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BlueDreams

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  1. yeah, that reasoning never works for me. I'm too anti-authority in personality for that to roll well with me. I'd start asking to explain where God mentioned this as necessary and point out to the many many examples of bearded long haired men as spiritual leaders and often being commanded or expected to have long hair due to spiritual edicts. I'd also be pretty adament about wanting to know how hair length effects my spouse's ability to bring people to Christ. If I was really in a mood and knew the person well enough to crack a joke, I'd point out that my husband may do better in the being Christ-like, since he so often rocks His style seen in the art With luv, BD
  2. 1.) I obviously don't think racism is simply perceived. There's a difference in questioning between when people ask about my ethnic heritage and when the questions/comments about heritage come with loaded race-based assumptions. I don't have a problem talking about my heritage. I enjoy my many peoples. And if that's where it ended, it would be an enjoyable and reasonable experience. What I get from Tekulve in this article isn't about these questions but the ones laden with assumption. Such as assuming that he must be from a foreign country....often' has an assumption about who would immediately be considered american (usually white). For me there are experiences that make me feel more invisible. Such as when I explain my heritage, and they then refer to me only by one side, because they're used to having nice clean racial categories. Or assuming that my experiences as a mixed woman must be difficult because....well I'm mixed (cue tragic mulatto stereotype here). Or assuming who I should or would date based on race rather than personality and interests based on their expectations on dating cross-racially. I would note that most the racism in UT that I've seen is based more in ignorance and lack of exposure than to open hostility. 2.) That would be a good question to ask him. But a large part of the african diaspora and african-american heritage entail reclaiming experiences and identity that were forcefully lost due to forced migrations, slavery, colonization, and imposing white standards of grooming and dress onto them. Locs are part of the natural hair movement and efforts to reclaim a heritage that entails a heavy focus on hair and removing the idea that "good hair" is closest to white/straight hair styles. (you can also replace good, with "professional, clean/unkempt, etc" and still have the same ethnocentric value standards shine through) Again, I can't answer for him specifically, but here is an article and a video about locs and their significance for african americans...from black sources: Article here: https://www.ebony.com/style/history-dreadlocks/ Lastly assuming equality in an experience and the assumption about cleanliness simply shows a cultural ignorance about black communities and cultures. It's often not the same experience for a black person v white person with a similar hair style. For one, for black people's hair this may be a healthier choice to maintain natural hairstyles v chemical perms/more damaging hairstyles and may link to a cultural and historical experience that's about reclaiming lost heritage. Most white people adopting these styles do it because it looks cool...there's usually little deeper than that to it for them. With luv, BD
  3. Same. I don't get what hair style has to do with the calling. I told my husband they'd have to change to policy if they called him to something like that, because I wouldn't agree to it . I love his hair longer and his face with a little scruff. With luv, BD
  4. This story was a bit of a big deal in some of the black social groups. Before it could be rectified it caused a number of people to actually call the temple (from what i read) and several were very frustrated with the temple president’s initial decision. But it came with a very positive ending and represents to me a part of the cultural church that could be removed. In our stake there’s still this (dumb) expectation that people with certain male leadership callings must be shaved and hair cut short. But beyond hair I think it points to something that i see as a major thrust in President Nelson’s goals and actions: to help better separate church culture from gospel doctrine. I see this in several changes to temple policies to allow more people to serve as temple workers who are otherwise worthy to do so. I also see it in general church initiatives, such as the hymn book, to better represent what people in varying areas view as spiritual. Here I see this sometimes when people often extrapolate what happens in Utah or their own individual ward to represent the whole of the church. It can be a nice reminder that our assumptions based on a geographic location may sincerely not hold in another area or even a ward over. Also liked the quote at the end: The Lord asked us to be one, not to be the same https://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/faith/payson-temple-worker-s-hairstyle-opens-bigger-discussion-on-diversity/article_6c57851c-55f5-5d7f-b3ee-d83decf59063.html?fbclid=IwAR05G_ja6GudYFOatfqvmNVS260xPwhXsGUfrTl49HtsdPXDb0IXF1S7c6M Anyways thought i’d share and see what others here thought of the article. With luv, BD
  5. I see it a bit as both. Something that’s moved to caricature and bigotry based on a very negative personal experience. I’d read her story before (i lurk far more than i post) and knew where it was coming from...but it doesn’t make it excusable IMO. But i do get it. I had an negative experience (nothing abuse oriented, but a really poor end to a friendship). The man in question was a dark black man and for a while i could feel myself being a little avoidant of men that weren’t family that looked like that. I moved passed it...but if i hadn’t and instead began insisting all black men had the negative traits of this ex-friend and kept calling black men by inflammatory language...it would not be excusable. With luv, BD
  6. My weekend got a little chaotic. on my end, I wouldn’t have cared if she said all mormons are blue. It would have been a little funny, but the attribution doesn’t mean anything. pedophilia, unfaithfulness, weaker marriages, etc does have a moral judgment. It’s characterizing a whole group of people negatively in simplified terms. That’s a stereotype and is a form of bigotry IMHO. If the attribution was towards any other group, we would call it as much. That it stems from hurt does not justify stereotyping. That’s my problem. Is she was doing this to some other group, intermingling common caricatures of the group (say catholics, muslims, racial/ethnic groups, etc), i would equally have a problem with it. With luv, BD
  7. Even with those who are mentally ill there is often an understandable reason for their perspective. This doesn’t excuse faulty reasoning and projecting one’s assumptions about a whole group of people onto another. I would call that out in real life as I would here because maintaining said assumptions can inadvertently damage relationships and maintain the false beliefs about a group. If I assumed some negative attribute about a whole religion and its believers...say catholics or muslims or anyone really....it wouldnt be right or okay no matter where that belief derived from. I would hope someone would call me out on that and point out where my beliefs were untrue or even hurtful. I would hope someone would set me straight when I am promoting a black and white and negative caricature of a whole group of people. That’s simply not okay. No matter where it’s coming from. with luv, BD
  8. That is not what i said, changed. That may be what you read into my words, but that’s not what I actually said. This is what i did say: “The effect p*rn has on a relationship is heavily dependent on how the couple view and interact with the p*rn. Some spouses do not feel betrayed at all. Some do initially experience it as a marital betrayal. Most are somewhere in the middle.” “The effect p*rn had on the relationship is not the same from couple to couple based largely on how they view their spouse’s p*rn problem and the ramifications for said problem in their marriage. I have had several couples who are well differentiated, recognize the problem as their partner’s issue to work through, and where there overall relationship is good or positively growing” please show me where i said porn is no big deal to lds couples. Pointing out a diverse set of experience is not the same as giving a blanket shrug into porn. And it sure as heck is not some form of celestial endorsement. I don’t know who you’re dialoguing with when you’re stating these assertions from my posts, but it is definitely not me. I have never -and will never - make the assertions you’re associating to me and my faith. With luv, BD
  9. I was a temple worker up until the birth of my daughter for 7 years. That is absolutely ridiculous. But it's all I'll say on that part of this, because it has absolutely nothing to do with this thread. You may think whatever you like. It does not make it true or even an accurate depiction of reality. I work with this population and often on this very issue at hand. In no way have I seen any indication of what you describe here as even remotely describing the LDS couples I see. With luv, BD
  10. I am talking from largely lds couples i’ve worked with where only one partner had a problem with p*rn. The effect p*rn had on the relationship is not the same from couple to couple based largely on how they view their spouse’s p*rn problem and the ramifications for said problem in their marriage. I have had several couples who are well differentiated, recognize the problem as their partner’s issue to work through, and where there overall relationship is good or positively growing. For these, p*rn use most definitely does not have the same effect as an affair. Often the spouse feels little except for concern for their struggling partner. Even for those who do take it as betrayal, the majority of them still dont have the same effect as an affair, having watched the aftermath of both. with luv, BD
  11. That is not always true. The effect p*rn has on a relationship is heavily dependent on how the couple view and interact with the p*rn. Some spouses do not feel betrayed at all. Some do initially experience it as a marital betrayal. Most are somewhere in the middle. and assault rates are not equivalent to porn use. With luv, BD
  12. “The” problem can’t be narrowed to one entity. High religiousity is tied to greater shame toward p-viewing. That much is true. And there are ways that people in the church (and the general leaders, especially back in the day) have put heavy shame messages that have made it worse. There are things that we still do that I think at this point are becoming more cultural than procedural that gives the false impression that viewing p*rn is more of a problem than say lying or any other sin (sans murder and denying the HG). Far from being quiet about it, i think it’s better to talk about it, just in a way that’s more productive and less shaming. I view the site i linked to a positive step in that direction. Though there may be things that the church or it’s members do that don’t help or can exacerbate a problem, they didn’t cause the problem. It is very rare that i hear of someone who heard the term P*rn or m*sturbation from a leader and got curious. More often they were introduced well before then and when they did finally connect it with the terms they then felt terrible, if they didn’t already. Introduction to porn is happening at younger and younger ages and with easier access than ever before. There’s serious concerns about this outside of a religious context. For example one concern is that there’s evidence it’s shifting s*xual behavior of youth to more extreme sexual behaviors. There’s also a concern that p*rn often functions as teens only s*x ed. This isn’t solely a church concern and it’s hard to measure the effect porn has on our societies because it’s so prevalent at this point and a number of other cultural trends are intertwined or running parallel with the development of p*rn. I have seen more of the trend that Calm referred to in the research than i have this. It does happen...usually when their p*rn use is almost entirely shame-induced and their religious voices are the main or only source for shame towards p. But that condition is rare. It’s more common to see people distance themselves from church to mitigate feeling bad about something they can’t seem to get rid of. They can’t remove the p*rn so they begin to remove the religion. Most the time I don’t think its a conscious decision to do so though. with luv, Bd
  13. Our neighbors often assume we're not members, so something about us doesn't scream typical LDS....of course that could just be that we go to a spanish ward, so they're not seeing us in their usual 7 blocks of ward attendance . Still its entertaining and my husband especially likes "playing investigator" when he gets the chance. As for unique...my general background and perspective. I don't think that I'm the only member who may have similar traits as I do. But I'm aware that among LDS members in the US it's still not a common experience. uniqueness in and of itself isn't important to me. Rather that who i am and my experiences can be used to help is. With luv, BD
  14. I know i’ve mentioned this before. But that’s easier said than done and assumes the family members want these resources. My problem as a therapist who very much wants to work with the spouse as well when I have an addict in my office, is that the said spouse doesn’t want to come in. Often they see this as their partner’s issue, or they don’t want to deal with the problems it’s caused in themselves, or they don’t fully recognize that it has. Not all the time. Here and there i do meet a partner who is well differentiated from the other and doesn’t take a big effect from their partner’s compulsions. But that’s fairly uncommon. I, their bishop, friends, even their addict spouse may suggest seeking therapy or support groups for themselves. But we can’t exactly push them into it. Also something that is bothering me. You’ve used “addict” and “abuser” interchangeably. This isn’t the case. Most addicts are not abusing a spouse or child. And for that matter, many of the abusers i have had in my office aren’t addicts. There are people who are both, definitely. But one does not warrant the other is happening. Also some of the solutions i’m seeing (not just from you) are oversimplified. When working with either addicts or abuse situations, I don’t have a one-size-fits-all methodology. There are things that are generally needed. Such as boundaries if they’re enmeshed or codependent. Or safety plans if there’s abusive patterns. But sometimes ideals aren’t exactly ideal. For example if there’s a person being abused and I tell them to kick out their partner, it may feel empowering, but i may have inadvertently left them in a vulnerable state. Their partner knows where they live, how to reach them, and already shows a predisposition to breaking boundaries and social norms. At any time their abuser could return to their house and if this partner was physically violent, the other may be at serious risk of harm. Likewise if i tell the partner to think about leaving their abuser sooner than they’re ready to contemplate it, i may end up seeing them leave me or other healthy resources instead to block out the unwanted advice. When a crisis hits, they’re now more isolated and compromised than if I’d worked with them in their marriage as is. For the record: I don’t work usually with current physical abuse. Usually it’s working through the ramifications of previous abuse or concurrent emotional abuse patterns. With luv, BD
  15. Since abuse has been brought up here too. I’d point out that the church also has a site focused on that topic as well in a similar format as the pornography one: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/get-help/abuse/?lang=eng in the resources are the numbers and sites to several abuse crisis hotlines and places to start seeking professional help. With luv, BD
  16. Many of these look similar to the ones integrated in this site: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/addressing-pornography/?lang=eng I was given the site when it was being beta tested by a bishop i worked with. I was initially skeptical because of what i’d seen in the cultural concerns (several of which have already been mentioned)....but i was pleasantly surprised. I generally like the resource. The church is generally fighting concerns and issues that compromises member’s capacity to partake in the gospel. P*rn does that and is a very prevalent concern. So they’re going to fight it. With luv, BD
  17. Welp, that’s definitely not what the church teaches. It’s definitely not what the bishops said or indicated as i’ve worked with them to help their members with problems they know need more than what they can give. I think you are right in that sometimes therapy can lead to a focus or direction that isn’t the right one for a person. Often depression or anxiety or other dysfunctions are more like “common sense”...you won’t feel good in a life that is dissonant with what you believe. You shouldn’t feel good in situations that are in someway harmful. I’m glad that you found the answer that worked for you. But you are not all humanity. Your experiences do no ascribe an edict from God as to the value of what therapists do for everyone else. You are not the prophet... so your opinion - that run counter to official church stances and practices - means very little to me. With luv and a bit of a shrug, BD
  18. The context may help a little to get better why this was inappropriate. The person was obviously not interested in hearing our message. They were being polite in letting us talk but was giving several indications that they were content in their current beliefs and was not interested in our message. The “suspend the beliefs” was asking them to do something the person didn’t voluntarily want to do. That’s not okay. Also to me, voluntarily experimenting upon the word/teachings you’ve heard is different than insisting someone try ro suspend their beliefs. I also preferred to build from where the person was at, find common ground and beliefs and add to them or show how they tie into our message. When there were moments that beliefs diverged, i would share my perspective, why i believed it, etc. I would ask them to study that aspect for themselves. To me this is not “suspending” belief structures. That’s an artificial experience to me. This is helping to facilitate their own organic growth/change in beliefs. Something only they and God can really do. With luv, BD
  19. I generally agree. I would just say, that there are varying approaches to therapy. I'm of the type that thinks it's impossible to really be non-biased and that it's better to recognize one's biases in and outside of therapy to better facilitate therapy. I'm big into bringing myself, as appropriate, into therapy since I'm a big believer that relationships heal and it's easiest to have a relationship with a person rather than a name and title With luv, BD
  20. No, I don't. I'm curious what you even mean by "correct" in this question. My degree is in Marriage and Family Therapy. My bias is helping families stay together as much as I can and generally believe that most couples who enter my office have the capacity for a happy marriage IF they're willing to work through their current hurdles. You simplified my post in a way that I disagreed with because I view it as inadvertently expecting more from the believer than the non-believer. One was being asked to remember a couple positive things from their former religion....which could be as broad as service opportunities and noting a good youth program. The other was being asked to shift their belief structure. When I had a little over-zealous mission companion who told an atheist we tracked into to take a moment and just "suspend her beliefs," I immediately shut down the conversation, apologized to the atheist, and then chatted with my companion as to why that is inappropriate to ask of anyone. In your post, it wasn't an unbeliever being asked to do that, it's the believer....thus why I talked about the believer and what I would do for them specifically that is different from your summary. As to the non-believer, I'd first slow down the believer and help him/her explore the said comments, sighs, etc with both of them to make sure they're both interpretting what they mean in the same way. Often, they're not. It's actually not super common that I have a spouse who's making "comments, sighs, or continually pressures the non-believer." When I do, it's not just in religious matters that things have fallen apart. Usually there's some form of a breach in trust in their relationship as well. The most recent cases where I saw this entail the believing spouse being lied to (usually by omission) in one way or another often for years. I've never had a spouse actively pursue a "rescue mission." The closest to that is when the non-believer views the reach out by well-meaning members as such and the believing spouse feels a need to defend these well-meaning neighbors/ward members, which then makes the non-believing spouse feel as though the believing one cares more about religion than them. Which is almost never true (I can't currently think of a case where that was true....but I'm leaving it open due to a currently spotty memory). Usually the concern or subtle methods to try and push belief or activity is easily fixed by just overtly looking at the believing spouse and empathetically stating something along the lines of "I can't make your spouse believe again, that's not my job and I'm not that powerful" if there's space for a light joke and it's just the believing spouse there, I might also mention that was "satan's plan" anyways. They know this inside and if I have someone really pushing for some form of activity, even if it's superficial....it's usually trying to collect their old life and a form of grief for losing experiences and things they've very much wanted. It's pushing against the sorrow and acknowledging what path they're really on now from what they thought they'd have. My job isn't to fix the believer or non-believer to better "fit"...my job is to fix the marriage. When religion comes up as a problem in the marriage, I address it with them. When it doesn't overtly come up, I don't bother. And there are plenty of spouses that have a spouse in some form of faith crisis/transition/unbelief where it isn't directly affecting their marriage, minus the sadness and confusion that can naturally come from an unexpected change. No you don't. I will answer for myself as I have time (which is limited right now....I have a newborn), but I generally agree with Calm's explanation. She's known me on this board for quite a while (I joined when I was 14...I'm now 31) and I know would take correction if she read me wrong. But in this case she hasn't. Just because I disagree with your wording doesn't mean I "privilege belief." That is jumping to conclusions I never made. And yet several people interpreted my words drastically different from the assumption and direction you took it. My clients generally know my biases when a topic is brought up. I don't hide them and want them to be explicitly stated for them to judge the information I give them and my perspective. In these cases, they know I'm happily a believing member and they often know that I come from a very blended family that does not fit LDS norms and some aren't LDS. A number came to me because I don't fit the average UT mormon stereotype or they see me a little as "middle ground." I've had a few clients have concerns about my religious background at the beginning of therapy/before we've started therapy. We talk about them, I listen to their stories, and they generally end up enjoying therapy with me. I expect no one to "remain quiet" in my office unless someone is overtaking therapy and their partner cannot find space to talk in session. With all due respect, I'm really wondering how you even reached these conclusions from the 2 posts I've made. I used "problem" exactly once in between both posts. And it was a specific piece of advice towards members who may get focused on fixing their spouses faith concerns by answering this or that point of doctrinal concern...which generally doesn't work and adds to the frustration and distance in the marriage. I'm saying it would be unfair to expect either party to change their religious beliefs (or lack thereof) as the premise to their interactions. The counseling is to help them have a better relationship/marriage and to feel that they have tools and methods to talk more openly about these fundamental shifts currently affecting their marriage. Also I used the term faith crisis and faith transition because that was what was used in the OP article and most of the people on this thread (believer or not). Many people in faith crisis wouldn't immediately describe themselves as a non-believer or no longer LDS. My general rule is to mirror whatever terms they use to describe themselves and their current situation. With luv, BD
  21. No. This simplified message may feel comfortable to someone who has left the church and now subscribes to a viewpoint that's heavier into relativism or every religion/belief system is the same-ish. But for the believer it may be more off putting than helpful. For someone who's really struggled with a loved one's transition the wording could be its own form of triggering. Especially if they've felt or had their partner/friend/relative try to convince them they're wrong to hold their values or beliefs. What would be asked of them in this scenario would be inherently unequal (they're being asked to move their world view/paradigm while the non-believer is just being asked to remember the good things in mormon beliefs/practices). My points do not assume what you're describing. I'm saying help them learn how to communicate and hear the other person while also finding common truths and values to recement their relationship. When I have the believing spouse on their own, I'm not asking them to look at outside world views about their beliefs (especially if they don't want to) but helping them reframe their experience founded on their beliefs in such a way to foster (realistic) hope and a greater peace with their current experience....especially when the believing spouse is very obviously not entering their own faith crisis and note their faith as a main source for strength and solace. With luv, BD
  22. I've been meaning to post to this but have had difficulty to find the time. Even now as I type, my baby is sleeping on me, so excuse the many grammatical errors. I've read maybe around half of the posts on the thread and read the majority of the article in the OP. There are things I agreed with and things that I felt could be a little simplified in description. My personal perspective comes from having a number of family members leave the church to some degree or another (and for varying reasons) and also having this come up as a topic of concern for couples in therapy where one spouse is in faith crisis/transition or already left and the other spouse is still active and believing. A couple times it's come up with a person discussing about someone close to them that's not their spouse leaving. And a few times it's also come up as a topic as both have distanced to some extent from the church, but have taken very different approaches and perspectives about said distancing. I generally can agree with the outlook of the article in how it can effect or feel towards both parties. The acknowledgment is good on that. To me the article itself and its suggestions could be a little over-simplified in suggesting what members could/should do and their reactions to said situations. Based in part on what I've come to see as a bit of a simplified narrative of faith transition that works on online communities, but with a closer lens...tends to show more complexity and individual oriented patterns that increase the difficulties in feeling accepted. It also didn't really take a throw at what those reeling from a faith crisis of some sort could do as well. From what I've seen, there are things that both parties do/don't do that can make the relationship land well or become strained. The suggestions given aren't inherently bad or wrong...they just seem incomplete. That sense of incompleteness to me is epitomized in this question: "When people become disillusioned with church, how do we maintain and rebuild relationships of trust?" with her describing the people as individuals as the church. Without meaning to, this places the weight of rebuilding trust solely on the shoulders of the active members...on an issue or concern that often didn't start (nor will it end) with that individual church member. Relationships of trust are a two-way street and if it's only one side giving "love and inclusion" and the listening, openness, etc (and yes, I've seen that with people in faith crisis) it won't work....trust won't be rebuilt. Often the member just ends up feeling hurt in one way or another. I did like this "People are most likely to experience a crisis or transition of faith when there is a stark contrast between the black-and-white faith of their youth, and the more complex information and choices they now face as adults. Such jarring contrasts can make people feel as if they’ve been deceived, which deepens their distrust of the Church, its members, and—as Spencer Fluhman and Patrick Mason point out in this conversation—even the spiritual experiences that had formed the basis for their testimonies." That I have definitely seen and would add that the church is often not the only area that the black and white thinking occurs in these individual's lives. It also can be paired with generalization and the possibility that many people in their immediate circle likely had similar outlooks. If I could give advice to both active and faith-crisis member in a close relationship as to how to interact based on what I've seen, this is a bit of what I may say or recommend. Member: Take some time and grieve. It's okay to be frustrated, confused, or hurt by what's happening with your loved one. In fact you should feel and process these concerns. Try not to attack or blame them, but be honest with them about the hurt you feel. You do not have to answer all of their concerns all at once. You don't have to have the perfect answer. Often what works for you answer-wise, won't work for them. A specific bullet point of historical/social/spiritual concern is often NOT the problem in and of itself. Answering it right now, won't necessarily restore them to a place of faith. Encourage that they talk to you. Let them know that you won't give perfect answers, you'll likely have moments you don't understand or see where they're coming from....but that you do want to know what's going on and their concerns. Have love and inclusion...but boundaries and your own places of support are also important. Boundaries shouldn't be based on fear or trying to ignore the changes that happened in the relationship, but recognizing your limitations and personal need for balance. Often they may go from not sharing their concerns at all to word-vomiting every last concern they've ever had. They may make comments that are very critical of other members, religious practices, or thing that you still value. This is both overwhelming and exhausting over long periods of time. Recognize that limitation and help set when and how talking about these things can be done so both your needs are met. (for the black-and-white thinking spouse especially) It can be easy to feel betrayed, lost, and like your partner has lost themselves and all that was special in your relationship. Take some time to "time-out" church with your partner and remember other reasons that you enjoy their company. If that feels miniscule or very limited, it's likely time to work on building the relationship in general before grappling with big-ticket questions on religion. Find common beliefs and values that you still hold together. Maybe they've lost faith in prophets, but they still believe in Jesus. Maybe they don't believe in God, but they still value compassion, kindness, love, family, etc. Maybe they don't believe the historicity of the BoM but they still find the spiritual lessons from it as good Find those commonalities and use those to build a sense of spiritual connection. Faith-crisis individual: Open up to your partner/loved ones if you haven't already. It is not a favor to hide from them what you're experiencing and the longer it goes to more of a railroading it's going to feel like them. Note that opening up, doesn't mean they'll likely say or do exactly what you'd hope. And it may be in multiple conversations over time as opposed to one large sit-in. THat's okay. Take some time to step into their shoes. Empathize with them by recognizing that what you feel in a breach of trust with the church may be very similar to what they're experiencing and feelings with you right now, especially if this is the first time they've heard about your concerns or loss of faith . Do not assume that you can't talk to people from one or 2 poor experiences of from what you picture them saying (aside: I've seen a lot of projection, especially early on, about who will reject them and what their neighbor, friend, family, etc will say/do). It is likely not as bad as you think it will be, especially if you can do so while truly listening to them and assuming that even in their imperfect answers there's a good chance that their motivations are good. //// Hiding y Just as you likely didn't come to your conclusions overnight, give that same allowance to others as they grapple with your concerns. (especially for black-and-white thinkers) They may not have the same reaction to the same information that's hit you the hardest. You may have first kept the information from them in some for of protecting them from the hurt and disillusionment that you felt. As you've shared with them more about this, you may find that they seem strangely okay or find faith-oriented answers to these concerns. You may find yourself reasoning that their lack of harm to the issues that harmed you may be an indication of "blind faith" or not truly getting the gravity of an issue or even hiding themselves from "the truth." THese are judgment narratives of the same nature to members who assume the only reason you left the church is because of wanting to "sin." Hold back from that judging voice, take time to process what bothers you about them not seeing things as you do, and then work to hear and understand their perspective, even if it's not you own. tied with that, do not assume that you "get them" because you were "just like them" before a faith crisis. This can become inadvertently dismissive and hurtful and may increase a sense of isolation from each other. (especially if this is a spouse) Do not expect them to participate or welcome behaviors that go against their religious beliefs/covenants. It can be extremely disruptive, uncomfortable, and feel disrespectful to suddenly insist that they accept this or that behavior from you when for the majority of your guys' relationship that was a mutually agreed to no-no. Just because you now like coffee, for example, does not mean the other will be comfortable with your sudden purchase of a coffee machine and it being brewed each morning. Take time, talk about what you are wanting, and seek to understand their concerns. for both: take an observor/curiosity role to discussing concerns around faith and religious practice. Instead of immediately defending your position in reaction to what they're saying, take time to ask them questions about this or that concern. Check to see that you truly understand what they're trying to say. And take a moment to evaluate what you are feeling and telling them that AFTER you've sought to understand them. Take a moment and write a narrative in your head that does not put to the other in one way or another as the "bad guy" I could probably write more, but this is probably too long as is. In general, fostering trust, building relationships, helping a person feel loved cannot be done unless both parties are actively seeking these as goals. I've seen that most in spouses, but I can see that in bishop-member relationships, friendships, neighbors, etc. The active member can earnestly try and show love and care and it amount to hooey if the other person isn't also working to listen and try as well. With luv, BD
  23. This is a very delayed response to you. I'd written most of this and then got very busy with life. 1. I don't think it's that hard of a conclusion to reach. You didn't quote anyone directly, which makes it look more like you're only responding to the OP...especially so early in a thread. 2. If you noticed, I wrote a different post with other more general reasons that I give congratulations or some form of positive affirmations towards a calling. This one fits into the general "I know their talents would be good for their calling." 1. Okay, but it doesn't fit the vast majority of callings that people may give a congrats to. And again, the OP was general, so it would make sense to me that the posited reasons should be generalizable to most callings one may congratulate. 2 - by pessimistic, the only reasons you gave for people giving congratulations were all negative ones. Having a potential negative one wouldn't be pessimistic in and of itself. That it was the only potential reason or a mere congratulations is the main reason.....plus it only fits one specific calling: male leadership roles in the church. Nothing else. Which in the church often comes with a standing joke of feeling sorry for the person...or being relieved to be released/not getting the calling oneself. It's not seen, culturally (at least in the US wards I've been apart of) a calling one aspires to, even though it is generally a respected position. So to assume it must be the prestige seems a very pessimistic perspective to me. Just as if I assumed reverends were generally in it for the money. 3. The clarification does help understand where you're coming from. But again, the extrapolation just doesn't seem to fit what I've actually seen. I'm aware you didn't say "power trip," but the descriptor words you did use all are derivatives of pride/ego-rubs. I have seen that happen, most poignantly with this elder I worked with on my mission where becoming a minor leader went straight to his head for a bit and was an indication of his worthiness (to him....no one else)....but again, it's generally the exception. ******Although as an aside, paid ministers were also a common concern I saw mentioned by people we were teaching to (ie. Not members). They really really liked that we were largely lay-clergy, even if they didn't want to investigate further into our faith. Often airing their issues out to us about their local congregation and it's perceived monetary focus (I wasn't part of these congregations, so obviously I wasn't in a position to judge. I just found it interesting how often it came up as a concern). With luv, BD
  24. Curious: why do you assume that the only people being congratulated for calling are A) men and B) men called to be bishops or leadership positions? I would likely congratulate my husband if he was given a primary teacher calling because he loved subbing for the sunbeams class so much. I have never heard that described as a prestigious calling. The OP didn’t say anything about what callings are being congratulated and the assumptions following seem overly pessimistic. I’m sure there are leadership callings that end up feeling validated about their accomplishments or whatever else. But i’ve worked with several bishops due to the nature of my profession and not once had a bishop who I felt was going on a power trip in their head. Not that it can’t happen, but as a blanket statement/explanation for simple congratulations, this doesn’t appear to work from my perspective. with luv, BD
  25. I don’t remember congratulating a person recently on their calling. My last friend was called to primary president and my response was “ooohhhhhhh, i’m sure you can do it”.... mainly because she was staring at a pic of our good sized primary like someone told they needed to scale a cliff for the first time. The closest to a congrats for a calling is when I know the person well enough to know that the calling is likely a really good fit for their talents, I’m excited for the experiences they will have (usually temple worker calls because I absolutely loved being a temple worker), or that i knew they really enjoy that sort of calling. I’ve never thought of it as a prestige thing. With luv, BD
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