Sign in to follow this  
Queolby

A Modesty Article that is going around.

Recommended Posts

18 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

That's how the gum analogy was taught to me in a combined Sunday School class many years ago. The object lesson involved bringing out a stick of spearmint gum and asking if anyone wanted it (plenty of hands went up) followed by chewing it and reissuing the offer (no hands went up). We were taught breaking the law of chastity has permanent (in mortality) consequences like the gum that had been chewed. It's best to stay pure in the first place for this reason. However, some of us may have already strayed from the ideal and it's important to understand that through the atonement we can be made clean again and just like a fresh stick of gum... with the caveat that some consequences like STD's and pregnancy could still bring about lifelong challenges that we would not have had to face if we hadn't strayed in the first place. I've never understood the push back against what seems to be a fine analogy.

The part with the new piece of gum isn't always included in the analogy.  A chewed piece of gum has no value.  No one wants it.  Someone who has broken the law of chastity still has value, even if there are lasting consequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, dprh said:

The part with the new piece of gum isn't always included in the analogy. 

And yet the atonement is never taught?

9 minutes ago, dprh said:

A chewed piece of gum has no value.

https://blog.survivalfrog.com/survival-uses-gum/

See #2

13 minutes ago, dprh said:

Someone who has broken the law of chastity still has value, even if there are lasting consequences.

So just so we're clear -- I'm not suggesting the chewing gum analogy should remain in use (nor do I believe @SpiritDragon is) -- I just feel like the criticism against it and similar metaphors are WAY overblown to the level of ridiculousness. They aren't ideal analogies, agreed. And I'm all behind the discontinued use of them. But seriously -- it doesn't take that much intelligence to understand that just because some inexpert teacher used chewed up gum to represent sexual sin doesn't mean that if you sin sexually it must mean you have no remaining worth and can never be whole and pure again. Was the chewing gum lesson the only one said individual ever heard? That was the one time they went to church -- but otherwise never bothered? No other seminary, scripture study, church lessons, firesides? They've never heard of the atonement? Well there's an easy solution to that. It takes about 3 seconds to resolve that dilemma. You quote Isaiah 1:18 to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@The Folk Prophet You can't expect 12-17 year old kids to always pick up everything that's taught in a lesson, even if it's repeated.  The chewing gum analogy 'works' because it's simple and something kids can relate to.  

But every time it comes up, I think of Elizabeth Smart.  Teenage brains don't always (read rarely) work logically.  I can understand most adults getting through it like you explain, but that's not who these lessons are directed towards.

https://fox13now.com/2013/05/06/elizabeth-smart-i-felt-like-a-chewed-up-piece-of-gum/

Oh, and it would be great if we could all be MacGyver :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, dprh said:

My heart breaks to hear that she views herself like that. Absolutely horrible. 

I can't imagine any religious person viewing her like that. If they do...well, God help them. 

Edited by MormonGator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, dprh said:

But every time it comes up, I think of Elizabeth Smart.  Teenage brains don't always (read rarely) work logically. 

Funny. I had written up a whole thought on Elizabeth Smart in my reply to you but deleted it to not complicate the topic (it complicates things because it adds in the aspect of rape, which is an entirely different thing).

Elizabeth Smart is a prime example of the false stupidity out there. She claims that she felt like she was of no more worth -- in the same breath as she teaches that we are of worth.

She wants us to believe the lessons on the Atonement didn't get through as she goes about teaching us the lessons that clearly got through.

Honestly, would you expect any 14 year old who was abducted and repeatedly raped to not experience serious confusion and trauma? It annoys the stink out of me that it's being turned around to cast blame on people other than the perpetrator of her rape. Who's fault is this really here?

Moreover, there's a serious disconnect in the idea that if you choose to break the law of chastity you are at fault vs if you are raped!

Yeah -- teenage brains don't work well...and it is highly likely that they will feel guilt and shame for having been raped when they shouldn't. Do you believe that this idea would go away if there were no imperfect chewing gum lessons?

I don't expect teenage Elizabeth Smart to understand. I do expect adult Elizabeth Smart to understand, and to stop expressing attack-the-church-and-its-members type philosophies because she was traumatized for something horrible that happened to her. She felt traumatized because it was HORRIBLE. What teenage girl (or boy...or ANYONE?) wouldn't feel dirty and filthy after being repeatedly raped?

That article really ticks me off. It's so full of garbage. I'm not saying that's all Elizabeth Smart's fault. But seriously. The lesson she had on the gum wasn't even in church. The executive director of the Rape Recovery Center claims, "There is an enormous amount of judgment in our society against victims of rape." with absolutely no evidence or justification for such a statement -- and of course the strong implication that this judgment and whatnot is caused by the church. And then Joanna Brooks (sited as "LDS") is the putrid rotting cherry on top of the steaming pile of dog crap Sunday being served.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

I can't imagine any religious person viewing her like that. If they do...well, God help them.

Yeah. They don't. TFP is pretty much spot-on with his analysis of the bally-hoo surrounding Smart's comments from five years ago. I personally cut Smart a whole heckuvalotta slack because of what she experienced. I cut the Joanna Brookses of the world a lot less slack. Those who seek to besmirch the good name of the Church in pursuit of notoriety are every bit as guilty of priestcraft as those whom Nibley called Christemporoi, those who engage in the merchandising of Christ's name and atonement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Vort said:

Yeah. They don't. 

No, neither do I. Like I said, I can't imagine a religious person of any denomination viewing her like that. 

Just now, Vort said:

 personally cut Smart a whole heckuvalotta slack because of what she experienced.

You should. Anyone who doesn't um, has some things to "work on." 

1 minute ago, Vort said:

 I cut the Joanna Brookses of the world a lot less slack. 

Never heard of her. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Funny. I had written up a whole thought on Elizabeth Smart in my reply to you but deleted it to not complicate the topic (it complicates things because it adds in the aspect of rape, which is an entirely different thing).

I understand that.  I thought twice about sharing it.  But if a person who didn't make the choice can still feel like a worthless piece of gum, then imagine how bad kids who do willingly break the law of chastity can feel.

19 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Elizabeth Smart is a prime example of the false stupidity out there. She claims that she felt like she was of no more worth -- in the same breath as she teaches that we are of worth.

False stupidy?  Does the double negative mean she is smart? (PUNS!!!)  I don't see this the same way you do.  She felt worthless, then she says, even though she felt that way, she now knows she wasn't worthless.  There are a lot of feelings that go along with the law of chastity.  I get the impression you don't understand that.

 

19 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Honestly, would you expect any 14 year old who was abducted and repeatedly raped to not experience serious confusion and trauma? It annoys the stink out of me that it's being turned around to cast blame on people other than the perpetrator of her rape. Who's fault is this really here?

I don't think anyone is blaming anyone else.  They are trying to help people understand how poorly taught parables can do more harm than good.  No one is taking any fault away from the rapist.  

 

19 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Yeah -- teenage brains don't work well...and it is highly likely that they will feel guilt and shame for having been raped when they shouldn't. Do you believe that this idea would go away if there were no imperfect chewing gum lessons?

If she had been taught about self-worth and specifically about rape, she might have not had as much mental trauma.

 

19 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I don't expect teenage Elizabeth Smart to understand. I do expect adult Elizabeth Smart to understand, and to stop expressing attack-the-church-and-its-members type philosophies because she was traumatized for something horrible that happened to her. She felt traumatized because it was HORRIBLE. What teenage girl (or boy...or ANYONE?) wouldn't feel dirty and filthy after being repeatedly raped?

I don't see her interviews as attacks on the church or even the people.  I see them as trying to educate people on how to better prepare.  From the other stuff I read when it was fresh, she's done a lot more research than comes across in little article like the one I linked.  She knows what she's talking about.

 

19 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

That article really ticks me off. It's so full of garbage.

Just because you don't agree, doesn't mean it's garbage. 

 

19 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

The executive director of the Rape Recovery Center claims, "There is an enormous amount of judgment in our society against victims of rape." with absolutely no evidence or justification for such a statement

It's a small news article.  The author isn't going to ask for support on a statement like this.  If you wanted to, I'm sure you could contact Holly Mullen and she'd be happy to give you her sources or studies.

 

19 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

And then Joanna Brooks (sited as "LDS") is the putrid rotting cherry on top of the steaming pile of dog crap Sunday being served.

Yes, those headlines are the epitome of click bait.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, dprh said:

False stupidy?  Does the double negative mean she is smart?

Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying. She is moderately smart, as are many others, who then go out and promote honestly stupid things.

5 hours ago, dprh said:

I get the impression you don't understand that.

So your impression is that I'm sinless and have never had any struggles or trauma at all?

5 hours ago, dprh said:

They are trying to help people understand how poorly taught parables can do more harm than good.

For this to be true, more people who have received such lessons need to have been harmed by them than those who have been helped by them. Can you provide statistics on that proving your point? 

But even more importantly, it also must be shown that the harm was caused by the lessons themselves, rather than the poor thinking patterns and interpretations of those who have been harmed. Because you and others can claim the same of any principle or lesson -- anyone who responds badly to any idea is not proof that the idea is bad.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

So your impression is that I'm sinless and have never had any struggles or trauma at all?

Nope.  I said you don't seem to understand all the feelings that come along with breaking the law of chastity.  

23 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

For this to be true, more people who have received such lessons need to have been harmed by them than those who have been hurt by them. Can you provide statistics on that proving your point? 

I don't understand how more people can be harmed than hurt.  Isn't that the same thing?  Maybe you meant 'helped' in place of hurt.  Why are statistics needed?  I've heard enough people's stories to know that there are better ways.

24 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

But even more importantly, it also must be shown that the harm was caused by the lessons themselves, rather than the poor thinking patterns and interpretations of those who have been harmed. Because you and others can claim the same of any principle or lesson -- anyone who responds badly to any idea is not proof that the idea is bad.

No it doesn't need to be shown.  We can always rely on teenagers to not understand everything they are taught.  If we can improve the way that doctrine is presented to be less likely to be misunderstood, we should.  Why resist improvement?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, dprh said:

I don't understand how more people can be harmed than hurt.  Isn't that the same thing?  Maybe you meant 'helped' in place of hurt.  Why are statistics needed?  I've heard enough people's stories to know that there are better ways.

Have you heard that these analogy's are being used currently? I have heard of people that have taken issue with them but it was 10+ years ago. I have not personally heard of them being currently taught. I have also been serving with the youth for the past 5 years in 2 different states and I have never heard anyone use any of these analogy's. I may have just missed it, but I am curious to know where and who is using this in their lessons?

Thanks! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is only somewhat related...but the string gives me a platform to relate a funny telling-others-how-to-dress-in-church story...and who can resist such an opportunity? :notme: So one of our elders (senior citizens) comes up to me with a sheepish look on his face. He points out a young man (late-20s) who is wearing a hat. It's obvious to me that he's covering up an already-receding hairline. The elder tells me he just couldn't help it. He told the young man's wife that she should teach him not to wear his hat in doors--especially at church.

I get it. The older generation was raised this way. At one time, drill sergeants trained their young charges about this by yelling, "Uncover that rock, soldier!" as they entered buildings. And yet, of course it's inappropriate to tell an adult how to dress. Even worse, to passive-aggressively tell his wife how to dress him!

Fortunately, the young lady and man had thick skins. He kept wearing his hat, she smiled at the elder, and about two-months later she was appointed as our new children's minister. All's well that ends well, I suppose.

In relation to the article: FWIW, even in the most conservative of Christian churches, where women wear their hair in buns and their dresses cover down to the ankles and wrists--somehow those teen gals know how to tuck and tighten in just the right spots, so the boys can appreciate the beauty before them. It's not about calming boys' animal tendencies, nor about being holier-than-thou. It's just a manner of highlighting natural beauty without aggressively teasing our baser instincts. 

Edited by prisonchaplain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Nacho2Dope said:

Have you heard that these analogy's are being used currently? I have heard of people that have taken issue with them but it was 10+ years ago. I have not personally heard of them being currently taught. I have also been serving with the youth for the past 5 years in 2 different states and I have never heard anyone use any of these analogy's. I may have just missed it, but I am curious to know where and who is using this in their lessons?

Thanks! 

The last couple times I taught the Teacher's Quorum chastity lesson, I used a modified version of the gum analogy.  I asked each boy if they wanted a piece of gum.  They all took one, I put one in my mouth and chewed and went into the intro to the lesson.  After a few minutes, I asked if anyone wanted another piece.  Most boys did.  I pulled the one in my mouth out.  No one wanted it. I went into the normal analogy as I was taught.  Then I said, You are NOT a piece of gum, chewed or unchewed.  You are Sons of God.  No matter what you've done or do in the future, you have divine potential.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and you can be cleansed of sins, transgressions, mistakes, and pains.  There can be lasting consequences of our actions, and chastity issues have some more serious consequences than other sins.  But there is always hope.  I tried hard to make sure each boy understood both the seriousness of the law of chastity and the power of Christ's healing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, dprh said:

The last couple times I taught the Teacher's Quorum chastity lesson, I used a modified version of the gum analogy.  I asked each boy if they wanted a piece of gum.  They all took one, I put one in my mouth and chewed and went into the intro to the lesson.  After a few minutes, I asked if anyone wanted another piece.  Most boys did.  I pulled the one in my mouth out.  No one wanted it. I went into the normal analogy as I was taught.  Then I said, You are NOT a piece of gum, chewed or unchewed.  You are Sons of God.  No matter what you've done or do in the future, you have divine potential.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and you can be cleansed of sins, transgressions, mistakes, and pains.  There can be lasting consequences of our actions, and chastity issues have some more serious consequences than other sins.  But there is always hope.  I tried hard to make sure each boy understood both the seriousness of the law of chastity and the power of Christ's healing.

Thanks for sharing that. I guess it just depends on how the information is being presented and what you want them to take away from the lesson. I am hopeful that no one who has used this in their lesson did so with the intent to cause harm to those they were teaching. They may have tried to present it in a way you did; however, its hard to know what people will focus on during a lesson. My wife and I will discuss the Come Follow Me lessons during the week and its interesting we can have the same information but interpret it so differently. I really had no idea it was still being used. Those that you have talked to, have their experiences been recent like yours?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, dprh said:

If we can improve the way that doctrine is presented to be less likely to be misunderstood, we should.

I am reminded of something Pres. Harold B. Lee said. Necessarily paraphrased, because I could not readily find a copy of "Teaching no Greater Call" or other reference to pull the exact quote from, he said that we should not only teach/communicate clearly enough to be understood, but so we won't be misunderstood. It seems clear to me that, no matter how good we think these analogies are, some are misunderstanding them. How much of that should be on the "teacher" (including the curriculum writers and other sources the individual uses to develop the lesson plan) and on the learner (because he did not adequately think through the interpretation) I don't know. It seems like there needs to be some kind of working agreement where both teacher and learner acknowledge each others' weaknesses and failings and try to work together so that Truth is taught and learned. I don't know all the ins and outs of doing that. It sometimes seems to me that we in this community want to blame all of these misunderstandings on the "idiot" learner as if the teacher could not have possible done anything different to avoid the misunderstanding.

30 minutes ago, Nacho2Dope said:

Have you heard that these analogy's are being used currently?

I linked earlier to something written by the group of BYU professors that published some recent books on sexuality who mention that they were still hearing references to these analogies just a few years ago. I have not encountered them recently in my limited circle, but I still hear of them from well outside my circle. I don't have a good feel for how commonly used they are, but they don't seem extinct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MrShorty said:

I don't know all the ins and outs of doing that. It sometimes seems to me that we in this community want to blame all of these misunderstandings on the "idiot" learner as if the teacher could not have possible done anything different to avoid the misunderstanding.

This is an interesting idea. But the logic is this:

We (the learner) are responsible to find truth despite the imperfections of the teacher (someone else).

Sure...we're also responsible to teach better. And that is and has been constantly encouraged. But on the whole, people are weak and make mistakes, and so teachers will continue to teach less than perfectly.

Me, as the learner, on the other hand, can forgive and forget these mistakes, and continue to learn from the broader spectrum of teachers, who though individually are pretty flawed in cases, carry the right messages and truth as a whole if I, the learner, and anxiously seeking it, along with the Spirit's guidance.

We talk about teaching as if it's a church thing. And in that case, it doesn't make sense to expect flawlessness, but it does make sense that the overall message is there if we look.

But when we ignore that overall message in favor of an instance of imperfection here or there then, yes, the impetus is on us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MrShorty said:

 I don't know all the ins and outs of doing that. It sometimes seems to me that we in this community want to blame all of these misunderstandings on the "idiot" learner as if the teacher could not have possible done anything different to avoid the misunderstanding.

We talk about this like a teenager only has one teacher in his entire lifetime.  What happened to their parents?  Did they not give this lesson?  Did the teen not consult with them when he got confused?  Where are the other teachers?  The Youth Presidencies, the Scout/YW leader, the Bishop?  For ONE ANALOGY to make the difference in a teen's upbringing says more about the teen's upbringing than the analogy.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, anatess2 said:

We talk about this like a teenager only has one teacher in his entire lifetime.  What happened to their parents?  Did they not give this lesson?  Did the teen not consult with them when he got confused?  Where are the other teachers?  The Youth Presidencies, the Scout/YW leader, the Bishop?  For ONE ANALOGY to make the difference in a teen's upbringing says more about the teen's upbringing than the analogy.

And that's all I have to say about that.

It might simply have to do with the youth exercising their agency to ignore myriads of good lessons taught to them in favor of one or two negative ones because it's somehow cool to be a victim.

Not that your point isn't very sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/8/2019 at 8:54 AM, dprh said:

The part with the new piece of gum isn't always included in the analogy.  A chewed piece of gum has no value.  No one wants it.  Someone who has broken the law of chastity still has value, even if there are lasting consequences.

Thank you for your insight. I find analogies to be a lot like parables, they have a useful lesson that is taught in a memorable way, but certainly can be overworked into unintended meaning. I don't believe that anyone who has ever taught the chewing gum analogy has intended to portray that those who have sinned are worthless (we've all sinned). That said, I have no problem with the chewing gum analogy falling by the wayside in favour of other teaching styles that are less likely to be misinterpreted. I should also clarify before it gets turned around on me - I'm not suggesting this analogy rises to the level of the Saviour's parables, I just find parables to be very similar to analogies as far as being a way of teaching something through imagery and story for effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

It might simply have to do with the youth exercising their agency to ignore myriads of good lessons taught to them in favor of one or two negative ones because it's somehow cool to be a victim.

Not that your point isn't very sound.

Yes.  But... a kid thinking it's somehow cool to be a victim is still... upbringing, I would think.  No?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, anatess2 said:

Yes.  But... a kid thinking it's somehow cool to be a victim is still... upbringing, I would think.  No?

I don't know that blaming everything on upbringing works. There are too many Laman and Lemuel vs. Nephi type examples out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

That said, I have no problem with the chewing gum analogy falling by the wayside in favour of other teaching styles that are less likely to be misinterpreted.

Whereas I agree with you, I'm also of the strong opinion (and this based on lots of experience) that anything and everything gets misinterpreted now-a-days. People who are determined to find the negative will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this