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Is Religion in America Improving or Degrading?

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12 minutes ago, smac97 said:
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The Religion News Service column “Flunking Sainthood,” as the title indicates, expresses the outlook of liberal Latter-day Saints. But author Jana Riess, who comes armed with a Columbia University doctorate in U.S. religious history, is also interesting when writing about broader matters.

Hmm.  Is Ostling correct about "the outlook of liberal Latter-day Saints?"  Is he saying that "liberal Latter-day Saints" have a generalized view that the Latter-day Saints are "flunking sainthood?"

He's not correct there.  I believe the reason Riess chose "Flunking Sainthood" for her blog name is to mirror the title of a book she wrote and in that book she elaborates on her experiences in memoir style about a year long endeavor she personally under took.  Here is a summary of her book title from Amazon.  

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This wry memoir tackles twelve different spiritual practices in a quest to become more saintly, including fasting, fixed-hour prayer, the Jesus Prayer, gratitude, Sabbath-keeping, and generosity. Although Riess begins with great plans for success ("Really, how hard could that be?" she asks blithely at the start of her saint-making year), she finds to her growing humiliation that she is failing--not just at some of the practices, but at every single one. What emerges is a funny yet vulnerable story of the quest for spiritual perfection and the reality of spiritual failure, which turns out to be a valuable practice in and of itself.

 

20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think this theory has some real merit.  However, it does not take into account the presence and influence of active opposition to "religious bodies."  We Mormons have plenty of detractors, and they are having some influence.

I think the earlier trends of decline being higher in more liberal denominations is interesting, but I'm not sure it reflects that same way in the more recent trends especially with Millennials and younger individuals.  It would be interesting to see some more statistics on how the trends are looking in the past 10 - 15 years especially.  

23 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Hmm.  Are young adults leaving the LDS Church in increasing numbers because of "LGBTQ issues?"  And, perhaps indirectly, because of "Republican President Donald Trump" (Mormons, being predominantly sociopolitically conservative and Republican, are being tainted by association with him)?

I think there is something to this for sure from my interactions with youth in my area, the conservative LDS youth in particular seem to dislike Trump more than like him, which is a departure from their parents in Utah who elected him to office.  I also see people more accepting of LGBT individuals in general and the statistics seem to back this up from what I've seen.  Is this a new trend that will lead to more inactivity in the church, or perhaps change in positions of church leaders as they respond to the concerns of young members?  

26 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I have a theory as to why "millenial" Mormons aren't "switching into liberal and LGBT-affirming churches."  I think such a switch presupposes that individuals perceive religious affiliation as being someone comparable to political affiliation.  That is, if you don't like your current affiliation, then you just "switch" to another that is more in line with your values.  However, I think Mormonism is too intergrated into our lives, too much of a "worldview" or "paradigm," such that individuals can't just "switch" to another religious affiliation like they would as to a political party (or a cell phone provider, or a sports team fanbase, etc.).

It seems to me that Mormons, when they leave the Church over doctrinal / social / political issues, tend to leave organized religion altogether.

I have two theories for why this is.  One is that Mormons are taught in exclusive truth claims so effectively that essentially its an all or nothing game.  If Mormonism isn't exclusively true, then why would any other religion be exclusively true.  Secondly, I think some underestimate how unique the Mormon experience is.  It just doesn't translate well into other traditions.  We've become an ethnicity and I think it feels inauthentic for many to try on another Christian denomination after losing belief in Mormonism.  

 

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

He's not correct there.  I believe the reason Riess chose "Flunking Sainthood" for her blog name is to mirror the title of a book she wrote and in that book she elaborates on her experiences in memoir style about a year long endeavor she personally under took.  Here is a summary of her book title from Amazon.  

I think you may have a point.  But a person who reads her article for any appreciable period of time could be excused for concluding that A) Riess is sociopolitically "liberal," and B) that the Church and its members regularly "flunk sainthood" in her eyes.

I find her blog generally unpleasant to read.

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Are young adults leaving the LDS Church in increasing numbers because of "LGBTQ issues?"  And, perhaps indirectly, because of "Republican President Donald Trump" (Mormons, being predominantly sociopolitically conservative and Republican, are being tainted by association with him)?

I think there is something to this for sure from my interactions with youth in my area, the conservative LDS youth in particular seem to dislike Trump more than like him, which is a departure from their parents in Utah who elected him to office. 

I have encountered very few people who "like" Trump as a person, but many nevertheless like how he is governing.

Moreover, the political left seems to be running into its own mass defection (the "#WalkAway" movement).  We'll see, I guess.

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I also see people more accepting of LGBT individuals in general and the statistics seem to back this up from what I've seen.  Is this a new trend that will lead to more inactivity in the church, or perhaps change in positions of church leaders as they respond to the concerns of young members?  

I think we've already seen a fairly significant change in how the Church addresses homosexuality, both as an "orientation" and as a set of behaviors.

But in terms of doctrine, no I don't think we'll see any substantive change.

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It seems to me that Mormons, when they leave the Church over doctrinal / social / political issues, tend to leave organized religion altogether.

I have two theories for why this is.  One is that Mormons are taught in exclusive truth claims so effectively that essentially its an all or nothing game.   If Mormonism isn't exclusively true, then why would any other religion be exclusively true. 

Yes, I think that's part of it.  The LDS approach to soteriology (the Plan of Salvation, the centrality of Christ's atonement, actual priesthood authority and specified saving ordinances, a visible church with a visible hierarchy, the Book of Mormon as a keystone to these things, stringent behavioral expectations, etc.) makes quite a bit of sense if you grow up with it.  With the clarity and certainty of these teachings comes . . . security.  Safety.  An assurance that you're on the right path.  In contrast, Protestantism seems a lot more loosey-goosey.  Vague.  Uncertain.

The Book of Mormon has two passages that reference an anchor as a metaphor.  The first is Mormon 5:18:

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But now, behold, they are led about by Satan, even as chaff is driven before the wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor, or without anything wherewith to steer her; and even as she is, so are they.

"As chaff is driven before the wind."  "Tossed about upon the waves."  "Without sail or anchor."  "Without anything wherewith to steer." 

Contrast that with Ether 12:4:

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Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

"With surety hope for a better world."  "Hope cometh of faith."  "An anchor to the soulds of men."  "Sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

If I were to lose faith in the Gospel, I think I would have a very hard time considering most types of Protestant Christianity.  Although I respect them in the abstract, they just seem too "wind of doctrine"-ish to me.  I don't think they could ever provide the moral clarity and certainty as I find in the Restored Gospel.

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Secondly, I think some underestimate how unique the Mormon experience is.  It just doesn't translate well into other traditions.  We've become an ethnicity and I think it feels inauthentic for many to try on another Christian denomination after losing belief in Mormonism.  

Yes, that is a good point.  The Latter-day Saints are my people.  We are not perfect by any measure, but we are working hard and are doing good things.  They, and the message of the Restored Gospel they imperfectly carry to the world, deserve some real allegiance.  So they have it from me.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

I have two theories for why this is.  One is that Mormons are taught in exclusive truth claims so effectively that essentially its an all or nothing game.  If Mormonism isn't exclusively true, then why would any other religion be exclusively true. 

I think it's because Mormons are taught to ask God to find out religious truth.  When they lose their testimony in things that they used to believe were revealed to them by God, some are left believing they have no way to judge religious truth.  Therefore, if there is religious truth out there, a lot of ex-mormons have no way to find it.  Trying to hold onto religious belief when you can no longer trust yourself to recognize is (or trust God to reveal it to you) is a very difficult thing.

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3 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think it's because Mormons are taught to ask God to find out religious truth.  When they lose their testimony in things that they used to believe were revealed to them by God, they are left with no way to judge religious truth.  

Not necessarily.  Sometimes in the past I (and other people) have believed God had told me something and later found out that I had misunderstood or misapplied what God had told me, so in fact he didn't tell me what I thought he told me but rather something close to that which I had misinterpreted.  I think this happens fairly often to most people, and I think God helps us to fine tune and clarify what he actually wants us to believe.

3 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Therefore, if there is religious truth out there, most ex-mormons have no way to find it.  Trying to hold onto religious belief when you can no longer trust yourself to recognize is (or trust God to reveal it to you) is a very difficult thing.

Trusting ourselves is not the right way to do it, I think.  

Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;. in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Or, in other words, he will straighten us out when we misunderstand him as long as we keep trusting in him to guide us.  Most people have a sense that they need to seek a higher power than their own reasoning ability.

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7 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Not necessarily.  Sometimes in the past I (and other people) have believed God had told me something and later found out that I had misunderstood or misapplied what God had told me, so in fact he didn't tell me what I thought he told me but rather something close to that which I had misinterpreted.  I think this happens fairly often to most people, and I think God helps us to fine tune and clarify what he actually wants us to believe.

Trusting ourselves is not the right way to do it, I think.  

Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;. in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Or, in other words, he will straighten us out when we misunderstand him as long as we keep trusting in him to guide us.  Most people have a sense that they need to seek a higher power than their own reasoning ability.

I actually edited my post because it was broader than I meant for it to be.  I agree that it doesn't apply to all ex-mormons.

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3 hours ago, smac97 said:

 I'm not sure how much of an impact they've had on the members of the Church.  However, I think the LDS Church faces increasing opposition from secular sources, particularly from some strident elements of the LGBT advocacy community.  Mormons hating gays is pretty much presumed, such that we now have to work very hard to address this impression.

I think you are underestimating the problem that the Church's doctrines...errr, "policies"...or, umm...."teachings"  regarding homosexuality are going to present in the coming years.

If Church leaders want to draw a line in the sand and say that that homosexuality is evil, homosexual marriages and families are sinful and fake, and only true happiness can come for them if they are obediently celibate in this life and miraculously heterosexual in the eternities, then that may very well be the hill that the Church dies on.  Not that it will disappear, but it will fade into peculiarity and irrelevance.

More and more of the future generations of LDS will grow up seeing their homosexual friends and neighbors (and even their homosexual selves) as being normal.  As that becomes more common, things are going to get very interesting for the Church, and some tough decision are going to have to be made about how big the tent is.

 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I think it's because Mormons are taught to ask God to find out religious truth.  When they lose their testimony in things that they used to believe were revealed to them by God, some are left believing they have no way to judge religious truth.  Therefore, if there is religious truth out there, a lot of ex-mormons have no way to find it.  Trying to hold onto religious belief when you can no longer trust yourself to recognize is (or trust God to reveal it to you) is a very difficult thing.

This presumes they still believe that they DID have the ability and lost it.

Not the case necessarily.

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56 minutes ago, cinepro said:

I think you are underestimating the problem that the Church's doctrines...errr, "policies"...or, umm...."teachings"  regarding homosexuality are going to present in the coming years.

We'll see, I guess.  The Church hasn't altered its doctrines as to the Law of Chastity, despite our society being half a century into the "Sexual Revolution."

I think we'll reach a level of détente in this matter.

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If Church leaders want to draw a line in the sand and say that that homosexuality is evil,

CFR, please as to instances of Church leaders "say[ing] that homosexuality is evil."

It is this sort of rhetoric (that is, false characterizations/accusations) that we need to address.

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homosexual marriages and families are sinful and fake,

The Church's rhetoric isn't like this.

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and only true happiness can come for them if they are obediently celibate in this life and miraculously heterosexual in the eternities, then that may very well be the hill that the Church dies on. 

I don't think so.  "The hill that the Church dies on" has been all sorts of things.  The Book of Mormon.  The Law of Chastity's proscription against fornication.  Priesthood resctricted to men.  And now, the same Law of Chastity proscription against homosexual behavior.

The Perpetual Outrage Machine has been chugging along for a while, but I think it's running out of gas.  Our society needs to be able to allow differences of belief and opinion on these sorts of things.

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Not that it will disappear, but it will fade into peculiarity and irrelevance.

I've seen this prediction many times, too.  

To paraphrase Mr. Twain, the reports of the Church's demise because of {_____________} (insert your preferred grievance against Mormonism here) are greatly exaggerated.

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More and more of the future generations of LDS will grow up seeing their homosexual friends and neighbors (and even their homosexual selves) as being normal. 

Probably so.  Not unlike how we see our heterosexual friends and neighbors who nevertheless are not adhering to the scriptural injunctions against fornication.

Again, we're 50 years or so into the Sexual Revolution, and the Church is still here, teaching the same Law of Chastity and its proscriptions against sexual behavior that exceed the parameters set by God.

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As that becomes more common, things are going to get very interesting for the Church, and some tough decision are going to have to be made about how big the tent is.

I think we're already there.  The Church made the "tough decisions" in 1995 (Proclamation on the Family), in 2015 (policy changes), and so on.

Some people will be able to abide by these things.  Some will not.  Our lot is to strive to persuade as many as possible to accept them, while simultaneously loving and respecting those who do not.

This is not the first time that the disciples of Jesus have been asked to live out-of-step with their neighbors, including those who are members of the faithI recognize that many things the Church of Jesus Christ teaches are difficult for its members and others to accept.  I hope each of us finds the happiness we are seeking.  That said, as much as we tend to emphasize the "love-one-another" aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it's not as though everyone who has ever heard Christ's teachings did not ever have any problems with them.  Sometimes the Lord asks us to do difficult things, to accept difficult things.  Consider the Savior's "Bread of Life" sermon in John 6.  What was the result of it?

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 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
...
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
...
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heardthis, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
...
66 ¶ From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Jesus Christ said something that was not popular.  Many of those who heard it "murmured at him."  Many of those who heard it "strove among themselves."  Many of those who heard it "went back, and walked no more with him."  

Christ said and did things that were not well-received by the society around Him.  I'm quite okay with that.  I'm also quite okay with His servants doing the same thing.  I am of course interested in the reputation of the Church.  Our reputation affects our ability to fulfill various mandates from God, not the least of which is the Great Commission.  But preserving and ehnancing the Church's "reputation" cannot come at the expense of other mandates, such as upholding and proclaiming and teaching principles pertaining to marriage and the Law of Chastity.

Christ did not upend the moneychangers' tables in the temple because it was popular.  He did so because it was right.

Christ did not preach the "Bread of Life" sermon in John 6 because it was popular.  He did so because it was right.

Christ preached a gospel that was not going to be popular in the minds of an increasingly wicked world.  He knew that.  But He preached it anyway.  I think He knew beforehand that His message would alienate many people, including some otherwise good and decent people.  But He preached anyway.  I think He did so because those who were ready for His message needed to hear it, and needed to be gathered out of the World.  

Perhaps this is why He said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."  

Perhaps this is why He also said (several times, actually😞 "Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words."

Christ also said: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."  

Christ also said "For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me."  

My dad and I were talking about these things a while back, some of which have been described as the "dark sayings of Jesus."  My dad noted that some people focus on the "sweetness and light" sayings of the Savior, which is probably fine - unless that focus is exclusionary.  Christ had warnings for us, after all.  Such as this: "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."  And this: "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil."   And this: "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail."   And this: "For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory."

So the hostile reactions of the World to the inspired leadership of the Brethren are, I think, not surprising.  To the contrary, they are the anticipated responses to prophetic counsel.  In a way, I find it grimly satisfying that the Brethren are saying and doing some things that, in my mind, are A) unpopular in the eyes of the World, and B) plainly in accordance with revealed truths and based on revelation.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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30 minutes ago, smac97 said:

CFR, please as to instances of Church leaders "say[ing] that homosexuality is evil."

It is this sort of rhetoric (that is, false characterizations/accusations) that we need to address.

 

 

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It’s true that the law of chastity forbids all sexual relations outside the bonds of a married heterosexual relationship. And while same-gender attraction is not a sin, you need to resist cultivating immoral, lustful thoughts toward those of either gender.  It’s no sin if a bird lands in your tree, just don’t let him build a nest there.  The adversary will tempt you by constantly “enticing” you to “do that which is evil,” because “there is an opposition in all things.” (2 Nephi 2:11)

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/elder-bruce-c-hafen-speaks-on-same-sex-attraction

 

 

30 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I don't think so.  "The hill that the Church dies on" has been all sorts of things.  The Book of Mormon.  The Law of Chastity's proscription against fornication.  Priesthood resctricted to men.  And now, the same Law of Chastity proscription against homosexual behavior.

I would suggest that the two biggest previous hills were polygamy and the Priesthood ban.  Just ask yourself what would probably happen if God were to bring either back to the Church tomorrow, and you might find yourself agreeing with me.

 

 

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2 hours ago, cinepro said:

More and more of the future generations of LDS will grow up seeing their homosexual friends and neighbors (and even their homosexual selves) as being normal.  As that becomes more common, things are going to get very interesting for the Church, and some tough decision are going to have to be made about how big the tent is.

Homosexuality will never be more normal than adultery and fornication that is found among heterosexuals by simple fact that that 95% of of the population is not gay.   The Church has not had to make big decisions on whether to accept swingers and the rest into the Church even though society mostly accepts their private behavior.  The Church can make the tent really big by simply accepting all lifestyles, drug use, and everything else.  It can simple assert that nobody is a sinner.  Christ atoned for everyone so there is no need to repent.  We are all free to do what we want.  That would make a really big tent. Since the Church believes God has standards and people must meet those standards, we accept the tent has to be limited in size.  We have to accept that most people will not be in our tent and we have to accept that as being ok.  Doctrine and Covenants Section 76:109 suggests that a huge number of people will inherit the Telestial kingdom.  Clearly the size of the tent of those who qualify to that kingdom will be huge

109 But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the seashore;

If our tent appeals to the majority, we may be in the wrong tent.

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1 hour ago, cinepro said:

 

 

 

I would suggest that the two biggest previous hills were polygamy and the Priesthood ban.  Just ask yourself what would probably happen if God were to bring either back to the Church tomorrow, and you might find yourself agreeing with me.

 

 

Your quote by Elder Hafen certainly says that homosexual behavior is evil. He also condemned cultivating lustful thoughts. And then clearly stated that same-sex attraction is not a sin.

So unless you mean that homosexual individuals are incapable of refraining from homosexual behaviors, maybe conflating orientation and behavior isn't such a good idea. 

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3 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

This presumes they still believe that they DID have the ability and lost it.

Not the case necessarily.

Yes, it presumed that they once believed they had a testimony that they believed was the consequence of revelation. 

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5 hours ago, bluebell said:

I think it's because Mormons are taught to ask God to find out religious truth.  When they lose their testimony in things that they used to believe were revealed to them by God, some are left believing they have no way to judge religious truth.  Therefore, if there is religious truth out there, a lot of ex-mormons have no way to find it.  Trying to hold onto religious belief when you can no longer trust yourself to recognize is (or trust God to reveal it to you) is a very difficult thing.

For me it was a realization that religious "truth" was simply a man-made invention defined by the religious group.  It was actually liberating because I would always wonder whether what I thought I was feeling was from an over-active desire to believe or from something real.  There is really no way to tell as it is always possible that what one thinks comes from some outside force or God is really just delusion coming from a desire to believe.  Deciding for myself that it came from inside of me or from the group was a big relief.

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13 hours ago, smac97 said:

Moreover, the political left seems to be running into its own mass defection (the "#WalkAway" movement).  We'll see, I guess.

#WalkAway is a fake movement fueled by Russian bots in an attempt to sow discord.

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Can an employer fire a man for having sex with a woman?  Seems like they should be able to.

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7 hours ago, Exiled said:

For me it was a realization that religious "truth" was simply a man-made invention defined by the religious group.  It was actually liberating because I would always wonder whether what I thought I was feeling was from an over-active desire to believe or from something real.  There is really no way to tell as it is always possible that what one thinks comes from some outside force or God is really just delusion coming from a desire to believe.  Deciding for myself that it came from inside of me or from the group was a big relief.

I totally get that. 

For me, receiving revelation that I did NOT want to hear, and that I had zero desire to believe, and that I had not looked for but which came to fruition, has helped me a lot with the issues of “is this just me, or is this from an outsider source?”

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3 hours ago, Gray said:

#WalkAway is a fake movement fueled by Russian bots in an attempt to sow discord.

I am sure Glorious Leader will address this at his upcoming photo op sorry summit.

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10 hours ago, Exiled said:

For me it was a realization that religious "truth" was simply a man-made invention defined by the religious group. 

Do you also believe non-religious truth is simply a man-made invention defined by some non-religious group? I understand that each person decides for himself or herself what he/she believes is true and that groups of people are basically people who think the same thing.

10 hours ago, Exiled said:

It was actually liberating because I would always wonder whether what I thought I was feeling was from an over-active desire to believe or from something real.  There is really no way to tell as it is always possible that what one thinks comes from some outside force or God is really just delusion coming from a desire to believe.  Deciding for myself that it came from inside of me or from the group was a big relief.

Deciding for yourself, yes, that is what you did on that occasion.  You decided what you thought was true and then you felt a big relief because you no longer felt a need to make the choice either way because you had already decided for yourself what is true..

I wonder what would happen though it someday you thought you might like to change your mind, since you could go either way, any day of the week, since all you need to do is make a decision as o what you believe is the truth.

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14 hours ago, cinepro said:

I would suggest that the two biggest previous hills were polygamy and the Priesthood ban. 

Right.  And the Church didn't die on either.

14 hours ago, cinepro said:

Just ask yourself what would probably happen if God were to bring either back to the Church tomorrow, and you might find yourself agreeing with me.

Polygamy?  In 2018?  Wouldn't be a problem, I think.  But I don't see that happening, so it's a pure hypothetical.  Same goes for reinstituting the ban.

The Church has staked out a pretty solid position on homosexual behavior.  It's been in place for quite a while.  And the Church is still chugging along.

Thanks,

-Smac

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16 hours ago, cinepro said:

I think you are underestimating the problem that the Church's doctrines...errr, "policies"...or, umm...."teachings"  regarding homosexuality are going to present in the coming years.

If Church leaders want to draw a line in the sand and say that that homosexuality is evil, homosexual marriages and families are sinful and fake, and only true happiness can come for them if they are obediently celibate in this life and miraculously heterosexual in the eternities, then that may very well be the hill that the Church dies on.  Not that it will disappear, but it will fade into peculiarity and irrelevance.

More and more of the future generations of LDS will grow up seeing their homosexual friends and neighbors (and even their homosexual selves) as being normal.  As that becomes more common, things are going to get very interesting for the Church, and some tough decision are going to have to be made about how big the tent is.

 

I think you are underestimating how tactful our Church leaders can be when presenting our views.  Homosexuality isn't evil.  Seeing other people as being sexually attractive is something everyone should be able to see, whether those people are of the same or the opposite sex.  The problem with people who see only people of the same sex as themselves as being sexually attractive is that they aren't seeing what it is that makes the opposite sex sexually attractive as well.  That is what needs to be fixed, along with the understanding that sexual relations should be between people of the opposite sex and even then only when they are married because the line needs to be drawn somewhere and the best place to draw the line is where it will do the most good.  It isn't just to have fun or to do whatever feels good.  The best purpose of sexual relations is to reproduce another person who is a combination of the people who are having sexual relations with each other, in love, with the two becoming one flesh.  Anything short of that isn't as good a use of what sexual relations is for... even though it can still feel good.

And I also think you are underestimating how sinful the majority of the world's population considers sexual relations between people of the same sex to be.  Despite what you see on TV shows and some movies, the majority of the world's population considers sexual relations to be something they should do only with people of the opposite sex.  Only a very small minority of the world's population consider sexual relations between people of the same sex to be a good thing to do.

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31 minutes ago, Ahab said:

I think you are underestimating how tactful our Church leaders can be when presenting our views.  Homosexuality isn't evil.  Seeing other people as being sexually attractive is something everyone should be able to see, whether those people are of the same or the opposite sex.  The problem with people who see only people of the same sex as themselves as being sexually attractive is that they aren't seeing what it is that makes the opposite sex sexually attractive as well.  That is what needs to be fixed, along with the understanding that sexual relations should be between people of the opposite sex and even then only when they are married because the line needs to be drawn somewhere and the best place to draw the line is where it will do the most good.  It isn't just to have fun or to do whatever feels good.  The best purpose of sexual relations is to reproduce another person who is a combination of the people who are having sexual relations with each other, in love, with the two becoming one flesh.  Anything short of that isn't as good a use of what sexual relations is for... even though it can still feel good.

And I also think you are underestimating how sinful the majority of the world's population considers sexual relations between people of the same sex to be.  Despite what you see on TV shows and some movies, the majority of the world's population considers sexual relations to be something they should do only with people of the opposite sex.  Only a very small minority of the world's population consider sexual relations between people of the same sex to be a good thing to do.

You posts about sex always come across to me as creepy.

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1 minute ago, The Nehor said:

You posts about sex always come across to me as creepy.

You're probably just one of those people who is creeped out by the idea of seeing people of the same sex as sexually attractive, with you thinking that only the opposite sex is, and even then only some and not all of them, probably. 

I thinks it's a problem when anyone sees only one sex as sexually attractive, because both sexes are, actually.  If only one sex was attractive then the other sex wouldn't find it attractive. 

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24 minutes ago, Ahab said:

I thinks it's a problem when anyone sees only one sex as sexually attractive, because both sexes are, actually.  If only one sex was attractive then the other sex wouldn't find it attractive. 

Attraction seems rather subjective to me, we probably shouldn't make it an objective thing where there is a "problem" if someone does or does not find someone else attractive. 

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