doesn't care about the person falling away -- which of course is exactly one of the charges against Latter-day Saints in such situations, that they don't care enough about the person.

To reiterate my question: How else is a believing Latter-day Saint to view it? If you believe the Church to be God's kingdom, how is rejecting the Church not rejecting God?

And I'm not arguing about the authenticity of your experience of God outside of Mormonism, nor am I condemning you in any sense. I am just really curious what other reasoning a believing Latter-day Saint could use toward the idea of a friend or loved one leaving the Church. "Yeah, it's God's kingdom and all, but whatever, it's not really a big deal" just doesn't seem to be an attitude consonant with any thoughtful and believing person.

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4 minutes ago, Vort said:

To reiterate my question: How else is a believing Latter-day Saint to view it? If you believe the Church to be God's kingdom, how is rejecting the Church not rejecting God?

And I'm not arguing about the authenticity of your experience of God outside of Mormonism, nor am I condemning you in any sense. I am just really curious what other reasoning a believing Latter-day Saint could use toward the idea of a friend or loved one leaving the Church. "Yeah, it's God's kingdom and all, but whatever, it's not really a big deal" just doesn't seem to be an attitude consonant with any thoughtful and believing person.

Thanks @Vort

Yeah - i don't want to get into the whole business of telling people how they should view things - i'd probably be wrong anyways, or just make things worse.  My best guess is that you are dead on accurate - a person who really believes in the Mormon church would most likely see it exactly as you are talking about.  

i've seen my Mother weep for her children who, from her perspective, HAVE rejected God and Jesus by rejecting full participation in the Mormon church.  we tell her she doesn't have to cry - that we haven't rejected God - but we know that doesn't help - because from the way she sees things, it is something to weep over.  And truly, there exists not a heart more free of guile or undeserving of any sort of pain than hers.

i guess that's what is so sad about it.  i view her as a victim of an unbalanced view of the importance of religion as opposed to just personal goodness and relationship to God.  But it's a victim-hood that we (or me at least) have laid upon her shoulders by not pretending to believe something i mostly don't.  And i'll be the first one to admit, i occasionally doubt my own beliefs when i encounter things i can't explain.  But we're sort of forced to create a view of the world as best we can - even when it doesn't work 100% of the time.  i read books like CS Lewis' A Grief Observed or how Mother Teresa felt abandoned by God for much of her life - and if people of their caliber doubt what they lived out in real life, my guess is that everyone doubts what they profess to absolutely know and discretely digs about for something more on occasion.

i wonder often just what is the right thing to do.  i hope God somehow removes some of the sting of her tears, and that things work out in the end.  

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1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

(She's seen pictures of our dog on Facebook) 

Oh yes, terrifying, snarly, vicious creature!  You should fear for your life!

1 hour ago, askandanswer said:

I thought those dogs were to keep the gators from escaping.

No, no, the dogs are there in case the gators don't finish you off.

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@Vort @lostinwater

I've long considered there to be a difference between the Church and the Gospel. The Church (as an institution, also the members) has allowed me to slip through the cracks or abandoned me at times. However, the Gospel, that is the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation, never has and never will. I attend and participate in Church because I want to experience the Gospel more in my life, and that is one place where I can. 

Is it possible to experience the Gospel outside of LDS approved study materials and activities? Absolutely. Is it possible to experience the fullness of the Gospel outside of them? A faithful Mormon who understands the importance of the temple will say no.

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On 4/12/2018 at 7:04 PM, Vort said:

Unless the member honestly doesn't care about the person falling away -- which of course is exactly one of the charges against Latter-day Saints in such situations, that they don't care enough about the person.

Y'mean like when my former HT companion couldn't remember the names of an inactive couple we were supposed to check up on, even though he'd been their HT for over a year when they were active?

My suggestion that we be honest and address them as "Brother and Sister Potential Headcount" wasn't well received.

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Former member here in the 1990's. No shunning ever went on as I went my own way. Can't say this with 100% surety, but now if I ever darken the door of a 'chapel' (do they still call them that?), I'd probably be welcomed as someone who has just be on an unusually long leave of absence.:)

Edited by lonetree

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On 11/04/2018 at 1:29 PM, Sunday21 said:

I feel for the poor hometeacher or visiting teacher forced to call and try to make an appointment with inactives.  I have done this a few times myself. Not easy. Anyone reading this, never ever go alone to one of these visits. Whoo. An experience that still haunts me. Yikes! 

I was inactive for two and a half years, it is annoying when people call you. I was never really rude though mainly because they probably knew my parents and I wouldn't embarrass my parents by being rude to people they know. Honestly, you do want to be left alone though it is a big adjustment deciding not to be active so it is important to have time away without being harassed.  

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16 minutes ago, Lee said:

I was inactive for two and a half years, it is annoying when people call you. I was never really rude though mainly because they probably knew my parents and I wouldn't embarrass my parents by being rude to people they know. Honestly, you do want to be left alone though it is a big adjustment deciding not to be active so it is important to have time away without being harassed.  

True. I remember being in this situation myself. Now that I am back, I feel differently. But more time away makes you more vulnerable to Satan.

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3 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

True. I remember being in this situation myself. Now that I am back, I feel differently. But more time away makes you more vulnerable to Satan.

It is tough for sure, but I wouldn't say I felt shunned. I went to church a few times when I was inactive and it was fine for me. Even went outside the temple when a friend got married.

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On 4/11/2018 at 8:29 AM, Sunday21 said:

I feel for the poor hometeacher or visiting teacher forced to call and try to make an appointment with inactives.  I have done this a few times myself. Not easy. Anyone reading this, never ever go alone to one of these visits. Whoo. An experience that still haunts me. Yikes! 

2

In a very odd way, I'm really looking forward to this.

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5 hours ago, Grunt said:

In a very odd way, I'm really looking forward to this.

The more you post, the more you remind me of our branch mission leader.  He and his wife recently returned from  a service mission to Sierra Leone.  Before that, he spent nine months (I think) hiking the entire Appalachian Trail.  These past few months, he's been working with our elders to clean up our address list and he has zero qualms about knocking on neighbor's doors to see if they know whether or not that person still lives at that address. 

I'm content with letting sleeping dogs lie.  My roommate for five years chose to become inactive but left her name on the rolls to keep peace with her parents.  When we moved together, she was okay with changing the address on her record.  When she moved back, I knew she wouldn't want to be contacted, so I haven't given anyone her new one.  In all honesty, her brother lives with her now and he's reintroduced her to folks in the ward on a social level.  She knows what she needs to do (or who to ask if she doesn't know) to get that updated.

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