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Holding onto beliefs

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14 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

If I change my beliefs, then I give up the belief I have changed, don't I?  With due respect, it seems that this is nothing more than a semantic game: "Giving up beliefs" is bad, but "changing beliefs" is good. :rolleyes: 

I have very similar sentiments with regard to the often quoted and paraphrased:

“Let me say that we appreciate the truth in all churches and the good which they do. We say to the people, in effect, you bring with you all the good that you have, and then let us see if we can add to it. That is the spirit of this work. That is the essence of our missionary service” (meeting, Nairobi, Kenya, 17 Feb. 1998).

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1 hour ago, Dersman29 said:

I feel that I am currently at a place where I am reworking all of my beliefs as well... could I ask you to expand on your experience doing so and what that meant to you?

 

thanks!

 

I read a lot of books, experimented with participation in other religious services (Jewish, Christian, I celebrated Lent this year).  It's a roller coaster ride - some days feeling amazing fredom -  free to explore and learn, and other days feeling rejected and judged by those you once were close to.  I've been blessed to belong to several communities outside of Mormonism - my work community (community college where we do a lot of humanitarian work - so happy to be a part of), my family community which is pretty diverse, my ex-mo community (we meet for coffee before church), and my Mormon community.  I'm in a mixed-faith marriage now, so it is a delicate balance with the kids (teenagers who are fairly active).  The kids actually get more attention at church because of of their wayward parent.   I started attending church again to be with family - I just don't have a calling, do not sustain leaders, do not wear g's, turned in TR etc.   I have shared a few comments during classes but I'm not there to upset anyone - am doing my best to be friendly, and most seem fairly supportive, just a few who avoid me now.  A whole new world opens up, and you quickly learn who else in the ward no longer believes too.... 

There are many different faith transition models out there - the 2013 LDS faith crisis report shows most post-Mo's are humanist/agnostic/atheist.  The great C.S.Lewis spent some time being an atheist.   I'm tending towards the Unitarian route now - believe all religious groups are perfect enough to take their community the first few steps, and imperfect enough to leave room for personal exploration and individual testimony.  It has really opened the door to individual expression and intellectual freedom.  

Try not to be angry - redirect anger to the laws of nature and environmental conditioning rather than anger at any person.  Learning how to gently communicate, respect the journey of everyone.  It's human nature to travel in packs, to want company, but everyone is on a different place in their journey so you try to learn to be 100% alone in some things, and be 100% ok with being on your own.  

A few books that were good:

Rohr, Richard, Wiley
 
The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs by Peter Enns 

Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning 
Fowler,

Tao Te Ching, Koran, Bhagavad Gita, I Ching - exploring different translations of the Bible - scripture study can be much more diverse.  

Youtube has many wonderful guided meditation videos to calm, center - some yoga, some jogging, podcasts - so very much to explore and enjoy.  I'm taking my vitamins, focusing on physical health, emotional health, intellectual health, social health - I'm trying to take ownership of everything - not just spiritual health.  

Hope you are able to enjoy your exploring  - not get too angry - focus on what is good, use everything as an educational experience rather than something to regret.  It can be empowering, enlightening, freeing - so much to explore, surprises around every corner!  :)  

 
 
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14 hours ago, CV75 said:

But the testimony concerns Jesus Christ, not the Apostles and Prophets. I’ve gotten that testimony for myself and have shown my kids; they know in Whom to trust and are teaching their kids. I think you’re saying that you have it.

 

I just read a talk by President Eyring about sustaining the Apostles and Prophets and others. https://www.lds.org/study/ensign/2019/05/34eyring?lang=eng “We are commanded by God not to judge others unrighteously, but in practice, we find that hard to avoid. Almost everything we do in working with people leads us to evaluate them. And in almost every aspect of our lives, we compare ourselves with others. We may do so for many reasons, some of them reasonable, but it often leads us to be critical.

 

I hope you find some resolution, legal and spiritual, regarding whoever abused your kids.

 

leads us to be critical...

Let's say you are in the market for a new pair of shoes.  You might have even really liked your old shoes, they are just... old... worn out... worked while you were younger, but now your feet are a different size.    Some people like change, others do not...  different personalities.   Is it wrong to research and try out different shoe companies?  evaluate pro's and cons?  

Most people understand that nothing in this life is perfect.  To reject one pair of shoes in favor of another does not mean you hate the first pair of shoes, or expect the next to be perfect... collecting shoes can be fun, wear a different pair each day :D how else can one learn, grow, gain understanding? ... tossed to and fro? or sit anchored - chained - imprisoned - stuck?  progressing is better than enduring.  Steadfast or a stiff neck?  Interesting how the same thing can be described with either positive or negative connotations...

1 hour ago, Joshua Valentine said:

I have very similar sentiments with regard to the often quoted and paraphrased:

“Let me say that we appreciate the truth in all churches and the good which they do. We say to the people, in effect, you bring with you all the good that you have, and then let us see if we can add to it. That is the spirit of this work. That is the essence of our missionary service” (meeting, Nairobi, Kenya, 17 Feb. 1998).

Why not expand that, adding good from each new group one comes to know.

Edited by changed

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1 hour ago, changed said:

 

I read a lot of books, experimented with participation in other religious services (Jewish, Christian, I celebrated Lent this year).  It's a roller coaster ride - some days feeling amazing fredom -  free to explore and learn, and other days feeling rejected and judged by those you once were close to.  I've been blessed to belong to several communities outside of Mormonism - my work community (community college where we do a lot of humanitarian work - so happy to be a part of), my family community which is pretty diverse, my ex-mo community (we meet for coffee before church), and my Mormon community.  I'm in a mixed-faith marriage now, so it is a delicate balance with the kids (teenagers who are fairly active).  The kids actually get more attention at church because of of their wayward parent.   I started attending church again to be with family - I just don't have a calling, do not sustain leaders, do not wear g's, turned in TR etc.   I have shared a few comments during classes but I'm not there to upset anyone - am doing my best to be friendly, and most seem fairly supportive, just a few who avoid me now.  A whole new world opens up, and you quickly learn who else in the ward no longer believes too.... 

There are many different faith transition models out there - the 2013 LDS faith crisis report shows most post-Mo's are humanist/agnostic/atheist.  The great C.S.Lewis spent some time being an atheist.   I'm tending towards the Unitarian route now - believe all religious groups are perfect enough to take their community the first few steps, and imperfect enough to leave room for personal exploration and individual testimony.  It has really opened the door to individual expression and intellectual freedom.  

Try not to be angry - redirect anger to the laws of nature and environmental conditioning rather than anger at any person.  Learning how to gently communicate, respect the journey of everyone.  It's human nature to travel in packs, to want company, but everyone is on a different place in their journey so you try to learn to be 100% alone in some things, and be 100% ok with being on your own.  

A few books that were good:

Rohr, Richard, Wiley
 
The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs by Peter Enns 

Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning 
Fowler,

Tao Te Ching, Koran, Bhagavad Gita, I Ching - exploring different translations of the Bible - scripture study can be much more diverse.  

Youtube has many wonderful guided meditation videos to calm, center - some yoga, some jogging, podcasts - so very much to explore and enjoy.  I'm taking my vitamins, focusing on physical health, emotional health, intellectual health, social health - I'm trying to take ownership of everything - not just spiritual health.  

Hope you are able to enjoy your exploring  - not get too angry - focus on what is good, use everything as an educational experience rather than something to regret.  It can be empowering, enlightening, freeing - so much to explore, surprises around every corner!  :)  

 
 

Thank you for your reply! I’m pretty young, about to turn 23, and have been a member for about 4 1/2 years now. Recently, I just started to question in ways that I never did before, and not totally about the church in particular but also bigger things like the nature of God, the divinity of Christ, things like that. Not that I outright reject anything, but I just.... wonder. I’m a pretty open person so I very much enjoy learning about different theologies and perspectives. I just know for a fact that nobody has the awareness to truly know all things, or even many things. Right now, I’m just trying to figure out what it is I believe. I’m actually getting calls from my bishop asking to have a meeting about getting the Melchezdik priesthood and I’m not sure what to say because I don’t even know if I have faith in it lol. That’s what led me to this forum and I was happy to see this thread. It’s been fun reading different viewpoints. 

 

Thanks again!

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17 hours ago, changed said:

A testimony of the Apostles and Prophets is exactly what I do not have right now - that is what started it all - someone called to authority abused the kids, and now I no longer trust those called to authority. 

Have you considered that your loss of faith in Apostles and Prophets may be the result of not testing, but holding on to beliefs that may be in error?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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3 hours ago, Nacho2dope said:

I would look at who was telling me the belief I had was wrong. Your example is kind of hard because it can be proven. Are there beliefs in the Church that can be proven to be wrong-not a policy but a belief?

One can't really "prove" anything is wrong. But there have been things stated which I feel contradict scripture. Brigham Young stated that Yeshua wasn't begotten of the Holy Spirit. He kind of openly dismissed the Bible on the issue. The problem is the Book of Mormon also says that Yeshua was born of a virgin and was conceived of the Holy Spirit. So I guess you can take your pick which to believe.... There are some other issues like this I won't get in to now. I guess people can pick on these points like the leaders are supposed to be perfect, but I think it is just obvious they are not. If you are going to demand perfection from prophets, you will probably have lots of trouble with the Bible. 

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

was conceived of the Holy Spirit. So

Not quite...it says "conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost".

That could be parallel to conceive by artificial insemination...

The power of the Holy Ghost was part of the process that allowed it to happen, not the father of the Son of God.

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9 minutes ago, Calm said:

Not quite...it says "conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost".

That could be parallel to conceive by artificial insemination...

The power of the Holy Ghost was part of the process that allowed it to happen, not the father of the Son of God.

I wasn't trying to imply that the Holy Spirit was the father of the Son of God. I was just trying to make the point that it is very difficult to reconcile what BY said with what not only the Bible says but also the BoM, which Joseph Smith said is the most correct book. But your point is well taken. I was being a little careless in my paraphrasing.

I'm just trying to make the point that members need to get over this perfection thing. It sets them up for a fall. I don't know, maybe they need to go on believing their leaders are perfect. It just doesn't work for me. I know they are not, and am OK with it. I still believe this is the Lord's Church. If I have doubts about what leaders have said in the past, I pray about it and move on. It is just not a source for a faith crisis for me, because I don't have the expectation in the first place. To me that seems a healthier place to be than trying to defend every word. i defend the truths of the gospel, and am thankful for any additional light I receive. I am not trying to be contentious nor cause doubt. I am just trying to explain my own position, and how I think it is beneficial. Well, I think I'm done now. Those who want to believe leaders cannot lead you astray, ignore me.

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

I wasn't trying to imply that the Holy Spirit was the father of the Son of God. I was just trying to make the point that it is very difficult to reconcile what BY said with what not only the Bible says but also the BoM, which Joseph Smith said is the most correct book. But your point is well taken. I was being a little careless in my paraphrasing..

I am not seeing the difficulty:

http://www.lightplanet.com/response/answers/begotten.htm

Quote

If anti-Mormon critics would take the time to read the entire lecture given by Brigham Young, they would realize that his point is one that they may well agree with. President Young was addressing those who erroneously teach that the Holy Ghost begat the Son, saying this misunderstanding detracts from the Fatherhood of our Heavenly Father. Brigham Young was affirming that God the Father was the Father of Jesus--not the Holy Ghost.

 

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20 hours ago, bluebell said:

Some beliefs are good to let go of and others are important to hold on to.  It seems weird to try to argue that it should always be one way or the other.

Getting too attached to any particular beliefs leads to cognitive dissonance- hold onto anything too tightly and vision becomes clouded.

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9 hours ago, changed said:

leads us to be critical...

Let's say you are in the market for a new pair of shoes.  You might have even really liked your old shoes, they are just... old... worn out... worked while you were younger, but now your feet are a different size.    Some people like change, others do not...  different personalities.   Is it wrong to research and try out different shoe companies?  evaluate pro's and cons?  

Most people understand that nothing in this life is perfect.  To reject one pair of shoes in favor of another does not mean you hate the first pair of shoes, or expect the next to be perfect... collecting shoes can be fun, wear a different pair each day :D how else can one learn, grow, gain understanding? ... tossed to and fro? or sit anchored - chained - imprisoned - stuck?  progressing is better than enduring.  Steadfast or a stiff neck?  Interesting how the same thing can be described with either positive or negative connotations...

Why not expand that, adding good from each new group one comes to know.

Comparing new shoes to replace old ones, and replacing old ideas with new ones is different in my mind than comparing ourselves with others and becoming critical of either. That to me is stuck, which is always negative.

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2 hours ago, changed said:

Getting too attached to any particular beliefs leads to cognitive dissonance- hold onto anything too tightly and vision becomes clouded.

Do you have a reference for that?  It's fine if you are sharing your opinion, I'm just not sure if that's what you are doing or not.

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5 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Do you have a reference for that?  It's fine if you are sharing your opinion, I'm just not sure if that's what you are doing or not.

It makes sense to me. I heard this analogy the other day, think of a globe and you're in it, and then it explodes and you are able to see a whole other world out there, and you decide which of the shattered glass pieces you're going to keep in your belief and which you are going to leave behind. 

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2 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

It makes sense to me. I heard this analogy the other day, think of a globe and you're in it, and then it explodes and you are able to see a whole other world out there, and you decide which of the shattered glass pieces you're going to keep in your belief and which you are going to leave behind. 

You believe that being attached to the belief that you love your husband, or you love your children for example, will eventually lead to cognitive dissonance?  

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25 minutes ago, bluebell said:

You believe that being attached to the belief that you love your husband, or you love your children for example, will eventually lead to cognitive dissonance?  

I thought this was about beliefs. Oh, I saw what you just did! :) That happens with marriages, but I doubt very much with children. I'm mainly talking about what we thought we knew or believed about something.

Edited by Tacenda

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Just now, Tacenda said:

I thought this was about beliefs. 

Whether or not we love someone is a belief though.  Beliefs don't just concern religion.  

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26 minutes ago, bluebell said:

You believe that being attached to the belief that you love your husband, or you love your children for example, will eventually lead to cognitive dissonance?  

Interestingly enough, it can... if new abrasive data is introduced. 

Been there 🥺

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Just now, MustardSeed said:

Interestingly enough, it can... if new abrasive data is introduced. 

Been there 🥺

It can, but it's not a guarantee.  It's not inevitable.  It's the statement of fact in changed claim ("Getting too attached to any particular beliefs leads to cognitive dissonance") that I don't believe is accurate.

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32 minutes ago, bluebell said:

It can, but it's not a guarantee.  It's not inevitable.  It's the statement of fact in changed claim ("Getting too attached to any particular beliefs leads to cognitive dissonance") that I don't believe is accurate.

Ah.  So "can" lead to. 

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4 hours ago, bluebell said:

Do you have a reference for that?  It's fine if you are sharing your opinion, I'm just not sure if that's what you are doing or not.

It is the definition of what cognitive dissonance is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

 

I'm not sure if you have ever experienced it?  Experienced something that at first refuses to register in your mind because it is so opposed to how you had defined reality previously?  I experienced it when I received that phone call - they had to repeat themselves over and over again.  I was legitimately confused about what person they were talking about, kept thinking it must be this other person.  For part of it, it was almost like they were talking in gibberish, talking in another language or something - I could not comprehend it, could not process it because it went so against the reality I had previously defined for myself.  Almost a form of shock?... you think the Earth is flat, and then it's round - some twist in life that redefines reality, and you have to get used to a new way of thinking about things, a new way of understanding... hard to get rid of old habits, a very uncomfortable and alien place to find oneself in.  

3 hours ago, bluebell said:

You believe that being attached to the belief that you love your husband, or you love your children for example, will eventually lead to cognitive dissonance?  

If you google "memory impairment and trauma" there are some interesting things that are I think the extreme of cognitive dissonance - for the kids, when the trauma was not from a stranger, but someone they depended on, "betrayal trauma", I have seen first hand - memory loss, people still claiming it did not happen (yes it did, it was video taped) - people unable to process something as it goes so against what they need or want to be true - and their brain literally shuts down for part of it.  I felt a bit of it in my own brain, and it was very frightening.  ...

Makes you realize a few of the tricks brains can play on us...

 

Edited by changed

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46 minutes ago, changed said:

It is the definition of what cognitive dissonance is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

 

I'm confused.  I looked at the link and it said that the definition of cognitive dissonance is when a person "holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values."  This is not what you said though.  You said that getting attached to any particular belief leads to cognitive dissonance.  Your statement doesn't seem to be supported anywhere in the link you provided.  I could have missed the relevant part though.

Quote

 

If you google "memory impairment and trauma" there are some interesting things that are I think the extreme of cognitive dissonance - for the kids, when the trauma was not from a stranger, but someone they depended on, "betrayal trauma", I have seen first hand - memory loss, people still claiming it did not happen (yes it did, it was video taped) - people unable to process something as it goes so against what they need or want to be true - and their brain literally shuts down for part of it.  I felt a bit of it in my own brain, and it was very frightening.  ...

Makes you realize a few of the tricks brains can play on us...

 

I agree.  My friend has some really interesting experience with the way that trauma can trick a person's brain and she's been sharing the information with me.  And I find the way that the brain handles memory to be incredibly fascinating, even when there is no trauma at all involved.  To think that the brain can (and does frequently) create it's own memories that never actually happened, even when no trauma was present in the least, is very interesting and also very disconcerting.

None of that has anything to do with what you said though.  You said "Getting too attached to any particular beliefs leads to cognitive dissonance."   Memory impairment and trauma isn't caused by being too attached to a belief.  

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44 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I'm confused.  I looked at the link and it said that the definition of cognitive dissonance is when a person "holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values."  This is not what you said though.  You said that getting attached to any particular belief leads to cognitive dissonance.  Your statement doesn't seem to be supported anywhere in the link you provided.  I could have missed the relevant part though.

I agree.  My friend has some really interesting experience with the way that trauma can trick a person's brain and she's been sharing the information with me.  And I find the way that the brain handles memory to be incredibly fascinating, even when there is no trauma at all involved.  To think that the brain can (and does frequently) create it's own memories that never actually happened, even when no trauma was present in the least, is very interesting and also very disconcerting.

None of that has anything to do with what you said though.  You said "Getting too attached to any particular beliefs leads to cognitive dissonance."   Memory impairment and trauma isn't caused by being too attached to a belief.  

Getting too attached to any particular belief - such as the belief that your father is good (then being confronted with video taped evidence that he is not), or the belief that your husband is faithful etc.  Those are beliefs too.  Relationships are filled with beliefs....

Most accounts of abuse are true.... https://www.lds.org/church/news/new-church-website-provides-hope-and-healing-for-victims-of-abuse?lang=eng

Read a little more of the wiki article - ".... discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a person’s belief clashes with new evidence perceived by the person. When confronted with facts that contradict beliefs, ideals, and values, people will try to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort." (apologetics ;)

....human beings strive for internal psychological consistency to function mentally in the real world. A person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable .... avoiding circumstances and contradictory information likely to increase the magnitude of the cognitive dissonance. (don't read xyz etc. etc.)

people reduce the magnitude of their cognitive dissonance in four ways:

  1. Change the behavior or the cognition (I'm not going to that church any more)
  2. Justify the behavior or the cognition, by changing the conflicting cognition (I guess I did not understand that correctly)
  3. Justify the behavior or the cognition by adding new cognitions (adding new doctrines)
  4. Ignore or deny information that conflicts with existing beliefs (anything not produced by xyz is just a lie)
Edited by changed

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2 minutes ago, changed said:

Getting too attached to any particular belief - such as the belief that your father is good, or that your husband is faithful etc.  Those are beliefs too.

 

Read a little more of the wiki article - ".... discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a person’s belief clashes with new evidence perceived by the person. When confronted with facts that contradict beliefs, ideals, and values, people will try to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort." (apologetics ;)

....human beings strive for internal psychological consistency to function mentally in the real world. A person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable .... avoiding circumstances and contradictory information likely to increase the magnitude of the cognitive dissonance. (don't read xyz etc. etc.)

people reduce the magnitude of their cognitive dissonance in four ways:

  1. Change the behavior or the cognition (I'm not going to that church any more)
  2. Justify the behavior or the cognition, by changing the conflicting cognition (I guess I did not understand that correctly)
  3. Justify the behavior or the cognition by adding new cognitions (adding new doctrines)
  4. Ignore or deny information that conflicts with existing beliefs (anything not produced by xyz is just a lie)

The article seems to saying that being too attached to a belief only causes a problem when contradictory facts are presented.  What if there are no contradictory facts?  What if the beliefs are actually based on truth?  

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Don't we believe in "line upon line" and the such? Of course with new information our beliefs can change. However, our faith and hope should not change or waiver. Divine truth as well will not change. The divine truth would be that there is an authority given to man called the priesthood. As far as who can and cannot wield the priesthood it not part of divine truth and can change.

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6 hours ago, bluebell said:

The article seems to saying that being too attached to a belief only causes a problem when contradictory facts are presented.  What if there are no contradictory facts?  What if the beliefs are actually based on truth?  

Haha, yes, that is the solution - #4 Ignore or deny information that conflicts with existing beliefs ... pretend there are no contradictory facts ;) 

 

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