One Big Counter Church Culture Trait We Could Do Without


Guest Mores

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Today I was in a ward other than my home ward.  I ended up really feeling sorry for the Gospel Doctrine instructors.

As they were doing an admirable job in presenting their lesson with a pretty good balance of lecture vs discussion, the lesson kept getting interrupted by one class member who kept bringing up things from archaeology and DNA evidence about BoM times and locations.

I really have no idea how much of what he said was true or not.  I know some things were true, and some were false.  But even if 95% of it were true, I'd still have a problem with how he went about it.  Every time he opened his mouth, I felt the Spirit leave in a violent way.

Where are we ever told that our testimonies are based on archaeology or DNA?  I was always under the impression that we believe because we trust in the arm of the Lord instead of the arm of flesh.  We believe because the Spirit tells us it is true.  And he did a great job of chasing the Spirit away.

What happens in 20 years when archaeological evidence changes (like it's never done that before) and we find out OOPS! we had it wrong. It's actually the other way.

???

Is our testimony supposed to be diminished then?  Why?  Because the arm of flesh says otherwise? I thought this was the Church of Jesus Christ, not the Church of Archaeology of the Americas.  But I simply could not feel the Spirit when he was speaking.

I also want to say that everything he said was fascinating to me.  And it would have made for a great discussion on this forum.  I even spoke with him about his info afterward.  I enjoyed speaking with him.

But the way he just dominated the class time was extremely impolite to the class as well as to the teachers. Also, nothing he said was testimony building.  It had nothing to do with the class or the topics at hand.

In my experience this type of scenario is rare.  But it is common enough that it is bothersome.  I feel blessed that I don't usually see that in my home ward.

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37 minutes ago, Mores said:

But the way he just dominated the class time was extremely impolite to the class as well as to the teachers.

I agree, this is frustrating, I've been in my own ward while this took place over a couple of months. 
The teacher is the key to keeping this in check.
I've known several teachers who have been intimated by the vast 'knowledge' of the know-it-alls in class that they cave to them.
The teacher regardless of their own gospel 'knowledge' can still develop the skills to reign in the class and keep it focused on the lesson while not letting the dominant personalities dominate.

37 minutes ago, Mores said:

Where are we ever told that our testimonies are based on archaeology or DNA? 

The supposed 'evidence' changes enough for and against that I hope no one has their testimony rooted in either.

I watched an interesting TedTalk a while ago, Where are the baby dinosaurs?
I appreciate the honesty in which Jack Horner, the presenter, admits how scientists, for so long, had the 'facts' so wrong on the different types of dinosaurs.

Edited by NeedleinA
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Bit of fringe doctrine here, but did you know DNA isn't definite? DNA changes all the time, and I'm not talking about reproductive mutations.

The Lamanites were cursed with skin darkness, presumably within only 1 generation. Moreover, there were Lamanites who became white during their own individual lifetimes. Pretty sure if they had electrophoresis in those days, that the Lamanites would have shown an altercation in their genes, perhaps even enough to move in or out of the spectrum of Israelite lineage.

Several presidents of the church have  taught that the sanctifying effect of the Holy Spirit includes physical changes in the body. It would take me a day or two to find sources, but Joseph Smith in particular taught that the Holy Ghost causes a sort of "blood transmutation" that causes someone to become a literal descendant of Abraham. He said that the more gentile someone is, the more dramatically altered their appearance can become.

 

Pretty sure DNA isn't nearly as reliable as we all seem to think. Wouldn't say any of this in Sunday School, though. That might make you part of the problem.

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2 hours ago, Mores said:

...Every time he opened his mouth, I felt the Spirit leave in a violent way....

....I also want to say that everything he said was fascinating to me.  And it would have made for a great discussion on this forum.  I even spoke with him about his info afterward.  I enjoyed speaking with him....

These two statements seem like contradictions. How could every time he spoke you felt the spirit leave violently but at the same time his words were fascinating to you?

Please explain this?

M.

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4 hours ago, Maureen said:

These two statements seem like contradictions. How could every time he spoke you felt the spirit leave violently but at the same time his words were fascinating to you?

Please explain this?

M.

Maureen have you ever been a member of LDS? if not then you wouldnt understand because at baptism we receive the holy ghost, literally. 

Mores is talking about the gift we have to feel the holy ghost testify to our hearts/bosom. The brain can be "fascinated" at anytime by anyone but the heart can only be touched by the spirit/Holy ghost. Im guessing that Mores was fascinated with the information spoken of by that member but his heart/bosom felt empty (absence of the holy ghost) in that particular time and setting. Sunday school is not the time and place for those discussions (the holy ghost testified to him of it) that is why he mentioned that it would be a good topic here and why he went to talk with the guy after Sunday school was done.

Edited by priesthoodpower
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Guest LiterateParakeet
7 hours ago, Maureen said:

These two statements seem like contradictions. How could every time he spoke you felt the spirit leave violently but at the same time his words were fascinating to you?

Please explain this?

M.

I understand your question.  It struck me as odd as well.  "Felt the Spirit leave violently" implies to me a bad taste in the mouth, how could that also be fascinating?  It was a confusing way to explain...at least confusing for you and me.  :)  

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22 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

I understand your question.  It struck me as odd as well.  "Felt the Spirit leave violently" implies to me a bad taste in the mouth, how could that also be fascinating?  It was a confusing way to explain...at least confusing for you and me.  :)  

You've never had a love/hate relationship with people?  This is similar.

Example: I agree with a lot of the principles and ideas that Trump says.  But he's so rude, crude, and obnoxious about how he says it that it tends to turn me off.

There is also the question of context.  It was inappropriate of him to bring these things up in the manner in which he did (especially with the insistence and rudeness in which he did it) in a Sunday School class.  But as a matter of scholarly discovery and investigation outside of that setting, I found the topics perfectly reasonable to discuss.

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11 hours ago, Mores said:

Today I was in a ward other than my home ward.  I ended up really feeling sorry for the Gospel Doctrine instructors.

As they were doing an admirable job in presenting their lesson with a pretty good balance of lecture vs discussion, the lesson kept getting interrupted by one class member who kept bringing up things from archaeology and DNA evidence about BoM times and locations.

I really have no idea how much of what he said was true or not.  I know some things were true, and some were false.  But even if 95% of it were true, I'd still have a problem with how he went about it.  Every time he opened his mouth, I felt the Spirit leave in a violent way.

Where are we ever told that our testimonies are based on archaeology or DNA?  I was always under the impression that we believe because we trust in the arm of the Lord instead of the arm of flesh.  We believe because the Spirit tells us it is true.  And he did a great job of chasing the Spirit away.

What happens in 20 years when archaeological evidence changes (like it's never done that before) and we find out OOPS! we had it wrong. It's actually the other way.

???

Is our testimony supposed to be diminished then?  Why?  Because the arm of flesh says otherwise? I thought this was the Church of Jesus Christ, not the Church of Archaeology of the Americas.  But I simply could not feel the Spirit when he was speaking.

I also want to say that everything he said was fascinating to me.  And it would have made for a great discussion on this forum.  I even spoke with him about his info afterward.  I enjoyed speaking with him.

But the way he just dominated the class time was extremely impolite to the class as well as to the teachers. Also, nothing he said was testimony building.  It had nothing to do with the class or the topics at hand.

In my experience this type of scenario is rare.  But it is common enough that it is bothersome.  I feel blessed that I don't usually see that in my home ward.

Sounds like he needs a good friend who can minister to him and open his mind up to how the Come Follow Me approach is supposed to work :)

My pet peeve is old-school instructors who don't understand the Come Follow Me approach any better, and waste the opportunity with large screen monitors that just cycle screensavers (never used for actual facilitation), overly filled blackboards and weird collectibles/show-and-tell, and countless handouts that serve as prompts to answer questions --literally-- like, "What can you tell me about x-y-z from the bullets on the handout?". The idea being to shovel as much infotainment into the 50 minuets as possible.

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11 hours ago, Mores said:

Every time he opened his mouth, I felt the Spirit leave in a violent way.

Yes, getting angry at someone will drive the Spirit away. My view is to let the person have his say and just love him anyway. People often do this in a class because they are feeling alone and want to feel important or cared about. Whether the locations are in Japan or Patagonia does not really matter. What matters is that we reach out to other members and let them know we care regardless of how weird we think they may be. Hand in there and keep on loving everyone and you will be fine.

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13 hours ago, Mores said:

In my experience this type of scenario is rare.  But it is common enough that it is bothersome.  I feel blessed that I don't usually see that in my home ward.

We had one just like this back when we spent 7 months in another ward while looking for a new house in our old ward.  My husband got called to teach Sunday School.  Although it wasn't just one person - it was 3 and they egg each other on.  My husband had no problem cutting them off telling them the discussion has gone off topic and they can discuss that after class.  Needless to say, they did not like my husband at all and was relieved when we finally moved back to our old ward.

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11 hours ago, Maureen said:

These two statements seem like contradictions. How could every time he spoke you felt the spirit leave violently but at the same time his words were fascinating to you?

Please explain this?

M.

Obviously I'm not Mores, but putting my thoughts here:

Something can be interesting while not being spiritual fulfilling.  I personally like reading Wikipedia and listening to podcasts about video games -- I find these interesting, but they are not spiritual food.  Conversely, I can think of things which are spiritually filling, but.. honestly not that intellectually interesting.  

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3 hours ago, Mores said:

...There is also the question of context.  It was inappropriate of him to bring these things up in the manner in which he did (especially with the insistence and rudeness in which he did it) in a Sunday School class.  But as a matter of scholarly discovery and investigation outside of that setting, I found the topics perfectly reasonable to discuss.

Would it be fair to say that YOU thought he was rude during the class but didn't mind talking to him privately?

M.

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9 hours ago, priesthoodpower said:

...Mores is talking about the gift we have to feel the holy ghost testify to our hearts/bosom. The brain can be "fascinated" at anytime by anyone but the heart can only be touched by the spirit/Holy ghost. Im guessing that Mores was fascinated with the information spoken of by that member but his heart/bosom felt empty (absence of the holy ghost) in that particular time and setting. Sunday school is not the time and place for those discussions (the holy ghost testified to him of it) that is why he mentioned that it would be a good topic here and why he went to talk with the guy after Sunday school was done.

So when the spirit testifies to something that is wrong, evil, contentious, what is the appropiate way to heed the spirit's message?

M.

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3 hours ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

Yes, getting angry at someone will drive the Spirit away.

You can hide behind the ambiguity if you want.  But the implication that *I* drove the Spirit away because *I* got angry is unfounded.  I didn't because I wasn't. I tend not to get "angry" at a mosquito.  It is bothersome and distracting.  But anger is not what I would call it. 

It is certainly bothersome and distracting when everyone else is talking at a quiet conversational tone and one person is speaking at about 35 decibels higher about something that was VERY tangentially related to the topic at hand, while insisting that it was of tremendous importance such that we should steer our conversation towards it.

  • The instructors brought up the four types of plates and their origins.  This includes the plates of Ether.
  • Seemingly out of nowhere, the one man said that the Jaredites actually came over the European continent and established Stonehenge...

That was how tangential this guy was.  A mention of the plates of Ether and BOOM! We're in Stonehenge.

Meanwhile the instructors were being as polite as possible as they tried to steer the conversation back to the topic at hand.  

"That is very good information from an archaeological standpoint.  But we're trying to get to the spiritual importance of the introductory pages of the Book of Mormon.  The testimonies and the origins of the works.

Quote

My view is to let the person have his say and just love him anyway. People often do this in a class because they are feeling alone and want to feel important or cared about. Whether the locations are in Japan or Patagonia does not really matter. What matters is that we reach out to other members and let them know we care regardless of how weird we think they may be. Hand in there and keep on loving everyone and you will be fine.

And that is exactly why I decided to have a pleasant conversation with him about those topics after class.

The reason I wrote this thread was that I realized the reason why this sort of thing is something we should do without is because it really is spawned by Satan.  I'm asking to shift gears to Screwtape Letters territory.  Satan rarely does a frontal assault to get us away from the word of the Lord.  All he has to do is distract us from it.  And every time this guy spoke, we were distracted from the very meaningful topic of discussion.

There were three distractions for about 3 or 4 minutes each time.  Out of about 45 minutes of actual class time, that was quite a distraction.

It was not that the guy was, himself, evil.  He seemed very sincere.  But he was being motivated out of a desire that was not related to the Spirit.  And his actions proved to be distracting and quite distressing to the instructors.

Others bore testimony.  Others spoke of the Spirit they felt.  Others spoke of how inspiring X, Y, and Z were.  But he chose to spout archaeological theories as if they were established facts.

Edited by Mores
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33 minutes ago, Maureen said:

Would it be fair to say that YOU thought he was rude during the class but didn't mind talking to him privately?

M.

Time and place for discussions Maureen.  

Sunday School is time for fulfilling spiritual discussion and appropriate class etiquette.  

Going back to my video games example: it's something I find interesting, but should not be constantly interrupting Sunday School to talk about.  But I have had discussions after Sunday School about video games, and that's totally ok.  

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46 minutes ago, Mores said:

A mention of the plates of Ether and BOOM! We're in Stonehenge.

Whoa!  Dude, this is totally cool.  I've always wanted to be able to do this.  Excuse me a moment while I put on my shoes and a jacket.....

OK, ready.  Ahem.  Here we go.  Wait, will I need a passport?  Meh, I'll just bring a bunch of cash.  Hang on, back in a sec.......

OK, now ready.  <clears throat again>  Wish me luck.  "The plates of Ether." . . . . .  Dude!  Nothing happened.  No boom.  I'm still on the couch.  This sucks.  If we were on facebook, I'd unfriend you! :angry:

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7 minutes ago, zil said:

Whoa!  Dude, this is totally cool.  I've always wanted to be able to do this.  Excuse me a moment while I put on my shoes and a jacket.....

OK, ready.  Ahem.  Here we go.  Wait, will I need a passport?  Meh, I'll just bring a bunch of cash.  Hang on, back in a sec.......

OK, now ready.  <clears throat again>  Wish me luck.  "The plates of Ether." . . . . .  Dude!  Nothing happened.  No boom.  I'm still on the couch.  This sucks.  If we were on facebook, I'd unfriend you! :angry:

You didn't do it right.  Try again.

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2 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Orson Scott Card has a classic article on almost exactly this subject.  Not Stonehenge and Nephite migration, but Black Holes and Outer Darkness.  But the advice is the same.

https://www.deseret.com/2010/11/20/20154786/orson-scott-card-in-the-village-it-s-a-matter-of-how-no-where-we-serve

I actually thought of that very article.  And it helped me treat this man with as much respect as I did.

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3 minutes ago, Mores said:

You didn't do it right.  Try again.

If I didn't do it right, it's because your instructions were lacking.  "A mention of the plates of Ether" - well, I mentioned them.  "A", you said, not "Two mentions" or some other number of mentions.  Not some specific phraseology, just "a mention".  So, if I didn't do it right, what exactly aren't you telling me?  :hmmm:

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16 hours ago, Mores said:

...Every time he opened his mouth, I felt the Spirit leave in a violent way....

Learn to Recognize the Promptings of the Spirit

The Spirit is always available to guide and direct you. However, the Spirit speaks quietly, through your feelings as well as your mind. One great challenge for you and those you work with is to recognize the quiet, subtle promptings of the Holy Ghost.

President Boyd K. Packer taught: “The voice of the Spirit is described in the scripture as being neither ‘loud’ nor ‘harsh.’ It is ‘not a voice of thunder, neither … voice of a great tumultuous noise.’ But rather, ‘a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper,’ and it can ‘pierce even to the very soul’ and ‘cause [the heart] to burn.’ (3 Ne. 11:3Hel. 5:30Doctrine and Covenants 85:6–7.) Remember, Elijah found the voice of the Lord was not in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but was a ‘still small voice.’ (1 Kgs. 19:12.)

“The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand. Rather it whispers. It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all. …

“Occasionally it will press just firmly enough for us to pay heed. But most of the time, if we do not heed the gentle feeling, the Spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening and say in our manner and expression, like Samuel of ancient times, ‘Speak [Lord], for thy servant heareth.’ (1 Sam. 3:10.)” (“The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan. 1983, 53).

Many voices in the world compete for your attention, and they can easily drown out spiritual impressions if you are not careful.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/how-do-i-recognize-and-understand-the-spirit?lang=eng

@Mores did not describe his feelings of the spirit as a voice, but this article of recognizing the spirit's voice doesn't seem to match how @Mores felt the spirit. He felt it leave violently but this description tells of the gentleness of the spirit. I'm just wondering if this feeling @Mores felt was not the spirit but his own feelings of the person disrupting the classroom. How can you tell if what you are feeling is actually the spirit or your own feelings?

M.

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6 hours ago, zil said:

If I didn't do it right, it's because your instructions were lacking.  "A mention of the plates of Ether" - well, I mentioned them.  "A", you said, not "Two mentions" or some other number of mentions.  Not some specific phraseology, just "a mention".  So, if I didn't do it right, what exactly aren't you telling me?  :hmmm:

I believe it had to do with your preparatory steps.  You say you got your shoes.  Were they leather soled or rubber soled? You know that the rubber hinders teleportation technology, right?

Perhaps it was a passport.  I recently got mine in preparation for this vacation.

Hmm...

Edited by Mores
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