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Everything posted by Maestrophil

  1. This might deserve its own thread, but I will ask here anyways since it is related to the idea of an 'unorthodox testimony.' What is the standard for that kind of testimony? I have always held that as long as you can answer the temple recommend interviews, you are meeting the standard of belief to be a solid member and have nothing to be ashamed about or worried about. The questions don't contain anything specifically about the BOA, location of the BOM or its historicity, age of the Earth, Mother in Heaven, etc. But not being able to answer the TR questions to me does put one at odds with the 'orthodoxy'... Thoughts
  2. By no means am I saying that this was the only reason they voted to go - in fact, as I stated, I admire their eagerness to get to Zion and their faith - but I cannot help but think that the strong stance of leaders to go influenced them. Nothing is simple and black and white - as I stated before. 🙂 I think all involved were doing what they thought best - and the results were tragic - but the faith, strength and courage involved by the handcart members is to lauded IMO
  3. I often wonder - given God's apparent ability to be OK with some sexual things that seem hard for me to accept - polygamy, concubines, etc. - if one of our big trials here is the emphasis we have on the appetite for sex. I wonder if the very fact that we are so worried about it here is not just one big obstacle to us becoming more god-like, and if, in the eternities, it won't be so much about who we are attracted to as much as who we choose to covenant with. For instance, I have a hard time thinking God would look at a woman (or man), and have the kind of thoughts we often have such as "wow! what a sexually attractive/hot person". I am not saying those thoughts are wrong for us as mortals, as long as we keep them in check - but I wonder if part of becoming exalted is losing them in favor of a more universal love and compassion.
  4. Correct - they voted in favor with the knowledge firmly impressed on them that their leaders wanted them to go - and saw what happened to Bro Savage when he dissented. Levi Savage was the man who served my 3Xg grandfathers his last meal. He is mentioned in the movie you reference too. On my mission, I had the privilege to serve with and Elder Savage, who was a descendant of Levi - it was really cool to have the ancestors fo two men who shared such a friendship in the handcart companies.
  5. I think this is a perfect example of human tendency to use black and white thinking. Can the handcart situation be both an example of faith, sacrifice, and triumph AND an illustration of fallibility, tragedy, and error? I believe it can. My 2nd great-grandfather died in the Willie handcart company leaving his wife and three kids to come into the SL Valley alone. While I think there was some error and naiveté in the leader's decisions to have the saints in the Willie Company leave so late in the season - I don't think it was malicious - and I find great inspiration and strength in the example of faith and desire to serve and obey shown by my family those many years ago - and I praise them for all the blessings I have enjoyed living in a beautiful state, free to practice the faith of my fore-fathers unmolested. I celebrate the handcart pioneers, and bristle when anyone tries to reduce their legacy to that of a bunch of hapless victims of poor church leadership.
  6. Just like with gay marriage - I say that government should stay out of the marriage business. That said, if love is love, and any two consenting adults can be married as long as they are not harming anyone else - then why not several consenting adults?
  7. I would have to find something I have not yet encountered that fed me more spiritually and intellectually than the gospel as taught by The Latter-day Saints. I think I would be pretty agnostic if my faith as an active Latter-day Saint crumbles - bordering on atheistic and slightly depressed.
  8. Out of my Two siblings and my two parents - I am the only member left. Same story as I have heard here. Pioneer stock on one side, Dad an RM who met my mom on his mission to France - Sealed in the temple. So that's what 80%? Out of my six kids (3 bio and 3 step) 3 are out of the church, Two are semi-active, and one is active. Both my ex and my spouses ex (the kids other bio parents) are both out of the church. I often feel overwhelmed by how few of us are active - or even seem to have the desire to be active.
  9. I agree. I never asserted the prophet was infallible, or that his account was perfect - just that it carried more weight for me than an account twice removed from the source.
  10. Correct me if I mis-read - but didn't your mention of the Christofferson version come from a second hand re-telling by Tom? If Tom shared his version of what he remembers his brother telling him, there is a lot of room for mis-remembering and/or mis-interpretation. Whereas the first hand account from the prophet seems more weighty
  11. I join with my French-Catholic family members (although, I am a Latter-day Saint, my family in France are not) in the real anguish of loss at this time. Those windows alone caused me to weep yesterday. If you did not get to see them, there is no way to express their majesty and beauty - all accented by the fact that many depicted scenes of faith and were ~800 years old. The large rose windows - the majestic colors they imparted to the sanctuary were amazing and so peaceful to me. The wood work, the organ, I literally feel as if I have lost a member of my family. Edited: I just saw at least the rose windows seem to have survived!!! What a blessing.
  12. I did not want to 'like' your comment, because that seemed inappropriate to what I wanted to express. Know that you are not alone - there are many of us who struggle to understand where we failed as parents when we have wayward children. I know I beat myself up daily. I believe that, 1. The Lord knows your heart and will judge you efforts as much or more on your desires than on your efficacy., 2. Every parent will mess up in some way or fall short., 3. Time will reveal many things you did right as your kids grow and change - even now, if you choose to measure your kids by the content of their overall character, rather than their current level of activity, you will likely find things to be very proud of., 4. All of us would fare much better if we could go back in time knowing what we know now., 5. The Atonement is real and will take care of a ton of this - especially in the eternities. Easy things for me to say, since it is my struggle too - but try to be kind to yourself. I am sure you are a great momma!! 🙂
  13. Those people have the power and the anecdote - You can be the one to break the cycle of disfunction and abuse, and the gospel has the empowering recipe.
  14. I struggle with this - as I so strongly felt the spirit during President Nelson's remarks. I asked my young 14 year old daughter, who says she does not resonate with the church and does not know what she believes in if she felt anything during the talk, and she replied that she felt nothing at all. It is so hard to want to share what you feel with someone who does not. I feel his talk was so full of love and heart, and when I hear you (or people of the same mind) say that the talk was devisive, I wonder what the option is - are you saying he should spend the entire talk stating all the many reasons one might be struggling and/or just apologizing for any possible hurts real or perceived - or can his loving statement that he wishes he could talk to each individual and help them feel the spirit be enough? Is it seen as wrong by those who are struggling to hear a comment with any 'teeth' at all? What would a prophet's message be if it did not have any call to action, to repentance? Sometimes I wonder if those who have chosen to be on the outs with the church see the leaders more as just the presidents of a social club who need to pander to members to keep them happy, rather than emissaries of God who, in my opinion VERY lovingly, call for those who have wandered to return. If people are angry to the point where they have a long checklist the brethren must meet before they would even consider contemplating a return to activity or membership, then, in my view, they have placed a very real stumbling block in their own path in regards to feeling a desire to return. That said, once people have made the choice to leave, or have felt they can no longer honestly profess belief - my job is not to judge (even though I DO mourn, given my belief paradigm), but is only to honor agency, and to love openly. I pray every day for the spirit to do that, but also for the ability to help my loved ones be able to feel the deep wonder, peace, and joy I feel as the spirit fills my heart at conference.
  15. I think that has been a very common reaction I have seen - the confusion as to why a policy would be rolled out as "the will of God" in 2015 that resulted in so much dissonance for so many people, only to have it reversed 3 1/2 years later as "by the will of God". I understand people being dismayed by this - but I also, personally, stopped trying to second guess what is the general reason for God's timing and methods - I know I never can fully get it in my mortal probation. If I needed to understand the why of everything in order to believe, I would have jumped ship long ago.
  16. I just got a news notification on my phone that the church has just announced it is allowing the baptism of children of LGBTQ people. What repercussions will this have? Will there be those who return to the church now? I wonder if it is a d$%ned if you do d#$ned if you don't proposition. Edited to add link: https://www.ksl.com/article/46524616/church-to-allow-baptisms-blessings-for-children-of-lgbt-parents-updates-handbook-regarding-apostasy
  17. I believe he was one of those rare types who honored truth - and truth often puts you on any given side of the political and social spectrum depending on the situation.
  18. YES! This is how I got my first big testimony moment on my mission in Belgium/France. I street contacted a JW, who accepted my BOM and said he would pray about it, if I would do the same about his book (A little red book about Jesus and who would be saved). I almost instinctively said "Are you kidding me?" , but then reflected on the fairness of what I was asking, and happily agreed. I took that book home that night, read it cover to cover, prayed to ask if the teachings in the book were true - and in ALL honesty asked if I should be paying attention to the religion that produced it. I promised in my prayer that if the spirit to ld me it was true, I would follow wherever it lead. I didn't feel good, I didn't feel bad - I felt - nothing at all. I tried asking a few different ways, with the same results. After a while on my knees, I replaced the book on my bed where I was kneeling with the BOM and asked "Please let me know if this book it true." and BAM - I had never before and rarely since felt such a palpable feeling of the spirit. I continued milking that moment by asking about Joseph Smith, the restoration, the (then) current prophet etc. With the spirit attesting to the truth of it over and over. It is still a bedrock moment for me. So I feel we should welcome these 'trial' experiences.
  19. So between this, the Temple movie guy, and Berchtold recently - Do we need to vet our bishops and leaders?
  20. I watched this and I literally felt dirty and violated after seeing it. I can not understand what I saw. It made me contemplate on many fronts. 1. Are church members really as dumb, vulnerable, and ready to sin as the Brobergs seemed to be? I have found myself being hard on myself all my life because I might have an irreverent sense of humor, watch movies that are a little edgy, and play guitar in a rock band (complete with long hair and an earring, in my 20s). Yet, the older I get, the more I feel like I must be doing pretty well compared to so many stories I hear of prominent members behaving badly. Now I find myself looking around at church meetings wondering which members have skeletons in the closets and/or current behavior that would be shocking. 2. Just knowing that Berchtold could have ever been let in the temple again - especially without an excommunication, especially while others I know have been exed or disfellowshipped for MUCH less, makes me doubt the entire process of church discipline. Like I said - I have felt gross since watching the documentary for over a week now. YUK Edited to add - the story about the director of the temple movies has me feeling the same way
  21. For me, the amount has to hurt me a little - if whatever justification I am using to pay my tithing makes it so that it seems easy to do, I feel like I am not paying enough. One of the great blessings I feel comes from tithing - even though it is often a painful blessing - is that I learn to become more free from my love for money and having lots of comfort. I personally pay on my net, and it is hard, because there are times I feel guilty for not paying on gross. But on the whole, I still feel honest answering the TR questions about tithing paying on my net and adding where I can. But I am not concerned what my neighbor pays. I suppose, as other posters have stared here, I have covenanted to give ALL I have, should it be needed. Tithing is just my training wheels.
  22. I doubt it - I think that is what gets so many people flummoxed about spiritual matters - we try and make them fit our Earthly expectations. I am pretty sure they will be dramatically different in ways we don't know or comprehend
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