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Anddenex

Itching Ears -- Alive and Well

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On 11/30/2019 at 1:13 PM, priesthoodpower said:

Some men wont open up and just stay quiet with generic responses while relying on their better judgement.

From an organizational standpoint, where there is smoke there is fire so I wouldnt be too worried that this particular person behaves this way but that many people behave this way when it comes to finding the reason they dont attend and/or left.

Most of you that follow my posts in here know that I appear borderline anti-mormon when I am simply expressing my true feelings and questions about the church. Im just trying to find answers and make sense of my testimony in the gospel. I will NEVER open up like this to my local leaders or fellow members for fear of being labeled.

The reason you appear "borderline anti-mormon" is because you insist on your statements of fact when they are really just opinion.  And much of the time you make accusations as if they are demonstrable facts.  That's what makes you appear that way.

You can ask any clear and sincere questions you want.  But look at people like Gale.  She has spent the better part of her time here asking questions.  She thinks that is safe.  "Anyone can ask questions", right???  But you'll notice that there is always a subtext to her questions.  Her questions are simply statements and accusations.  Nothing she says is sincere.  How many times have we answered her questions?  How many times has she ever said,"Oh, I see.  Thank you for that."  Nope.  She remains silent until it is time for her to make another accusation... er... I mean.. ask another questions.

Can you make statements of fact?  Of course you can.  But if you continually bring up false facts or make bold statements of opinion or personal observation as if they are universal truths, be prepared to be challenged.

Personal experience tells me that every person who leaves the Church has some underlying problem that they personally have.  It may be a secondary or tertiary effect.  But the underlying lack of faith is within themselves. 

  • The fact that they have "unanswered questions" is never a justification to leave the faith.  We all have unanswered questions.
  • The fact that some people are mistreated is never a justification to leave the faith.  We've all been mistreated.
  • The fact that they couldn't find friends in the ward is never a justification to leave the faith.  We all have been in some wards where socialization just isn't there.

But the reason to stay faithful is because of the testimony we have in the principles and truths of the gospel -- not because of our faith in other people.  While I can honestly say that I've known three people who have a very convincing reason to have left the faith (i.e. stopped attending).  I honestly don't blame them.  But loss of testimony in the principles of the gospel, the covenants we make, the commandments and truths by which we live our lives is never justified because of misbehavior from fallible humans.  The principles are true because the Spirit tells us so.  Once one has received such witness, anything else is just background noise.

We all hear the background noise.  But we choose to respond differently because WE are different people.  If we don't really gain a testimony because of people, can we lose it because of people?  If we see a person who gained a testimony because of the "good example" of some Saints, it sounds like a great story to tell in testimony meeting and all.  But if they didn't gain a testimony because of the Spirit, they never really had a testimony.

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On 12/3/2019 at 3:44 AM, priesthoodpower said:

What about the idea of wards meeting virtually online. I know lots of inactives that love the gospel but due to social drama/insecurities will not attend services. Bread and water placed in front of the computer while the priesthood with presiding bishop bless it???

I completed an online bachelors degree last year without physically meeting any teacher/counselor/ or classmate. Everything was email, forums and virtual classrooms. It was amazingly effective. This type of stuff was not available 50yrs ago.

I think HMSA health insurance started online video teleconference appointments for basic primary care issues. Imagine getting diagnosed and prescribed medicine by talking to a physician on a computer screen.

How much longer will the church continue to shrink due to lack of implementing the tools and resources that the Lord has placed right in front of our faces.

I wonder how that squares with our mutual baptismal covenant as outlined in Mosiah 18.  

As a community we can do a lot over the Internet—but we can’t do everything.  We need each other (and I say that in spite of being myself a dedicated misanthrope).  We need that ward drama, as surely as we need our marital drama and our family drama.  It’s a big part of what knocks off our rough corners and makes us into something more like the divine.  Exaltation is not an individual activity (no matter how much I may wish it otherwise.)

Moreover, it strikes me that the solution to a Mormons-only social circle probably isn’t to simply terminate one’s real-life associations with other Mormons.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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On 12/1/2019 at 10:26 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

To the degree that Elder Richards (and others of his era) alleged that the primary reason for leaving the church was hidden “sin”, and by “sin” they meant affirmative sinful acts above and beyond mere intellectual curiosity—I don’t doubt that that summary was substantially correct through the 1960s and 1970s and 1980s.  I’m not sure it’s really a safe assumption in 2019.

That said:  I think if we’re spending the majority of our lives in a state of being reconciled to God and His will, and communing meaningfully with Him on a regular basis—I think that’s ordinarily going to give us the spiritual “oomph” we need to get through the questioning and philosophical/historical questions that are more wont to come up now than they were thirty or forty years ago.  

And frankly, if I’m not living in that kind of state of grace—whether due to sin or sloth or simply not having made it a priority—at the end of the day, that’s still most likely to be on me.  Quite bluntly, most of the people I’ve known who left the Church—while fine folks—were never quite as devoted Saints as they claim to have been; and I daresay most people on sites like MormonStories and its ilk are in a similar boat. 

I believe it's kind of like the marshmallow test that Elder Uchdorf spoke of in his talk. Based on a promise, some kids were able to wait for two marshmallows instead of eating the one they had right then. What it boils down too is that those who leave the church trade eternity for the moment. 

But, I have to wonder why we'd want to wait when we can have fun now or do what we want now. Is it enough just to get the other marshmallow? After all, it is just a duplicate of what we already have and I can always buy more of these when I get home. I think it is the reason why we want to wait that makes the difference or the experience which gave us the reason we want to wait. For me, it was a real game-changer. Though I too am not living in that kind of state of grace, ATM, I'm in a constant battle to get to that state because I want to be there. I do so believing that God will forgive me of those things I couldn't do or didn't do. I guess that makes the "state of grace" the second marshmallow.

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On 11/29/2019 at 5:50 PM, Anddenex said:

Because the Holy Ghost has testified of its truthfulness, and they keep faithful to it. It is why I go. So I don't wonder why people attend, the answer is really simple.

We will have to agree to disagree with this. Unanswered questions are simply the mask hiding what is really happening -- mind and heart. Reminds me of a young couple whose husband didn't attend. I asked why he didn't attend and he said I just have a lot of questions. When I asked what some of those questions were his response was, "I don't remember." In other words, I use my questions as an excuse to not attend and thus feel justified (rationalization) for their decision to leave.

I was making a cynical objection to the statement to the quoted reason why people leave the church. I believe people leave the church because they have no reason to keep going. I've been through a lot of situations where going to church is an uphill battle. Several times, there has been nothing to entice me to return, no spiritual food, so-to-speak. I get more from personal study than I do from church and I can't share what I've learned because everyone else poo poo's my observations. Sitting in Sunday School is like sitting in a room full of bobbleheads. But I still go. There is a reason for that and, unfortunately, it's not a reason that I could bottle and replicate. I did all the things opposite of what I was told would give me the answers I was seeking and still the reason for my hope came. Sadly, after I'm homebound, I know no one from the church will come visit me. I won't get the sacrament or get to listen to any more dry and boring unprepared talks from fledgling members of the church. It seems odd that I'd miss that, but I think I would.

Sorry, I was prognosticating there and not really addressing your statement. In response, I will go back to a statement I made in answer to another comment. The reason they leave is because there's no reason to keep going. He has a lot of questions, really means, he's not getting any answers ... to anything.  That could be a result of some personal issue. We could blame it on pornography or internet game playing or blogging on LDS sites, but if the man has a lot of questions, that means he's getting more questions than answers and church isn't filling that gap. I don't believe any of those things I listed for reasons he's not getting answers are valid. Lots of people who do all those things still go to church and will continue until they are homebound. It could be his own doing but it could also be spiritual starvation, like deer who starved to death with their bellies full of hay.

It's okay if we disagree. I'm fine with that. Tell me, when you pointed out that man didn't really have any questions, do you think that helped him or do you think that helped alienate him? 

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On 11/30/2019 at 6:10 AM, Mores said:

I think you're both talking on the opposite sides of the same coin.

Try to figure out how your positions both complement each other, and you'll see a better picture.

My point was that sin isn't always or even the most common reason people leave the church (It may be the most common reason people become outspoken and align with obvious anti-Mormon propaganda after they leave). We make the assumption that everyone goes to church because they have a witness that it's true. I believe the majority (mostly among the youth, but if among adults, it's 50 50 I think) of people who attend, don't have that witness.

My biggest challenge came after I had a witness of its truth. When I wasn't active, or should I say, when I was actively not being active, I had no problems with the church whatsoever. Once I started going to church, I was super excited about the good news and then one day, some anti Mormon guy showed me some material from the Journal of Discourses and I was floored. I honestly felt that the church was lying to me and I was offended. Was I doing some sinful things then? Yes, but no more than what I do now. Sin had nothing to do with the reason I felt so betrayed. 

People are having to deal with this all the time now. It has nothing to do with sin. A husband's wife refuses to marry him in the temple because of polygamy (eternal polygamy). Parents are hurt that their grandchildren can't be baptized until they are 18 (old now, I believe and no longer policy). Good members all their lives and bam, out of nowhere their faith is challenged. Mean and hurtful things that the church does, even though we can reason that it wasn't done to hurt us specifically. These things have nothing to do with sin. In fact, sometimes it is repented sin that causes the pain the most. I listen to some conference talks and I think, baloney. Some of us will carry a scarlet letter for life and we have to deal with it everywhere we go, even if it was our fault that it got put there. Some of us will have to deal with the consequences of those things. I have one friend who has been rebaptized but still can't hold the priesthood. He's 60 now. Every ward he moves too, it's a reevaluation of the person. It doesn't take long to realize that something isn't right. He always manages to fit in, but it makes it hard to keep going. The reasons to go to church have to overcome the reasons not to go to church and it will take more than the promise of better things after we're dead to do that. Fortunately, the reasons do come.

My challenge was easily overcome with a prayer and some pondering. I realized that the church wasn't hiding anything. The information was in our own Journal of Discourses. It was the way it was packaged and presented to me that made me feel that way. But I had a reason to push through the fog, the mist of darkness, so-to-speak. A lot of people don't and that's the reason they leave.

A new member of the church discovers that marriage is really really super important in our culture. So, important that exaltation depends on it. He's floored. Comes to church after discussing it a couple of times and then disappears for good. Another new member attends Temple prep class and out-of-hand, it is discussed that Satan and Christ are spirit brothers. That closed the chapter on his membership. What's the solution?

Some think we shouldn't talk about these doctrines. Well, for sure, it isn't to eliminate sin. And likewise, since we aren't the Holy Ghost, it isn't that we should instill the Holy Ghost's witness in them either. We can lead a horse to water, but we can't make him drink.

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1 hour ago, brotherofJared said:

My point was that sin isn't always or even the most common reason people leave the church (It may be the most common reason people become outspoken and align with obvious anti-Mormon propaganda after they leave). We make the assumption that everyone goes to church because they have a witness that it's true. I believe the majority (mostly among the youth, but if among adults, it's 50 50 I think) of people who attend, don't have that witness.

I know exactly what you said.  And if you took the time to consider my post, I didn't disagree with it.  I merely said it was incomplete.  It was just as incomplete as @Anddenex's post.  But when you consider that BOTH of you are correct, we begin to see a bigger picture, and with it, a greater understanding of what is actually happening.

It is common for people to believe that because I'm right, everyone else must be wrong.  Instead, it is often a matter of perspective.  The blind men and the elephant.  Try to see the other argument and we are not refuted, but merely completed.

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2 hours ago, brotherofJared said:

My biggest challenge came after I had a witness of its truth. When I wasn't active, or should I say, when I was actively not being active, I had no problems with the church whatsoever. Once I started going to church, I was super excited about the good news and then one day, some anti Mormon guy showed me some material from the Journal of Discourses and I was floored. I honestly felt that the church was lying to me and I was offended. Was I doing some sinful things then? Yes, but no more than what I do now. Sin had nothing to do with the reason I felt so betrayed.

When I hear of an unusual teaching in the Church we need to remember this counsel given to us:

"Elder Christofferson taught: 'It should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church.'

In the following conference, Elder Andersen taught this principle: 'The doctrine is taught by all 15 members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. It is not hidden in an obscure paragraph of one talk."  -- October General Conference 2019, Trust in the Lord -- Dallin H. Oaks

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6 hours ago, Mores said:

I know exactly what you said.  And if you took the time to consider my post, I didn't disagree with it.  I merely said it was incomplete.  It was just as incomplete as @Anddenex's post.  But when you consider that BOTH of you are correct, we begin to see a bigger picture, and with it, a greater understanding of what is actually happening.

It is common for people to believe that because I'm right, everyone else must be wrong.  Instead, it is often a matter of perspective.  The blind men and the elephant.  Try to see the other argument and we are not refuted, but merely completed.

I apologize for using your post to clarify my point. It was a debate I had with myself whether I should or not and I chose incorrectly. I won't make that mistake again.

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5 hours ago, Still_Small_Voice said:

When I hear of an unusual teaching in the Church we need to remember this counsel given to us:

"Elder Christofferson taught: 'It should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church.'

In the following conference, Elder Andersen taught this principle: 'The doctrine is taught by all 15 members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. It is not hidden in an obscure paragraph of one talk."  -- October General Conference 2019, Trust in the Lord -- Dallin H. Oaks

I'm just wondering, why do you feel you need to share this counsel with me? 

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7 hours ago, Still_Small_Voice said:

When I hear of an unusual teaching in the Church we need to remember this counsel given to us:

"Elder Christofferson taught: 'It should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church.'

In the following conference, Elder Andersen taught this principle: 'The doctrine is taught by all 15 members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. It is not hidden in an obscure paragraph of one talk."  -- October General Conference 2019, Trust in the Lord -- Dallin H. Oaks

There is also the teaching that in the mouth of two or three witnesses that every word shall be established.

Now when you have 10 prophets in a row that express the same opinion, and then two or three that are silent and ONE who denies it...which one is correct?

You could say such an idea is seen today in many things.

It's a notion where I see a man with a grudge when we have the "I'm a Mormon" campaign which is being ghosted by the Church today...and even worse...

Quote

What’s in a name or, in this case, a nickname? When it comes to nicknames of the Church, such as the “LDS Church,” the “Mormon Church,” or the “Church of the Latter-day Saints,” the most important thing in those names is the absence of the Savior’s name. To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan. When we discard the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us—even His Atonement.

The Correct Name of the Church - Russell M. Nelson October 2018 Conference

and those of us go...wait...what...did he just say Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson were WHAT!!??? with their Mormon name campaigns????

Yeah...he said that.

HOWEVER...I STILL (if you notice in my postings I try as hard as possible) try to adhere to the teachings of our modern prophet who is living today and try to abstain from using certain nicknames when I reference the Church or it's members.  I normally say Saints or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints instead today. 

But...it is prime example of your statement perhaps, as well as when prophets contradict each other.

Even Joseph F. Smith and others back to Joseph Smith called themselves Mormons.  In fact, it is a statement utilized throughout the history of the Church by multiple prophets (along with the term Saints which I HOPE is still okay as it is one of the terms I fall back on today in usage) and others at times to refer to Church members.

Thus, it is an interesting reflection from our Modern Prophet to say such a thing when one reflects what he just said about almost ALL the prophets dating back to the Prophet Joseph.

What does one say when people ask about such items?  Who does one follow?

As I stated, one tries to follow the current prophet, regardless of whether they feel it is a personal opinion that prophet has expressed or not.  AS such, though I feel it is more of a personal statement of our current prophet (and that does not mean it is, it could be doctrine for all I know, though it makes me uncomfortable for our current prophet to be calling our former prophets servants of the adversary because they caused a major victory for him on multiple occasions) I STILL follow his direction and try to ONLY use the correct name of the Church when I write or talk.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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15 hours ago, brotherofJared said:

Sorry, I was prognosticating there and not really addressing your statement. In response, I will go back to a statement I made in answer to another comment. The reason they leave is because there's no reason to keep going. He has a lot of questions, really means, he's not getting any answers ... to anything.  That could be a result of some personal issue. We could blame it on pornography or internet game playing or blogging on LDS sites, but if the man has a lot of questions, that means he's getting more questions than answers and church isn't filling that gap. I don't believe any of those things I listed for reasons he's not getting answers are valid. Lots of people who do all those things still go to church and will continue until they are homebound. It could be his own doing but it could also be spiritual starvation, like deer who starved to death with their bellies full of hay.

It's okay if we disagree. I'm fine with that. Tell me, when you pointed out that man didn't really have any questions, do you think that helped him or do you think that helped alienate him? 

He has a lot of questions, really means, he's not getting any answers ... to anything. 

The other side of the coin is that they don't really care about answers, they simply ask questions to have questions -- rationalization/justification. Unanswered questions are no reason to leaven or quit going. We all have unanswered questions.

It's okay if we disagree. I'm fine with that. Tell me, when you pointed out that man didn't really have any questions, do you think that helped him or do you think that helped alienate him? 

I didn't point anything out. It was an observation. When someone tells you they don't come because of all the questions they have that aren't answered, and then when you ask for one question that bothers him and the response is, "I don't know, can't think of any." It's obvious questions aren't the real reason they aren't coming.

Do I think asking him what his questions were alienated or helped him? Why would asking a simple question alienate someone? I could have helped him, or at least sought to but he denied the help. So, not sure the point of the question.

Edited by Anddenex

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On 12/9/2019 at 4:21 AM, brotherofJared said:

I apologize for using your post to clarify my point. It was a debate I had with myself whether I should or not and I chose incorrectly. I won't make that mistake again.

I didn't see a need for you to apologize.  No harm, no foul.  But 1) I appreciate the gesture, and 2) Did I say something that made you believe I was somehow offended?

I'm not really all that emotionally involved here.  I just give my opinions on a public forum because I can.

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