J Atherton

First post and crisis of religious identity

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First posting ever. I shared this email with my sister. Also a university professor. Thank you for the warm welcome. 

 

 

Hey sis, 

Here are my deductions and boiled down notes from the last few days - a bit of a crisis of religious identity.

I thought I would share with you my notes from the last couple of days. In going through this I realized that maybe this is something you can relate to. Honestly even more than that I feel like for whatever reason I understand something about you specifically that I hadn’t before. Like I’m realizing something you have realized and figured out way before I did. 

Love you!

-jay

You can righteously teach your children this principle. Church: It is a construct to share true principles. The failures are because of this- human beings act human when dealing with something as profound as a true principle 

There are examples of reformed Egyptian everywhere. Because there are examples of the attempted forgery everywhere. There IS truth that the attempted characters are found other places. 

Of course they are because they were copied in the first place.

The church is the product of a sustained cultural phenomenon that could have gone in favor of any number of successors. Variations that contain true principles. Be a truth seeker of principles, service, and good. 

My search is just to find my faith and I think Mormonism can be a good vehicle for people to live faith. To live principles. I don’t know about the doctrine or absolute truths. 


Safe guards of absolute truth and authority and current conclusions:

-can’t have faith and fear
-Have to pay for privileges
-Prophets can’t tell lies or they will           be taken away. 
-Grace is sufficient. It is necessary. It is not after all I can do. It is already given if Christ is to be believed in context 
-Time does exist. Even with layered existence and multiple realities there is a before god as god and an after. As described to me in the church. 
-Praying for the described feeling over and over will eventually yield that result. That is learned behavior? This is not a negative tool if practiced responsibly. 
-Don’t monetize these teachings because we have.

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Just now, Jane_Doe said:

Do you want any actual feedback on this, or is it a soap box and done thing?

I absolutely want feedback. I’m not here to argue or convince anyone of anything, nor do I want to. I’m here for open and honest experiences or people who can identify with these feelings. 

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Sounds like you aren't sure about the truth claims of the Church but still see it as something to live a good life in Faith.

When you talk about Faith what do you mean? What is it to you to live in Faith?

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Thanks for the reply. I’m finding many of my peers who are of Kimbell-benson-Hinkley years are having similar existential crisis. Not in a way where they find any of the righteous principles incorrect in practice, but a need to redefine what religion means. 

 

Faith can be defined by all the ways I believe they are in the scriptures. Hope in things not seen, prayer, a higher power who interacts with each of as a force for good, etc. 

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10 hours ago, J Atherton said:

I absolutely want feedback. I’m not here to argue or convince anyone of anything, nor do I want to. I’m here for open and honest experiences or people who can identify with these feelings. 

2 hours ago, Grunt said:

Welcome!  I read your post but I'm not sure what you are trying to say.

I'll second that.  I have no idea what the OP is saying either.  It seems rather stream of consciousness.  Maybe we're at a loss since we don't know the background to which this letter was written.

@J Atherton,

Can I suggest that the "Introduce Yourself" board is not the place to have this discussion?  Perhaps "General Discussion" "LDS Gospel Discussion" or "Learn about the Mormon Church" would be more appropriate boards?

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9 hours ago, J Atherton said:

I absolutely want feedback. I’m not here to argue or convince anyone of anything, nor do I want to. I’m here for open and honest experiences or people who can identify with these feelings. 

Ok, I'll just share my thoughts on these subjects, knowing of course everyone is different.

10 hours ago, J Atherton said:

There are examples of reformed Egyptian everywhere.

When it comes to archeology-- or rather studies of human archeologist doing their best with their current paradigms... Honestly, I don't find it to be a very useful subject for proving faith.  After all, the first biggest points would be to prove the existence of God and He doesn't fit in a test tube repeatable experiment very well.  And then that this God has emotions, and then what the emotions are,,,,, and somewhere down the chain that this historic person Jesus was actually a divine Son of God... it's just a long chain of stuff and I don't find it all that useful-- I'd rather use other tools in the tool box.

10 hours ago, J Atherton said:

The church is the product of a sustained cultural phenomenon that could have gone in favor of any number of successors. Variations that contain true principles. Be a truth seeker of principles, service, and good. 

One of the things I actually love about the LDS faith is our acknowledgment that there IS light and goodness in all people and faiths.  Obviously not priesthood authority and all truths, but still much good. 

10 hours ago, J Atherton said:

My search is just to find my faith and I think Mormonism can be a good vehicle for people to live faith. To live principles. 

The LDS faith certainly can be a vechiale certainly can be that, as can many other faiths.  Obviously I don't think all cars were created equal.  

10 hours ago, J Atherton said:

 I don’t know about the doctrine or absolute truths. 

The first step to learning is to examine things!  I'd consider your examination to be a good thing.

10 hours ago, J Atherton said:

-can’t have faith and fear

-Have to pay for privileges

Oh, I could on a whole tangent on both of these.

10 hours ago, J Atherton said:

-Prophets can’t tell lies or they will           be taken away. 

Men of God are still men.  Thats something made abundantly clear in scripture and study of LDS actual LDS doctrine.  I'm not denying the tendency for LDS culture to forget that, or the opposite extreme either.  

10 hours ago, J Atherton said:

-Grace is sufficient. It is necessary. It is not after all I can do. It is already given if Christ is to be believed in context 

I find that 2 Nephi 25:23 is one of the misinterpreted verses of scripture.  

"What you can do" = believe.  Hence the preaching and rejoicing in Christ described earlier.  You're in no ways going to work your way to heaven- that's laughable.  "What you can do" = believe.  Not just with your mind, but with all of you.  Rest of everything (like taking on His name at baptism) follows naturally with this all encompassing belief. 

10 hours ago, J Atherton said:

-Time does exist. Even with layered existence and multiple realities there is a before god as god and an after. As described to me in the church. 
...

-Don’t monetize these teachings because we have.

Not sure what you're getting at here.

10 hours ago, J Atherton said:

-Praying for the described feeling over and over will eventually yield that result. That is learned behavior? This is not a negative tool if practiced responsibly. 

I'm a professional scientist who builds instruments to measure things (amoung other duties).  When you're building an instrument, you test it by:

1) Having a known positive and making sure the instrument rings positive.  Then the reverse: a known negative and making sure the instrument rings negative.  Rinse and repeat several times, refining instrument as needed.  

2) Have a unknown test and listen to what the instrument tells you: did the instrument get it right?  Rinse and repeat several times, refining instrument as needed.  

3) At this point you have decent confidence your instrument works well.  Of course, later calibration check-ups and refinement are always good things.

 

Learning to listen to the Spirit is just like every other instrument and follows the same protocol.  

 

 

 

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