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About rockpond

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    Mormon Libertarian

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  1. I was discussing the struggle of being an active member but having dealt with some of the troubling aspects of the Church's narrative and truth claims through nuance and contextualizing which often causes other members to see my views as heretical. You seemed to suggest that you haven't had such problems and gave the example of using the Documentary Hypothesis to support your orthodox views of Book of Mormon historicity. I feel like we aren't even discussing the same thing. However, your mention here of the theology of fallible prophets may be.
  2. Of course. This has been a guiding principle in rebuilding my faith. This strikes me as a strawman as I don't know of anyone making such a case (referring to the part I bolded). I'm not aware of a "secondary questions first" group. And, where to turn aside from the 15 men at the helm of this Church? I think your statement here answers the question. If these men who we claim as living prophets were not actually living prophets, we would expect the Holy Spirit to so indicate, right? So the answer to your question, I believe, is the Holy Spirit. And yet you jumped in with quite a post! I hope the interaction is beneficial. When I feel I am no longer benefiting, I usually drop out of threads.
  3. To see if I understand you correctly: You are suggesting that the leaders don't want us to use nuance and contextualization to stay in (as those are not rooted in faith), instead one should apply the principle of becoming as a child and let their foundation of faith override any concerns that research may bring up?
  4. Being an "outspoken orthodox theological proponent" and using the Documentary Hypothesis to emphasize Book of Mormon historicity is not what I would call nuanced and contextualizing the difficult parts of our narrative. It's not a surprise that you haven't encountered any problems with your views.
  5. You paint a nice picture of having nuanced views and contextualizing truths. I feel that is what I've done to be able to stay actively engaged in the church and yet it seems clear that in traditional Mormon environments I can't be open about those nuances or contexts without being considered heretical. My lived experience is that nuanced views and contextualizing the truths surrounding our narrative works on paper but is a struggle in practice. I'm confident that President Oaks and Elder Renlund are not suggesting that members have nuanced views and contextualize truths. It seems to me that they want us to let faith override those concerns. I did that for a long time... the shelf broke, as they say. ETA: I also am not hearing them provide any sort of nuance or context for these problematic issues. If you are, please share.
  6. Well, I've heard anecdotal accounts of people presenting GT Essays to friends/family and then being told by those friends and family that it is anti-Mormon. Even thinking that someone faked the look/feel/URL of the Church's website to try to gain credibility.
  7. No. Publish the statistics on abuse cases within the church.
  8. I happen to be in a newly formed ward. As we chatted within ward council about inactive families on our ward list, several times the same comment was made: "they started reading anti-Mormon literature". There was a time in my life when I would have likely made the same comment. Today, I'm wondering what "anti-Mormon literature" they may be talking about and if it was in actuality, just the truth about our Church's past that led these families to disengage.
  9. It may backfire, but I think it gives many members all the rationale they need for not looking into the issues. Even if your spouse comes to you with questions and concerns, you can be confident in explaining that further research is not the answer, trust the captain and know that these secondary questions will pale in significance if we focus on the primary questions.
  10. I think the new trend to discourage research is very recent (since last conference) and one that we will see more of. I could be wrong - it's just my observation over the past few months. To your links above, I believe that the Brethren thought that we could put out a less damaging version of the research that would help members work through it (GT Essays and Saints) but I think they may now be realizing that it isn't working. I know so many people for whom the GT Essays were the very thing that sent them into a faith or trust crisis. So I think now what we are seeing is this attempt to de-emphasize research into these topics, focus on faith, primary questions, avoid things that give you a feeling of gloom, trust the old weathered boat captain as the only guy that can get you home safely, research is not the answer. If the actual facts of the Church's history were faith affirming, than why wouldn't Elder Oaks have advised the spouse of the troubled member to open up the GT Essays or Saints and resolve the concerns of the spouse? My answer: Because the concerns can't be resolved that way, the concerns are rooted in the truth about the church. To stay "in", the way Elder Oaks and Elder Renlund seem to want members to stay in, you need to use faith to override those truths that are of lesser importance (Elder Holland to the MI).
  11. I think this is correct and it is the best way forward for the church (coupled with continued inoculation of the younger members).
  12. I've read and understand those perspectives. I'm looking at the broader picture: Elder and Sister Renlund's YSA address, Elder Corbridge's devotional, President Oaks' message to the young couples in Chicago, even Elder Holland's direction to the Maxwell Institute back in November. What I see emerging is a renewed emphasis on prioritizing faith over research. Whether it is in the form of suggesting that members already know enough, that research isn't the answer, or that studying church history is gloomy and not important. Again, I think that this is the best approach they can take now. And I think that because I don't see that research and study of the Church's narrative and truth claims to be faith affirming. I think the Brethren are reaching that same conclusion. If I am understanding correctly, you are countering that by saying that for some, it is faith affirming. I'd like to understand those who can see it that way. I'd like to see the Brethren answer the questions that so many are raising in a way that bolsters faith rather than encouraging members to turn away from those studies and focus on faith, staying in the ship, and the "primary questions". To build on what was asked earlier in the thread, how does one see the following as faith affirming: Book of Abraham not being the direct translation that was claimed Book of Mormon being received from a seer stone in a hat rather than translated from gold plates The manner in which Joseph Smith practiced polygamy Brigham Young teaching doctrines that have been disavowed Native American people not being Lamanites
  13. Then why aren’t the Brethren encouraging such research rather than discouraging it?
  14. In my experience, it is the accurate information that is causing active, believing members to disengage from the Church. For me, it was the accurate information about the Church’s narrative and truth claims that led to my “crisis of trust”. I think this is why we are seeing Pres. Oaks, Elder Corbridge, and the Renlunds discouraging such research. It is not faith affirming. If the issue was just that information being encountered by members was not accurate, the Brethren would be seeking to correct the inaccuracies.
  15. I agree that researching troubling issues within the Church’s narrative and truth claims will not likely lead one to a position of bolstered faith. I think that is why we’re seeing this emerging trend of discouraging such research. However, if one’s spouse has done the research and has concerns and the response from the other spouse is that they won’t look into it, won’t seek to understand where their spouse is, you might create a new problem in the marriage.