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RevTestament

Curious about cafeteria doctrines

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

.......................................... The temple recommend questions really aren't very doctrinal at all. ............................................

Exactly, and that is why I say that Mormonism is a way of life more than a matter of belief.  Actions speak louder than words.  James 1:22-27, 2:14-26.

1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

Well, I think this is an area of discomfort for those many Mormons you discuss above. Those doctrines which we personally feel "bedevil" us. These are the ones I want to see if any will discuss. ..................................

Not long ago, historical polygamy roiled this board, and many were even incensed that a man can be sealed to one woman today, and if she passes before him he can be sealed to another -- serial polygamy.  Carol Lynn Pearson even came out with a hard-hitting book attacking both past and present (de facto) polygamy.  She felt that such a doctrine is a betrayal.  This is an area of discomfort.  Yet it doesn't get discussed at Church.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

I do not see choosing to believe or disbelieve our more esoteric teachings as maintaining incompatible beliefs.

I was thinking  more of the simultaneity of believing mutually incompatible doctrines.  And they need not be esoteric in any way.

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I had to stop reading the scriptures for a while, because all I could see was that "NONE of this is in the church!"  So I have never experienced scripture reading as something that supported me being in the church.  Curiously, this also includes what I find in The Book of Mormon.  (And I will grant my constant misunderstanding of what the church is/meant to be; and continuing revelation for me on that.)

Now I've gotten to a completely different position than either-or of that.

My project these days is more about becoming who I am supposed to be while I am here, not for later after I die.    Because I am satisfied of what my condition will be after I die--I will be myself.  But I don't want to look back on this ride knowing I didn't do everything humanly possible to serve and to enjoy.  Because I may not pass this way again, as the song goes.

What I know in my head (from scriptures or otherwise, and which is massive because it is one of my talents/curses) is turning out to be an utterly miniscule part of that project.

But for curiosity's sake I will share one thing I think I have found out that (or as I imagine) that kind of flips things upside down for me and that I don't share with too many people (but now on an internet board!).

But I have been seeing a lot of scripture from the position of our pre-earth life, and the meaning it holds from THAT position.  And I understand the requirement of baptism to be the requirement of making an Earth passage.  THAT'S the real requirement (or as I am understanding currently).  Our baptism is actually us being here nowUs being here now is what will sanctify and cleanse us and give us the opportunity to be filled (with the Holy Ghost) and prepare us as we go forward in the life we conduct where we came from (and will return to).  The little ceremony baptism we do is not the baptism.  It's a small image or token.  (Our Father holds on to us, while we go down into the waters/floods/Earth life--and come back up.)  So I learned this from many places, not just scriptures, coming together into one, but it included some scriptures like Noah's ark, Jaredites crossing the waters, and I don't know where else now.   Oh, yes this: Jonah 2:3.

Sometimes I feel real fear that if I say things like this too loud, I'll get kicked out even though I'm trying hard to stay!

Well, it's too loud now, I guess . . . :)

 

 

Edited by Maidservant

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I was thinking  more of the simultaneity of believing mutually incompatible doctrines.  And they need not be esoteric in any way.

I try not to do that.

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Exactly, and that is why I say that Mormonism is a way of life more than a matter of belief.  Actions speak louder than words.  James 1:22-27, 2:14-26.

Not long ago, historical polygamy roiled this board, and many were even incensed that a man can be sealed to one woman today, and if she passes before him he can be sealed to another -- serial polygamy.  Carol Lynn Pearson even came out with a hard-hitting book attacking both past and present (de facto) polygamy.  She felt that such a doctrine is a betrayal.  This is an area of discomfort.  Yet it doesn't get discussed at Church.

I just do not see how discussing it can help. And, to be frank, there are some Sunday School teachers that should NEVER be trusted to lead discussion on polygamy. That is why most learn the most about it in seminary where teachers are usually vetted better.

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3 hours ago, Tsuzuki said:

Mormonism is a religion where its members are expected to find the truth out for themselves. If it weren't for the Correlation Committee, it would be 100% cafeteria.

Hmmm. I don't know about that. It sounds good, but over the years there's been a lot of stuff promulgated from the podium of general conference. My wife treats that as if its law. I have a more liberal approach. I could give some examples, but it will probably get the board upset, but for instance the interpretation of Daniel 2. That doesn't really come from correlation committee. It comes from Kimball's presidency.

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Commonly held beliefs in the church I can't really get behind:

  • Polygyny required for exaltation: I have no real moral problem with voluntary polygamy, but the math doesn't work out for it to be required, and it also seems unfair to women for it to be required. Plus, it being required just doesn't sit right with me.
  • Women are more spiritual than men: I have a very high opinion of women, but I find this sentiment to be a cop-out for men. It's typically used as an excuse for laziness or bad behavior by men. "I'm just a man, I can't help being a slacker."

I deliberately did not call these doctrines, as I don't see much evidence for either one really being doctrinal. And that really sums it up for me. The real doctrines that no one disputes as being doctrinal (divinity of Christ, for example), I have no issue with and find to be in complete harmony with the scriptures. The folk doctrines and cultural beliefs are where I tend to have issues. 

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2 hours ago, Maidservant said:

I had to stop reading the scriptures for a while, because all I could see was that "NONE of this is in the church!"  So I have never experienced scripture reading as something that supported me being in the church.  Curiously, this also includes what I find in The Book of Mormon.  (And I will grant my constant misunderstanding of what the church is/meant to be; and continuing revelation for me on that.)

 R U willing to share any? However, don't if that makes you uncomfortable. Thanks for sharing. If you are talking about how disciples acted, and so forth, I imagine current church members act differently. If you could, give some scriptures you think about...

Quote

But for curiosity's sake I will share one thing I think I have found out that (or as I imagine) that kind of flips things upside down for me and that I don't share with too many people (but now on an internet board!).

But I have been seeing a lot of scripture from the position of our pre-earth life, and the meaning it holds from THAT position.  And I understand the requirement of baptism to be the requirement of making an Earth passage.  THAT'S the real requirement (or as I am understanding currently).  Our baptism is actually us being here nowUs being here now is what will sanctify and cleanse us and give us the opportunity to be filled (with the Holy Ghost) and prepare us as we go forward in the life we conduct where we came from (and will return to).  The little ceremony baptism we do is not the baptism.  It's a small image or token.  (Our Father holds on to us, while we go down into the waters/floods/Earth life--and come back up.)  So I learned this from many places, not just scriptures, coming together into one, but it included some scriptures like Noah's ark, Jaredites crossing the waters, and I don't know where else now.   Oh, yes this: Jonah 2:3.

Sometimes I feel real fear that if I say things like this too loud, I'll get kicked out even though I'm trying hard to stay!

Well, it's too loud now, I guess . . . :)

I absolutely don't see anything dangerous about what you've said here. Baptism is absolutely an outer token. The baptism of the spirit afterwards is much more important to us in this life. However, I also believe the immersion baptism is relevant for our resurrection. Not only is it an emblem of our complete commitment to our Savior but as a symbol of our rising from the sea of the world. There are scriptural precedents for this - including Revelation.

 

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4 hours ago, Calm said:

You might want to be a bit cautious about assuming this as Joseph Smith taught we would only truly understand such things long after we had died...or so I interpret him:

"When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave."

https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-22?lang=eng

I love JS, and almost always agree with him. However, I feel scripture brings me to a different conclusion. The mystery of God will be revealed on this earth. I know I sound egotistical, but the Church has not comprehended God. So God will show them. In fact in my experience the Church has dug in kicking and screaming so to speak. It has not interpreted scripture correctly, and is bound and determined not to change. But, in my estimation no other church interprets scripture correctly. For its faults, our Church is still the most correct, and I believe is the Church that keeps the commandments of God.                                                                                                                                                                                       

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deleat

Edited by california boy

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10 minutes ago, california boy said:

Perhaps the biggest thing that exited me and drew me to the church is the bold assertion that God speaks to man through a living prophet. It is this one belief that separates the Mormon church from any other.  All other churches by their own admission decide their doctrine by men. Either a small group or more by a common vote.  But no matter how their doctrine comes to them, it is by sincere men.  

Wow.  A prophet of God. The mouthpiece of God on earth. Christ running His church because He personally directs it through His prophet. Doctrine is not decided by committee.  It is declared by that prophet who received it by revelation. Without that claim, the church becomes just like any other.  

Has this belief left the church?  The one thing that is clear is that the church is no longer clear whether something is a decision decided by well meaning men doing what they think is their best understanding of the will of God (just like every other church) or if doctrine came directly to a prophet of God through his stewardship as Gods mouthpiece.  As a result we have endless threads about what is doctrine and what is policy  

I personally don't care one way or another. I wish the church would just be more clear whether church policy is coming by committee or declared by revelation through a spokesman from God. And no they are not the same thing.  If they have become the same thing thing then the claims of Mormonism is just like every other thing organized religion. 

I find it astonishing that, of all things, the one thing that would lead you out of the Church is the Lord would actually have the audacity to be sure to follow his own deeply established Biblical pattern, that pattern being that his people can only be properly led by living prophets! So it appears you believe that if a church is devoid of divine inspiration because there are no living prophets at the helm, that's a good thing? But if a Church IS led by living prophets so the members can enjoy truly knowing God's will for them, that's a bad thing?

Two questions: Why would a church that's led by uninspired men be superior in any way to a Church like the New Testament Church, an ecclesiastical organization that was indeed led by living prophets? Can you step outside of your own mind for a moment and try to see how your kind of thinking is nonsensical and absurd to testimony-bearing Latter-Day Saints?

Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3)

Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of God’s household,

20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. 21In Him the whole building is fitted together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. (Ephesians 2)

 

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

I love JS, and almost always agree with him. However, I feel scripture brings me to a different conclusion. The mystery of God will be revealed on this earth. I know I sound egotistical, but the Church has not comprehended God. So God will show them. In fact in my experience the Church has dug in kicking and screaming so to speak. It has not interpreted scripture correctly, and is bound and determined not to change. But, in my estimation no other church interprets scripture correctly. For its faults, our Church is still the most correct, and I believe is the Church that keeps the commandments of God.                                                                                                                                                                                       

You are talking about a mind that has been in full gear for maybe 40-50 years comprehending a mind that spans infinite eternities and embraces in awareness all of space where we are lucky if we can manage a 6 ft cube?

What about the scriptures that speak of God's ways are not man's, etc.?

Joseph was the prophet who most likely saw God the most in modern times, was best mate with an angel.  Are you assuming scripture study will bring you more insight than actual interaction with .God himself?

Edited by Calm

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30 minutes ago, Bobbieaware said:

I find it astonishing that, of all things, the one thing that would lead you out of the Church is the Lord would actually have the audacity to be sure to follow his own deeply established Biblical pattern, that pattern being that his people can only be properly led by living prophets! So it appears you believe that if a church is devoid of divine inspiration because there are no living prophets at the helm, that's a good thing? But if a Church IS led by living prophets so the members can enjoy truly knowing God's will for them, that's a bad thing?

Two questions: Why would a church that's led by uninspired men be superior in any way to a Church like the New Testament Church, an ecclesiastical organization that was indeed led by living prophets? Can you step outside of your own mind for a moment and try to see how your kind of thinking is nonsensical and absurd to testimony-bearing Latter-Day Saints?

Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3)

Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of God’s household,

20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. 21In Him the whole building is fitted together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. (Ephesians 2)

 

The one thing that lead me out of the church was when church leaders claimed to know the will of God and promised that if I would marry a woman I would loose my attraction for men.  For the first time I realized that the church would make claims of knowing the will of God when no such revelation came from Him.   

In the end I realized that church leaders are just giving their opinion just like every other sect. Just like you are giving your opinion about what you think the Bible teaches.  I learned that it is more important to cultivate and have a relationship with God. It is He that will direct your path, not a committee in Salt Lake.  That committee turned out to be like all the others.  

yeah astonishing huh.  

Note:  I decided to start a separate thread on this issue rather than derail this thread

Edited by california boy

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10 hours ago, The Nehor said:

 the nature of the atonement

Typically we teach penal substitution, which is quite a late developed theory of atonement. Do you think someone can accept earlier ideas like ransom theory of atonement or moral influence theory and still be a good Mormon?

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13 hours ago, RevTestament said:

I joined the Church fairly readily because I knew the interpretation of the Bible concerning the gospel for the dead was true, and the church rejected creeds regarding the nature of God. These two things brought me into the Church, and the spirit in the Church - friendly members - just made it feel like home.

Now without turning this into a complaint thread about the Presidency or esp the November doctrine, I was wondering how many who frequent this forum disagree with some past teaching or proclaimed doctrine, and yet find spiritual life in the Church? In other words I don't want this to be a complaint thread about Church policies, but a discussion about gospel/scriptural doctrines/interpretation. So I'll be the first to admit that I engage in cafeteria doctrine selection. This is not based upon feelings but upon scriptural interpretation. This is a departure from my usual uplifting threads so, if this disturbs you, please don't participate. I am just curious if there is a pulse of the Church which may be discernible.

I will start. Besides my strong testimony in the restored gospel, I don't personally accept a whole laundry list of teachings I've heard and most of which appear in Mormon Doctrine. Despite a certain admiration for the accomplishments of BY, I do not accept some of the doctrine he taught. For instance I don't believe the Garden of Eden is/was in America. I don't believe Heavenly Father married Mary nor that she was not a virgin when Yeshua was conceived. I don't believe we must enter temporal polygamy to be exalted. Further, I don't believe later teaching that Yeshua died on this world for the sins of all prior and subsequent worlds. Like I said I have a laundry list, but I will stop here.

Please. I am not attacking the Church. I am just curious as to how other members out there feel about these types of things, and if they are willing to express them. I am not suggesting that we are not all one if we don't believe exactly the same way either. I try to hold my fellow members with respect and dignity no matter their opinions.

I’m not sure that anything I don’t accept actually qualifies as a doctrine. I know how humorous that can sound!

But I’m not sure how many things are important enough for me to pray about for a witness, and my need to pray would only arise if I found myself at odds with what I consider doctrine (the LDS Newsroom definition). The examples you provided do not come across to me as doctrine.

I do look to Joseph Smith’s statement: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”

The idea of a cafeteria I think was originally meant to convey the uninspired and even prideful and rebellious picking and choosing of which commandments and covenants to keep, or whom to sustain based on similar attitudes, and not about sorting through matters of personal belief that, judging from the examples you provided, qualify as less relevant than appendages to our religion.

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11 hours ago, RevTestament said:

I will start. Besides my strong testimony in the restored gospel, I don't personally accept a whole laundry list of teachings I've heard and most of which appear in Mormon Doctrine. Despite a certain admiration for the accomplishments of BY, I do not accept some of the doctrine he taught. For instance I don't believe the Garden of Eden is/was in America. I don't believe Heavenly Father married Mary nor that she was not a virgin when Yeshua was conceived. I don't believe we must enter temporal polygamy to be exalted. Further, I don't believe later teaching that Yeshua died on this world for the sins of all prior and subsequent worlds. Like I said I have a laundry list, but I will stop here.

I have never considered myself a "cafeteria Mormon."  I don't think that Latter-day Saints are obligated to accept every word that comes from a General Authority as binding/doctrinal.  This has particular application to various remarks by General Authorities who A) lived in the 19th century, B) were therefore very inexperienced in matters of providing revelatory guidance to the Church, C) at times conflated personal opinion and conjecture with revealed truths, and D) presented ideas/concepts that are not soundly rooted in the scriptures and have not been presented to the Church per the Law of Common Consent.

This is why I feel free to entertain various ideas about, say, the geography of The Book of Mormon, or the scope of The Flood, and so on.  This is also why I can feel quite comfortable in rejecting the Adam-God theory (most of it, anyway - it was a somewhat amorphous concept).

As to the location of the Garden of Eden, we have noncanonical, second-hand statements attributed to Joseph Smith for the proposition that it was located in Jackson County, Missouri.  I am inclined to accept those statements as presumptively, but not definitively, correct.  And I am fine with members who do not accept them, either presumptively or definitively.  In contrast, the location of Adam-ondi-Ahman is a bit more definitive, as its location is attested to in scripture as being in Daviess County, Missouri  (D&C 107:53-56;116:1;117:8).

My qualm with "cafeteria mormon" is that, for me, it denotes someone who rejects important, foundational elements of our faith, or who actively and flagrantly disobey important commandments.

Perhaps before we begin using and relying on this term, we should first understand its definition and connotations.

Thanks,

-Smac 

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7 hours ago, RevTestament said:

 R U willing to share any? However, don't if that makes you uncomfortable. Thanks for sharing. If you are talking about how disciples acted, and so forth, I imagine current church members act differently. If you could, give some scriptures you think about...

The baptism is one of them.

Another one is the use of celestial-terrestrial-telestial as reality of how things will shake down (as if we will file off into camps).  I am fine with it as a teaching device to point to the reality.

Another one is the use of Isaiah scriptures as applying to Joshua of Nazareth.

Honestly I find the entire Old and New Testaments mostly irrelevant to the Church except as being reworked in a way that (in my opinion) they were never meant to be.  To be fair, I could say the same about larger Christianity as well--that it has mangled Old and New Testaments.

But then the question for me becomes--so?  What is the importance of Joseph's new revelation and does it need to be the same (even though the claim is that it is a restoration)?

I am highly aware that in the end, this is my opinion, and I can't claim "I got it right".  And indeed five years from now, for example, I expect myself to be in a different place.  So I just say "It is my current understanding."  For example, my ideas on atonement have evolved (??????) EXTREMELY since childhood, with several versions of what and why it is (or not).   So I just have to live with this--and either say it is a weakness of mine that I can't land somewhere or it is a gift of mine that I am being led to all the juicy stuff; or somewhere in between.

Which is why I get to the place where the "information" is really mostly useless; and the only thing that doesn't fail is (God's love), and I don't need to "know" anything to do that.  I just have to change myself and to act to serve and bear up others and forgive.  So really, you could fit all that on a post it note (rather than in the scriptures).

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9 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I just do not see how discussing it can help. And, to be frank, there are some Sunday School teachers that should NEVER be trusted to lead discussion on polygamy. That is why most learn the most about it in seminary where teachers are usually vetted better.

Yes, I fully agree.  There is a reason why such touchy subjects are seldom broached at church.

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2 hours ago, Gray said:

Typically we teach penal substitution, which is quite a late developed theory of atonement. Do you think someone can accept earlier ideas like ransom theory of atonement or moral influence theory and still be a good Mormon?

Sure. I do not think the penal substitution idea is correct. It is (I suspect) close and has merits and I would not knock anyone who believes it.

Our knowledge of the atonement is incomplete. By nature of the atonement I meant more how it works and applies to us. Knowledge the Book of Mormon spends a lot of time on. 

Even apostles admit they do not know fully how the atonement works and I doubt anyone goes to hell for gettinig it wrong. They might though for thinking God will forgive their sins no matter what. ;) 

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Pretty sure that unless you are doing 100% monthly home or visiting teaching, attending the temple monthly, attending all of your meetings, reading the scriptures daily, saying prayers multiple times throughout the day or any of the other myriad of things we are expected to do etc etc etc you can consider yourself a cafeteria Mormon.  Bottom line we all pick and choose things we focus on, emphasize or chose to ignore. Last time I checked we're all imperfect. 

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6 minutes ago, Button Gwinnett said:

Pretty sure that unless you are doing 100% monthly home or visiting teaching, attending the temple monthly, attending all of your meetings, reading the scriptures daily, saying prayers multiple times throughout the day or any of the other myriad of things we are expected to do etc etc etc you can consider yourself a cafeteria Mormon.  Bottom line we all pick and choose things we focus on, emphasize or chose to ignore. Last time I checked we're all imperfect. 

Yes... very, very few are not what one could term a "cafeteria Mormon".  Some like to say those are "progressives" too.  And some are, of course.

I'm finding that more of the so called "progressives" are being called to leadership positions now....most especially over the youth.  I know that in our stake and ward, no letter of the law types are really called anymore to serve with the youth.  Just an observation of mine.  The leaders desperately want to hold onto the youth and the youth (for the most part) do not respond to that type of thinking anymore.  Many are even very vocal about supporting gay rights and so on.  Many youth also believe in questioning authority.  That was a big no-no as I grew up in the church. 

I don't believe though that cafeteria Mormons and progressives are synonymous.  I'm not even sure what a progressive really is for sure :lol:  (Other than just not so black and white in their thinking and not so conservative as some members are).

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16 minutes ago, Button Gwinnett said:

Pretty sure that unless you are doing 100% monthly home or visiting teaching, attending the temple monthly, attending all of your meetings, reading the scriptures daily, saying prayers multiple times throughout the day or any of the other myriad of things we are expected to do etc etc etc you can consider yourself a cafeteria Mormon.  Bottom line we all pick and choose things we focus on, emphasize or chose to ignore. Last time I checked we're all imperfect. 

Precept can be good when the practice is lacking.

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2 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Yes... very, very few are not what one could term a "cafeteria Mormon".  Some like to say those are "progressives" too.  And some are, of course.

I'm finding that more of the so called "progressives" are being called to leadership positions now....most especially over the youth.  I know that in our stake and ward, no letter of the law types are really called anymore to serve with the youth.  Just an observation of mine.  The leaders desperately want to hold onto the youth and the youth (for the most part) do not respond to that type of thinking anymore.  Many are even very vocal about supporting gay rights and so on.  Many youth also believe in questioning authority.  That was a big no-no as I grew up in the church. 

I don't believe though that cafeteria Mormons and progressives are synonymous.  I'm not even sure what a progressive really is for sure :lol:  (Other than just not so black and white in their thinking and not so conservative as some members are).

This may be off topic so forgive me. But I do agree that the sentiments and expectations of the youth of today has evolved. We have a ward in my neck of the woods with a black and white, authoritarian Bishop who has used Satan's plan on the youth in his ward to force them to heaven. He has exacted very strict penalties for minor offenses , like refusing to allow boys to take or pass the sacrament for minor confessions extracted during semi-annual interviews. Needless to say the youth in his ward have rebelled, many have stopped attending church all together or only attend because they have been forced to attend by their parents.  Sometimes adopting a simple "teach correct principles and let them govern themselves" policy is best for all.

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1 minute ago, Button Gwinnett said:

This may be off topic so forgive me. But I do agree that the sentiments and expectations of the youth of today has evolved. We have a ward in my neck of the woods with a black and white, authoritarian Bishop who has used Satan's plan on the youth in his ward to force them to heaven. He has exacted very strict penalties for minor offenses , like refusing to allow boys to take or pass the sacrament for minor confessions extracted during semi-annual interviews. Needless to say the youth in his ward have rebelled, many have stopped attending church all together or only attend because they have been forced to attend by their parents.  Sometimes adopting a simple "teach correct principles and let them govern themselves" policy is best for all.

That's precisely why I think more and more we will be seeing very few letter of the law type members working with the youth.  The youth absolutely do not respond well to that.  I'm seeing the same thing in other leadership positions as well.  I look at the Bishopric I'm serving in and my stake leaders....many of us could be called progressives, I assume. ( I guess I need a definition for what people really believe about what constitutes a "progressive"!)

 

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14 hours ago, RevTestament said:

That has not really been my experience in Utah. I have met many what I call TBMs - those that say I follow the living prophets - and that is about it. In other words they don't want to discuss scripture etc. I approach things differently. I listen to what is taught. If I perceive that it may conflict with scripture, I pray about it. I am not a blind follower. I never have been. That is why I am in this Church in the first place. And despite what the Church may say they are not going to change my nature - or turn me into an unquestioning follower.

2

Hmmm. I don't think the Church expects you to become an unquestioning follower. There may be some members of it who expect this, however. I haven't run into any of them, so far, however.

14 hours ago, RevTestament said:

 

To me the basics of the restored gospel, are enumerated in the articles of faith, and its extension to the dead. I hope most certainly do agree on that much. Those beliefs determine our salvation so they are important. The temple recommend questions really aren't very doctrinal at all. There was a time when I felt I didn't understand the atonement, but I have no misunderstanding about that now.

2

As for understanding the atonement, there was once a time when I felt that it was just another doctrine, important surely, but just one among many. I finally came to a better understanding of its importance, however, and now I realize that it is the central doctrine, the one without which all others are just strings of generalities.  I would like to think I understand it.  But, just as Richard Feynman said about quantum physics, "If you think you understand quantum physics, you don't understand quantum physics," I don't think a full understanding of the atonement is possible for us in this life. Of course, a fuller understanding of it, approaching fullness, is possible -- but only through the Spirit.  And I think I am getting there, gradually.  In a private communication, an acquaintance of mine who was a general authority of the Church, now deceased, wrote to me: "Whenever I read any explanation of the Atonement, I am inclined to think of it as one more way of looking at and illuminating the Lord’s infinite and eternal sacrifice, which is like a jewel too vast for us to comprehend fully."  I only mention that he was a general authority in order to give weight to the idea that we are unlikely to truly understand the atonement, at least here and now.

14 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Well, I think this is an area of discomfort for those many Mormons you discuss above. Those doctrines which we personally feel "bedevil" us. These are the ones I want to see if any will discuss. Despite what you are saying about a way of life, beliefs determine actions. Now I don't believe every different belief about the Godhead is going to determine one's salvation. I have personally been trying to figure out God my whole life, so if the mysteries are that important, I may be in a lot of trouble LOL. There was a time as a teenager I had a sort of pantheistic view of God. I have changed a lot since then.... I am just wondering of the forum members are willing to discuss these things.

Thank you for contributing to this thread. I realize it is a bit provocative for some. I am not expecting a lot of responses at this point.

LOL, I think your expectation in terms of responses may be somewhat off-kilter.  You've been here for awhile, but I don't think you fully grasp that this particular crew is anything but reticent in the matter of responding to possibly controversial matters.

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