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4 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

The part I disagreed with you about was that a Bishop or Relief Society President necessarily receives more inspiration than the average member. 

Perhaps we both have had long days. I don't recall saying anything about "more inspiration". If I did (link?), I'll happily eat crow. :)

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1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

Keep drilling away at that one. 

Ignore that people are trying their best, doing their best, and often times depressed/troubled about not being perfect. 

I remember a few talks by President Hinckley where he told the General church membership that we were good people striving to do our best. I felt so much more motivated by that than almost any other General Conference talk.

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1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

. . .
Ignore that people are trying their best, doing their best, and often times depressed/troubled about not being perfect. 

People who are trying their best, doing their best, while remaining depressed and troubled, either a) need to better come to understand and believe the truth of the atonement and the related core principles of the gospel, b) need treatment for a medical condition, or c) need to repent more fully and adequately for their sin.

In my short life, thus far, I have never met someone who expressed feelings of inadequacy, like those you mention, who also fell outside of one of those three categories.

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1 minute ago, carlimac said:

 we were good people striving to do our best

Beautifully said.

If I could tell every single LDS on earth one thing and make them listen to it, it would probably be that. 

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3 minutes ago, person0 said:

I have never met someone who expressed feelings of inadequacy

Key words, "expressed feelings of inadequacy". You never know what someone is dealing with on the inside. 

Edited by MormonGator

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1 minute ago, MormonGator said:

Key words, "expressed feelings of inadequacy". You might never know what someone is dealing with on the inside. 

And?  What does that have to do with anything?  That's entirely and completely on them.  However, regardless of whether or not they share, I'm absolutely confident they would fall within one of those three categories?

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3 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Ok @person0.  Remember that just because you haven't met someone that doesn't fall into the categories you mention hardly means they don't exist. 

Okay.  But rather than postulating that such a situation might exist, why not just give me an example that would definitively establish it?  If for some reason you don't have an example, why do you feel the need to hypothesize that other such examples might exist?

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5 minutes ago, person0 said:

Okay.  But rather than postulating that such a situation might exist, why not just give me an example that would definitively establish it?  If for some reason you don't have an example, why do you feel the need to hypothesize that other such examples might exist?

With all due respect, open your eyes. Look at the high depression rates in the Utah. I know it's not fun to talk about it, but it's there. I refuse to believe that all of those people who suffer from depression just fail to fit into one of your categories. 

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5 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

With all due respect, open your eyes. Look at the high depression rates in the Utah. I know it's not fun to talk about it, but it's there. I refuse to believe that all of those people who suffer from depression just fail to fit into one of your categories. 

I don't have any problem talking about it.  If you give me an example, I would happily take it into consideration, however, in all sincerity, I have no problem believing that all of those depressed people in Utah fall into one of those categories.  What other options are there?  Either you get medical help (including for mental health), you actually repent and change yourself, or you come to understand that you are expected to be imperfect and yet to always strive for perfection.

Even philosophically speaking, I can't think of any other possible solution.  Even if we create a situation where the gospel instruction one received is objectively wrong, it wouldn't change the fact that by placing themselves into either the repentance category or the knowledge/understanding category (or both), their problem could be resolved, because they would learn the correct version of the incorrect thing they were taught and have the opportunity to come to terms with that.

All that said, forgive me that I am going to point out your use of a double negative here:

Quote

I refuse to believe that all of those people who suffer from depression just fail to fit into one of your categories.
=
I believe that all of those people who suffer from depression just fit into one of your categories.

Okay; back to the important stuff.  I'll leave it there and let you respond if you so choose.

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11 minutes ago, person0 said:

All that said, forgive me that I am going to point out your use of a double negative here:

no worries ; my ba is in inglush and we make mestakes sometimez becuz we are relly dum. 

Edited by MormonGator

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5 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

Leaders 'often' = higher frequency of strong spiritual experiences, more repetitive gospel accurate training & the most important...the mantle/being set apart to that position.

This. ^ 

This is the part of your post I disagreed with. Sometimes perhaps they so, but I don't think that is always the case. If that were so, how sad for the large numbers of members who never serve in leadership positions. Fortunately, I don't believe that is the case.

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1 hour ago, person0 said:

Okay.  But rather than postulating that such a situation might exist, why not just give me an example that would definitively establish it?  If for some reason you don't have an example, why do you feel the need to hypothesize that other such examples might exist?

I mentioned up thread that I have seen it. Many women in the church I have talked to are way too hard on themselves and experience depression and anxiety over it. 

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18 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

This. ^ 

This is the part of your post I disagreed with. Sometimes perhaps they so, but I don't think that is always the case. If that were so, how sad for the large numbers of members who never serve in leadership positions. Fortunately, I don't believe that is the case.

He didn't say "always". He mentioned "frequency". Are you disputing that leaders are normally called from among the group that has a higher frequency of such experiences? If so, I guess I have no response other than that none are so blind as they who refuse to see. If not, why are you arguing the point?

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Two thoughts after reading all the posts:

1. Are people too hard on themselves? In my experience they usually are. But perhaps that is one reason why every knee will bow and confess that Jesus is the Christ? After seeing ourselves as "the vilest of sinners" it will amaze us when He bestows infinite amounts of undeserved mercy and grace upon us. His love will be deep enough to drive all of us to our knees in humble gratefulness.

2. In my interactions with senior Church leaders I have often seen them solicit candid and open thoughts about many topics addressed in the Handbook. When the First Presidency and the Apostles meet to discuss matters they are candid and often have different views on policies and procedures. They carefully and cordially work toward a consensus and then move forward in a united manner. I think we can support their decisions while still pondering all these things in our hearts. Curiosity is a God-given trait that helps us understand many principles over time. 

Speaking of gratefulness - a big Thank You! to Thirdhour.org and everyone who makes this Forum possible. Your work is wonderful 👍

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13 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

Gator presented an observation.

I suppose we could ask, is that ^^^^ observation accurate? Are leaders less harsh, less severe and more forgiving than the members?
If so, as Gator wondered, why then are they this way?
I offered what I felt were plausible reasons in support of Gator's conclusion.

If the reasons I presented are found lacking, does anyone else have any alternative suggestions as to why the observation is true?
If no reasons can be produced, then 'perhaps' Gator's observation is inaccurate and there really are no differences between members & leaders.

I'm open to ideas @LiterateParakeet & @MormonGator😉

Leaders are NOT less harsh, less severe and more forgiving in my experience.

In regards to scientific studies regarding those social and economic groups that generally Bishops and higher are selected from...

Due to how many Church leaders are selected in the US (normally they seem to come from the successful businessmen who are far more rich than the average member) from certain classes or economic groups, percentage wise,  they would actually tend to have more psycopaths among them.

In real life what I've seen is...

It can be leader roulette on whether you get someone more compassionate or less compassionate. 

It really is luck of the draw at times on whether you have someone more compassionate or not.  Some decisions boggle the mind in regards to 'compassion' that was made, while at other times their compassion has been tremendous.  It really does depend on the leader.

I've seen MANY who have paid tithing but NOT received Church welfare because of either Leader justification on policies regarding who gets welfare (family should help first supposedly...even when family does not) or other justifications in their mind.  I've seen people go homeless and leave the ward and worse because of denial of welfare.  I don't think that's very compassionate (though sometimes it's simply because there's not enough money to actually HELP them...fast offerings are something that help local members) to be honest when it's decided like that.

I have not seen anyone suddenly become MORE compassionate because they became bishop though.  Normally if they were that way to begin with, they'll be compassionate, and if they were a jerk before they became a Bishop or church leader, normally they remain that way AS a Bishop or other Church Leader.
 

Members imagine a LOT of things sometimes (such as Bishops and Stake Presidents are suddenly all that more compassionate simply because they were called as such), but objectively looking at things, I've probably seen more Bishops make non-compassionate rulings in areas of charity and help (though admittedly, this could strongly be due to lack of funds and Bishops normally aren't rich enough, even if wealthier than many, to help everyone that needs it out of their own pocket...and some Bishops PAY A LOT out of pocket...more than some would imagine) than I think would tend to occur with many of the active members.

Edit PS: HOWEVER, just to be clear, my above is not applicable to ALL Bishops.  I've also seen very charitable Bishops that have helped a great deal with Church welfare and other areas.  It tends to be more of luck of the draw on who your Bishop is more than anything else related to compassion or other things people attribute to Church leaders.

 

Edited by JohnsonJones

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14 minutes ago, JohnsonJones said:

It can be leader roulette on whether you get someone more compassionate or less compassionate

It makes me sad, but I really can't argue with this (or the rest of your post).  I wish it wasn't so, but it's just one of those things I have to put in the Lord's hands.  Sigh.  :( 

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10 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

I mentioned up thread that I have seen it. Many women in the church I have talked to are way too hard on themselves and experience depression and anxiety over it. 

I don't disagree with what you are saying, but I don't see how that example falls outside of what I am saying.  Those who are way too hard on themselves lack understanding or true belief in the Atonement of Christ and/or related gospel principles.  I know plenty of people like that as well.  There is one person in my family who deals with depression, but who also sometimes accuses God of not loving or caring about them.  In reality what that person wants is for God to bend to their will rather than bending to Gods.  The sadness and depression for this person stems from a lack of humility before God.  I'm not saying the people to whom you are referring have the same problems as the person in my example.

What do you (yes you specifically, not you general) generally do to console someone who is being too hard on themselves?  Do you not, in some form or fashion, encourage them to not be so hard on themselves?  Why would you do such a thing if their being hard on themselves were accurate and correct?  Because chances are one (general now) would tell them how much God loves them, etc, etc, etc, and steer them away from being overly hard on themselves because it is doctrinal incorrect to do so.  Or, if they come here to this forum, we would tell them, that yes, they should feel ashamed  because they need to repent.

Anyway, once again, I agree with what you have said, but I disagree that it falls outside the scope of what I said initially about the three categories.

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13 hours ago, mrmarket said:

I imagine more would be more open about it if it was not regarded in seriousness next to MURDER. 

Pointing out you are almost as bad as these guys on death row probably is among the reasons anyone much less the youth are reluctant to confess to  masturbation.

Adultery is the sin next to murder. Adultery is sexual sin, but not all sexual sin is adultery. Masturbation for example is not a sin next to murder. Is it a big deal...yes, because it drives away the spirit and can progress to worse things. There is no one in the church teaching that youth (or anyone) who have a problem with it are akin to death row inmates.

The same goes for fornication...a much more serious sin, but still not in the same league as adultery.

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18 minutes ago, person0 said:

I don't disagree with what you are saying, but I don't see how that example falls outside of what I am saying.  Those who are way too hard on themselves lack understanding or true belief in the Atonement of Christ and/or related gospel principles.  I know plenty of people like that as well.  There is one person in my family who deals with depression, but who also sometimes accuses God of not loving or caring about them.  

I think we do agree partially. 

However, in my view, your three categories over simplify the situation.  For example, the first one, better understand Christ's Atonement.  I think that  could apply to members of the church, but it takes time.

 Correct me if I misunderstood you, but it seems like you see it as relatively simple. I see it as a complex process. Refining takes time, and there can be many different factors that prevent someone from feeling Christ's grace. They could have thinking errors, or be dealing with abuse. There may be other issues I am not aware of as well.  

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21 minutes ago, scottyg said:

Adultery is the sin next to murder. Adultery is sexual sin, but not all sexual sin is adultery. Masturbation for example is not a sin next to murder. Is it a big deal...yes, because it drives away the spirit and can progress to worse things. There is no one in the church teaching that youth (or anyone) who have a problem with it are akin to death row inmates.

The same goes for fornication...a much more serious sin, but still not in the same league as adultery.

All true, and I agree, but I think we should focus more on forgiveness. After all, David committed adultery and had the husband of the woman killed-but even though God was "not pleased" he still was allowed to remain king. Saul of Tarsus also killed Christians. Legitimately killed them-yet he was forgiven on the road to Damascus. I think we (generic) sometimes focus on the severity of the sin (and for the second time, I agree that adultery etc is sinful) and not how we can be forgiven for it. 

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Addressing welfare:

14 minutes ago, JohnsonJones said:

I've seen MANY

You've seen?
This means you weren't privy to all the first person conversations/arrangements/agreements between the actual Bishop and the recipient. At best you were a partial observer trying to piece the situation together.

29 minutes ago, JohnsonJones said:

(family should help first supposedly...

Not supposedly, actually. That is the policy, and for many good reasons.

Quote

Church members are responsible for their own spiritual and temporal well-being. Blessed with the gift of agency, they have the privilege and duty to set their own course, solve their own problems, and strive to become self-reliant. Members do this under the inspiration of the Lord and with the labor of their own hands.

When Church members are doing all they can to provide for themselves but cannot meet their basic needs, generally they should first turn to their families for help. When this is not sufficient or feasible, the Church stands ready to help.

Church welfare is designed to help individuals become self-reliant, not dependent.
Church welfare does come with strings attached. Strings like: exchanging service for goods, attending self-reliance courses, negotiating bills, reducing non-essential expenses, etc.
Individuals who are unwilling to follow those 'strings' will eventually find themselves cut off from Church welfare. Individuals willing to take all the steps they can towards self-reliance will not. Church welfare isn't designed to be a long term program. That would be a disservice to the recipient and unwise stewardship of fast offering funds.

50 minutes ago, JohnsonJones said:

(though sometimes it's simply because there's not enough money to actually HELP them...fast offerings are something that help local members)

False.
This statement reinforces that you have been a partial observer at best. If a ward can't cover a fast offering expense, it is bumped to the Stake to cover. If the stake can't cover it, the amount is requested from SLC. There is no such thing as "not enough money to actually HELP" when true qualified assistance is needed.

A Bishop who blindly throws money at every request that passes through his door, who doesn't require accountability from the individual, etc. is not following the Savior's plan and not fulfilling his goal:

Quote

The bishop directs welfare work in the ward. He has a divine mandate to seek out and care for the poor (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:112). His goal is to help members help themselves and become self-reliant.

 

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13 hours ago, mrmarket said:

I imagine more would be more open about it if it was not regarded in seriousness next to MURDER. 

Pointing out you are almost as bad as these guys on death row probably is among the reasons anyone much less the youth are reluctant to confess to  masturbation.

The most serious sins being denying the Holy Ghost, then killing, then sexual sins are very BROAD categories.

Denying the Holy Ghost is pretty straight forward.

But not all killings are equal in their gruesomeness.  They're all very serious situations, but there's a huge difference between a serial killer whom does things for the thrill, versus somebody in a situation of war or unavoidable self defense.  

LIkewise not all sexual sins are equal in their gruesomeness.  They're all serious situations, but there's a huge difference between a serial pedophile whom does things for the thrill, versus a stupid teenager alone in their bedroom.  They ARE serious and they ARE sins.  But they're not the same.

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1 hour ago, JohnsonJones said:

In real life what I've seen is...

It can be leader roulette on whether you get someone more compassionate or less compassionate. 

It really is luck of the draw at times on whether you have someone more compassionate or not. 

How does this comment connect with spiritual revelation for leaders of the wards (bishops). Is the Lord playing "leader roulette" when he calls a bishop? The Lord doesn't know who is being called, by which a stake president (presidency) would say they received revelation for?

Might there be a reason someone who is more firm (as some would call less compassionate) that the Lord decided to inspire the minds of the stake presidency to extend the call? Its true though, we all have our individual strengths and weaknesses, and at times, we -- in fact -- due receive callings in order for a weakness to be strengthened.

1 hour ago, JohnsonJones said:

I've seen MANY who have paid tithing but NOT received Church welfare because of either Leader justification on policies regarding who gets welfare (family should help first supposedly...even when family does not) or other justifications in their mind.  I've seen people go homeless and leave the ward and worse because of denial of welfare.  I don't think that's very compassionate (though sometimes it's simply because there's not enough money to actually HELP them...fast offerings are something that help local members) to be honest when it's decided like that.

Do you know "all" the details in order to say the bishop was less compassionate or more compassionate? Paying tithing isn't an automatic reason for someone to receive welfare. Justifications, or simply reasons that have been given by the Lord through his servants the prophets in the Hanbooks?

I agree, there are justifications, and that is part of leadership. The leader has to make a judgment call. In your mind, it might be less compassionate, while in his mind it was the best decision to make according to "all" the information the bishop has received (which may or may not have been discussed with the stake president).

I too have seen people go homeless who expect the Church to pay their bills while other members of the ward are working two jobs while this individual is only willing to work part-time, but he/she paid their tithing on that part-time work.

How do you determine "compassion" when you don't probably have all the facts? I was fortunate to serve with one of the most compassionate and loving men I have ever served with in a bishopric, and the irony is how often someone would specify he was not very loving or compassionate.

1 hour ago, JohnsonJones said:

I have not seen anyone suddenly become MORE compassionate because they became bishop though.  Normally if they were that way to begin with, they'll be compassionate, and if they were a jerk before they became a Bishop or church leader, normally they remain that way AS a Bishop or other Church Leader

I sure have. Serving with one now who would be in this category. I have also seen the opposite. A bishop who became -- less compassionate -- in some members eyes, but in reality he wasn't less compassionate he was no longer willing to allow people to mooch off welfare. He came in helping everyone. As the EQP I watched slowly his mind change and watched him become more stern. He even said, "In my four years thus far I have become more strict [what others would call less compassionate] due to people who want to take advantage of Church welfare. I now follow the Lord and his guidance and make sure people who need welfare receive it and those who want to take advantage of the church I am more by the book (by the book in their eyes would be "less compassionate.")"

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