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SouthernMo

Love the gospel, not the church

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Just now, SouthernMo said:

Had a rough Sunday yesterday. I kid you not that a grown woman bore testimony in sacrament meeting that God saved her hamster’s life.  Another brother spoke for 20 minutes about the Cuban missile crisis and how it related to his foot that just got amputated.

People do say strange things at times.  Most of these people appear, to me, to really just need someone to talk to and help them feel important.  Lacking that they seem to gravitate towards Fast Sunday.  I don't really mind except when it prevents others from sharing.  20 minutes does seem a bit long. 

I've also learned that many people have trouble understanding how much time they're taking when at the pulpit.

1 minute ago, SouthernMo said:

“The Prophet Jospeph Smith taught, 'Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.”

He taught that all ordinances are covenants.  Hard to go to a class where so much untrue is taught.

I would say that all ordinances are associated with covenants.  Maybe a different phrasing would help.  I've misspoken things when teaching or given a talk, maybe that's what happened.

4 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

I love the gospel I have been taught.  I think Mormonism is closer to the truth than anything I’ve come across so far.  But, I really don’t like coming to church.

What do people do who feel similarly (if anyone)?  My mood sinks on Sunday mornings, and I’m resenting the church more and more even though the gospel that has been restored so far is beautiful to me.

The main message of the gospel is contained in Luke 10:27, love God and love your neighbor.  Everything we do at church is aimed at helping us do those things.  The rites, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel help us to do these two things.  People are the most difficult part of the gospel.  But they are also the reason for the gospel. 

The saying "patience is a virtue" is true.

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15 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Had a rough Sunday yesterday. I kid you not that a grown woman bore testimony in sacrament meeting that God saved her hamster’s life.  Another brother spoke for 20 minutes about the Cuban missile crisis and how it related to his foot that just got amputated.

In Sunday school, the instructor quoted the August 2001 Ensign (page 22):

“The Prophet Jospeph Smith taught, 'Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.”

He taught that all ordinances are covenants.  Hard to go to a class where so much untrue is taught.

I love the gospel I have been taught.  I think Mormonism is closer to the truth than anything I’ve come across so far.  But, I really don’t like coming to church.

What do people do who feel similarly (if anyone)?  My mood sinks on Sunday mornings, and I’m resenting the church more and more even though the gospel that has been restored so far is beautiful to me.

This is essentially true for me, although I usually enjoy fast and testimony meeting. We don't get 20 min travel logs or the like. I wouldn't say my mood sinks, but I have to admit that I don't particularly look forward to Church anymore. When I was young I loved the Church and it seemed to me it loved me back. After I converted more fully, and fully gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon, however, it seems I don't feel the same anymore. I don't feel like I am going to learn much at Church, so I go to renew my covenants. I don't feel much like participating in class anymore. I wish I could see this changing, because I do love the gospel, and want to share, so I share here... that's perhaps sadly my best advice....

I am not clear what you mean here: "He taught that all ordinances are covenants.  Hard to go to a class where so much untrue is taught." Are you saying the ordinances are not covenants? I certainly see them that way.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Don't know if you are familiar with this essay or not, but if not perhaps it can help (it helped me and I know of many others who appreciated it):

http://www.eugeneengland.org/why-the-church-is-as-true-as-the-gospel

Thanks for sharing that. I’ve read that paper before. Eugene Englund seems to be last generation’s Terryl Givens.

The Principles in his paper are apt. My personal challenge is that in this paradox between serving and receiving, I am no longer in a place where I can in good conscience invite others to find Jesus and find peace at church. 

Edited by SouthernMo
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18 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Had a rough Sunday yesterday. I kid you not that a grown woman bore testimony in sacrament meeting that God saved her hamster’s life.  Another brother spoke for 20 minutes about the Cuban missile crisis and how it related to his foot that just got amputated.

In Sunday school, the instructor quoted the August 2001 Ensign (page 22):

“The Prophet Jospeph Smith taught, 'Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.”

He taught that all ordinances are covenants.  Hard to go to a class where so much untrue is taught.

I love the gospel I have been taught.  I think Mormonism is closer to the truth than anything I’ve come across so far.  But, I really don’t like coming to church.

What do people do who feel similarly (if anyone)?  My mood sinks on Sunday mornings, and I’m resenting the church more and more even though the gospel that has been restored so far is beautiful to me.

 

Personally, I feel that God intends for us to gather to worship, not out of a sense of duty or obligation, but rather to be uplifted and inspired. If that doesn't happen, in fact if it consistently fails, then I'd suggest finding another way to worship.

I wear a fitbit that tracks my stress levels throughout the week. I can look at my levels of stress from any hour in the week. Consistently, I have found that my most stressful hours are at church, and I have what some would consider to be a somewhat stressful job. But the stress levels between work and church aren't even close. I can compare my worst work hours with church and church proves to be much more stressful for me. It's not enjoyable. So I have to figure out what that means for me. Am I beating my head against a wall hoping for something to magically change or do I take a more proactive approach to finding a style of worship that suits me better; one that allows me to truly be uplifted and inspired? I think I know what God would prefer, but I'm often held back from doing what I think God would have me do, out of fear of the judgement of friends and family. I consider it a weakness that I let the opinions of others direct my actions as much as they do.

I guess that's a long way of saying, I understand and feel the same thing you describe. I think each individual has to make decisions and do the things that they feel will be best for them.

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8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Love the gospel, not the church

Can't do it.  I am reminded here of Mormon 9:31: "Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been."

This is very wise.  We needn't condemn the flawed men and women who have gone before.  They're already dead, and judgment is now up to God (as it has ever been).

But we also needn't ignore the flaws of our predecessors.  We can, and must, learn from them, that we may "be more wise they [they] have been."

I think this applies to the leaders of the Church.  And our fellow members.  And to the Church as a whole.  We are all imperfect beings.  And yet Christ loves His Church.  "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."  (Ephesians 5:25).  If Jesus Christ loves His Church, I think we should, too.

For me, "the Church" encompasses both the institution and its constituent members.   We need to forgive.  "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men."  (D&C 64:10).  And we need to remember that we will be judged by our own yardstick.

8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Had a rough Sunday yesterday. I kid you not that a grown woman bore testimony in sacrament meeting that God saved her hamster’s life.  

I'm reminded here of Luke 12:

Quote

6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Consider also these remarks by Elder Maxwell:

Quote

{S}ome still settle for an inconsistent or incapable god. Laman and Lemuel, for instance, were aware of ancient Israel’s miraculous rescue from Pharaoh’s mighty armies, but they murmured and were intimidated by a mere, local Laban. We can be so provincial and so self-concerned. God, who oversees the interlacings of galaxies, stars, and worlds, asks us to confess His hand in our personal lives, too (see D&C 59:21). Have we not been reassured about the fall of one sparrow and that the very hairs of our heads are numbered? (see Matt. 10:29–30; D&C 84:80). God is in the details! Just as the Lord knows all of His vast creations, He also knows and loves each in any crowd—indeed, He knows and loves each and all of mankind! (see 1 Ne. 11:17).

Consider His tender salutations to Moses—“I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight” (Ex. 33:12)—and to Joseph: “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (JS—H 1:17).

No wonder King Benjamin pleads with us to believe that we do not comprehend all that God comprehends (see Mosiah 4:9). Ignoring the revelations about God’s astounding capacity is like playing aimlessly and contentedly with wooden blocks featuring the letters of the alphabet, without realizing Shakespearean sonnets were created using that same alphabet.

Father Abraham “staggered not” at the divine promise of posterity, because he was “fully persuaded that, what [God] had promised, he was able also to perform” (Rom. 4:20–21). May we be “fully persuaded.”

I suppose it's possible for a person to over-generalize, to attribute to divine intervention something that is mundane and just a matter of happenstance.  But how would that make the Sabbath "rough?"

8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Another brother spoke for 20 minutes about the Cuban missile crisis and how it related to his foot that just got amputated.

Perhaps he should have focused on testifying of Jesus Christ.  But straying from the purpose of Fast and Testimony Meeting is a human foible, and not a very big one, IMO.

8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

In Sunday school, the instructor quoted the August 2001 Ensign (page 22):

“The Prophet Jospeph Smith taught, 'Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.”

He taught that all ordinances are covenants.  Hard to go to a class where so much untrue is taught.

Not sure what you mean here.

8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

I love the gospel I have been taught.  I think Mormonism is closer to the truth than anything I’ve come across so far.  But, I really don’t like coming to church.

I encourage you to keep at it.

8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

What do people do who feel similarly (if anyone)? 

I think church services can sometimes be better, but they are often quite good.  That includes Fast & Testimony Meeting.

False ("untrue") doctrines seem to be a very rare thing.

8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

My mood sinks on Sunday mornings, and I’m resenting the church more and more even though the gospel that has been restored so far is beautiful to me.

It sounds like you are resenting people.  Because of their weaknesses.  Is that a correct assessment?

Thanks,

-Smac

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39 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

I am not clear what you mean here: "He taught that all ordinances are covenants.  Hard to go to a class where so much untrue is taught." Are you saying the ordinances are not covenants? I certainly see them that way.

You understand me correctly. Giving a baby a blessing is an ordinance, but not a covenant. Receiving a patriarchal blessing is an ordinance, but not a covenant.

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40 minutes ago, smac97 said:

It sounds like you are resenting people.  Because of their weaknesses.  Is that a correct assessment?

You may be right. I’d describe it more as wondering how those people around me seem to enjoy those things, when I am looking for something different.  I wonder if I’m crazy for expecting something different from our group worship.  I want to find Christ at our meetings.

I’ve kept track of how many testimonies and talks in my ward address Jesus Christ. Over the last 11 weeks only 3 talks and testimonies mentioned Jesus Christ (not counting “in the name of Jesus Christ Amen”). I’d like to go to a church where there’s more.

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1 hour ago, SouthernMo said:

Had a rough Sunday yesterday. I kid you not that a grown woman bore testimony in sacrament meeting that God saved her hamster’s life.  Another brother spoke for 20 minutes about the Cuban missile crisis and how it related to his foot that just got amputated.

In Sunday school, the instructor quoted the August 2001 Ensign (page 22):

“The Prophet Jospeph Smith taught, 'Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.”

He taught that all ordinances are covenants.  Hard to go to a class where so much untrue is taught.

I love the gospel I have been taught.  I think Mormonism is closer to the truth than anything I’ve come across so far.  But, I really don’t like coming to church.

What do people do who feel similarly (if anyone)?  My mood sinks on Sunday mornings, and I’m resenting the church more and more even though the gospel that has been restored so far is beautiful to me.

 

It can be difficult at times, but I have always tried to take many talks and testimonies with the understanding that we are all flawed. Myself more than most, if not all. God only calls and uses the flawed, because it is all he has to work with. Even his Prophets of old, (especially if old, as their many rebukes are listed in scripture)  and in mondern times are flawed mem. When gives me hope about Joseph Smith, he not only knew his weaknesses, but listed his "many" rebukes from the Lord. So, knowing my own weaknesses, I seek to ignore as much as I am able, the weaknesses of others. Otherwise I would fear for my very soul.  

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14 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

You understand me correctly. Giving a baby a blessing is an ordinance, but not a covenant. Receiving a patriarchal blessing is an ordinance, but not a covenant.

JS could have meant saving ordinances, as in all saving ordinances are covenants.

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40 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:
Quote

I am not clear what you mean here: "He taught that all ordinances are covenants.  Hard to go to a class where so much untrue is taught." Are you saying the ordinances are not covenants? I certainly see them that way.

You understand me correctly. Giving a baby a blessing is an ordinance, but not a covenant. Receiving a patriarchal blessing is an ordinance, but not a covenant.

I wonder if you are being unnecessarily critical.  See here (italicized emphasis added):

Quote

COVENANTS AND ORDINANCES

“And this shall be our covenant—that we will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord.” - D&C 136:4

Covenants

A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions. When we choose not to keep covenants, we cannot receive the blessings, and in some instances we suffer a penalty as a consequence of our disobedience.

All the saving ordinances of the priesthood are accompanied by covenants. For example, we make a covenant when we are baptized, and we renew that covenant each time we partake of the sacrament (see Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 20:37, 77, 79). Those who have received the Melchizedek Priesthood have entered into the oath and covenant of the priesthood (see D&C 84:33–44). The temple endowment and the sealing (marriage) ordinance also include sacred covenants.

Ordinances

In the Church, an ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. Some ordinances are essential to our exaltation. These ordinances are called saving ordinances. They include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing. With each of these ordinances, we enter into solemn covenants with the Lord.

Other ordinances, such as naming and blessing children, consecrating oil, and administering to the sick and afflicted, are also performed by priesthood authority. While they are not essential to our salvation, they are important for our comfort, guidance, and encouragement.

Ordinances and covenants help us remember who we are. They remind us of our duty to God. The Lord has provided them to help us come unto Him and receive eternal life. When we honor them, He strengthens us spiritually.

And here (emphases added):

Quote

In the Church, an ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. Some ordinances are essential to our exaltation. These ordinances are called saving ordinances. They include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing. With each of these ordinances, we enter into solemn covenants with the Lord.

Other ordinances, such as naming and blessing children, consecrating oil, and administering to the sick and afflicted, are also performed by priesthood authority. While they are not essential to our salvation, they are important for our comfort, guidance, and encouragement.

Is it possible that the fellow was speaking of saving ordinances (all of which involve covenants)?

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:
Quote

It sounds like you are resenting people.  Because of their weaknesses.  Is that a correct assessment?

You may be right.

I'd invite you to be patient.  We are none of us perfect.

The best thing to do in such circumstances is to find ways to love these people.  It's hard to faultfind and selflessly serve people at the same time.

8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

I’d describe it more as wondering how those people around me seem to enjoy those things, when I am looking for something different.  I wonder if I’m crazy for expecting something different from our group worship.  I want to find Christ at our meetings.

This is often a matter of perspective and attitude, I think.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

It sounds like you are resenting people.  Because of their weaknesses.  Is that a correct assessment?

Thanks,

-Smac

I find I resent myself more than others when feeling this way. I don’t like resenting myself. I try to avoid those situations. With church, it was learning how to look st it differently. Expect different things.   Works most of the time. Of course, it probably helps health keeps me out of church a lot so when I go I am more grateful from the start. 

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2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Love the gospel, not the church

Can a man/woman love both?  I mean, you probably have some polygamist blood in you, it should not be too hard to find space to love both ;)   

How many times have you rolled your eyes at things your spouse has said?  Do you stop loving your wife because she can be annoying at times?  No, you serve her and love her for her quirks.  That is the only way you will get anything out of a relationship with a spouse or a church.  After all, it is only through the church that you have the gospel that you love so dearly, so we can at least show gratitude and reverence for that.

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I just want the connection between the absence od foot missle Crisis

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I feel no obligation to listen to talks or testimonies that don’t help me feel the spirit.  I typically come to Church with a thought in mind that I read, ponder and pray about through the end of the sacrament.

Once the talks/testimonies start I listen at the beginning of each and continue to do so if I feel the spirit.  If not it’s back to my personal study and meditation.  Rinse and repeat in SS and Priesthood.

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48 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Once the talks/testimonies start I listen at the beginning of each and continue to do so if I feel the spirit.  If not it’s back to my personal study and meditation.  Rinse and repeat in SS and Priesthood.

I think these and others mentioned above are good strategies. But like SouthernMo, I expect more than this from church. I think we all have a role to play in making sure that church meetings are filled with transformative spiritual experiences, genuine learning, and sincere fellowship. Just letting it not be that way because we're in a personal happy place is an OK place to start, in my opinion, but we need to go far beyond that if we're to live up to our privileges.

I spent nearly two years planning all of the sacrament meetings in our ward and then another four years planning one each month. I spent literally hours each week making that happen, including working one-on-one with some of the assigned speakers. My assignments were clear in purpose and expected outcomes. Assignments were made prayerfully, not just based on who hadn't spoken in a while. Etc.

In our sacrament meetings now, I sing out as an act of heartfelt worship. I'm in my seat at least five minutes before the start of the service. In classes, if the content isn't inviting the Spirit, I pray to be able to ask a question or make a comment that will. If I sense that someone was left unsatisfied at the end of a lesson, I go out of my way to speak to that person afterwards, share personal experiences, etc. When I was teaching Gospel Principles class as the ward mission leader, I sought diligently to prepare to genuinely feed the sheep in my class. And so forth.

When the Young Men complained to me as YM president that they found testimony meeting boring, I taught them what a testimony should be and encouraged them to go up with me anytime the meeting didn't live up to its intent. That habit spread to the ward council and, as I said above, continues to this day.

At the end of the day, I don't want to feel like I held back in any way from helping others find Christ and His transformative power at church.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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From the Desiderata:

Speak your truth clearly and quietly, and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant, for they, too, have their stories.

Not LDS scripture but some pretty good words to live by none the less.

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4 minutes ago, Prof said:

From the Desiderata:

Speak your truth clearly and quietly, and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant, for they, too, have their stories.

Not LDS scripture but some pretty good words to live by none the less.

But what if their stories are dull and ignorant too?

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4 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Had a rough Sunday yesterday. I kid you not that a grown woman bore testimony in sacrament meeting that God saved her hamster’s life.  Another brother spoke for 20 minutes about the Cuban missile crisis and how it related to his foot that just got amputated.

In Sunday school, the instructor quoted the August 2001 Ensign (page 22):

“The Prophet Jospeph Smith taught, 'Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.”

He taught that all ordinances are covenants.  Hard to go to a class where so much untrue is taught.

I love the gospel I have been taught.  I think Mormonism is closer to the truth than anything I’ve come across so far.  But, I really don’t like coming to church.

What do people do who feel similarly (if anyone)?  My mood sinks on Sunday mornings, and I’m resenting the church more and more even though the gospel that has been restored so far is beautiful to me.

 

For me personally, failing to attend fast and testimony meetings has been, in many ways, the best method to remedy such feelings or "mood sinks."

Isn't attending church just once a month still considered "active?"  😀

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