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About hope_for_things

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  1. Only if you have eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to understand.
  2. The dominant narrative is manifest everywhere in the culture. A few select quotes here and there doesn't change the overarching behaviors and operating model which is clearly deeply embedded.
  3. Maybe extend these exceptions to two hands with a little more research. The dominant narrative in the tradition remains the same.
  4. I think its great to realize that people like yourself exist in this church and can continue to navigate it while having a very healthy and skeptical approach to authority. But you are an outlier in the dominant culture.
  5. So few and far between, sadly we can count the exceptions to the rule on one hand....
  6. Our tradition and expectations around prophetic fallibility are not healthy. There are a few statements by some leaders that call for some nuance and moderation, but the dominant narrative gives preference to deferring to the prophet and aligning with leaders. From the songs we sing to the way that junior members of the Q15 act all the way down the chain of command in the patriarchal hierarchy. Its a very unhealthy tradition in this sense. From my perspective the church operates more like a military dictatorship than a democratic by common consent organization. Its unfortunate, and I'm not sure that it can change significantly. The few slightly more independent minded people always seem to be squeezed out of leadership and the more obedience types are given privilege. Look at Uchtdorf and Hugh Brown as examples in the Q15. Perhaps if priesthood were finally granted to women, it would mix up this dynamic. Perhaps if more emphasis were given to personal revelation, and we ditched the follow the prophet idol worship. I can dream, can't I.
  7. Yes, this is very challenging and I'm familiar with other situations that are quite similar. The couple has the opportunity to work this out, but it will take strong communication and negotiation skills on both of their parts. From my experience, they need to be able to align on common values that they still share. The reality is that all of us change throughout our lives and to have a healthy relationship there is a constant renegotiation happening, however, I think that a loss of faith can be a very quick and acute change that is difficult to cope with. The really unfortunate part of this tragic scenario, is that many church members who typically offer help for other kinds of loss (death, physical sickness) have no tools to help couples in this situation. From what I've seen the typical lifeline of community support that the church provides in other situations is essentially paralyzed when it comes to productively helping couples work though these kinds of problems. This is a huge problem in our modern church, and having leaders who don't understand and who offer the wrong counseling and advice only makes things worse.
  8. Thanks for sharing this perspective. It can be extremely hard for both sides and you're demonstrating just how challenging this is. My parents have also had a very hard time with my faith transition, my Mom in particular who just doesn't understand because she's quite a black and white thinker on the church's truth claims. And I'm fine with that and I've tried to be as respectful as possible to their position, very rarely even sharing any details about what has caused my shift of belief out of a respect for them. However, in hind sight, I worry sometimes that I've shielded them too much, and that has caused them to just imagine what perspectives I might hold, rather than actually have insight into what I believe. It has definitely made religion a thorny minefield to be navigated and both sides trying to avoid talking about religious things. I feel a sense of loss on that front. I wish I could just talk about what I believe now, and not bring up all the reasons why my faith has changed. That is the part that I miss, sharing what gives me hope and faith about the future. I'm a positive person, and I don't like dwelling in the past, I want to move forward. I've found ways to share positive perspectives at church, much more successfully than I've been able to do the same with my parents. Its still a work in progress...
  9. Yes, absolutely. If the culture can shift enough to not only tolerate, but be inclusive of differing perspectives and look for the good in everyone, it will go a long way to helping people feel welcome. I have been able to do this in my ward with a surprising level of success, yet I've also learned with time to not be as bothered or sensitive about people making naive statements that are offensive or less inclusive. I think this will take time and leadership from the top to get stronger traction on this topic, but I think it is inevitable as more people leave the faith, unless you force your members to exclude and shun those people, they will naturally become less judgmental towards friends and family who've left, which really changes both parties in that process.
  10. One of the interesting trends in the studies I've seen that show a large number people leaving organized religion especially in the younger generations, is that they aren't necessarily turning into atheists. Many of them still have a sense of spirituality and some are even turning to pseudoscience and other areas that promote a belief in the supernatural. I believe this is because humans have evolved to have religious experiences in a broad sense, and no matter how much education around how our brains work, people still have experiences that they often can't explain and for many of them, they don't want to explain these things. The experiences of feeling love and connection and a sense of awe and inspiration are the stuff that religious experience is made of and the spice of life. I personally expect to continue to have religious experiences, even though I no longer believe there is anything supernatural happening and I'm pretty agnostic on the idea of deity. I still also very much appreciate my relationship to Mormonism and want to continue that relationship, not because I believe in an afterlife or the literal efficacy of any of the authoritative claims, but because I like how Mormonism helps be connect to community and family and through that process I think I learn to be a better person.
  11. Good point, but at the same time I think its important for the still Mormon side to try and be empathetic towards the person transitioning who in many cases is suffering from significant pain and loss in the process. I know people who compare the level of angst they experienced to what it felt like to the death of a close loved one or a divorce. This is not small stuff and many people will experience those difficult stages of grief which include anger. For someone going through anger, it is crucial that they find trusted people who are safe to talk with in order to process their pain. Not everyone is mature enough to listen to someone's anger and not take personal offense to it. That space is where relationships are sometimes harmed, but I hesitate to place the blame on either party. The reality of the situation is that the tradition of Mormonism, going way back, has created this mess. All the stories about apostates over the years and the black and white true or false dichotomy has created an environment for significant conflict on this issue.
  12. Thanks, I hadn't read the article, it is a good one, I agree. If you haven't listened to the two most recent faith matters podcasts as well, they are excellent and on this same topic. I'm sharing them with some of my local leaders who I know like to listen to podcasts. https://conversationswithterrylgivens.podbean.com/
  13. I got this thread mixed up with another in my mind. But either way, if responding to my posts is a massive derailment for you, then don't respond. Don't sweat it.
  14. My opinion, based on my observations and discussions with people. I don't want to get into this again. We clearly have a difference of perspective on this topic.
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